A season of giving and gratitude



Small, red crabapples hang from a branch covered in snow.

Happy holidays from the Extension horticulture team! We are diverting from our usual articles and sharing gratitude and giving in this issue. We wish all of you, our dedicated readers and fellow gardeners, a safe and healthy holiday season.


I am grateful for the questions that Minnesota gardeners ask me. They take me down roads of discovery and intrigue, and keep my detective skills sharp!

A great gift for any gardener is the gift of knowledge — a favorite reference book, a great class or a membership. Such as:

— Julie Weisenhorn, Extension horticulture educator


Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still enjoy plants and horticulture. As a condo dweller, I am grateful for good sunlight for my growing indoor plant collection. If you know of indoor plant enthusiasts who want to take their growing up a notch, consider a Soltech grow light which looks as good as it works.

And, you’d be surprised where you can find good pots to compliment your plants and decor. Many popular home and interior decor retailers have a variety of pots with drainage holes.

University of Minnesota Extension has great resources on houseplants to learn how to find the best light for indoor plants and more, such as a new article on how to propagate Monstera deliciosa. [link to article]

— Christy Marsden, Extension horticulture educator


I am grateful that this year gave me the opportunity to visit beneficial insect habitats on farms and gardens across the state. As I hope to convert more of my front yard into a pocket prairie in 2023, I would love to get some signage explaining what I am doing to my neighbors.

Have a monarch enthusiast or eco-conscious gardener in your life? Consider giving them a sign that acknowledges their space and wards off questions from passers-by. A variety of signs explaining different sustainable gardening practices can be found from nonprofits and small businesses.

— Marissa Schuh, Extension educator, horticulture integrated pest management


As I drive to workshops during the winter season, I am grateful for all the windbreaks that keep me from spinning out due to drifting snow. Whether they are in a windbreak or in your yard, trees are incredibly valuable to us.

However, winter can cause damage from heavy snow loads, critters, and high winds. A new, sharp pair of loppers, saws, or other pruning tools can be helpful in making clean cuts during late winter or early spring.

A proper prune can heal fast, and keep the tree living and working for much longer. I personally like brands such as Silky and Fiskers, but others can work well too.

— Shane Bugeja, Extension Educator, Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties


I am grateful for all of the local U-pick apple orchards, pumpkin patches, berry farms, cideries and wineries in Minnesota. They welcome all Minnesotans to experience a glimpse of life on a farm. Not to mention that our orchards grow the best apples in the entire world! These businesses graciously open their farms to Extension for workshops and tours, and I am grateful for their partnership.

This holiday season, gift some wine from a local winery or cider from a local orchard

— Annie Klodd, Extension educator, fruit and vegetable production


I am grateful for all of the farmers in our state who work hard to supply our communities with fresh fruits and vegetables. While summer might feel far away, many growers are still selling storage crops and value-added products like squash, onions, and teas at winter farmers markets.

This holiday season, visit your local farmers market for some last-minute gift ideas, or use local produce to cook your loved ones a nice meal.

— Natalie Hoidal, Extension educator, local foods and vegetable crops



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313


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