Farm, Garden & Outdoors Calendar Published Aug. 6, 2022 – West Central Tribune

Strategic Agriculture: Field Notes: Wednesday, 8 a.m., free, 30-minute University of Minnesota Extension webinar via Zoom for farmers and agricultural professionals. Register for the live sessions at z.umn.edu/strategic-farming. The program will feature a live webinar with interactive discussion with attendees, addressing seasonal crop issues as they arise. Weekly topics are announced during the week of the program, maintaining flexibility to respond to issues arising in 2022. For those unable to attend live, the discussion-based series will be posted to podcast streaming services immediately after the webinar. Subscribe to iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or Google podcasts.

Central Minnesota Dairy Field Day: August 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Janski Farm, 3731 200th St., St. Augusta. The University of Minnesota Extension event will focus on dairy management and forage production for farming operations in central Minnesota. It will focus on the use of robots, feed management and the use of ground covers on land and in dairy cattle rations. Lunch will be provided at 1:00 PM. Register for the meal at z.umn.edu/DairyFDCentral22 or by calling Dana Adams at 320-204-2968.

Cover crop field day: August 18, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Free, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton. “Setting Up Success” is for farmers and those who work with farmers, with or without ground cover experience, and anyone who wants to learn more about ground cover. The campaign starts at 9am rain or shine. Register before August 12 to secure a meal at z.umn.edu/covercropfieldday. Subsequent registrations and walk-ins are welcome, but timely registration is required to reserve a meal.

Prescribed grazing day: August 25, 9am to 1pm, Greg and Rebecca Symanietz family farm, near Avon. Day will focus on forage, fencing techniques, grazing/cost sharing programs and calculating feed rations for those interested in implementing prescribed grazing in their farms. After several presentations, a meadow walk follows. Lunch will be provided for those registered by August 18 on the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District website at stearnscountyswcd.net or by calling the office at 320-251-7800, ext. 3.

Start of the farm: September 1 is the deadline for applications for the Farm Beginnings class, which will take place online from November through March, with educational events on the farm to follow later in 2023. The training session helps novice farmers to clarify their goals and strengths, establish a strong business plan and start building their operation. It is designed for new and future farmers who want to plan a profitable farming business. The class costs $1,000, which equates to a maximum of two people per farm, and scholarships are available. For more information and registration, visit the Land Stewardship Project website at landstewardshipproject.org or email Annelie Livingston-Anderson at annelie@landstewardshipproject.org

Keep reading for more this week’s agenda items below the related content.

Dijkstra: Bill and Helene Dykstra will have their garden open daily from noon until dark until frost. Free-will donations to Guatemala are accepted. Take Kandiyohi County Road 5 south of Roseland for a mile, go east on 210th Avenue and turn south on 37th Street.

Hands on Hort: September 10, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Horticulture Display Garden, University of Minnesota West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 in Morris. Hands-on demonstrations on all things gardening. Space is limited; prior registration required by contacting Heidi Olson-Manska at 320-589-1711 or olsonh@umn.edu. Learn more online at wcroc.cfans.umn.edu.

Star Trek 2022: Aug. 20, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., statewide, pre-registration is required online at www.StarryTrek.org. Volunteers are needed to take part in a search for star-studded rockweed, one of Minnesota’s newest aquatic invasive species. Volunteers will gather at local training sites to learn how to identify the starwort and other aquatic invasive species. They will be sent to nearby public water accesses to check for starwort and return to the local training site to report their findings. Starry stonewort is an invasive alga that was first found in Minnesota near Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to 19 Minnesota lakes. Early detection of this species is critical to control. No experience or equipment is required to participate in Starry Trek. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Locations include West Ripley Park in Litchfield and locations in Paynesville, Alexandria and Ortonville.

Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is located west of New London, just off US Highway 71. For more information, visit the State Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

  • Wetland Wildlife: August 11, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, meet at the Interpretive Center. Learn why wetlands are important to our ecosystem and how to group animals into their classes, such as mammals, reptiles, and birds, on a guided tour of the Pondview Interpretative Loop, which is 1.2 miles and is stroller friendly. Sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of water are recommended.
  • The bears that built Sibley: August 12, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., meet in the amphitheater of the Interpretive Center. Learn about the Veterans Conservation Corps, the jobs they have accomplished, and the buildings you see in the park today. The presentation covers the start of the Conservation Corps in 1935 until its end in the park in 1938.
  • I can fish!: August 13, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, meet at the Lake Andrew fishing pier at the swimming beach. The hands-on program teaches all the basics from identifying fish to casting. Fishing licenses are not required for the program. Pre-registration is required, and more information can also be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/ican/fish.html.
  • Mammals of Minnesota: August 14, noon to 2:00 pm Stop by the Interpretive Center to learn about Minnesota’s amazing mammals, including a few you can find in the park, what habitat they call home, some of their favorite foods, and a some fun facts about each mammal. This program is great for kids because there is no set time to stay. Stroller and wheelchair friendly.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: The trails in the rural Spicer center are free to use during the day. A bathroom with compost toilets is open at the pavilion. Pets must be on a leash. All equipment rental (fat tire bicycles, kayaks, canoes) is handled on a reservation basis, at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call before 12:00 noon on Friday. Equipment rental for two hours is $20 for adults, $10 for members, and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894.

Voluntary Water Monitors: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Willmar area — then reporting to the agency. Volunteers do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. Lake monitors the boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check clarity, while stream monitors record data from the stream bank or a bridge across it. All equipment and training is provided, no experience is necessary. The program relies on volunteers to monitor Minnesota’s more than 12,000 lakes and more than 92,000 miles of streams. This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect the state’s natural resources. The MPCA uses the data to determine whether lakes and streams meet water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities such as fishing and swimming. In some cases, the information collected by volunteers is the only monitoring performed on a particular lake or stream.

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