Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers

Mission Statement
The goal of this organization shall be to encourage, foster, support and promote Horticulture for all Master Gardener Volunteers and residents of Barron County and to promote UW-Extension from which we are founded.

Officers and Directors:

President – Carolyn Swanberg

Vice President – Hali Dessecker

Secretary – Geri Nedland

Treasurer – Millie Seabold

Directors:  Cindy Giguere, Bob Schutz, Linda Narins, Carol Kettner

Other Contacts:

Historian – Carolyn Swanberg

Record Keeper – Laura Cutsforth

Newsletter – Carol Kettner

Sunshine – Jill Keefer

Publicity – Hali Dessecker

WIGMA State Board Rep:  Hali Dessecker, P.O. Box 2, Rice Lake, WI 54868 – (715) 234-0098)



Master Gardener Program Schedule for 2018

Unless otherwise noted, monthly meetings are held at the Barron County Government Center, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

January 2018- (no membership meeting) Master Gardener Board Meeting

February 1, 2018 – “Ins and Outs of Entering Items in the Barron County Fair. 

Sheri Snowbank and Laura Cutsforth will fill us in on the “ins and outs” of entering various items at the Barron County Fair.  Sheri is the co-superintendent of the Horticultural Building for the past 17 years and Laura is a certified judge.  The program will include information on entering flowers, plants, vegetables, and other open class items.

March 1, 2018 – Mike Heim, will present “What? Bamboos and Bald Cypresses’ Here?”

Mike Heim, a Natural Sciences Instructor at the Community College in Hayward, will present, “What?  Bamboos and Bald Cypresses’ Here?”  The cold winters and soil types in Northern Wisconsin ae often regarded as greatly limiting the kinds of plants what will survive and thrive here.  Some would say that Mike has a serious case of “zone denial.”

April 5, 2018 – 6:00 pm, Master Gardener Meeting

April 5 – Jenni Bergmann will present “What’s New for 20189?”  Jenni comes to use from Bergman’s Greenhouses in Clayton, WI.

April 7, 2018  – Spring Expo- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Conference Center, Rice Lake, WI 54868.

  • Keynote Speaker:  Debbie Lonnee’s  first presentation will be “Growing Perennials in Cold Climates..”  This session will be on new perennials and annuals that have been introduced over the past 10 years. What are the best choices for our northern gardens, where do the come from, and how do we know they work in northern gardens.
  • Keynote Speaker:  Debbie Lonnee’s  second program is “Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates.”  In this session she will introduce new varieties of trees and shrubs that have been introduced over the past 10 years.  Debbie has worked at Bailey Nurseries for the past 25 years working with the perennial and bedding plants crops, as well as roses and woody plants.
  • Our Second Speaker:  Crystal Schmidt, from Western WI, will present a program, “Rare and Unique Edibles for the Home Garden.” Crystal and her fiancé live on a 19 acres homestead where they raise chickens, have honey bees, a large vegetable garden and a fruit orchard.
  • Our Third Speaker:  Susan Frame, a Horticultural Instructor, at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire will present “Integrated Pest Management.”

May 3, 2018 – We will visit the Slippery Hill Farm hydroponic greenhouse located in rural Barron.  The Toby and Elaine Friesen family is producing and marketing several varieties of hydroponic lettuce as well as cilantro and kale with plans to add basil.  Their greens are showing up in markets in Barron County and the Country Lane Farmer’s Market.

May 19 – Annual Plant Sale at the fairgrounds in Rice Lake,   Start time is 8:00 am.

June 28, 2018  – 6:00 p.m.  Potluck picnic and garden tour at Jill Keefer’s Long Lake Home.

July 12, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.  Potluck picnic and garden tour at Nancy Sayre’s Cameron Home.

July – A carpooled trip to Lacrosse is being planned.  We will visit the historic home and garden of Carl Bailey and Neil Tator (both past Barron County Master Gardener presidents).  We will also have the chance to visit other beautiful neighborhood gardens in their area.

July 16-22 – Barron County Fair

        16 – Monday – Set up

        17 – Tuesday – Jr. Class Judging

        18 – Wednesday – Open Class Judging

        19-22 – Staff the Master Gardener Booth

         22 – Sunday – Clean up

August 3, 2018  – 6:00 p.m.   This will be a Pizza Picnic to show appreciation for all the hard work that the Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers have done in the past year.  It will be at Marilyn Saffert’s rural Rice Lake home.

September 6, 2018 – Sue Reinardy, A Master Gardener from Hayward, will present, “Gardening Low Maintenance Strategies.”  Fall if the perfect time to assess the workload in your garden. 

September 21-22, 2018 – Autumn at the River – WI State Conference, Eau Claire.


October 4, 2018 – Hali Dessecker will present a program about “the 25 year history of WIMGA,” the WI Master Gardener Association.

November 2, 2018 – Maggie Sheehan,  co owner of Green Light Farms at Prairie Farm, will talk on “Cut Flowers.”

December 6, 2018 – 6:00 p.m. Christmas Party Potluck and Garden gift exchange at the Barron County Government Center.

Advisor:  Becky Schley, UW-Extension, 715-537-6252



Below are a few interesting and hopefully helpful articles

Anthracnose on oak      Creeping Charlie       Bronze Birch Borer         Gevens Late Blight Tomato 2010 pdf
Cedar Apple Rust             Grub Control in lawn Care    Sap-sucker Damage
Common Veggie Insects      Homeowner Guide to EAB InsecticideTreatments Aug2008
Imprelis Damage to Conifers     insectides for ash borer   Pruning Evergreens
Japanese Beetle – Lab note        Japanese Beetle      Organic tomato Late Blight
Larder Beetle fact sheet      Lawn Weed Control      Spruce Gall Fact Sheet Ohio State University Extension