8:00am – 6:00pm: Registration Packet Pick-Up
8:00am – 8:45am: IMGC Volunteer / Staff Meeting: This session is for IMGC volunteers and staff. We will provide a general overview of the conference layout and committee assignments. You will have a chance to meet your committee chair, and to organize for your volunteer shift(s) at the 2017 IMGC.
8:00am – 8:45am: Orientation for Attendees: optional and brief overview of the conference, including tips on how to get the most out of your IMGC experience
10:00am – 5:30pm: Trade Show Open
9:00 am-11:00 am: General Session and Search for Excellence Presentations
(G1) Welcome and Opening Remarks. The general session will include a morning welcome and announcements from IMGC Master of Ceremonies, Ciscoe Morris, as well as remarks from USDA-NIFA National Program Leader, Tom Bewick.
(SFE) Search for Excellence is the recognition program of Extension Master Gardener volunteer work throughout the United States, Canada and South Korea. The Search for Excellence is designed to recognize outstanding group projects of Master Gardener volunteers. In this session, we will honor Search for Excellence winners, and learn a bit more about their award-winning projects.
11:15 am-12:15 pm: Concurrent Classes #1
(1A) Bountiful Berries: How to Grow in Containers and Raised Beds for Limited Space or Poor Soils. (Bernadine Strik) Do you have constraints for space, want to grow something edible on your deck, or have poor soil and thought you could never grow blueberries, for example? Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and even blackberries may be grown in containers or raised beds with the right techniques. Learn about correct potting media, proper planting and pruning techniques, and cultivar selection for success. Dr. Bernadine Strik is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and has been at OSU since obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 1987. Bernadine is responsible for research, extension, and teaching in berry crops. She works mainly with the commercial berry crop industries in Oregon, but also provides support and training in the home horticulture program. Her educational and research programs are world-renowned and she has received many awards for her achievements, including being elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science and the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.
(1B) Full Frontal Gardens. (Lucy Hardiman) A revolution is taking root in front gardens across North America. Gardeners are casting off the yoke of tradition and reclaiming their front yards as canvases for personal expression. Water-guzzling lawns and outdated foundation plantings are being replaced with walkways, terraces, art, ornamental plantings and vegetable gardens. Planting beds are jumping the sidewalk as street-side boulevards yield to low water or vegetable gardens. Playful and eye catching front gardens speak to the street, engaging neighbors in a dialog about the delights inherent in taking time to slow down. They encourage passersby to enjoy vistas of bold colors, bird song and pollinators going about their business. Slides from around the Northwest illustrate the creativity and artful designs of gardeners in private, commercial and municipal venues, who are gardening in the public eye. Lucy Hardiman is the principal of Perennial Partners, a garden design collaborative distinguished by innovative hardscape, playful planting design and creative problem solving. She is a past president of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, continuing her commitment to the organization as an obsessed volunteer. She is a long time member of the ‘Great Plant Picks’ Committee, thriving on interaction with other plant nerds. For many years she was a contributing editor for Horticulture Magazine. Her garden is a testimony to her passion for plants and design, having been featured in many books and magazines. She is a sought-after lecturer, speaking from coast to coast. Eligible for 1 APLD CEU.
(1C) Sustainable Turfgrass Management (Alec Kowalewski). This presentation will discuss the five cultural practices (mowing, fertilization, irrigation, cultivation and pest management) essential to sustainable turfgrass management. Proper implementation of these cultural practices and their effects on environmental stress (drought, shade, traffic, etc.) and pest tolerance (to weeds, insects, diseases, etc.) will be discussed. This session will also include information on core integrated pest management concepts and practices, such as the pest triangle, action thresholds and pest control methods. Dr. Alec Kowalewski received his Masters and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Oregon State University in 2012, he taught at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Georgia Turf Breeding Program in Tifton, Georgia. Dr. Kowalewski has also served as a Briggs & Stratton Yardsmart Expert and Operational Consultant at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Current research and extension interests include improving the environmental and economic sustainability of turfgrass management.
(1D) Diagnosing plant problems: A systematic approach (Neil Bell). Master Gardeners are called upon to diagnose problems on a vast array of plants in gardens and landscapes, whether they be small fruit, tree fruit, vegetables, turf or ornamentals. All of these have their individual disease and pest problems but there are also cultural and environmental issues to consider. Finding a way to distinguish the reason for a problem on a specific plant from this bewildering array of potential causes is the focus of this session. We will discuss a straightforward approach to plant problem diagnosis which uses a series of questions to gather information on the problem and simplify diagnosis. Neil Bell is the Community Horticulturist for OSU Extension in Marion and Polk Counties. In addition to organizing the annual Master Gardener training in both counties, he also teaches the ‘Resources’ and ‘Problem Diagnosis’ classes around the state. From the many inquiries and samples counties receive, he developed an 11-week online course on plant problem diagnosis, which is taught as a for-credit class each spring, and is also offered through OSU Professional and Continuing Education as a non-credit class each fall.
(1E) Implications for EMGV Motivation and Retention (Sheri Dorn). The focus group-style session is targeted at EMG program coordinators, though anyone is welcome. In focus-group style, state and local coordinators will share the practical significance of results from the 2016 Extension Master Gardener Motivations study. Sheri Dorn joined University of Georgia’s Department of Horticulture on the Griffin Campus as Extension Horticulturist for Consumer Ornamentals and Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program Coordinator in June 2012. Sheri fully appreciates Master Gardener Extension volunteers and their role as education partners with Extension, having served as a former state coordinator for the Virginia Master Gardener Volunteer Program and as an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally, Sheri brings nearly ten years of industry experience to her UGA roles, having co-owned a small retail nursery and landscape contracting firm. As a gardener, Sheri is passionate about vegetable gardening and color in the garden! She enjoys raising vegetables and small fruits with her family. She loves to plant colorful container gardens with annual and perennial combinations, and tries to visit public gardens whenever possible.
12:15pm – 1:45pm: Lunch
1:45-3:00 pm: Concurrent Classes #2
(2A) Eat Your Flowers (Denny Schrock). Mom always said, “Eat your vegetables.” Perhaps she’d have had more luck by including edible flowers in her directive. With bright colors, exotic fragrances and intriguing flavors, beautiful blossoms perk up otherwise humdrum dishes. From herbal delights such as chives, basil and dill to garden standbys such as rose, daylily and violet, to less well-known blooms, this class will teach you how to identify, grow, and harvest edible flowers. Rather than providing a collection of specific recipes, usage information will be general. Learn how to please your palate with edible flowers! Dr. Denny Schrock is the Iowa State Master Gardener Coordinator and a Lecturer in the Department of Horticulture, where he teaches Hands-on Horticulture and Plant Propagation. He was previously a garden editor with Meredith Corporation, where he edited 40 garden books under the Better Homes and Gardens, Scotts, Miracle-Gro, and Ortho brands. In addition, Schrock is a freelance garden lecturer, writer and photographer, and serves on the editorial advisory board of The American Gardener magazine. In 2015 Schrock was honored as a Fellow by GWA, the Association for Garden Communicators. Denny is an avid gardener and self-described plant nerd. When he moved into his Urbandale, IA, home twelve years ago, he moved 850 perennials, trees, and shrubs with him! The ½-acre garden now has hundreds more plants of all types, from vegetables, fruits and herbs to native perennial flowers, succulents, and tender tropicals.
(2B) Fifty Shades of Blue (Hattie Braun): Why are so many Master Gardeners smitten with blue flowers? Is this because plants with blue flowers only make up 10% of all flowering plants, and truly blue flowers are rarer still? In this gardening talk filled with wisdom, humor, and fetching images of blue flowered ornamentals, Hattie Braun will shed some light on the birds and the bees that pollinate blue flowers, and the great lengths flowers go to attract them. You’ll get an eyeful of the shades of blue that plants use to entice pollinators and some tips on how to use blue shades to add sex appeal to your garden. Hattie Braun has been the Coconino Master Gardener Program Coordinator for the past 14 years, where she has the good fortune to work with and teach northern Arizona gardeners on a variety of topics including food-based gardening, ornamentals, native plant gardens, invasive species, landscaping, water conservation and urban forestry. Hattie has a B.S. in Plant Ecology from Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA and a M.S. in Horticulture from Pennsylvania State University. She moved to northern Arizona in 1993, became a Coconino Master Gardener in 1995, and has mastered many, but certainly not all, of the gardening challenges of growing in a high elevation, cold, dry environment. She is looking forward to adding the blue-flowered Grand Mesa beardtongue (Penstemon mensarum) to her garden. Eligible for 1 APLD CEU.
(2C) Integrated Pest Management for Vegetable Production (Weston Miller): Growing vegetables can provide a bounty of produce for yourself, your family and the community, but it takes foresight, an eye for detail and persistence to stay ahead of the pests and diseases that impact vegetable crops. Learn how use IPM strategies and techniques to avoid pest and disease problems before they occur and to effectively respond to problems with veggies. IPM provides a toolkit for vegetable growers to maximize harvest and minimize risks to human health and the environment. Weston Miller is a Community and Urban Horticulturist for OSU Extension Service. Since 2007, Weston has managed the popular Master Gardener™ program in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, which includes a contract with Metro, the regional government. He also started and manages the Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA) to help new and aspiring farmers build a foundation in specialty crop production and marketing. Weston serves as elected Director and Treasurer for West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District.
(2D) Garden Smarts: Beating the Aches and Pains (Patricia Kolling). Have you found that it’s harder to garden now? Is getting up and down to weed and plant difficult or impossible? Learn about modifications and adaptations that you can make to garden smarter, safer and more efficiently. This includes adapting tools, using various methods to minimize your effort, basic posture and lifting techniques, safety concerns and using creativity to accomplish gardening goals. Presentation will include examples of solutions to common disabilities that gardeners face as they age. Patricia Kolling has a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in Seattle. She worked in clinical settings with all age groups for 20 years before assuming an administrative role with a large, long term care company. She helped develop physical, occupational and speech-language pathology programs in the acute rehabilitation / long term care setting. She has been an OSU Certified Master Gardener since 2007, and has used her clinical expertise to keep people gardening regardless of age, level of function and disability.
(2E) Lewis & Clark: Exploring Nature with the Corps of Discovery. This presentation will provide an overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-06), the culmination of a long-standing desire of our third president, Thomas Jefferson, to learn more about the land and people beyond the Mississippi River. His detailed instructions to the captains reflected his commercial and political aspirations for our fledgling nation (requests for precise geographic information, search for a route to the Pacific, trade with Native Americans, etc.) and his remarkable interest and curiosity in a broad range of scientific pursuits including Native American ethnology, geology, animals, and plants. The captains’ meticulous journals and collections, carefully produced and preserved under adverse conditions and through perilous situations, reflect their dedication to fulfilling Jefferson’s wishes. Unfortunately, Lewis’s plans upon his return to publish an account of the animals and plants “new to science” ended with his untimely death. Today’s presentation will highlight some of these discoveries, especially the plants, with details on the fate of the specimens Lewis so meticulously collected. Neal Ratzlaff is a retired physician with an interest in history and natural history, both well represented in the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Introduced to Lewis and Clark at the time of the bicentennial, he found the journals to be a trove of information about natural history at the beginning of the 19th century. Participation in a local Lewis and Clark study group (Mouth of the Platte Chapter) prompted eventual presentations on birds, plants, and the natural history of the Expedition. Neal is an avid birder and, although he considers himself a mediocre gardener, he has more than a casual interest in plants. He is a native prairie enthusiast and the co-author of two photographically illustrated field guides to the flora of Fontenelle Forest, a 1300 acre nature center encompassing flood plain and bluff habitat along the Missouri River.
3:00pm – 3:45pm: Snack Break #1
3:45-4:45 pm: Concurrent Session #3
(3A) Dry Farming in the Maritime Pacific Northwest (Amy Garrett). Up to a 50% reduction in summer water availability is predicted in Oregon within 50 years. It will be critical for the viability of farms in our region and the security of our food system to increase knowledge and awareness of methods of crop production that require little or no irrigation. To initiate this project, a Dry Farming Demonstration was established in Corvallis, Oregon in 2015. This demonstration expanded to three OSU sites in 2016 and more than 10 farms in Western Oregon hosted dry farming trials via the Dry Farming Collaborative. Learn about how the OSU Extension Service is partnering with growers to increase knowledge and awareness of dry farming management practices and hear about some of the results from their field trials. Amy Garrett currently works part-time with OSU Extension Small Farms Program in the Southern Willamette Valley. As an Assistant Professor of Practice, she is devoted to learning and teaching others about ways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of our food production systems. Amy has 20 years of experience in the horticulture industry ranging from landscape design, installation and maintenance to organic farming, research, and education. Her special interests are in organic crop production, season extension, permaculture design, and dry farming. The Dry Farming Project she is leading will be expanding over the next couple of years to include several Dry Farming Demonstration sites in Oregon, a ‘Growing Resilience: Water Management Workshop Series’, and Participatory Dry Farming Research with interested growers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
(3B) Weedless Gardening (Lee Reich). Introducing a novel way of caring for the soil, one that results in fewer weeds. Nurturing the ground from the top down, avoiding soil compaction, maintaining a soil cover, and pinpoint watering emulates rather than fights Mother Nature, keeping plants healthier and minimizing weed problems. Learn how to apply this 4-part system to establish new plantings as well as to maintain existing plantings. The principles and practices are rooted in the latest agricultural research and are applicable to sustainable, small farm systems. Lee Reich, Ph.D., dove into gardening over 40 years ago, initially with one foot in academia (as an agricultural scientist with the USDA and Cornell University), and one foot in the field (the organic field). He eventually expanded his field to a farmden (more than a garden, less than than a farm) and left academia to lecture, consult, and author a number of books. Besides providing an abundance of fruits and vegetables, his farmden has an educational mission and is a test site for innovative techniques in soil management, pruning, and food production. Science and an appreciation of natural systems underpin his work. Lee Reich’s talk at the 2017 IMGC is made possible, in part, through the generosity of Timber Press.
(3C) Price is Not the Only Difference: How to Tell Good Garden Tools From Bad (Bob Denman). A good garden tool – one that is well-designed or evolved and well-made – will make your garden work easier and will last for generations, given a modicum of care. Blacksmith and tool-wright Bob Denman tells you how to distinguish a good tool from one that isn’t worth picking up. Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or composite plastic heads? Forged, welded, or cast? Wood, plastic, or fiberglass handles? Single piece or assembly? Light or heavy? Long, short or mid-length handles? Are old tools better than new? Are English tools truly superior? Which features are worth paying for, and which are not? What are the advantages and drawbacks of multi-function tools? What makes a tool efficient? What makes a tool “ergonomic?” Which advertising claims are hogwash? How do you know if a spade or shovel fits your body? How can you modify a tool to fit, especially if you have a physical disability? When are specialty tools worth the expense? The answers to these and similar questions are rarely obvious, sometimes surprising and, as presented by the man from Red Pig Tools, both informative and funny. Bob Denman is a blacksmith and tool-wright, and co-owns Red Pig Garden Tools with his wife, Rita. Denman is an inventor with several patents to his credit. Among his inventions and designs are garden pants with built-in knee pads; forged, solid socket trench clean-out shovels with flat bottoms and turned-up sides; a combination diamond file, screw driver and multi-size wrench for maintaining pruners and lopping shears; a root-cutting saw, a blackberry hoe and a four-sided hoe for thinning vegetable seedlings. Denman’s background includes several years as a product development consultant to Corona Clipper Company, one of America’s largest producers of hand tools for gardening, landscaping and agriculture. A former journalist and copywriter, Denman has had articles published in Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Small Farm Today, and New Pioneer magazines. He is currently working on a comprehensive book on the history, lore and usage of garden tools.
(3D) Teaching with Demonstration Gardens (Sheri Dorn). Extension Master Gardeners use demonstration gardens to teach important horticultural and gardening concepts. Transform your pretty garden into an outdoor classroom. Gain new ideas and insight for maximizing the outreach achieved with your demonstration garden! See Sheri’s biography for concurrent session 1E.
(3E) Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get KIDS Outside, DIRTY and Having FUN (John Fisher). Through hands-on participation and a presentation, author John Fisher will share activities and insight from his book Gardening Projects for Kids. John and his co-author Whitney Cohen interviewed over 20 family gardeners to learn their tips and tricks for engaging kids in garden-based crafts, tasks, and cooking. Come prepared to learn new activities and design ideas to get kids having fun in the garden. John Fisher’s talk at the 2017 IMGC is made possible, in part, through the generosity of Timber Press. Since 1996 John has worked exclusively in farm- and garden-based education programs teaching preschool through high school students and providing professional development opportunities for thousands of educators. When he is not at work he is gardening at home or teaching in his son’s school garden.
Gardening Film Festival #1: 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
(Multnomah/Holladay rooms at the Doubletree, Portland). Ticketed Event, Cost $5.00.
Plant This Movie, including Q&A with the movie’s director, Karney Hatch. “Plant This Movie” explores the zeitgeist of urban farming around the world, from the incredible story of Havana, Cuba to communities of urban farmers in cities as diverse as Shanghai, Calcutta, Addis Ababa, London, and Lima. In the US, the story focuses on New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. The film is narrated by Daryl Hannah, and runs 83 minutes. Karney Hatch was raised on a farm in Idaho and has fond memories of his grandparents’ massive garden in the backyard of their home in Moscow. He attended Colby College, the University of Idaho and the Northwest Film Center before moving to Los Angeles in 1999 to pursue screenwriting. Two of his screenplays were optioned by producers in Hollywood and he also wrote, directed and produced theatre while in LA. Hatch’s first documentary, “Overdrawn!” was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, on MSNBC’s Red Tape Chronicles and on Thom Hartmann’s radio program, among others. A cut-down version ran on Current TV. “Overdrawn!” was distributed (under the title “Rip Off: Banks Exploiting Consumers”) with Filmmakers Library in New York, and aired on Link TV in 2011-12. Since 2008 he has produced and directed independent projects for Al Gore’s Current TV and a number of NGOs in Latin America, Africa and Europe.