Hand holding small orange flower with green foliage and sunlight in the background.
Image: Pixabay

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

Caring and Commitment to our Community

We hope this finds you taking good care, finding time to nurture a garden, or discovering respite in spring delights like cherry blossoms, busy mason bees, and bursting tulips.  In the midst of these uncertain times, one thing we know for sure is that metro area Master Gardeners are a committed and caring group who serve their community in so many ways. 

Image: Pixabay

Although Master Gardener in-person activities are suspended, due to the pandemic, Master Gardeners are still contributing to their community.  We know of Master Gardeners growing vegetable starts for their neighbors, sewing masks, buying flowers to add cheer to those in senior centers, funding the purchase of vegetable starts for agencies serving those experiencing food insecurity, growing extra vegetables and fruits to donate to area food banks, and reaching out to fellow volunteers to check on their well-being.  Master Gardeners are also serving as dedicated front-line essential workers, working from home, managing home schooling, caring for family members, and lending a helping hand to neighbors.  Such care and efforts are not surprising, but are confirmation of a valuable and committed community! 

Metro Master Gardener Program Goes Online!

With the goal to keep our Master Gardener community connected and engaged, the metro Master Gardener program has moved online.  Every Friday at 1pm we are presenting a horticulture-focused webinar for Master Gardeners and the gardening public. 

Upcoming webinars in May…

Freshly harvested beets and carrots, still speckled with soil, lying on wood counter top.
Image: Pixabay
  • 1PM, Friday, May 8th, Fundamentals of Lawn Care, with Weston Miller, OSU Extension
  • 1PM, Friday, May 15th, Practical Garden Food Safety: best practices for the edible garden, with Sara Runkel, OSU Extension
  • 1PM, Friday, May 22nd, TBA

Metro Master Gardener online webinars count as continuing garden education credit.

To register for upcoming webinars, watch for a weekly email sent from Marcia McIntyre that has a link to the Zoom registration page.  Links to the webinars will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Webinar Recordings
Do you have a schedule conflict with an upcoming webinar?  Don’t despair.  We are posting recordings of our webinars a few days following the presentation.

Check out past webinars here:

Master Gardener Hangout!

Brown leather boots sitting on lawn, planted with white daisy plants.
Image: Pixabay

Are you looking to connect with other Master Gardeners in an informal, online setting.  Join our Friday, Master Gardener Hangouts.  This is a forum to talk all things gardening. 

Past Master Gardener Hangouts have been fun, with mini tours of gardens, as participants took their laptops and phones out into their gardens – shared favorite vegetable varieties – asked each other questions – just enjoyed a chance to connect with fellow gardeners! 

You can connect via phone or internet. Look for an email from Marcia McIntyre, that will be sent on Friday afternoons as that week’s webinar is ending,with a link to join the ‘Master Gardener Hangout’.

Master Gardener In-person Activities Suspended

As announced in March, due to the evolving COVID19 situation, all Master Gardener volunteer activities are cancelled or postponed until further notice. This includes all Master Gardener clinics (phone, Farmers Markets, and special events), classes, workshops, demonstration gardens, Speakers Guild presentations, fundraisers, and in-person meetings/lectures/speakers.  In addition, our Spring Recertification event scheduled for Saturday, May 16, is cancelled.

OSU Extension Service is working to make communities safe.  As OSU provides more guidance, we will provide updates. 

Orange OSU Master Gardener icon.

With the cancellation of volunteer activities, and knowing the many challenges people are facing, we are waiving volunteer requirements for 2020.  We ask metro area Master Gardeners to report any volunteer hours served this year and their continuing education hours, by September 30, 2020.

We encourage Master Gardeners to take advantage of the many online continuing education opportunities.  Updates will be sent via email and/or posted in this monthly newsletter.

Thanks for Sharing Your Expertise!

Plant in small pot with a hand written piece of paper that says 'Thank you'.
Image: Pixabay

The dedication and generosity of the Master Gardener community is always an inspiration.  This generosity was apparent as we made a swift pivot to offer garden education opportunities online.  We are incredibly grateful to Dennis Brown, Eric Butler, and Claudia Groth for so quickly stepping up to share their expertise and knowledge as we kicked off our webinar series.  Thank you all, for your kind generosity!

OSU Online Insect Agroecology Course

Bee gathering pollen on cherry blossoms.
Image: Pixabay

Last month Dr. Gail Langellotto, professor, Oregon State University, and Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator gave access to a valuable continuing education opportunity for OSU Master Gardeners.

Gail made recordings of her Entomology/Horticulture (Insect Agroecology) University course available for Master Gardeners to view.  The class delves into ecological theory, and considers how this theory applies to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.  She shared the first two lectures in April: ‘The Importance of Insect Diversity’ and ‘Bottom Up Regulation of Herbivores (Plant Nutrition)’

You can view the remaining course lectures at the link below.

Oregon State University – ENT/HORT 444/544 (Insect Agroecology)

Time spent viewing the lectures counts as continuing education hours for perennial Master Gardeners.

More Continuing Ed Opportunities from OSU Extension and our Partners

Below are some great continuing education opportunities offered by OSU Extension programs and partner organizations. Be sure to read weekly metro MG program emails for opportunities that arise during each month.

Sunlight streaming through tree trunks in forest.
Image: Pixabay

Tree School Goes Online – FREE!
You still have time to take part in this 15-part series from Clackamas Extension Service Forestry and the Partnership for Forestry Education. Recordings are posted following classes.

Master Gardener Advanced Training Webinars
Next up: Winter Squash Research at OSU, with
Dr. Alex Stone and Lane Selman http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/ediblegardens/2020/01/23/2020-osu-extension-master-gardener-webinar-

Metro area Master Gardener – Native Bee Survey Training
with Andony Melathopoulos, OSU

Tuesday, May 5, 1pm to 4pm

Metro (regional government) Garden Design for Wildlife
Wednesday, May 13, 3pm to 4:30pm
Register here. A subsequent webinar on the same topic will be offered in Spanish upon request

May Garden Checklist

Our May garden checklist encourages you to weed, weed, weed, plant perennials and check your soil temp!

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