Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Upcoming Events!

The Biggest Little Farm

  A great film showing at the Plaza Theater in Maplewood.  The plot summary: “A testament to the immense complexity of nature, this documentary follows two dreamers who bring harmony to both their lives and the land as they work to develop a sustainable 200 acre farm.” 
Synopsis from Fandango: “Two dreamers and a dog embark on an odyssey to bring harmony to their lives and to the land. As their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they will have to reach a greater understanding of the intricacies and wisdom of nature.”
The film has wonderful cinematography, is uplifting and inspiring. I have much more respect for traditional farmers after watching this movie. And hope that we can heal the Earth.
To watch a trailer see: https://www.biggestlittlefarmmovie.com/

As far as I can tell it is only playing at the Plaza Theater in Maplewood. Cost is $3 ($2 on Tuesdays).  Check the Plaza’s website for times. I don’t know how long it will be playing, so see it soon. Anyone who grows food will want to see this!

Plaza Theater info: https://theplazatheater.com/

UMN Organic Open House July 23rd, 5-7 pm 

Stop by for a chance to hear about innovative organic growing practices and talk with researchers about current organic and sustainable agriculture research. Growers, students, researchers, and community members are invited to attend. These events are FREE & open to the public. 

Concurrent with the UMN Organic Open House will be a field day on summer cover crop mixes and how they can be used to improve soil health and fertility on your farm. Come learn about a variety of flowering summer cover crop options and summer cover crop research taking place at the University of Minnesota. Field day is supported by a Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.

This year's events will feature:
  • Summer cover cropping systems for soil health and beneficial insect support
  • SWD research in raspberries
  • Cover crops for soil health in high tunnels
  • Increasing production of summer lettuce and cauliflower
  • Planting method effects on cover crop growth and soil benefits
  • Alternative crops: field peas and quinoa
Location: Cornercopia Organic Farm on the UMN St. Paul Campus, Intersection of Lindig St & Dudley Ave.

Parking is available in the Gortner Ave Ramp, 1395 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55108.
  • Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, 5-7 pm
  • Thursday, Sept 19, 2019, 4-6 pm
More info contact:
Anne Pfeiffer
Organic Program Associate
University of MN/Grossman Lab
436 Alderman Hall, 1970 Folwell Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

Join the Seed Library at Market Fest!
The Seed Library will be at the last White Bear Lake Marketfest on July 25th from 6-9pm.
We will be at a booth on 4th and Banning along with other displays at the Environmental Resource Expo. Other booths at the expo include; Tamarac Nature Center, Rainbow Tree Care, University of MN Turf Science, Watershed Partners, Sierra Club, Master Gardeners, Electric cars and many more.
We’ll have lots of seed info and a game to win candy. Stop by to say hi to Bev and myself!

New Forest Farm Tour
“New Forest Farm is a diverse Restoration Agriculture research site in the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin. Come join us for a beautiful walk at the farm. This marks the start of tree crops harvesting season where the hazelnuts, apples, pears, grapes are bountiful. We will be doing a hybrid hazelnut harvesting demo too!”
You can take the tour on Saturday August 17, 10am – 1 pm. $20.
Note: I wasn’t able to find the address on their website, but found it by google-- 15124 ASH RIDGE DR VIOLA, WI 54664

Ramsey Master Gardener Classes
Weeds & Pests Identification, 7/27 – Shoreview Public Library
See details and other classes at: www.ramseymastergardeners.com

Future Seed Talks and Seed Packaging
September – MONDAY, September 9th, 6:30pm – How to Save Seeds
September – Wednesday, September 11th, 5pm Seed packaging
October – Tuesday, October 8th, 6:30 pm – Putting Your Garden to bed

Contact info for the Seed Library:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fruit Growing


Check the University Of Minnesota Extension website for information on growing many kinds of fruit:


Eight hours or more of full sun.
Many need 2 varieties in order to successfully pollinate.
Prune to annually.
Get a soil test to determine if you need to amend your soil.
Soil test info at:  http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/
Protect fruit bearing plants from rabbits and deer with fencing.

Growing Native fruit in Minnesota
There are several native plants which bear fruit which humans can eat that grow in Minnesota. Such as Black cap raspberry (Rubus species), Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Currant (Ribes species), Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis), Wild grape (Vitis Riparia), Juneberry (Amelanchier species), Red mulberry (Morus rubra) and Wild plum (Prunus americana).

NOTE!! It was mentioned at the Seed Talk that American Spikenard has edible berries, but use caution. Some sources say it is edible and some say it is not!!!

Website with good information:

Also, the book Wild Berries & Fruit , Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan, by Teresa Marrone

Sunday, July 7, 2019


Hello Gardeners!

Hope your gardens are fruiting, flowering and producing. Mother Nature has given us lots of rain to help things along. I noticed some powdery mildew on some of my beardtongues the last few days which I’m sure was caused by the humidity and bountiful rain. Maybe you noticed some on your plants too. Here are some ideas:
Make sure your plants have plenty of air flow.
Mix up 40% milk and 60% water. Spray on plants when sun is shining. Milk protein will kill off mold spores. OR
Mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda and 1/2 tsp. liquid hand soap with one gallon of water. Spray solution on affected leaves. OR
Combine 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a quart water in a bottle spray. Mist the mixture on the leaves to stop fungi from growing. Can also use this as a preventive method.
Do not compost diseased plants or leaves in your compost pile so the mold doesn’t spread.

Next Seed Talk
July 9th – Fruit
Fruit is tasty and good for you. Learn how to grow raspberries, blueberries, fruit trees and other less common fruit at our next Seed Talk on Tuesday evening, July 9th at 6:30 pm at the White Bear Lake branch of the RCL. Come to share your knowledge and maybe pick up some new tips. Seed Talks are group discussions on a certain topic. Please share your experiences and questions growing fruit.
We’ll be joined by Loretta, a Ramsey County Master Gardener who grows various kinds of fruit. She’ll share her own tips and expertise at our discussion.

Cool Beans Newsletter
The current Cool Beans newsletter has an informative article on how to save native plant seeds. You can read the latest version of this seed library newsletter at: www.seedlibraries.net

Other Events
Ramsey Master Gardener Classes
Vegetable Gardening (Advanced)
7/13 – Roseville Public Library
Weeds & Pests Identification
7/13 – North Dale Rec Center
7/17 – Ramsey Master Gardener Barn
7/27 – Shoreview Public Library
See details and other classes at: www.ramseymastergardeners.com

Future Seed Talks
August – none
September – MONDAY, September 9th, 6:30pm – How to Save Seeds
October – Tuesday, October 8th, 6:30 pm – Putting Your Garden to bed

Contact info for the Seed Library: