Northern Hills Master Gardeners’ Houseplant Share and Propagation Workshop

Sue W. White, NHMG 

We are a community resource organized to promote gardening through education and sharing of our expertise toward solving problems.


Fourteen of the

 Northern Hills Master Gardeners group gathered at noon at the Spearfish Aquatics & Recreation Center to set up for our Houseplant Share and Propagation Workshop.  Everyone pitched in to set up tables, mix soil, and arrange tables for stations.  John Hauge constructed a stand for the MG Banner on site with help from Ron Reede and Ken Frolich.  John also brought his display on high tunnels.  We had a greeter and plant inspection station, reference book and MG information station that displayed Extension materials and our email address and the Butte & Lawrence County Extension office phone numbers on tear strips for further information if participants wished to make contact.  

     Another station displayed a continuous loop of native wild flowers and plants with its creator, Jean Helmer attending.  At another station Barb Kuhlman, our houseplant guru, educated the group of about 30 participants with a talk on some basic knowledge needed for raising houseplants. She explained and demonstrated a perched water table and the considerations of pot size and shape and potting medium on the plants needs for water and nutrients.  Then people went to the houseplant share and propagations stations that were attended by Mary Beets, Karen McKelvie, Will Domagall, Billye Jo Casteel, Jim Hoxie, Alice McNall, Becky Olmstead, Linda Rehm, Ken Frolich, Ron Reede, and Sue White. Different propagation techniques were demonstrated depending on the plants brought in by the participant as well as care.

The participants who brought plants were the most engaged.  There were house plants of all types brought in to share with no real preponderance of one kind.  Many brought plants that they wanted identified and we did that on the spot as we could.  Barb took one home and identified it and called the person.  Participants wanted to know how to take care of the cuttings they adopted.  They wanted to know about dividing a root bound plant and Will gave an excellent spontaneous demonstration on one that he had brought.  There were other than houseplant questions about herbs, general gardening, soils, and containers directed to us from the participants.  They also wanted to know when we would have another workshop.  


All in all, our first experience went well.  We found out that we have a passionate hard working group of Master Gardeners who are as eager to learn from one another as we educate and help others.

We are grateful to the community of Spearfish for letting us use a room at the Spearfish Recreation and Aquatics Center and to NHMG Richard Wells, owner of Homestead Nursery in Belle Fourche and an anonymous Spearfish donor for contribution of soil for the event. "



Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News