Garden Fair


These workshops and demonstrations were held on Saturday, May 13. They were FREE and held under the tent near the center of the Garden Fair.

Aquaculture: Fish AND Plants

9:00 a.m.

Learn about Spark-Y Youth Action Labs, a St. Paul-based youth entrepreneurship program. They’ll describe their urban ­agriculture program and show how aquaponics works (growing microgreens and fish together in an interactive system).

Presenter: Staff and students from Spark-Y.

The Beauty of Flowering Edibles

9:30 a.m.

The flowers of vegetables, herbs, and berries are often overlooked. They are an essential part of a vegetable garden’s beauty. Many are edible and can be used to add color and ­flavor to food, used as cut flowers, or added to potpourris. Plus they attract beneficial insects critical to pollination of your plants.

Presenter: John Whitman, author of Fresh from the Garden. See a review of the book here.

Gardening for Bees    

10:00 a.m.

Learn how to create a welcoming habitat for bees in your home garden. Where bees nest, their forage (flowering plant) needs, and how to ensure you always have something in flower throughout the growing season. 

Presenter: Heather Holm, author of Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Guide and Pollinators of Native Plants. See a review of the book here.

Have No Fear of Pruning     

10:30 a.m.

Learn the basics principles of judicious—and sustainable—pruning, demonstrating the proper techniques to promote fast healing and heathy growing. Basic tools and their proper use will also be discussed and demonstrated. As a result, you will leave a better informed and confident gardener.

Presenter: Award-winning ­garden designer Philippe Gallandat of Swiss Gardens,


11:00 a.m.    

Learn how to grow your own mushrooms, from ready-to-fruit kits, to starting your own perennial logs, and everything in between. Most of what we are taught about mushrooms is wrong, they are easier than you think! Questions from the audience are encouraged.

Presenter: Matt Ratliff, Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms, Brainerd, Minn.

Improving Your Soil     

12:00 noon

Soil is key to healthy plants and vegetable productivity. Find out about the importance of good productive soil, what characteristics to look for in good soil, how to correct poor performance, and the importance of water.

Presenter: John Rosenow, owner of Cowsmo organic compost.

Container Water Gardens    

12:30 p.m.
Don’t have a pond? No problem! Learn how to turn almost any container into a water-tight container to grow bog and water plants. Perfect for that small space, sunny deck, or driveway. Includes lists of plants that work in containers. Plant a beautiful container of water plants, and then don’t worry about watering them while you’re on vacation!           

Presenter: Minnesota Water Garden Society.