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Garden Fest 2019

The Italian Garden

Celebrate the Fall season by learning how to prepare your garden vegetables for canning, freezing, and eating!
Featuring the cooking expertise of Mary Kay Berarducci of Va Bene Caffe, horticulturist Bob Olen's gardening insights, and canning and freezing techniques with Extension's Nicole Kudrle. Taste test fabulous Italian dishes by our Master Gardeners. Registrants can even enter our Italian cooking contest!
The program cost is $23 and includes a copy of the 2019 Garden Fest Recipe Book & Resource Guide. 

Payment is required to confirm your registration. Register and pay online here. For registration by mail, send a check to St. Louis County Extension, AP Cook Building, 2503 Rice Lake Rd, Duluth, MN 55811. Make checks payable to "St. Louis County."
To download a registration form click here.

Fruit & Vegetable Variety Lists for 2019

Wondering what grows best in the Northland? Check out the newly updated Fruit Varieties for Northern Minnesota and Vegetable Varieties for Northern Minnesota publications available now at our Extension Offices in Duluth and Virginia. Recommendations for varieties are based on varietal trials happening throughout our county. Lists are updated each year. 

Vegetable Varieties for Northern Minnesota $4

Fruit Varieties for Northern Minnesota $3 

Horticulture Education

The Extension Office offers horticulture events that include spring workshops on gardening and landscape materials, commercial workshops on greenhouse production, small fruit production, vegetable production and nursery production, applied research on vegetable and small fruit varieties, and family education projects on home gardening as a means of improving diets. Extension also makes materials available related to gardening, agricultural, and horticultural topics. 

Click here to view the latest horticulture programs and events in St. Louis County.

Tune in for Gardening Advice

Listen to KDAL 610 radio on Tuesday mornings from 8:00 to 9:00 am to hear Bob Olen of Extension talk about what you need to know to make your garden successful. Listeners are encouraged to call in with their questions.


For more gardening advice tune in to Great Gardening on PBS North to watch Bob Olen and Tom Kasper answer viewer questions live and share their garden expertise. You can find the show schedule here.

Master Gardener Program 

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program trains volunteers to educate and inform people in their communities about horticulture. 

Click here for more info about becoming an Extension Master Gardener Program in St. Louis County.

If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please contact the Extension Office in Duluth at 218-733-2870 or the Extension Office in Virginia at 218-749-7120.

More information about the program is available at the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener website.

Books and Publications

Extension Publications

The St. Louis County Extension Office carries a variety of publications for purchase in both the Duluth (218-733-2870) and Virginia (218-749-7120) locations. Some of these items are also available from the University of Minnesota Extension Store and other sources, and some are produced in our local office. It is recommended that you call the office before you come to purchase to make sure the item is currently in stock.
Books currently available: 

Garden Fest Cookbooks - $5.00
Spring Gardening Extravaganza Resource Books 2013-2017 editions - $10.00
2019 edition - $15.00

Recipe Books

We now have a set of the nine recipe books featured at our past Garden Fests. Books available are:  Potato, Tomato, Apple, Herb, Pumpkins and Squash, Root Veggies, Potatoes vs. Beets, Autumn Vegetables, and Bountiful Beans. The cookbooks are filled with recipes collected from our Master Gardeners, and highlight different produce. Individual recipe books are available for $5 each or $4 each if you purchase three or more. For mail orders please call 218-733-2870 for your price with shipping.

Other Publications

The following publications are available for purchase in the Duluth Extension office:
The Right Tree - $3.00
Fruit Variety List for Northern Minnesota 2018 - $4.00
Vegetable Variety List for Northern Minnesota 2018 - $5.00
Minnesota Hardy - $5.00

Variety Lists

Find out what fruit and vegetable varieties are grown successfully in this area with our variety lists.  The lists are produced here in St. Louis County and are available for purchase in either the Duluth (218-733-2870) or Virginia (218-749-7120) Extension offices.

Fruit Varieties for Northern Minnesota contains 5 pages.  The price is $3.00.
Vegetable Varieties for Northern Minnesota contains 10 pages, including a list of seed catalog sources for each variety.  The price is $4.00.
Variety lists may be ordered through the mail, add $2.00 for postage for each booklet.  Checks must be made out to St. Louis County.  Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.

Soil Testing

Many garden problems can be solved by testing your soil to learn what nutrients are missing. Testing is done by the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory to evaluate soil fertility and pH level. You can visit their website to find more information.  Here is a link to the form for the lawn and garden soil test.   This is a link to the form for the farm/field and commercial crop test.  The website also has instructions on how to take your sample. The fee for a regular test is $17.

If you are not able to access the Soil Testing Laboratory website, the Extension Office in Duluth (218-733-2870) or Virginia (218-749-7120) will be happy to provide you with the needed form.

Additional Resources


Duluth Office

Virginia Office

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