Life and gardening online | Outdoors | isanti-chisagocountystar.com – isanti-chisagocountystar.com

The past two years have been a very unique experience for all of us, especially in terms of communication and social interaction.  Every attempt at any size of social gathering requires forethought on what’s safe and what isn’t. It seems caution has become a factor in everyone’s daily life. But the one place where I feel I can escape all of that is in my garden breathing fresh air and working my body in a good way that relieves all levels of whatever stress I’ve been accumulating. Now, with our gardens put to bed and awaiting the inevitable snowfalls that will help protect our plants during their winter sleep, there are still ways to engage in our passion for growing plants and enjoying nature.

I’ve dove down into the realm of Zoom meetings and classes. Now, if you want to remain engaged, you almost have to. In ad…….

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The past two years have been a very unique experience for all of us, especially in terms of communication and social interaction.  Every attempt at any size of social gathering requires forethought on what’s safe and what isn’t. It seems caution has become a factor in everyone’s daily life. But the one place where I feel I can escape all of that is in my garden breathing fresh air and working my body in a good way that relieves all levels of whatever stress I’ve been accumulating. Now, with our gardens put to bed and awaiting the inevitable snowfalls that will help protect our plants during their winter sleep, there are still ways to engage in our passion for growing plants and enjoying nature.

I’ve dove down into the realm of Zoom meetings and classes. Now, if you want to remain engaged, you almost have to. In addition to Zoom, I’ve become a big, big fan of YouTube and the hundreds of videos on topics I’m interested in such as gardening and nature preservation. Over these many months, the quality of these online classes has gotten better and better. One of the features I appreciate is that you can link in without having your live picture shown but still be able to ask questions and feel you are part of the conversation. When you get the invitation, you simply click the registration link then wait for the invitation to join on the scheduled day and time. It’s so easy and, you get to stay in your pajamas, leave to go to the bathroom, knit while you’re watching, and feel completely comfortable. 

YouTube videos are typically short and to the point, with many of them lasting from just a few minutes to an hour. I suggest searching for Extension sites like the U of MN Extension, Iowa State or Cornell University. Just type in something like “Growing Tomatoes” with “edu” at the end and some of these University Extension sites will come up. Or just include the word “Minnesota” and you will get video choices related to gardening and nature in Minnesota. Again, these videos are typically short and to the point.

If you are registered with our Chisago County Master Gardener Program or any other Master Gardener program in Minnesota, you will receive emails about upcoming Zoom classes. Zoom classes are typically one hour or less with questions afterward, but of course, you can simply leave the connection whenever you like. 

But all of this doesn’t take the place of in-person activities which so many of us are missing. We were able to do a few outdoor gatherings during the summer and fall but those were few and the groups were cautious and courteous regarding safety. But I do know this, nothing diminished my love of gardening and being outdoors to enjoy and embrace nature. Even a simply walk on …….

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