Reprinted with permission from Wisconsin Pollinators
Wisconsin has a diverse native flora that includes wild fruit trees native to the state. Choosing varieties that grow naturally within the state for home gardens and landscapes ensures the trees will grow and flourish. Given the diversity of fruiting trees available, it isn't hard to choose one or several for landscaping, collecting fruit or the beauty of spring blossoms.
Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including birds and people. Without them and the insects that co-evolved with them, local birds cannot survive.
Here are seven Wisconsin native fruit tress that not only support native pollinators but also provide edible fruit for you! Be sure to "Read More" and click on the tree name to get more details.
Photo credit: Sue Reinardy, UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Photo credit: Sue Reinardy,
UW Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer
Whether they're on your cereal or in jams, jellies and pies, berries are a favorite sweet treat and there are species that are native to our area – providing a sustainable garden that also supports native pollinators.
The wild fruit of Wisconsin offers a variety of fresh and delicious flavors. They can be used alone or combined with other fruit for a unique twist in your favorite jam, sauce or baking recipes. Include these plants in your ‘edible forest’ or general landscape, and have a bounty that you can both enjoy and share with the birds, bees and butterflies that visit your garden.
Edible gardening generally brings to mind beds of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, and other foods with origins in distant continents. As natives of often vastly different climates and growing conditions, many of these plants require a lot of time and attention to bring to a successful harvest.
You may find many of the native plants described below already growing. In a rapidly destabilizing world and economy, it’s worth identifying them and protecting them (from the mower or deer that might devour them first, or from invasive plants that might crowd them out).
Many of the native plants mentioned here are still fairly common in the wild, although increasing development, the spread of exotic invasive plants, and expanding interest in wild foraging is putting real pressure on wild populations. Home cultivation of these native plants for edible usage is a sustainable way for property owners to increase their self-reliance, help maintain existing wild populations of valuable plants and the genetic resilience they hold, as well as support the vast array of wildlife that depend on the presence of native plants for their own survival.
Links for each berry shrub go to the Wisconsin Pollinators website.
The Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Garden will host visitors for a final workshop on end of the season activities Saturday, September 7 10:00am to Noon. This garden session will be held at the Teaching & Display Garden and focus on seed saving, fall garden activities, tender bulb storage, garlic planting, spring bulbs and what was learned during this garden season.
This year’s theme “Re-use, recycle, and re-imagine” comes from the All-America Selections. The displays have been created with this theme in mind. The Teaching and Display Garden is one of eight in Wisconsin that display vegetable and flower varieties who have been awarded this designation as an outstanding cultivar.
Remember to bring your own lawn chair for the Meet Me in the Garden Seminar. The session is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine – please dress accordingly. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held at the Station Building at 1035 E Maple Street (Hwy 70), Spooner. The garden is located at 780 Orchard Lane, 1.5 miles east of Spooner on Highway 70 or 1/2 mile west of the Hwy 70/53 interchange. Watch for garden meeting signs.
For more information and a map visit the station’s web site at: http://spooner.ars.wisc.edu/ or contact Kevin Schoessow or Lorraine Toman at the Spooner Area UW-Extension Office at 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914.
Make an eye-catching garden more enjoyable by including fragrant plants. Incorporating aromatic flowers into the landscape adds an unforgettable dimension. Fragrant plants tend to bring up pleasant memories, and scented flowers also attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Fragrance is produced by plants when their essential oils evaporate and the molecules enter the air. The most fragrant flowers are white and pastel.
Create your own fragrant garden with these tips:
Fragrant Garden at the Spooner Agriculture Research Station in early June and mid-July.
The specific plants in our fragrant garden are:
Bordering the walkway is Sweet Alyssum (Rosie O’Day). Starting to cascade up and over on our arbor are both Moonflower and Sweet Pea. In the main part of the garden are Bee Balm, Carnation, Chocolate Flower, Heliotrope, Hyssop, Lupine, Marigold, Nicotiana, and Penstemon.
Learn more at the upcoming Twilight Garden Tour on August 13 starting at 4:00pm.
Submitted by Roseann Meixelsperger, Master Gardener Volunteer
The North Country Master Gardener Volunteer Association invites everyone to our annual Twilight Garden Tour on Tuesday August 13 starting at 4:00 p.m. and closing around 7:30 p.m. The event will be in the Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Gardens at 780 Orchard Lane, Spooner. The gardens are located 1 ½ miles east of Spooner on Highway 70 or ½ mile west of the Highway 70/53 interchange. All ages are invited to attend and there will be handicap parking near the gardens.
We will have speakers from University of Wisconsin including Brian Hudelson (Director of the UW-Madison Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic), Brian Smith (UW-River Falls Professor of Horticulture), and P.J. Liesch (Director of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab) speaking about plant diseases, insects, and vegetable gardening. There will also be displays and demonstrations including how to create a Monarch Waystation, getting your garden soil tested, wine tasting, and vegetable tastings. The Spooner Garden Club, Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers, Cooperative Weed Management, Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, and our Kids in the Garden program will be among the organizations and programs represented.
This will be a prime opportunity to check out our pollinator garden, cover crop garden beds and other creative gardening using this years All-American Selections’ theme of Recycling, Reusing, Reimagining. Hayrides to the Seed to Kitchen Garden will also be scheduled throughout the evening.
The event is free to the public. In the event of rain, we will move the displays and speakers close-by into the Spooner Agriculture Research Station, 1035 E Maple Street (Highway 70), Spooner.
Please call the Station at 715-635-3506 for more information if needed.
The vegetable beds have been planted and the display beds are beginning to show evidence of the creativity intended by the gardeners. The vegetables are doing well in colorful grow bags and the straw bale bed.
The All-America Selection display beds have been completed by the trainees in the just completed Master Gardener Level 1 training. In a few weeks you will be able to see what is intended with the Recycle, Repurpose, and Re-imagine theme for 2019.
The Teaching and Display Garden is open for self-guided tours during day light hours daily from mid-May through mid-September. Meet Me in the Garden series starts on July 16 at 6:00 pm - we hope you plan on attending.
Author and photos by Sue Reinardy, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
To Pre-Register & for more information call the Spooner Agricultural Research Station @ 715-635-3506
Start Small with theme gardens
We will begin small by creating a garden with a dinner salad in mind. We will plant salad greens, lettuce, arugula, spinach, and herbs and tall greens, kale, parsley and chives — all are kid-friendly and easy to grow. Kids like to see the result of their effort, so we will also be planting crops that grow quickly such as green beans that will grow up the mast of our pirate’s ship. We will plant colorful flowers in our rainbow garden.
We offer flexible scheduling, meeting on Monday afternoons from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, repeating the session on Tuesday morning from 9:30 am to 11 am. Odds are kids and parents alike will enjoy the time they spend together and learn a little something along the way. We hope you will join us!
Our 2019 schedule is:
**A parent or an adult is required to stay with children under 10 years of age.**
To Pre-Register & for more information call the Spooner Agricultural Research Station @ 715-635-3506
Heirloom tomatoes were the cornerstone of the group’s very first plant sale. Since then, NCMGVA has increased the number of heirloom choices and added a few of their favorite hybrid varieties. The tomato and pepper plants are started from seed and grown by volunteers specifically for the sale.
Though hundreds of the plants will be at the sale, they tend to sell out quickly and gardeners are advised to go early for the best selection. The sale begins at 8 a.m. at the Spooner Ag Research Station on Hwy 70 east of Spooner and runs until the plants are sold out.
The proceeds go toward supporting the Teaching and Display Garden that is open to the public on Orchard Lane, just east of the Ag Research Station; for garden-related grants; for promoting horticulture outreach and education in Sawyer, Washburn, and Burnett counties; and other horticultural projects.
“According to Kevin Schoessow, Area UW-Extension Agriculture Development Educator and advisor to NCMGVA, Master Gardener volunteers come together from many backgrounds.” They find common ground in their appreciation for growing plants, whether edible or ornamental. They are trained volunteers who assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and the environment, and they donate thousands of hours’ worth of their time each year toward that end.
Additions to the Pollinator Six Pack ~ Continue to Feed the Bees ~
Why Have a Pollinator Garden?
Butterflies, bees and other insects are attracted to flowers in search of nectar. They brush up against the anthers of a flower, get pollen grains on their body and carry the pollen from flower to flower. A Pollinator Garden is a garden predominately with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a range of pollinating insects. A pollinator garden can be any size. You might only have a balcony or a small yard, but you can still plant a pollinator friendly flowers there.
Ox Eye Sunflower and Purple Coneflower will be new additions to our Pollinator Six Pack.
Annual Plant Sale sponsored by North Country Master Gardener Volunteers, Saturday, May 18, 8:00 -11:00am (or until plants last) at the Station Building, 1035 E. Maple Street (Hwy 70). For sale: Heirloom Tomatoes, Peppers, Natives, Herbs, and Cannas
Carla TePaske ~ NCMGV
by: Katie Childs, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
The sap is running and the bees are buzzing...A big cheer for Spring as many of us have suffered from snow and cold fatigue. However, I have some good news to share about the beehives on Golden Pond. Let me bring you up to speed with a bit of a review…
Last November I ‘blogged’ about “Project Honey,” an experimental operation whereby in May, a beekeeper installed a couple of hives near my Gardens on Golden Pond. The colonies not only survived, but thrived near an oasis of perennial beds, along with vegetable and fruit gardens, in an extreme woodsy environment. Over Labor Day, it was
time to harvest the honey from the hives; the process taking several hours, resulted in an abundance of liquid gold!
With the temperature dipping in the fall, the hives were prepped for winter readiness. Along with a honey reserve and protein packs to supplement their winter nourishment, each hive was bound securely with an insulated Mylar type wrap, foam insulation and duct tape. With the temperature falling to beyond minus 30 degrees at times, this
method proved to be sufficient to help maintain the hive temperature during the exceedingly harsh winter months.
Along with the outer protection, the bees had to do their part as well.
Let me explain - the worker bees form a “cluster” surrounding the queen to keep her warm and safe. With thousands of bees shivering and vibrating their wing muscles they can maintain the cluster temperature as follows: the optimal core temp in winter time is 95 degrees; 81 degrees is the average observed in the inside, while 48 degrees is the average temperature for a cluster exterior shell. Who knew, in the winter the workers insulate - in the summer they are a cooling agent.
While the calendar says its spring, our garden scapes and woods may be still covered with snow. However, with the melting well underway, we will soon be checking for daffodils, crocus and tulips popping up. On March 22 the temperature rose to 50 degrees and much to my surprise, I heard a buzzing in a very sunny protected spot a short
distance from the hives. I soon had a confirmation that a honey bee was out and about. On the 23rd - again a warm and calm day - dozens of ‘scout’ bees were seeking pollen and nectar, albeit a bit early. Had they been successful, they would return to the hive and ‘dance’ on the honeycomb. The beekeeper came by to examine the hives and I am happy to report he was pleased at the colonies survival rate and overall hive condition. We are optimistically looking forward to another season of ‘cohabiting’ with honey bees at Gardens on Golden Pond!
HONEY BEE FUN FACTS
FEED THE BEES PLEASE!
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