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June 2012 Archives

Gopher Adv bookmark flattened with border.jpg2012 GOPHER ADVENTURES
Educating youth about gardening, science, and healthy eating

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers and the University Department of Sports and Recreation / Youth Programs are collaborating for the third year to teach 9-13 year olds about the science - and fun - of gardening!

And what better place to teach about horticulture than in an actual garden? Master Gardeners have designed ten weeks of activities based on the national Junior Master Gardener curriculum with the three-acre Horticulture Teaching Garden as the outdoor classroom. Throughout the summer, class topics rotate around topics like basic gardening, healthy eating, soil, water conservation, composting, botany, insects and birds, and caring for the environment. Young Gopher Adventurers will be busy planting, learning about soil, identifying pests, reading and recording air temperature, rainfall, and even compost temperature!

Classes meet Tuesdays, 10am - noon, June 12 - August 21.
Today's Gopher Adventurers "dug in" - literally. After an orientation in the outdoor classroom, they took readings of air temperature, measured the rain in the gauge, and discussed observations. The Master Gardeners handed out a bookmark they created that included resources and helpful acronym - P.L.A.N.T.S. - to help students remember what plants need to grow.

Once in the garden, students got the lay of the land from Master Gardeners, and then settled down to business planting Kennebec potatoes, yellow onion sets and nasturtium seeds. They watered in the plants, learned how to operate the compost tumbler (click here P1180177.MOV), and then planted and carefully labeled Blue Lake bush beans to take home. 

We have only begun the 2012 gardening season, but are already planning for the Master EXT_PHOTO_190.jpgGardener class of 2013!

The 2013 Master Gardener Core Course will be taught online and at the MN Landscape Arboretum. The online class will run January 7 - May 3. The face-to-face class will run from January 11 - Feb. 2nd, Fridays and Saturdays, 9am - 4 pm.

Class topics include botany, soils, trees and shrubs, herbaceous plants, indoor plants, wildlife, integrated pest management, vegetables, fruits, entomology, plan pathology and diagnostics.

An active email account and internet access are required for all participants.

To apply to become a Master Gardener, visit our website and contact your local program.

Individuals may also take the class without volunteer obligation (called ProHort).

Registration will be online by October 1, 2012 at our state website.
Master Gardeners: If you think your garden is going to over produce this summer consider donating the extra produce to a local foodshelf.

Call MN Foodshare's Sarah Nelson-Palimeyer at 612-276-1530 to locate the nearest foodshelf.

For information on food handling and preparation: Extension's Simply Good Eating Program
From CFANS in the News, June 4 edition

Which plants changed Minnesota and transformed how we live today? That was the big question behind a public education campaign led by the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. U of M Horticulture professor Mary Meyer spearheaded the initiative, partnering with the Arboretum, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and U of M Extension. After considering more than 100 different plants nominated by the public from early February through April 15, a panel of experts* met to determine the final top ten.

Read more:
Minnesota Public Radio
Pioneer Press
Minnesota Farm Guide
Star Tribune
Tent caterpillars early spring1.JPGFrom the Star Tribune - by JOHN EWOLDT , Star Tribune - Updated: June 2, 2012 - 7:44 AM

Bzzzzzzzz. Slap. Bzzzzzzzzz. Slap. Ahh, the soothing sounds of summer. Or in this case, a dread-filled realization that as nice as winter was, summer is starting early. And that means an influx of our warm-weather frenemies -- creepy, crawly, stinging, buzzing, flying insects."How many bugs we see in the spring is a lot more complicated than a mild winter," said Jeff Hahn, an extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota. Read more ....

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