Donna’s story: Master Gardeners connect community

“There are so many families struggling with food insecurity. Master Gardeners can help by learning from these families and sharing their own knowledge and passion for gardening, to help everyone put food on their tables and build a supportive community of gardeners.
So many people of all ages are becoming more and more disconnected from nature and the land. Instilling and/or nurturing a love of plants and of gardening can help bring about greater appreciation and respect for the natural world, more personal balance, and mental as well as physical health.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in issues of social justice. I was really pleased to know that the OSU Extension Master Gardener program has been focusing on creating greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in its membership and the communities served. I’ve spent the last year involved with the Statewide Growing and Belonging Committee working with the Curriculum Workgroup. I am proud to know that OSU and the Master Gardener program, in particular, is making an effort to serve our diverse communities more effectively, such as with promoting the new Spanish translation of Growing Your Own/Su Propio Cultivo. And I’m glad that OSU seems to be making an effort to not only acknowledge the source of the land “granted” to it, but is also making some respectful connections with Indigenous people.

Also, our land and soils in many parts of the world have been seriously damaged, and the rapidly changing climate is bringing environmental chaos, in one form or another, pretty much everywhere. I hope that if Master Gardeners can not only help others learn how to adapt their gardening practices to a changing environment, but also learn restorative gardening practices and share that knowledge and passion widely, it can make a difference. And I think there is a growing acceptance in the OSU Extension community of the value of much-needed indigenous perspectives and traditional, as well as scientific, knowledge. I hope Master Gardeners can learn from Indigenous people who are sharing some of that traditional knowledge and wisdom, and can work with them to disseminate it without it becoming cultural appropriation.”

This is but one of the many stories of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program we’re sharing this month in honor of Dam Proud Day. On April 26, Beavers everywhere will come together to support the things we do best: transformative educational experiences and life-changing research.
We are excited to be raising support specifically for our Seed to Supper program and updating our foundational resource, the “Sustainable Gardening Handbook” to reflect current knowledge. Please join us in gathering your friends and colleagues to give to support the Master Gardener Program on Dam Proud Day, at any donation level. See you (online) April 26th!

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