Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Activities and Events

Contrary to the blizzard and 12+" of snow, Spring and all its activities will eventually come, though sometimes that seems like wishful thinking. Check out the many activities coming up:
Wild Ones Meetings - Open to the public, great speakers on various topic concerning native plants.
    April 17 - Rare Plants of Northern Washington County, presented by Jason Husveth, FamilyMeans building, Stillwater, 7-8:45 pm, socialize 6:30pm,  stcroixoaksavanna.wildones.org

    April 26 - Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants presented by Anne Sawyer, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Autumn Grove Park, Roseville, bigriverbigwoods.wildones.org
    May 15  - An Invitation to Landscape with Native Plants: Getting Started, presented by Kathy Widin, FamilyMeans building, Stillwater, 7-8:45pm, Socialize 6:30pm, stcroixoaksavanna.wildones.org

    May 24 - Tips for Discovery Biodiversity in your Backyard, presented by Larissa and Erik Mottl, 6:30-8:30 pm, Autumn Grove Park, Roseville, bigriverbigwoods.wildones.org

Apr 21 - Earth day Cleanup at Tamarack Nature Center - Help us celebrate Earth Day with a morning at Tamarack! We'll remove invasive plants from trails and nature center grounds and work in the garden to get it ready for planting.  9-noon, ages 8+,  Tamarack Nature Center 5287 Otter Lake Road White Bear Township, MN 55110

Apr 21 - Gardening with Native Pollinators with Heather Holm and Pollinator Friendly Alliance,
Warner Nature Center   15375 Norell Avenue, Marine on St. Croix. 10:00-11:15 am.  Call Warner to register 651-433-2427.

April 22 - EARTH DAY!! Do Something Nice for the Earth! Plant a tree or plant, cleanup a park or educate someone about why we need to protect our earth.

May 5 - May Mosaic - The latest dirt on soil, composting, seed saving, and more. Bring your garden questions for Ramsey County Master Gardeners to answer as well as garden stories to share with your neighbors. Find out about pollinators and their importance in your garden and yard.
11am-2pm, Historic Como Streetcar Station, 1224 N. Lexington Pkwy 55117

May 6 - New Pollinator Garden Planting near Mississippi River, May 6
POLLINATOR GARDEN TO BE PLANTED IN HIGHLAND PARK NEAR RIVER! On Sunday, May 6th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. an extensive pollinator garden, featuring native ornamental grasses will be planted on the east side of the Temple of Aaron parking lot in an abandoned city alley right of way. The area previously was filled with invasive shrubs and weeds. This garden will measure 300 ft long by 10 ft. wide and extends south from Hartford Avenue. Ramsey County Master Gardeners will be on hand to assist volunteers with planting the “plug” grasses and wildflowers. We ask that you bring your family members out for this one time installation of a garden that will not only attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, but will also serve as a snack bar for our resident Bald Eagles who have been nesting nearby since 2015. Bring a pair of garden gloves and a hand trowel or shovel. Refreshments will be available. You will want to be able to say that you were involved in the planting of the River of Grass Pollinator Garden. Why? Once established, this garden will be the longest native ornamental grass border in Minnesota and possibly the Upper Midwest, according to Dr. Mary Meyer, University of Minnesota Ornamental Grass researcher and educator. Come help us install this fabulous garden that will start waving its grasses and showing its blooms later this summer. Where to arrive: Meet in parking lot behind 616 South Mississippi River Boulevard in St. Paul Since the River Boulevard is often closed on weekends for walks and races, we encourage you to reach the site this way: From I:94- Exit Cretin Avenue, drive south to Hartford Avenue From Cretin Avenue, turn west on Hartford Avenue. Drive 2.5 blocks- just past Mount Curve Avenue- to entrance to parking lot.
May 11-13 - Friends School Plant sale - selling over 2,450 plant varieties of all neonic-free plants: vegetables, flowers, rare, trees, shrubs, bulbs, herbs, etc. Amazing amount of plants! friendsschoolplantsale.com

May 12 - Welcome to the Garden - Open House for the community gardens at the White Bear Lake YMCA from 9-12 with events and education. The Seed Library will be there.
May 21 - Flowers for Pollinators - Learn how to identify the pollinators in your neighborhood and develop an understanding of the threats they face in our communities with this presentation from U of M Extension Master Gardeners. You will leave this presentation empowered and inspired to create pollinator-friendly habitats in your community - to help pollinators thrive in your community. Shoreview Library, 6:30-7:30pm, https://www.rclreads.org/
Landscape Revival. Selling pollinator safe, neonic-free native plants at 2 locations this year! Landscape Revival
June 2 - Landscape Revival, Shepherd of the Hills Church, 3920 Victoria St N, Shoreview, Minnesota (MN) 55126, 9-1:30
June 9 - Landscape Revival, Richard Walton Memorial Park, 5th Street N and Hadley Avenue N, Oakdale, Minnesota (MN) 55128, 9-2
Jun 4 - Flowers for Pollinators - Learn how to identify the pollinators in your neighborhood and develop an understanding of the threats they face in our communities with this presentation from U of M Extension Master Gardeners. You will leave this presentation empowered and inspired to create pollinator-friendly habitats in your community - to help pollinators thrive in your community. White Bear Lake Library, 6:30-7:30pm, https://www.rclreads.org/

June 24 - Mahtomedi Garden Club Tour. mahtomedigardenclub.org

Friday, April 6, 2018

Seed Library Update and Events

Hello Gardeners!
Hope you are planning your gardens. Though it doesn't seem like it now (below zero wind chills this morning), we will eventually get spring weather!
I want to welcome all the new gardeners that recently became members of the Seed Library. Maybe you came to one of my classes or heard about the Seed Library from some other source, but you all have at least one thing in common--you like plants! Welcome to what I'd like to think is the greatest seed library in the metro area supported by a wonderful community of gardeners. Periodically I send out an email letting you know about upcoming events, new seeds in the library or some how to's or other bits of interesting info. I also maintain a Seed Library blog site at WBL Seed LIbrary Blogspot which has past blog entries of interest.
This last month over 380 packets of seeds left the seed library to their new homes! Wow! I'm thinking there are lots of little trays of seeds growing in people's houses right now. If you are starting tomato or pepper seeds indoors, you're going to need some supplemental light source even if you have a south facing window. Seedlings need at least 14 hours of good light per day and we just don't have that here up in the tundra. Other types of seedlings benefit from man-made light as well or they grow spindly and weak. The shorter and stockier you can grow your seedlings the better. Keep the light source close to the top of the seedlings so they don't have to stretch.
Those of you who placed native plant seeds in your fridge for stratification, you should check them for possible sprouting or mold. Probably many of them are ready to seed in trays about now too. (If moldy, replace damp paper toweling if not finished with stratification, otherwise plant immediately in trays. Maybe you can save them.)
With all these seeds starting their lives, don't forget to start some extra plants to harvest the seeds. Without your donations there will not be seeds for next season. Which brings me to the topic of garden space. Many people don't have much full sun garden space. There is an solution! You can rent garden space are various sites around our area. Check out gardener and local food advocate Michelle Bruhn's blog site, Forks in the Dirt for the March 24th entry for a list and description of various community gardens. Michelle's website has lots of other great info too.
Remember any questions, problems or concerns please email me at: wblseedlibrary@gmail.com. Also, if you know of an event that may be of general interest to this group of community gardeners let me know.

Onto the upcoming events. There are lots--testiment Spring will come. 
Wild Ones Meetings - Open to the public, great speakers on various topic concerning native plants.
April 17 - Rare Plants of Northern Washington County, presented by Jason Husveth, FamilyMeans building, Stillwater, 7-8:45 pm, socialize 6:30pm,  stcroixoaksavanna.wildones.org

April 26 - Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants presented by Anne Sawyer, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Autumn Grove Park, Roseville, bigriverbigwoods.wildones.org
May 15  -An Invitation to Landscape with Native Plants: Getting Started, presented by Kathy Widin, FamilyMeans building, Stillwater, 7-8:45pm, Socialize 6:30pm, stcroixoaksavanna.wildones.org

May 24 - Tips for Discovery Biodiversity in your Backyard, presented by Larissa and Erik Mottl, 6:30-8:30 pm, Autumn Grove Park, Roseville, bigriverbigwoods.wildones.org

May 5 - May Mosaic - The latest dirt on soil, composting, seed saving, and more. Bring your garden questions for Ramsey County Master Gardeners to answer as well as garden stories to share with your neighbors. Find out about pollinators and their importance in your garden and yard.
11am-2pm, Historic Como Streetcar Station, 1224 N. Lexington Pkwy 55117
May 11-13 - Friends School Plant sale - selling over 2,450 plant varieties of all neonic-free plants: vegetables, flowers, rare, trees, shrubs, bulbs, herbs, etc. Amazing amount of plants! friendsschoolplantsale.com
Landscape Revival. Selling pollinator safe, neonic-free native plants at 2 locations this year! Landscape Revival
June 2 - Landscape Revival, Shepherd of the Hills Church, 3920 Victoria St N, Shoreview, Minnesota (MN) 55126, 9-1:30
June 9 - Landscape Revival, Richard Walton Memorial Park, 5th Street N and Hadley Avenue N, Oakdale, Minnesota (MN) 55128, 9-2
June 24 - Mahtomedi Garden Club Tour. mahtomedigardenclub.org
I'll leave you with this words:
"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."
    - Robert Louis Stevenson
Pam

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Upcoming Events at the Seed Library!

Hello Gardeners!
There are 2 events coming up.
A Free How to Start Seeds Class taught by me on Saturday March 3:
It will cover starting vegetable, flower and native plant seeds as well as how the seed library works.

Saturday, March 3, 2018 10:30-11:30 Seed starting class at the Maplewood library
3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood, MN 55109
 
Saturday, March 3, 2018 1-2pm Seed starting class at the White Bear Lake library
2150 2nd St, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Then on Monday, March 12 from 4:30-8pm will be packaging seeds at the White Bear Lake library. Come help package seeds for the seed library and talk with other gardeners about your gardening plans. Those of you interested in native plants seeds--we have 10 new seed varieties to package. Chocolate is provided! This is a drop in event, so come when you can.

Both events are for new and experienced gardeners. Invite your friends and family!
Pam

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Seeds are Here!

Hello Gardeners!
Happy Days! I have stocked all the seed library drawers with hundreds of seed packets. In fact, over 800 new packets pf seeds are waiting for lucky gardeners to check them out. Here's a short summary of what the seed library offers:
Tomatoes - 43 varieties
Beans - 12 varieties
Peas 8 varieties
Lettuce - 11 varieties
Native plants - over 25 varieties
plus many, many annual and perennial flowers and other vegetables and herbs.
So now is the time to check out the seed library.

A big thank you to all who donated seeds and helped package these 800+ packets! Also, when you are planning your gardens, please add space for a few extra plants that you  harvest for the seeds. This year we were fortunate that Territorial Seed Company donated 141 packages of vegetable seeds and Guerney's gave us a $25 gift certificate which we used for 6 packages of pea and sweet pepper seeds. These packages were further divided into the packets we offer at the seed library. But it is unlikely we will get similar donations next year so we need local seed donations as well. Plant an extra tomato or lettuce plant or a half row of peas or beans for the seed library. Remember--we only want seeds from open-pollinated/heirloom variety of plants.
I spent this week updating the seed catalog with the new varieties of seeds and stocking seeds. I reorganized the seed catalog a bit. All the easy to save vegetable seeds (tomatoes, peas, beans, lettuce and sweet peppers) are grouped first in the catalog and then follows the difficult to save seeds in alphabetical order. I hope this will make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.

Also, all the difficult to save seeds are in the bottom 2 drawers of the seed library. We decided not to repackage the new commercial packages of seeds and just placed them directly in the drawers. If you only want some of the seeds in the package there are empty envelopes in the box of the table you can use to hold the seeds. The seed library wants to stress saving the 'easy to save' seeds and so we decided not to use our limited resources repackaging the' difficult to save' seeds.
Upcoming Events:
I hope to see you at one of the 2 seed starting classes I'm teaching in March:
Saturday, March 3, 2018 10:30-11:30 Seed starting class at the Maplewood library
Saturday, March 3, 2018 1-2pm Seed starting class at the White Bear Lake library
Happy Garden Planning!
Pam

Here's a photo, compliments of Michelle Bruhn, from our last seed packaging event on Jan 29th.

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Seed Packaging Event Coming Up!

Hello Gardeners!
I hope you are enjoying all the seed catalogs in your mail box. Looking through all the color photos of vegetables and flowers inspires me during these cold, cloudy days of winter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the snow and activities like cross-country skiing and snow shoeing, but I do like dreaming of warm weather too.
Just a reminder that our next seed packaging event is coming up on Monday, January 29th from 4:30-8pm at the White Bear Lake library. This is an open event, so come when you can and stay as long as you like. I will be showing 3 methods to start native plant seeds as needed during the event. No experience necessary and chocolate is provided! New gardeners and those experienced in digging in the dirt are all welcomed!  Come spend some time with fellow gardeners as we package seeds and talk about our plans for the growing season.
The seed library can use donations of heirloom or open-pollinated seeds (peas, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers and native plants) and small coin envelopes, no bigger than 3 X 4 1/4".


I want to call your attention to the Forks in the Dirt site, run by Michelle Bruhn.  Michelle was instrumental in getting together the White Bear Lake Winter Farmer's Market last month. She has a new blog post on seed saving which talks about our White Bear Lake Seed Library. Check it out!  Forks in the Dirt


Another event which I always find wonderful is the Design With Nature Conference. The speakers are great and the conference fee includes lunch and snacks. Consider becoming a Wild Ones member and receive a discount to the conference.

Wild Ones Design With Nature
Annual Conference - February 17



Natural Landscape as the New Norm
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Anderson Student Center,
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

The conference is presented by Wild Ones, a national, environmental education and advocacy nonprofit. It offers insights into topics impacting the native plant movement, always encouraging us to embrace the connection of native plants to the ecological health of our communities.

Featuring:

  • Jared Rosenbaum: 
    We Are Wildlife: Edible and Medicinal Native Plants in Restoration Practice
  • Rachel Mackow:
    Native Nourishment: Breaking Bread with Wildlife
  • Catherine Zimmerman:
    Stories of Bringing Nature Home: Rethinking Our Approach to Landscape
Remember, without Winter, Spring would seem less sweet!
Pam

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Seed Packaging Event January 29th!

Seed Packaging Event
Monday, Jan 29, 2018
4:30-8:00 pm
Open event - come when you can
Fun for all! Treats provided!
White Bear Lake Library
2150 S 2nd St
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

I hope you can make it to this event. We have a great group of gardeners from novices to experts who come to package seeds and we welcome newcomers. Besides packaging seeds we also love talking about our gardens. I'll demonstrate winter seed starting methods multiple times during the event as needed.
Please note, inclement weather may cause this to be canceled. Contact the library if uncertain. I will send out an email if canceled.

Remember, please consider donating some seeds you saved or a commercial package of seeds (open-pollinated only). The seed library depends on seed donations to continue to offer seeds to everyone!