Two bees on lavendar plants“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”
–  Elizabeth Lawrence

Bees and Master Gardeners are abuzz as summer approaches.  Master Gardeners are busy volunteering throughout the tri-county metro region.  Many opportunities are available for MGs to learn, educate, and serve the gardening public.

Master Gardeners at Area Farmers Markets

Late spring harvests are filling neighborhood Farmer’s Markets as the first day of summer approaches and metro-area Master Gardeners stand by at MG clinic booths to answer market goer’s gardening questions.

These festive community events are a wonderful opportunity for MGs to educate beginning and advanced gardeners alike with proven gardening practices.  In addition, those volunteering have the chance to pick-up fresh-from-the-field produce, dine on market cuisine, and listen to cheerful tunes.

Schedule a shift via CERVIS for a great summer volunteer experience.  Don’t despair if your favorite market schedule appears full.  Check back often, as schedules change and openings arise throughout the summer – sign-up on the waiting list for a particular shift.  Let a clinic coordinator know you if you are willing to serve as a substitute for last minute cancellations at your favorite market.  The following markets currently have openings: Beaverton, Lents, Gresham, Hillsdale, Sherwood, and Tigard.

Two Master Gardeners, one sitting, one standing, to greet customers at a Master Gardener question and answer table at Farmers Market.
Photo courtesy of Angela DeHaven

Summer Farmer’s Markets
Beaverton – Gresham – Hillsdale – King – Lake Oswego – Lents – Milwaukie
Oregon City – Sherwood – Tigard

Two Master Gardeners in Master Gardener office talking to a client.MG Office Helplines are a Buzzin!

The Master Gardener Office helplines are buzzin’ with an interesting assortment of questions from home gardeners.  “Why do my grape leaves look bubbled and blistered? Will it affect my harvest?”, “Can you recommend tomato varieties resistant to Verticillium wilt?”, “What’s wrong with my small Douglas Fir tree? I notice the top branches are somewhat curled and, upon a closer look, the branches are covered with small, white tufts. What is this?”

The variety of inquiries brings great opportunities to practice your diagnostic skills, expand your garden knowledge and that of the home gardeners you assist.  Join the fun researching and collaborating with your fellow MGs, while educating others.  You will be surprised by the wealth of information you will learn!   Sign-up on CERVIS.

Master Gardener presenting gardening talk to audience.New Workshop!
Hone Your Skills as a Garden Educator!

Are you interested in making gardening presentations to the public as part of the metro-area Master Gardener Speaker’s Guild?  Do you want to refine your presentation skills?

Get ready to present interesting, engaging and impactful presentations in this all-day workshop. Hone your skills as a stand-up trainer.  Plan to attend this all-day session, Saturday, June 15, at the Washington County Extension office in Beaverton, from 9am to 3:30pm.

Workshop taught by Sandy Japely, OSU Master Gardener and professional trainer. Pre-registration required. Learn more about this workshop and register today on CERVIS

Beginning Vegetable Gardening Workshop – a few spaces remain.  Do you have your eye on one of the other remaining workshops that are full? Be sure to add your name to the waiting list as openings do arise.

Blue Lake Discovery Garden

Girl digging with plastic shovel in worm bin.A lovely place to volunteer in the summer is the Blue Lake Discovery Garden.  Registration is now open!

For four Saturdays this summer, Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden will be offering free, family-friendly, education programming at the Discovery Garden!

During activity times, visitors of all ages—but especially younger kids—can participate in fun, hands-on learning. Master Gardeners assist visitors with various nature crafts, like critter coloring, seed planting, garden bingo scavenger hunts, and garden education for all ages..

For five Tuesdays this summer, garden volunteer service parties at the Discovery Garden have been scheduled. During these volunteer service parties we will be doing a variety of gardening tasks. Plus, occasionally planting and rebuilding sections of the garden.

Shift hours for all events are 10am until 2pm. Volunteer hours are for “Partner” credit.

Sign-up to volunteer for one of these valuable volunteer service activities on CERVIS.

Expand Your Horticultural Knowledge in the Garden!

Our metro-area Chapter-sponsored Demonstration and Education Gardens are fantastic places to expand your gardening knowledge with hands-on learning, plus the opportunity to educate the visiting public.  The Chapter gardens display best garden practices, provide teachable moments for gardening challenges, undertake citizen science projects, and grow thousands of pounds of nutritious fruits and vegetables donated to area food banks!  Drop-in and take part in these valuable Chapter projects. Contact a garden coordinator for volunteer hours.

Master Gardeners showing group of school students garden at Oregon Trail Garden.
Master Gardeners hosting visitors at End of the Oregon Trail Garden

Clackamas County has these great hands-on volunteer opportunities:

  • End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center – Check in to see how you can join the fun tending the garden and (for those interested) hosting school tours.
    Sharon Andrews 503-577-7493
  • Hopkins Demonstration Forest – Tend native plantscapes – in a beautiful forest setting!
    Frank Wille
  • ‘Grow-An-Extra-Row and Learning Garden’ Project at Clackamas Community College – Make a difference growing food for those experiencing food insecurity.
    Nancy Muir 503-789-6970

Master Gardener wearing hat, holds a large head of cauliflower.
Photo courtesy of John Jordan

Multnomah County Master Gardener’s Community Demonstration Garden in Southeast Portland. There is lots to do and lots to learn in the established edible garden and in the newly expanded annex garden which includes edibles, herbs, native plants and ornamentals!

Heidi Nichols at  or 503-826-5851
Nancy Fine at or

Master Gardeners harvest peas at Jenkins Estate Garden, in front of sign that says 'Give Peas a Chance'

Washington County Master Gardeners have two wonderful gardens at which to discover and learn!

  • Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate – Lend a hand in this beautiful landscape.
    Sandy Japely
    at 503-531-8482.
  • Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek – be part of the exciting beginnings of a fabulous community garden partnership!
    Sue Ryburn at


Fall Recertification

Save the date for our annual Fall Recertification training.  This year we will gather at Clackamas Community College on Saturday, November 9th, 8am to 4pm.

This annual event is a daylong continuing education opportunity.  Earn 6 hours of continuing education credit by attending.  More details to come in the July/August issue of our metro MG newsletter.

Fall Recertification also gives us the opportunity to congratulate the new class of Master Gardener interns as they step-up to Perennial status after completing their volunteer requirements.  We will present 2019 Interns with their OSU Extension Service Master Gardener badges and a big-shout out for successfully completing the program.  2019 Interns are welcome to attend the full day of training – which will count toward your continuing education/recertification hours for 2020.

Image from the Oregon Department of Agriculture of 10 invasive insects
Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture (CC BY-NC_ND 2.0)

“Let’s Talk Invasive Insects!” – Advanced Training Webinar

‘Invasive Insects’ are an important and timely subject for the next online Advanced Training Webinars for Master Gardeners sponsored by Oregon State University Extension.  This live webinar is scheduled for Friday, June 28th, 10am.

“Did you know that we get about 9 new exotic invertebrate species established in Oregon every year? Want to know what you can do to reduce the impact of invasive species in Oregon? Join Joshua Vlach, entomologist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, for a presentation on the risks associated with invasive species, the pathways that bring them here, their impacts, and what you can do to reduce the chance of bringing and spreading pests in Oregon. Specific resources for reporting suspected invasive species will be shared.”

Details & pre-registration info:

The Advanced Training Webinars each count for 1-hour continuing garden education/recertification credit.  A wonderful way to expand your gardening knowledge in the comfort of your own home or sitting in a lovely garden watching on the electronic device of your choice.

Can’t make the webinar date?  No worries!  Recordings of webinars are posted a few days after the live webinar.  Follow this link:

Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture (CC BY-NC_ND 2.0)

Log Your Volunteer Hours

Thank you for your passion, energy and volunteer service educating the gardening public.  We want to be sure to have a record of all your efforts.  Here is the link you need, to download the form, to log your volunteer hours.  Even hours recorded on CERVIS need to also be recorded on your individual Volunteer Log Sheet.  Log sheets are due by October 1, 2019.

MG Nuts and Bolts

Need a refresher on how to maintain your OSU Extension Master Gardener certification?  All the nuts and bolts can be found here!

OSU Master Gardener Bob Falconer standing next to a field of blooming Phacelia.Metro-area Master Gardener Featured on PolliNation Podcast!

Metro-area Master Gardener Bob Falconer was recently featured on the PolliNation podcast.  Bob shares how to establish magnificent strips of pollinator attracting Phacelia and clover.  Check it out!

Three Cheers to Metro-area Chapters!

Congrats to the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Co. Chapters for hosting three successful fundraising events this spring!  The Wash. Co. GardenFest, Clack. Co. Spring Garden Fair, and Mult. Co. Incredible Edibles Plant Sale were grand events, with quality plants galore to fill many a gardener’s wish lists.

Beyond the funds raised, each Chapter also focused time on educating home gardeners with reliable gardening advice.

Congrats to all who volunteered and supported the many facets of executing these amazing fundraisers!

Master Gardener watering plants at GardenFest plant sale

Master Gardener wearing hat and safety vest, smiling waiting to assist customers loading plants from plant sale.

Customer surveying plants for sale on tables at GardenFest plant sale, in greenhouse.

Spring Garden Fair

Smiling Master Gardener volunteer at raffle table at Spring Garden Fair.
Spring Garden Fair Photos courtesy of Trish Basler

4 Master Gardener volunteers sit around table, taking a break from activities at the Spring Garden Fair.

Raffle table and Master Gardener volunteer.

Incredible Edibles Plant Sale

Master Gardener holding to cardboard boxes full of donated plant starts from the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.

Smiling Incredible Edibles Plant Sale customer holding two cardboard trays filled with vegetable plant starts.

Two customers at the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale each holding a cardboard tray of vegetable and herb plant starts.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>