Tricounty News

Cool homemade soup safely

The crisp weather of fall, along with end of season garden produce, can result in a delicious large kettle of homemade soup. Reheated, soup makes a convenient lunch or evening meal. It is easy and economical to make healthy soups by controlling the fat and sodium content.

Preparing a large batch of soup can present a food-safety challenge – cooling. One of the leading causes of foodborne illness is the failure to properly cool foods.


Closing up the cabin for the winter

For seasonal homeowners, closing a septic system for the winter helps prevent the system from freezing, prolongs the life of the system, and keeps it operating at a high level. Doug Malchow, University of Minnesota Extension Water Resource Management Educator, has some tips to consider when preparing your cabin’s septic system for the winter months.

Preparing the Drainfield

• Stop cutting the grass over the drainfield in mid-September; the extra grass length will capture snow, which provides insulation. Consider placing snow fence near the drainfield to help capture drifting snow on the drainfield to add to the natural insulating blanket of snow.

• Make sure all inspection pipes have covers to keep cold air from flowing into the drainfield pipes.


Tree care this fall

(Water trees and perennials)

Trees and other perennial plants are visibly stressed this fall primarily because of drought conditions from the past two or more years. Tree stress symptoms include abundant seed production, leaf scorch, early fall colors, leaf drop, limb die back and yellowing or browning of leaves/needles. Trees and shrubs, especially conifer trees and trees and shrubs planted in the last three years should be watered generously until the soil freezes. Mulching newly planted trees will help reduce winter root damage.

Young maples and thinned-barked trees may benefit from some kind of sunscald protection to prevent the bark from cracking this winter and spring. This protection is usually in the form of a plastic tube or tree wrap (remove in spring). These practices can also help in reducing winter animal damage. Other fall management practices which will help reduce winter damage to trees and shrubs can be found at


‘Gardening Knowledge for Free’ Sept. 21

A popular event for gardeners in central Minnesota is being offered again this fall. Gardening Knowledge for Free will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Whitney Center in St. Cloud.

Gardening Knowledge for Free is a half-day event of gardening classes offered by the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Stearns County.

This workshop will be held from 8:15–11:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity to get some expert advice for preparing gardening projects for this fall and over the long Minnesota winter.


Petals & Palate Garden Tour and Luncheon July 13

The Annandale Arts Committee invites you to attend their summer fundraiser.

We have a variety of new gardens for our event this year, and homeowners are excited to share them with you!

The event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13 with ticket price of $30 per person for tour and lunch.