Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year. For gardening begins in January with the dream.
– Josephine Nuese

Happy 2019 Master Gardeners!

Yes, January is a great time to begin or rekindle your garden dreams and plan for the future.  Whether curling up with a great seed catalog, charting out your garden plans on graph paper, perusing garden inspiration online, or pacing around your garden to determine a plan of attack for those pesky weeds that seem to be flourishing in our mild winter, there’s definitely plenty to do right now!

It is also the perfect time to plan how you would like to volunteer as a Master Gardener in the coming year.  Will you volunteer at your usual volunteer venue?  Or will you explore and try something new, like lending a hand and a shovel at a chapter Demonstration Garden, offering garden advice at one of the Master Gardener Hotline offices, volunteering at a favorite farmers market, or making gardening presentations to the public?  The possibilities are many!  Look for volunteer openings on CERVIS, with new postings being added every month, or check in with Chapters for opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you in 2019 wearing your OSU Master Gardener hat – sharing your passion for gardening, dispensing reliable gardening advice and serving our community!

Hearty Heap of Gratitude for 2018!

Volunteers at the Grow an Extra Row Garden

Upon the start of a New Year we take time to reflect on the year gone by.  For the metro-area OSU Master Gardener program, 2018 was another stellar year thanks to the extraordinary contributions of Master Gardener volunteers!

Look at these impressive numbers…

Master Gardeners Number reporting Total hours
2018 Interns   89   6,979
2018 Veterans 447 34,162
                                          Total 536 41,141

While serving the community with 41,000-plus hours of volunteer service, metro-area Master Gardeners had 34,431 public contacts.  With each of those public contacts Master Gardeners were educating, guiding, and inspiring home gardeners to be successful and environmentally responsible gardeners!

Master Gardeners made more community contributions by growing and donating over 18,407 lbs. of nutritious produce. Of that total, chapter demonstration gardens donated 7,241 lbs. of fresh vegetables and fruits, and individual MGs contributed over 11,246 lbs.!  That is a remarkable contribution in assisting those who are experiencing food insecurity!

We extend a hearty heap of gratitude to all metro-area Master Gardeners for sharing your time, energy, and passion for gardening by educating the public and supporting the OSU Master Gardener program.  Thank you!

2019 Master Gardener Training to Begin

Thumbs up from 2018 MG trainees Jerry, Carrie, (far left, and second from left) and Ellen (far right), along with Veteran MG Jack (second from right).

Join us in 2019 for Master Gardener training.  We will be holding 7 weeks of training classes starting the first week in February and running through March.  So mark your calendars.  Each AM or PM session attended counts as 3 hours continuing garden education credit for 2019.

The training sites and days are:

Tuesdays, February 5 – March 19, 9AM to 4PM
NEW LOCATION! Hillsboro United Methodist Church,
168 NE 8th Avenue, Hillsboro

Thursdays, February 7 – March 21, 9AM to 4PM
Museum of the Oregon Territory,
Museum of the Oregon Territory 3rd floor- 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City

Fridays, February 8 – March 22, 9AM to 4PM
Multnomah County Headquarters,
Multnomah County Headquarters -501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland

2019 Master Gardener training will include perennial favorite instructors: Jen Aron, Margaret Bayne, Chip Bubl, Jane Collier, Claudia Groth, Monica Maggio, Weston Miller and Jean R. Natter.  In addition, we welcome 3 new instructors, metro-area Master Gardener Sally Campbell, and OSU Extension’s Heather Stoven and Rachel Suits.

See the 2019 Metro-area Training Schedule HERE

Spread the Word!  2019 MG Training Registration Open!

How do the majority of people learn about Master Gardener training?  From Master Gardeners of course!

Now is your chance to let others know about the rewarding opportunities available serving as a Master Gardener volunteer.  Registration is now open for the 2019 Master Gardener Training!  Share the word with your gardening friends, wanna-be gardeners, and fellow community members.  Direct those interested to our Metro-area Master Gardener website for easy online registration.

Calling All MGs on Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

If social media is a favorite communication avenue for you, please consider sharing information about the Master Gardener training registration on the social media sites on which you participate.  Share posts from our Facebook and Twitter accounts or direct those interested to our website.  We would love to cover all Nextdoor neighborhoods in the metro-area.  If you need more information or would like a promotional photo to post – please contact Marcia McIntyre:

Being an ‘Active and Certified’ OSU Master Gardener

MG Connie Leben’s OSU Master Gardener Badge sporting a 2019 Recertification Sticker

This month we are updating Master Gardener’s status in CERVIS for the 2019 season based on the completion of the following:

  • Volunteer hours (20 hrs. for vets) and
  • Recertification credit (10 hrs. for everyone).
  • Conditions of Volunteer Service form for 2019 on file. (signed Conditions of Volunteer Service forms need to be submitted annually! Download form here.)

When these 3 requirements are met, we list you as “Current” in the CERVIS system and you will be able to sign-up for volunteer shifts.  Current statewide guidelines require us to hold back on recertifying MGs until these minimums are met.  Those who meet the requirement are issued a 2019 sticker to display on their badge.  See photo.

If you find you are no longer able to use CERVIS, contact Marcia McIntyre

Also contact Marcia if you need guidance in how to reach the minimum requirements to renew your “active and current” status as an MG.

Advanced Training Webinars for 2019 Continuing Education Credit

Photo: OSU Ebba Peterson

We have heard rave reviews this past year from Master Gardeners regarding the OSU MG Advanced Training Webinars!  Master Gardeners are discovering valuable gardening information from OSU experts that they can watch via an interactive webinar or a recording at a convenient time.  Another series is slated for 2019 and it is sure to please as well.

First-up in 2019…

Update on Sudden Oak Death in the Pacific Northwest
Presented by: Sarah Navarro (Oregon Department of Forestry) and Norma Kline (OSU Extension)
January 29, 11am PT
Details & pre-registration info:

Did you miss any of the 2017 or 2018 webinars?  They are still available.  Follow the links below and you can binge watch them all!  Each webinar can be counted as 1-hour continuing education credit the first time it is viewed.

2017 Webinar recordings

2018 Webinar recordings

Winter at the Master Gardener Hotlines

Stephanie, Jane and Marie at the Clackamas phone clinic.

Winter is a great time to volunteer at the metro-area Master Gardener Hotlines.  We get a surprising number of questions from gardeners itching to get out in their gardens. The pace of questions is slower in the winter, so it is a good time to come in, acquaint yourself with the resource library, and maybe even do some detective work regarding your own garden quandaries. Shifts are available on CERVIS or you can email the following coordinators to help you sign-up.

Join-in the Master Gardener Speakers Guild!

Master Gardener, Evie, presenting to a group at the Learning Gardens Laboratory

Take your role as a garden educator to the next level, by volunteering to be a presenter for the Master Gardener Speakers Guild!

The Metro MG program receives dozens of requests every year for garden presentations to community groups.  We have a small, but mighty, group of MGs who answer the call and present throughout the 3 counties – but requests greatly exceed what these dedicated MGs can handle.  Therefore, we are looking for additional MGs to share their research-based gardening know-how.  We will supply support materials, and those interested can shadow experienced presenters.  Volunteers can also take advantage of a new 2019 workshop that will focus on strengthening presentation skills.  Volunteers can select how many presentations a year they would like to make and the topics they feel most comfortable presenting. Please consider joining in this fun, valuable volunteer activity!

Presentations are needed on a variety of subjects:

  • Beginning gardening
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Fruit trees
  • Pruning
  • Composting
  • Container Gardening
  • IPM for the Home Gardener
  • Small Fruits
  • Perennials
  • Planting
  • Soil
  • Beneficial insects
  • Pollinator gardens
  • Tomatoes
  • Small space gardening
  • Native plants
  • Seed starting
  • Propagation
  • What’s your garden passion that you are willing to share?

Would you like to be part of this vital community outreach?  If so, contact Marcia McIntyre,

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