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Four days before the official start of spring, everyone is invited to prepare for the gardening days ahead.

Cultivating the mind: Horticulture Day is this Saturday

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Four days before the official start of spring, everyone is invited to prepare for the gardening days ahead.

The 26th annual East Otter Tail County Horticulture Day will be held on Saturday, March 16 at Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

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This year’s keynote speaker will be Jackie Froemming, the Crow Wing County extension educator. Froemming will give a lecture at 9 a.m. entitled: “The Weekend Gardener: Horticulture for Busy People.”

From 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., participants can choose four classes to attend, out of an estimated 45 subjects.

There is “such a variety, but I like to think that anyone from a beginning to master gardener can learn something new from these classes,” said Vicki Schwanke, East Otter Tail County Master Gardener Coordinator.

Some of the topics will include: bird feeding, fairy gardens, tomatoes, butterflies, native grasses, lawn care, daylilies, perennials and annuals, growing vegetables and preserving your bounty, trees and shrubs, gardening with wildlife, and square foot gardening.

“We have a lot of returning customers and a lot of people that evidently enjoy the day,” Schwanke said.

In a typical year, Horticulture Day attracts about 200-250 people at all levels of expertise.

“Everyone can learn something.” Schwanke said, offering this example: “One might think that growing tomatoes is the easiest thing in the world,” but after attending Glen Huebner’s tomato class, one would learn actual tips that make growing tomatoes a success every time.

Brand new to Horticulture Day this year will be that resources and handouts from each class will be available to all participants. This will make it easier for people to learn about all the day’s topics without actually attending every session.

In addition to the sessions, participants will be able to enjoy a little shopping. There will be a wide selection of vendors again this year, all selling items relating to horticulture.

“We are very proud of our Horticulture Day and find it to be a good time by everyone,” Schwanke said.

Cost to attend is $25, which includes a keynote speaker, four classroom sessions of choice, handouts, door prizes, lunch and refreshments, and vendor shopping. Pre-registration is not required.

Horticulture Day is sponsored and hosted by the East Otter Tail County Master Gardeners, Lady Slipper Garden Club and the University of Minnesota Extension Office.

For more information, including instruction about attending as a vendor, contact Vicki Schwanke at the University of Minnesota Extension Office in New York Mills, by email at schwa130@umn.edu or by phone at 385-5420.

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