University of Minnesota Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners are presenting the annual Ready, Set, Grow! Garden Expo
The event is 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 14 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Cost is $25 per person for four break-out classes, morning refreshments and a boxed lunch. The event includes vendors and exhibitors in the gymnasium along with a silent auction from 9 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.
Break-out sessions include:
• Extending the Growing Season in Minnesota with presenter Jackie Froemming, coordinator of the UMN Extension Master Gardener Program in Crow Wing County and Extension educator for Water Resources and Consumer Horticulture. To grow vegetables and fruits successfully in Minnesota means choosing the right varieties, placing plants in the proper location, encouraging plants to grow rapidly and lengthening the growing season as much as possible.
Sessions are 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
• Growing Hardy Roses Up North with presenter Jackie Burkey, a St. Olaf graduate and a certified UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardener, who discovered antique roses while living in Texas. Refusing to do the Minnesota Tip method, Burkey has turned to hardy roses. Minnesota rose lovers can grow beautiful roses in spite of Zone 3 winters that spell doom for fragile hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras. The course will talk about hardy new cultivars, and some old standbys. Sessions are 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
• New And Exciting Plants For 2012!!! with presenter Shelly Boser, manager at Landsburg Landscape Nursery for 12 seasons. Boser was born and raised on a dairy farm by Pierz. She graduated from Central Lakes College with a degree in landscape and horticulture. Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• The Art Of The Kitchen Garden with presenter JoAnn Weaver, a retired nurse with a background in education, who grew up in a gardening family. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and a certified UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardener. Learn how to plan and plant an attractive, Zone 3, kitchen garden that maximizes production. Session is 9 a.m.
• Color From Spring To Fall: Using Succession Planting To Enhance Your Perennial Garden with presenter Terry Engels.
Engels worked for the St. Cloud Parks Department until June 2008 as a staff gardener and supervisor of the Clemens Gardens. She was a founder of the Munsinger Clemens Botanical Society and has been UMN Extension Stearns County Master Gardener since 1998. She has been a member of the Garden Writers Association since 2001. The class teaches design analysis, points out specific cultivars suitable for Zone 3 and outlines growing techniques to inspire a new space or renew an existing garden.
Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• Starting Plants From Seeds with presenter Debby Floerchinger.
Floerchinger has been a UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardener since 2004. Her interests in gardening are in perennials, water gardens, vegetable gardening and composting. She has become very interested in sustainability and raises her own chickens for eggs and preserves the produce from her vegetable garden. Floerchinger will cover the traditional methods of starting plants from seed as well as the newly popular method of “Winter Sowing.”
Sessions are 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
• Creating A Garden Sanctuary: A Place Of Refuge In A Chaotic World with presenter Daniel Dix.
Dix is owner of WoodSpirit Gardens, a Landscape Design and Installation Company located in North Central Minnesota. His diverse undertakings include therapeutic, water, and Oriental gardens, as well as wetland restoration, erosion and flood control. Besides managing his landscape business, Dix is a published author, photographer, tour guide, and a lecturer. Dix will discuss and demonstrate proper installation and complementary arrangements of landscape features such as water gardens, statuary, paths, and seating. Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• Herbs For Every Garden with presenter Judy Saari.
Saari is in her second year as a UMN Extension Crow wing County Master Gardener.
Discussion will include growing herbs in an informal setting (including containers) as compared to a formal knot garden. Basic growing conditions, as well as, the use and preservation of herbs from the garden will be covered.
Session is 2:30 p.m.
• Native Gardens For Home Landscapes with presenter Eleanor Burkett.
Burkett is an Extension Educator in Water Resources for the University of Minnesota Extension. This session will focus on incorporating native gardens of small to moderate size into your home landscape. Besides “how to” tips, there will be a discussion of surprises and “lessons learned.” Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• Preserving The Harvest: Freezing with presenter Jean Pitt.
Pitt retired in 2007 as UMN Regional Extension Educator — Food Science. As Extension Educator in Aitkin County prior to her regional position, she has experience teaching and doing training workshops in food safety and food preservation. She co-researched, developed and piloted the Food Safety Wheel, the “Peddling Your Pickles” workshops and a CD “From Stream to Table,” a food safety resource on care, handling and preservation of fish.
This session will explore the best practices for freezing fruits and vegetables, the advantages and disadvantages of freezing, and also when it is best to use other methods of preservation. The “whys” and “hows” of blanching will be covered.
Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• Preserving The Harvest: Canning with presenter Carol Ann Burtness.
Burtness retired in 2010 as a UMN Regional Extension Educator with an expertise in food safety including food preservation. Learn guidelines for canning with an emphasis on safety, types of equipment, proper canning methods and recommended resources. If time allows, current guidelines for tomatoes, tomato mixtures and salsa will also be reviewed. Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• Garden 911: What To Do When Things Go Wrong with presenter Robin Trott.
Trott is an experienced environmental educator, market gardener and flower farmer. Trott has worked in various positions in the floriculture/education industry for more than 10 years. She is currently the consumer horticulture educator for Douglas County Extension. Trott provides for a primer on the steps to take to prevent garden disasters and end the season with a great harvest. Topics include basic maintenance, pest management, harvest time and post harvest care. Sessions are 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• It’s All Just Vine And Dandy with presenter Jody Hedtke.
Hedtke is a 10-year certified UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardener. This course will help people discover the world of vines. Sessions are 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
• Age Is No Excuse, Get Out And Garden with presenter Coralee Fox.
Fox is a retired city administrator, a charter member of the Brainerd Chapter of the Wild Ones and also a certified UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardener since 2010. Fox is on the Historic Preservation Committee which maintains the flower gardens at The Fine Line Hair Salon in Brainerd, which tied for first place in “Brainerd in Bloom 2011.”