Weather Forecast


Pioneer in straw bale gardening to speak at Park Rapids Library

You’ll find a bumper crop of vegetable gardening information at a March 4 presentation by Joel Karsten.

The Minnesota author of “Straw Bale Gardens” will share a new and thoroughly innovative gardening technique at the Park Rapids Area Library Wednesday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. to learn how you can create your own straw bale garden.

Karsten will explain the process and benefits of straw bale gardening and answer questions from audience members.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage.

Joel Karsten is a graduate from the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture Science. 

He worked in the “green” industry after graduation, running his own landscape design and installation company in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area. 

He is still an avid vegetable gardener, trying new varieties of anything he can fit into his 20 bale garden on his limited residential lot in Roseville.  He is also a fan of tulips, dahlias, roses, hostas and day lilies, and is always on the lookout for new introductions.

Ever since the publication of his book in March 2013, Karsten has become something of a gardening celebrity, making television and YouTube appearances, being interviewed by major papers, and gathering a Facebook following that counts over 27,000 likes.

Developed and pioneered by author and garden expert Joel Karsten, straw bale gardens create their own growing medium and heat source so you can get an earlier start.

It couldn’t be simpler or more effective: all you need is a few bales of straw, some fertilizer, and some seeds or plants, and you can create a weedless vegetable garden anywhere—even in your driveway.

Straw bale gardening solves every impediment today’s home gardeners face: bad soil, weeds, a short growing season, watering problems, limited garden space and even physical difficulty working at ground level.

For more information about Karsten’s visit, contact the Park Rapids Library at 732-4966.

For the complete schedule of Legacy-funded events at Kitchigami Libraries, visit the Kitchigami Regional Library website: and click on Legacy Events.