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Upcoming horticulture workshops

On January 14-15, the 2011 Minnesota Organic Conference and Trade Show, presented by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, will be held at the St. Cloud Civic Center. This conference offers learning and networking opportunities for producers interested in organic methods. The Friday evening keynote speaker is Lynne Rosetta Kasper, writer and host of NPR's acclaimed show, The Splendid Table. Educational topics include website and blog design, marketing horticulture crops, raising organic poultry, and organic soil management. For more information, visit their website at

On January 20-21, The Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association hosts its annual Upper Midwest Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show at the St. Cloud Civic Center. This conference is aimed at large and small scale producers of fruits and vegetable is Minnesota. Sessions include vegetable production, small fruit production, marketing, risk management and much more. The trade show features the latest in equipment, seed, tools and more. For more information, visit their site at and click on educational opportunities.

On Friday and Saturday, February 18-19, The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota will hold its annual conference at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. The theme for this year's conference is "The Routes of Sustainability: Farming, Food and Fellowship." The mission of SFA is to support the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through innovation, demonstration, education, and farmer-to-farmer networking. Workshop topics include production costs, record keeping, event planning, and agritourism. For more information, visit their website at

The final education opportunity, offered on February 26, is the Wild Ones 2011 Design with Nature Conference at the University of Minnesota, St Paul Campus Conference Center. The theme, Building Tomorrow's Heritage, "fuses Aldo Leopold's vision of community to include soil, water, plants and wildlife with the current movement toward natural landscape management."  Leopold, best known for his book, A Sand County Almanac, was an early ecological activist who inspired people to treat the land with love and respect. Session topics include layered landscape in the new wild garden, a sense of place, and becoming a responsible gardener. For more information, visit their website at

Until next time, happy gardening!

"Apprentice yourself to nature. Not a day will pass without her opening a new and wondrous world of experience to learn from and enjoy."

- Richard W. Langer