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Around The Grange
Kelley Farm offers workshops in March

By Jessica Kohen, Oliver H. Kelley Farm

  MARCH 5, 2010 --

The Kelley Farm, located in Elk River, Minnesota, will be hosting a series of workshops this March to help usher in the planting season.

The Seed Saver's Exchange and Workshop will be held March 14, 2010 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The Kelley Farm has promoted saving rare and heirloom seed since 1981. At 2 p.m. a special presentation will be held in the Visitor Center where participants can learn how to save, store, plant, and save seed again, just as farmers and gardeners have done for years. Afterwards, the Annual Seed Saver's Exchange will take place. Visitors do not need to bring seeds to participate. Seed art and sorting activities will be provided for children. This workshop is free to participate.

The Build a Birdhouse Workshop will be held on March 20, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. In spring migratory birds return, including geese, bluebirds and robins. Birds are a valuable resource for gardeners and farmers, aiding in insect control and pollination of plants. In this workshop, held in the Visitor Center, participants will build a birdhouse to take home. All tools and equipment will be provided. There is a materials fee of $10.00 per birdhouse, and reservations are required to participate.

The Hot Beds and Cold Frames Workshop will be held on March 27, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Learn how to expand the Minnesota growing season by building a hot bed or cold frame for use in the spring and fall. Through illustrated discussions and hands-on activities, participants will learn the difference between hot beds and cold frames, see different types in use and help construct one of each. This workshop is for adults and includes time indoors and outdoors in the historic and modern gardens. Participants should dress for the weather. There is a materials fee of $15.00, and reservations are required to participate.

Oliver H. Kelley and his wife Lucy began farming the land on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1850. Kelley was the founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. The Kelley Farm is recognized as "The birthplace of organized agriculture in America."

The working 1860's farm is located at 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River on U.S. Hwy. 10. It is a National Historic Landmark operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. For more information, or to make reservations for the workshops, call 763-441-6896.




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