Autumn leaves floating on water.

Leaf falling on leaf,
on mounds of leaves, rain splashing
in pools of rain…

Gyodai (Cricket Songs)

Help Us Report Your Generous Service

Although volunteer requirements are waived for 2021, due to the pandemic, we still would like you to tell us about your service hours so that we can celebrate and share your contributions with OSU.  In lieu of submitting a volunteer log this year, please complete the brief survey that Marcia McIntyre sent via email on October 16. 

Please complete the survey to show your continued interest in the OSU Master Gardener Program. We ask that you please submit the survey whether or not you have completed any service or continuing education hours in the past year.

No need to submit a volunteer log sheet this year.  Via the survey, you will simply report your total Program and Partner hours, along with your Continuing Education Hours and any produce donations you made to area food banks. 

In addition to this survey, we sent, via email, the annual Conditions of Volunteer Service document.  To make the process quick and easy, the form was sent on October 18, via DocuSign, from OSU Extension office specialist Catalina Santamaria.

Please answer the survey and return your signed Conditions of Volunteer Service form no later than Sunday, October 31, 2021.

Gather: Film Screening and Discussion

A film screening and discussion about Native American Food Sovereignty

Wednesday, November 10, 7PM
– Free event. All welcome.

Followed by a moderated panel discussion (beginning at approximately 8:15pm)

Promotional image for the film Gather. Image or woman and girl in a field of yellow flowers.

The film “Gather” is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Watch the trailer for Gather After the film screening, there will be a hosted panel with Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield and Dr. David Lewis discussing Native American resilience, plants, and the renaissance of Native food systems.

About this online event:
Gardens and gardening connect us in many ways: to where we’ve been and to who we are. To grow a plant that is inherent to our identity is a joyful and self-affirming art, whether it’s a food to eat or a flower to use in tradition and celebration. This screening of the film Gather is hosted by The Culture of Gardening, an initiative of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Taskforce of the OSU Master Gardener program.

The film has closed captioning available in Spanish and in English.

Tickets are free but require registration: Register online

Once you register at Kinema (link above), you’ll be provided sign-in information from Kinema. You must view the movie and discussion through Kinema at the time this event is scheduled. If you’ve seen the movie and would just like to join us for the panel discussion, please register at Kinema and plan to join at approximately 8:15pm.

New OSU Extension Service Director

Dr. Ivory Lyles professional photo

Dr. Ivory Lyles recently started as the Vice Provost, Division of Extension and Engagement, and Director of OSU Extension Service.

He provides strategic leadership and oversight of the university’s Extension efforts, including the Master Gardener program.

Local stakeholder and staff have already welcomed and met with Dr. Lyles. He understands the value the Master Gardener program brings to the communities of the metro area.

We look forward to working with Dr. Lyles to increase our capacity to serve the community through sustainable gardening educational services.

Learn more about Dr. Lyles.

Master Gardeners Receive OSU Extension Director Coin Awards

Dr. Lyles visited with stakeholders and staff at the OSU Portland Center and Clackamas Extension office in mid-October. Along with Regional Director Angela Sandino, Dr. Lyles recognized Master Gardeners Corinne Thomas-Kersting and Dennis Brown with Director’s Coin awards. This award is a new way for OSU Extension to recognize extraordinary contributions of staff, volunteers, and community partners.

Congratulations to Corinne and Dennis!

The Master Gardener program greatly appreciates their important contribution to OSU Extension’s outreach mission.

Dr. Lyles presenting Director's Coin to Corinne Thomas-Kersting
Dr. Lyles presenting Corinne Thomas-Kersting with Director’s Coin award.

Corinne Thomas-Kersting

  • Corinne has been an Extension volunteer for 25+ years. 
  • She started with 4-H with her own kids and led 4-H groups until recently. She took the Master Gardener program in 2014.
  • Corinne’s 32 year career at Portland Public Schools focused on serving students with disabilities. She is a speech pathologist by training. 
  • She’s carried that same spirit of inclusivity into her work as a Master Gardener volunteer. She spends her volunteer time working with school groups or those serving school groups to educate folks about self-reliance, community service, and research-based horticulture.
  • Corinne has also served on the board of the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association for 5 years, guiding the chapter to improve the non-profit’s transparency and inclusivity.
  • Corinne’s passion in her own garden is growing, sharing, and donating produce.
Dr. Lyles presenting Dennis Brown with Director's Coin award.
Dr. Lyles presenting Dennis Brown with Director’s Coin award.

Dennis Brown

  • Dennis originally took the Master Gardener training in 2010 in the Bay Area in California and then again in 2017 here in Oregon.
  • His environmental consulting career and academic training (BS, MS, and PhD) in horticulture and plant science provide a great foundation to serve as a Master Gardener volunteer.
  • Dennis’ volunteer service is part of an important partnership with the June Key Delta Community Center, VOZ Worker Rights Education Center, and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Dennis and an EMSWCD staff member prepare curriculum and make presentations in English and Spanish focused on horticulture job skills training. Students maintain a native plant landscape and grow food crops. The produce is provided to students and donated to the community.
  • With COVID, Dennis has stepped in as a presenter for horticulture webinars and has made educational videos.
  • Dennis’ passion in his own garden is focused on food production and improving soil and water conservation.

Promotional graphic for Healthy Soils for Healthy People. Hands outreached holding soil.

Level-Up Series Webinar

Join in the final ‘Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series’ of the year, as Dr. Gail Langellotto and the Garden Ecology Lab present:

Healthy Soils for Healthy People

November 9, 2021, 3PM

Register here

Research has suggested that healthy soils can benefit human health, via transfer of beneficial microbes from the soil to the skin. What are the characteristics of healthy soils, and do these characteristics align with the soils tended by Oregon gardeners? This talk will provide an overview of what is known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, and how this relates to healthy garden soils. We will present data gathered from the soils of Oregon gardeners, as well as share initial results on a study looking at how garden soils might (or might not) influence the skin microbiome of Oregon gardeners.

Recordings of the entire series can be found here.

Winning photo from metro area Master Gardener

Small green frog in the center of yellow squash blossom.
Award winning photo: ‘Frog Bumbles in Zucchini Blossom’ by Heidi Nichols

The OSU Master Gardener Program photo contest winners have been announced and metro area Master Gardener, Heidi Nichols was awarded first place in the Program Priorities category. Heidi’s award-winning photo is titled: ‘Frog Bumbles in Zucchini Blossom’ and it offers delight to viewers. To see the other award winners visit the OSU Extension Master Gardener News blog page.

If you didn’t enter this year, now is a great time to start taking photos to connect and showcase the OSU Master Gardener Program’s priorities and values.

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