**New information about emerald ash borer.** We know you may be concerned about your ash trees with the news of the arrival of the emerald ash borer. It’s important to know what to look for. A new guide developed by OSU Extension faculty can help you distinguish the effects of emerald ash borer from those of typical ash pests. Many new photos in the guide show the holes of emerald ash borer and the trees in Forest Grove, Oregon infested with the pest.  
  • Shout outs
    • Welcome trainees! If this is your first eNews please take your time to explore. You’ll find events, news, volunteer opportunities, and garden labs.
    • Congratulations, Christina Clark for placing in the most recent Master Gardener Statewide Trivia Tournament! To join the final tournament please check out Continuing Education, below.

  • Extension News
    • Volunteer Reporting System updates. The statewide Master Gardener volunteer reporting system is now more secure. It also has a new look and feel. Please bookmark the new site: https://vrs.osumg.org/ When you log in, follow the steps to update your password. Tech Support is at https://vrs.osumg.org/help/ (Trainees – please wait on making accounts until prompted – thanks!)
    • The Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge, Oregon State University Extension’s statewide seed giveaway, returns for a fourth year in 2023 featuring a continued partnership with the Oregon Potato Commission.
      • Starting Feb. 6, individuals and households, schools and groups can sign up to receive an individual/household seed kit, group kit or seed-starting teacher classroom kit through the mail. 
    • Coffee chats are back for 2023! If you are a board member, committee chair, or engaged volunteer, this is a chance to visit informally with program staff (Elza). Learn more and sign up HERE.

  • Volunteer opportunities [T] = includes opportunities that trainees can join now!
    • [T] BEEvent! March 4, 2023. The committee is still looking for some additional helpers. Learn more and RSVP. Report service as Fundraiser: Support.
    • [T] Grow a LatinX Garden!
      • For the past three years, a group of Master Gardeners has maintained an educational demo garden at Calvin Community Garden next to Calvin Presbyterian Church. The crops in this garden are carefully selected to be culturally appropriate for LatinX communities, crops with which many of us were unfamiliar, like chilacayote and epazote, as well as tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos. Produce donations to Food Banks have averaged 500 pounds per year. Report service as Educational Garden: Maintenence.
        • BCMGA paid for the construction of six raised beds at the garden. We use those beds as well as one large in-ground garden plot to raise the vegetables. With the departure of some of the Master Gardeners who helped with the Calvin garden, we are in search of Master Gardeners or Master Gardener Trainees who could help us to maintain those gardens by planting, weeding, watering and/or harvesting.
        • If you have a couple of hours a week to donate to this effort, we would LOVE to talk more with you. If you happen to speak Spanish, even better, although that’s not a requirement. We share the work with a flexible schedule to accommodate times that are convenient for you including weekends. We need to know by the end of February or early March that we have a minimal crew to support this garden or we will have to discontinue our efforts.
        • We have offered educational workshops in Spanish as well. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the broader community, use your Spanish language skills and have a lot of fun. We would like to continue the tradition. This is another opportunity that is a more concentrated effort. Spanish is not required for support roles.
        • If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Ellen Tappon, eltapp@gmail.com, or Lynn Trimpe, trimpelynn@gmail.com.
    • [T] Volunteer for Insights into Gardening: Saturday, February 11, 2023. Insights into Gardening is coming and we need your skills, and you need volunteer hours for 2023! Registration opens on January 2nd for the classes. As you are thinking about the classes you want to take at Insights, you can also sign up for a needed task. Many of the tasks allow you to attend classes but you must register in advance. Any questions about volunteering for a specific task, contact Susan Hoffman, shoff@peak.org.
      • SIGN UP HERE. Note there are two tabs with different jobs on each. Report service as “Fundraiser: support”.
    • [T] Community science – Contribute data to research on gardens, plants, and wildlife. Explore and sign up. Many projects are remote and on your own schedule. Report the time as “citizen science: indirect”. 
    • [T] The Public Seed Library Inventory & Growing Guide google doc and instructions are ready for volunteers to hop online and get it completed! Interested volunteers can email me with any questions and to be granted edit access. The timing is now through February 13, with the goal to have it completed with time for review, printing and delivery to the Public Seed Library slated to open March 4. This document is a key tool for the new Public Seed Library as it consolidates the crop-growing information from local primary resources of seed companies so that patrons will know when and how to plant and tend the seeds they’ve selected. Patrons will be asked to select the seeds they want and to take them home in small kraft paper envelopes provided for that purpose, leaving the seed packets at the Library for others to access. Doing the data research and entry is fun for those who enjoy looking at seed catalogs or who want to learn more about the vegetables, herbs and companion flowers they might want to grow. We’ve received donated seeds for every plant in the document! And we need volunteer help now to get this critical task done. Because this is a google doc, volunteers can work concurrently and at any time they choose. First, though, the document will need to be shared by me with them for editing. I’m thinking of hosting several “Flash Mob Public Seed Library Document Entry gatherings” on zoom so that folks can volunteer in the community and get any questions answered timely. To get involved please contact Jill Farrow: jillsfarrow (at) gmail.com. Report service as Educational writing: direct.

  • Community news (Please note that anything in this section is not eligible for MGV volunteer service nor endorsed by Extension, but is mentioned as a courtesy to our community.)
    • Feb 11 @12pm-3pm: FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions Together) event in Corvallis organized by Growing Ancestral Roots, Old Mill Center, OSU Advocacy groups, Oregon Food Bank and NAACP. FEAST is a community organizing process that brings people together to build more just and resilient local food systems through community conversations and project implementation.You can learn more about it here.
    • The Public Seed Library is seeking seed donations. Learn more and donate seeds.

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