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Extension Door County
University of Wisconsin-Madison
County Government Center
421 Nebraska Street
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Phone: 920-746-2260 (individual e-mail addresses can be found in the directory)
Regular Office Hours:  M-F 8 am to 4:30 pm   Please call before visiting!



One of the first steps to having a successful lawn or garden is having your soil tested. A soil test provides more information about the nutrient status of your soil, pH level, organic matter content and texture. The test report also suggests various soil management practices to improve the fertility of the soil for a given crop. 

Follow these steps to properly submit your soil sample:

Note:  The UW Lab does not test/screen for Lead.  Please contact the State Lab of Hygiene if you would like lead screening.  Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene



Power Outages


The weather has caused power outages across the United States already this year.  There are certain things that you can do to before, during, and after a power outage to help keep your family food-safe. 

Prepare Yourself Before Power Emergencies

  1. Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.  Check to ensure that the freezer temperature is at or below 0° F, and the refrigerator is at or below 40° F.  In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.
  2. Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case the power goes out.  If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice will also supply drinking water.
  3. Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately.  This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  4. Group food together in the freezer.  This helps the food stay cold longer.
  5. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
  6. Purchase or make ice cubes in advance, and freeze gel packs ahead of time.  Store all of these in the freezer for future use in the refrigerator or in coolers.
  7. Check out local sources to know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased, in case it should be needed.
  8. Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
  9. Make sure to have a supply of bottled water stored where it will be as safe as possible from flooding.  If your bottled water has an odor, do not drink or use it.  Instead, dispose of it, or if applicable, call your bottled water provider to make arrangements to get a replacement.

During an emergency, if you use food or beverage containers to hold non-food substances like gasoline, dispose of them after use and do not recycle them.

Power Outages: During and After

When the Power Goes Out . . .  Here are basic tips for keeping food safe:

  1. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature  inside.  The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.  A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full), as long as the door remains closed.
  2. Buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time.  Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18 cubic foot, fully stocked freezer cold for two days.
  3. If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish, or eggs while they are still at safe temperatures, it is important that each item is thoroughly cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to ensure that any food-borne bacteria that may be present are destroyed.  However, if at any point the food was above 40º F for 2 hours or more (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 º F) — discard it.
  4. Do not store food or drink outside to try and keep it cold.  Fluctuating temperatures and small animals looking for their next meal can cause food to become unsafe.

Once Power is Restored . . .Determine the safety of your food:

  1. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.
  2. If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
  3. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or leftovers) that has been at temperatures above 40° F for 2 hours or more.

Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.  Stay warm and food-safe!

Authored by: Barb Ingham, 608-263-7383, bingham@wisc.edu



Private Applicator:  A person who applies pesticide to produce an agricultural commodity AND pesticides are applied on property that they own, rent or their employer owns or rents. If an applicator does not meet BOTH parts of the definition, they are considered commercial applicators.  Commercial Applicator:  Example – Lawn care company or County Highway employee.

Manual Fee:  $43 — must be purchased online at the UW PAT Store:  https://patstore.wisc.edu/secure/default.asp   Scroll down to Private Applicator Training; then select “General Farming 100/101”.  A paper mail order form is available – mail order form a check must be mailed with this option.  


Pesticide Applicator Training

  • SELF-STUDYPurchase a manual on-line at the UW PAT Store.  Each person being trained must purchase a manual.  You then study the manual; when you are ready, contact the Extension office to schedule a date and time to take the test. You must get a 70% passing grade with this option.  Manuals must be purchased on-line from the PAT Store.

  • ON-LINE TRAININGPurchase a manual on-line at the UW PAT Store.  This online training can take the place of in-person training. From time of starting you will have 14 days to complete the training. Please keep the email with link to get back to the training if you leave it. Online training can be taken at any time and takes approximately 3 hours to complete. You will have access to training for 120 days of registration.  Once you have completed the training you will receive a Completion Receipt that you must show to the test proctor to be coded as attending a training. Register For Online Training   https://patstore.wisc.edu/secure/browse_cat.asp?category_id=30

Remember … After completing the on-line training or self-study, you must TEST IN-PERSON at the Door County Extension office. You must call ahead to schedule a time to take the test!  920-746-2260.  With a passing grade, you will receive a 5-year certification.

What to bring on test day:

  • Wisconsin requires that any person taking a certification exam must provide positive identification (a driver’s license) and know their social security number.  Other acceptable forms of ID are: a photo ID, a Birth Certificate plus another form of ID, and your Social Security Number.
  • Your manual with the registration form in the front of the book (will be collected on the day of your test). If you have a “Completion Receipt” from the on-line training, bring that, also.
  • A pocket calculator for the exam, if you think you will need one. Cell phones are not allowed during testing!
  • If you have questions, please call the Extension Door County office at 920-746-2260.


4H Clover LogoContact a club leader to get started in 4-H.   Learn more about joining 4-H…




UW Badger Talks LogoBADGER TALKS

Badger Talks is a program housed under UW Connects statewide outreach. All talks are open to the public. Please follow us on Facebook for updates about upcoming talks.



Free Online Gardening Programs

Join Wisconsin Horticulture Extension for free online gardening programs — and watch from any device! Our topics are suitable for gardeners of any skill level. When you register for a program, you can attend the live presentation or wait to watch the recorded version at your convenience.

Protecting Pollinators while Managing Pests
Wednesday, June 19, Noon–1 p.m.
Join us for an overview of integrating pollinator protection with pest management in your home landscape. We’ll cover the fundamentals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), pesticide labels, differences between systemic and contact pesticides, and discuss the toxicity of common products or ingredients to pollinators. By the end of this program, you’ll be prepared with strategies for simultaneously prioritizing pollinator protection and pest control in your own backyard. Presented by Julie Hill, Horticulture Educator, UW-Madison Division of Extension, Walworth, Rock and Jefferson Counties   Register Now for June 19 program


The Role of Moths in Our Ecosystems
Wednesday, July 24, Noon–1 p.m.
It’s National Moth Week!  What exactly are moths, and how do they fit into the landscape? Join us to learn about the general life history of moths and the evolutionary and ecological relationships between moths and plants using several native Midwest moth species. This presentation hopes to shatter an ecological conundrum: Moths are neither good nor bad. Moths just are. Presented by Dr. Stephen Robertson, Pesticide Educator Extension Field Specialist, South Dakota State University Extension   Register Now for July 24 program



You now have permanent access to free weekly credit reports

The three national credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — have permanently extended a program that lets you check your credit report at each of the agencies once a week for free.

Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request free copies of your credit reports. Other sites may charge you or be fraudulent sites set up to steal your personal information.

By law, everyone is entitled to one free credit report every twelve months from each of the three credit reporting agencies. In 2020, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic upended the finances of millions of people, the three agencies announced they would temporarily make free reports available every week. The program was extended twice and is now permanent.

Why check your credit report? Your report shows things like how many credit cards and loans you have, whether you pay your bills on time, and whether any debts have been turned over to collections. Creditors, insurers, some employers, and other businesses use it to decide if they want to do business with you — and the terms they’ll offer you.

Mistakes, like accounts or bankruptcies that aren’t yours, can hurt your credit, increase how much you’ll have to pay to borrow money, and even derail your chances of getting a loan, insurance, a rental home, or a job. Mistakes can result from errors by businesses that report credit information to credit reporting agencies. They also can be a sign of identity theft. The sooner you spot a mistake, the sooner you can dispute the error or — if it results from identity theft — report it at IdentityTheft.gov.

To learn more about why your credit matters, read Understanding Your Credit.

Free online Parenting Classes 2024

Join a free online parenting class every Thursday at 1 pm or 6 pm. Connect with other parents. Get practical, positive parenting ideas. Help children grow.

When you register, you will receive an email with a link that gives you access to the class using Zoom. Check your junk mail if you don’t receive this email.

A complete list of parenting classes can be found here … 

Door County Fair Logo


Mark your calendar … future Fair dates:

  • 2025 DOOR COUNTY FAIR – AUGUST 13-17

  • 2026 DOOR COUNTY FAIR – AUGUST 12-16

    • Questions? Call 920-746-7126 … leave a message and someone will call you back!
      Door County Fair Secretary, Hilary Heard:  secretary@doorcountyfair.com




VIRTUAL NEW FOOD ACCESS MAP … Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc Counties 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension-Brown County released the virtual NEW Food Access Map.  The objective of this map is to highlight places for households to obtain food in Brown, Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties.  The map focuses on these categories:  Community Gardens, Stores accepting EBT, Farmers Markets, Food Pantries, Grocery Stores, Cultural Grocery Stores and Meal Programs.


“Home Owner’s Guide to Pesticide Safety”



  • HOME ALONE – Evaluating and teaching children what they need to know to stay home alone. 







This site can help you learn about becoming a Master Gardener, find information about horticultural topics, and connect to the statewide network of Master Gardener associations.


    and THE GARDEN DOOR QUESTIONS – 920-559-9814


Master Gardener Program in Wisconsin
Door County Master Gardeners
The Garden Door — — Self-guided tours (Free) – Open every day dawn to dusk. 
Located at the Peninsula Agricultural Research Station, 4312 Hwy 42, Sturgeon Bay
Door County Seed Library


Photo of Peninsular Ag. Research Station grounds

Phone:  920-743-5406


Door County Quality Market Animal Sale

Door County QMAS Logo