Office Services

MSU Extension offers a broad range of research-based educational outreach to county residents


Home, Yard and Garden

Toll Free Lawn and Garden Hotline: 1-888-678-3464 (1-888-MSUE-4MI)

The hotline is staffed by MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educators and Master Gardener volunteers, the Hotline is available weekdays 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.   When calling the 1-888-678-3464 number, please make sure to choose Option #1 for the Hotline.

Plant and Insect Diagnostics

Questions involving plant health analysis, plant/weed identification, and insect infestation may be answered by also calling toll-free 1-888-678-3464 (Option 1). If a complete diagnostic analysis is necessary, a live sample may be sent to the Michigan State University Center for Integrated Plant Systems (CIPS) for a fee. Go online for more information on the services offered by CIPS.

Summer Diagnostic Clinic: 2024 dates to be announced

Led by Dr. Nate Walton, our Master Gardener volunteers staff weekly Diagnostic Clinics, fielding your questions and helping to identify pests and problems in your garden or lawn. 

Garden Resources

For more information, visit the Gardening in Michigan website.

Educational Bulletins & Publications

Extension Educational bulletins / publications are sold in the office; however, best to call ahead for availability. You can also search for and order bulletins at our MSU Extension Bookstore Publications from the convenience of your home!

Soil Testing  (Don’t guess…soil test!)

Home Soil Test Kit (Residential Lawns, Vegetable Gardens, Flower Gardens, Trees and Shrubs)

Available to purchase for $25 in our office with cash, check or credit card; or order online with credit card at MSU ExtensionBookstore – Bulletin E-3154  Note: You must provide an email address as results will be sent directly to you via email. If you would like help interpreting test results, call our statewide Lawn and Garden Helpline at 1-888-678-3464, option 1.

Commercial (Agricultural Crops, Commercial Growers, Pastures and Wildlife Forage)

Soil boxes for sample collection CANNOT be ordered on-line but can be purchased at the office at a cost of $12 each.  You’ll receive a Soil Sample Information form to complete and send with your samples to the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory.  Test results will be interpreted by an agricultural Extension educator.   If you are unable to come to our office to purchase your soil sample box or you would like to purchase a large quantity of boxes, you will need to contact the Soil & Plant Nutrient Lab at 517-355-0218. Our office is not able to mail the boxes to you. To understand your soil test results, fertilizer calculator etc. online at the MSU Soil


Simple Vegetable Garden Plans

Reminiscent of the "Victory Gardens" planted during World War I and World War II and designed for the Grand Traverse region by our Master Gardener Coordinator, Nate Walton, these plans can be used by both beginners and experienced gardeners. The plants suggested have been specially selected to not only feed your family, but also can be donated to food pantries to fill the anticipated need for “staples” - fresh vegetables most likely to be used and that can store better if they are not used right away.


Pesticide Applicator Program; Certification, Training, Exams & Manuals

Certification and Training

All exam and scheduling questions should be addressed to the Michigan Department of Ag (MDA) at 1-800-292-3939.

Manuals for Certification Training

  • Can be purchased at the office; however, suggest you call ahead to make sure they are in stock, 231-922-4620.
  • MSU Extension Bookstore – can be purchased online with credit card.

Well Water Testing Services

We no longer provide well water testing services. Click here for a list of local laboratories certified by the Department of Environmental Quality.   


Resources for Veterans

The Veteran Outreach team at Michigan State University (MSU) Extension compiled this list of resources for veterans and their families


Featured Recipes

Courtesy of our Community Nutrition Instructors

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

Broccoli Salad

Summer Squash Casserole

Turkey Tacos

Spinach Cucumber Dill Salad

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bars

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili

Mashed Parsnips and Carrots

Cauliflower Potato Salad

Sautéed Corn with Cherry Tomatoes

Southwestern Nectarine Salsa

Sautéed Parsnips and Carrots

Potato Black Bean Kale Skillet

Carrot Soup

Butternut Squash with Black Beans

Freezer Pickles

Watermelon Slush

Strawberry Watermelon Slush

Southwestern Stuffed Potatoes

How to Use Kale

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Fresh Salsa

Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw

Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

Three Sisters Soup

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Parsnip Fries

Squash Soup (with freezing instructions)

Roasted Apple & Parsnip Soup

Applesauce - No Sugar Added

How to Roast Any Vegetable

Strawberry Salsa

Fudgy Cupcakes... with Beets!

Balsamic Glazed Beets

Cabbage Salad

Caramelized Cabbage & Onions

Easy, No-Yeast Pizza Dough

Asparagus & Quinoa Salad

How to Make an Egg Bake

How to Cook Dried Beans


Food Safety - A Summer Without Salmonella (English and Spanish)

Fruit and Veggie Bingo: Eat your way to a win!

Printables for Youth: Pack (or plan) Your Own Lunch and Make Your Own Breakfast

Grown in Michigan: a Guide to Local, Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables



Oil and Gas Resources

For more information, visit the Oil and Gas page.