Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published March 11, 2023

Mar. 11—Strategic Farming: Let's Talk Crops webinar series. This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2023. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 11 through March 29. Sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Register at

for the entire program series. Sessions will be recorded and posted for viewing later. The next three sessions are:

* March 15: Alfalfa weevil and other alfalfa management challenges; Craig Shaeffer, Extension forage agronomist, and Anthony Hanson, Extension educator in integrated pest management.

* March 22: Soybean pests — what's up with the new and old ... are they a big deal?; Bob Koch, Extension entomologist.

* March 29: Get your planters ready; Extension researchers, educators and agronomists.

Beef Quality Assurance certification: March 21, 7 p.m., free, online via Zoom by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Beef Council; advance registration required at

. BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. It is still voluntary for producers to complete; however, when a producer does not have current BQA certification, the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements. If unable to attend the Zoom session, earn free certification online, anytime, at


Pesticide applicator testing: April 7, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Olivia. Review the Minnesota Department of Ag website for testing requirements or call Ethan Dahl at


, ext 101 or email at

with any questions. The website is


Meeker County Gardener's Gala: County Gardener's Gala: March 21, 5 to 8:30 p.m., Church of St. Philip, Litchfield, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Meeker County annual educational evening with speakers and vendors. Robin Trott, Extension horticulture education in Douglas County, will speak on "Grow a Rainbow: Annual flowers for color and purpose" and Larry Cipolla, master gardener, will be speaking on hydroponics for year-round gardening, the very easy way. For more information, call the Extension Office at


. Go to

to register online and pay or to download the brochure to register by mail. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Wright County Spring Days: March 25, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Maple Lake High School, $35 advance registration by March 8, $45 at the door. More information and registration at


Douglas County Let's Get Growing: April 1, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Discovery Middle School, Alexandria. No advance registration — $20, cash or check only at the door. Educational booths and three sessions, "Plant selection for a changing climate" by Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota Extension educator; "Building soil health" by Joe Storlien, associate professor of environmental studies, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University; "A-Z of vegetables, herbs and fruits" by Courtney Tchida, community programs director, Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

McLeod County Horticulture Education Day: April 1, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Crow River Golf Club, Hutchinson. Tickets are $30 by March 24 and $35 at the door. For more information, call



'Prairie Yard and Garden': The 36th season of "Prairie Yard and Garden" started Jan. 19 on Pioneer PBS. All the shows will be available for online viewing at

after the original showing.

* March 16, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, March 18, and 1 p.m. Monday, March 20. Featured is the Tracy Gardens and Quilt Tour, an annual tour that brings together families and friends from the region to appreciate the craft of quilting and the love of gardening, tied together with the promise of homemade pies and ice cream.

* March 23, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and 1 p.m. Monday, March 27. Steve Kelley of Kelley and Kelley Nursery in Long Lake shares his knowledge of the early little beauties known as spring ephemerals.

Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. The Interpretive Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; call


. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at

. Cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions available at

* An incredible journey: March 18, 11 a.m. to noon, meet at the Interpretive Center. How does water end up in different forms and locations? Play a game to explore the water cycle. Activity is designed for ages 5-11, but all are welcome to participate.

* Skin and bones: March 18, 2 to 3 p.m., at the Interpretive Center. See how many pelts and skulls you recognize and compare them to other animals found at the park.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. For trail conditions, check the website at

. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration required for all classes. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, cross-country skies, snowshoes and kicksleds) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon Friday. Two-hour equipment rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call



* Climbing wall: March 23, 4 to 5:30 p.m., $10 per session, grades K-12, advance registration required. Challenge yourself both physically and mentally at your own pace. Beginners can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun. Experienced climbers can train and refine their skills. Instructors will be there to help, and equipment is provided.

'Prairie Sportsman': The 14th season of "Prairie Sportsman" started Jan. 22 on Pioneer PBS. All the shows will be available for online viewing at

after the original showing.

* March 19, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19, and repeats at 12:30 p.m. Monday, March 20, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Join host Bret Amundson for "Things That Fly." Mentoring young fly fishers and massive eagle collection in Wabasha.

* March 26, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 26, and repeats at 12:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday April 1. Join host Bret Amundson for "All Along the River." Go winter fishing on the Mississippi and rock snot invading northeast Minnesota streams.