Bumblebee on lavender colored flower.
Photo courtesy of Eddie Rosen

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

– Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine


As summer kicks-off we are happy to be resuming our core community service, educating Oregonians with sound, sustainable gardening guidance at Farmers Markets, via our OSU Master Gardener Helplines (both office and remote), Speakers Guild and community events. Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities by logging into CERVIS, reading this newsletter, plus email updates from our metro area program.


Annual OSU Master Gardener requirements

As we resume our community service activities we also want to provide a brief review of annual volunteer service and continuing education requirements for Perennial Master Gardeners.

2020 Cohort members please refer to a recent email sent by Marcia McIntyre for your Master Gardener training requirements.

2022 Cohort members please refer to Master Gardener training requirements in CANVAS, in the ‘Modules’ tab, under ‘Volunteer Activities (2022)’.

Perennial Master Gardeners Annual Requirements

To maintain your certification as an active Perennial OSU metro-area Master Gardener, the following are the annual (minimum) volunteer service and continuing education requirement. Master Gardeners are considered current when these criteria are met.

  1. 20 hours of volunteer service in Metro MG approved activities (with at least 10 hours volunteered toward “Program” activities). Other hours can be served with approved “Partner” activities. You can serve all your volunteer hours in “Program” activities, if you prefer.
  2. 10 hours of Continuing Garden Education hours

Reporting Volunteer Service Hours

Record your volunteer service hours using your favorite method spreadsheet, online app, or use the following 2022 Volunteer Log Sheet.  In September, we will supply you with an online link to report your hours.


‘Program’ Volunteer Service Opportunities

MG Helpline ‘In Office’ and ‘Remote

Laptop screen showing two women's faces in Zoom window, plus image of hands holding tomatoes with text.
Remote MG Helpline. Photo courtesy of Connie Kirby.

In May we were excited to kick-off resumption of Master Gardeners volunteering on the Helpline in the Extension offices.  Currently we have volunteers serving in the Clackamas and Washington Extension offices.  Master Gardeners now have a hybrid Helpline system with an opportunity to volunteer both remotely from their homes and the Extension offices.  This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity.

Perennial Master Gardeners who are interested in volunteering on the Helpline either at an Extension office or remotely from home please contact Marcia McIntyre to schedule a one-hour pre-requisite orientation.

Interested 2020/2022 cohort members please attend Skill Session ‘Answering Gardening Questions’ Session 3 for a review of the online Helpline system and orientation.

Vases of cut flowers, many with blue ribbons hanging on the vases.

Oregon State Fair
If you want a big dose of summer fun, sign-up for the MG Clinic table at the Oregon State Fair, on Sunday August 28.

Give sage (OSU proven) garden advice to fair visitors and take a bit of time, before and after your shift, to grab some shaved ice and check out the fair competitions whether it is honey products, the largest homegrown fruits and veggies, or the best home brew or chocolate layer cake!  You get free-entry into the fair the day you volunteer!  Register on CERVIS. This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity. Be sure to register for appropriate shifts: Perennial or Intern.

Community BioBlitz
Join the Estacada Library’s Community BioBlitz, on Saturday, August 6, 12pm to 4pm by supporting and guiding participants in using iNaturalist. Help to identifying insects and critters discovered, as participants learn about the biological diversity in Wade Creek Park, adjacent to the library.  If interested in serving as a BioBlitz guide, please contact Marcia McIntyre. This is a ‘Program’ volunteer activity.

Farmers Markets

Person standing behind table, under a canopy, with another person standing on the other side of the table, bent over the table filling out a card.
MG Clinic booth at People’s Farmers Market.
Photo courtesy of Susanne Cavicchi

We are thrilled this year to return to a favorite community service, answering gardening questions at Farmers Markets and community events. Currently Master Gardeners are tabling at the Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsdale, Molalla, People’s Co-Op, and Oregon City farmers markets. Sign up for these ‘Program’ volunteer service opportunities and more on CERVIS.


‘Partner’ Volunteer Service Opportunities

Demonstration/Learning Gardens
Aching to get your hands in the soil and spend time with your fellow Master Gardeners? Our supporting Master Gardener associations are a great place to dig in!  For details about the gardens visit the association websites. Volunteer time at association gardens counts as ‘Partner’ hours.

Clackamas Co. Master Gardener Assocation
Multnomah Co. Master Gardener Association
Washington Co. Master Gardener Association

Hands harvesting greens.
Photo credit: University of Maine

Growing Gardens
Home Gardens Program Garden Mentors
The Growing Gardens Home Gardens Program helps BIPOC and low-income English and Spanish-speaking families learn to grow fresh organic produce at home. Families participate in Growing Garden’s program for 3 years and are provided with raised garden beds, tools, seeds, plant starts, classes, and mentoring. Master Gardeners can serve as Garden Mentors to the Home Garden’s families by providing sustainable gardening guidance and one-on-one support to beginning gardeners, including visiting gardeners for summer consultations. BIPOC volunteers and Bilingual Spanish speakers are needed. This is a ‘Partner’ volunteer activity.  If interested in volunteering contact: Antonio Rodriguez  503-284-8420   Antonio@growing-gardens.org

International Rose Test Garden Tours
Master Gardeners conduct 45-minute tours of the garden.  Master Gardeners will educate the public about best gardening practices, specifically as they relate to roses. This may include IPM, site selection, hardiness zones, winter care, and research based methods for encouraging beautiful gardens. Some history of the International Rose Test Garden and Portland’s designation as the City of Roses will be incorporated into the tour.  Scripts and training are available for all guides. This is a ‘Partner’ volunteer activity. If interested contact Harriet Ottaviano via waparkroses@gmail.com

NOTE: Rose pruning, weeding, maintenance does not count as volunteer service hours.


Continuing Education Opportunities

The following opportunities can be counted as ‘Continuing Garden Education’ hours for Perennial Master Gardeners and can serve as educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.

OSU Master Gardener Growing Oregon Gardens: Level Up Series education for the experienced gardener led by OSU horticulture experts from across the state.  Perennial MGs earn 1-hour continuing education credit. Great educational enrichment for 2020/2022 training cohorts.

Coming up July 12, 12noon, “Best Ecological Ways to Control Pests in Green Spaces”.

Designated Master Gardener Association Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U – Perennial MGs earn one hour recertification credit for each designated ‘continuing education’ Speaker/Lecture Series/10-Minute U, whether in-person, webinar or recording of a past webinar.  Look for designation with listings of association Speaker/Lecture Series.

MG Study Group – Time spent participating in the Study Group sessions earn continuing education credit for Perennial MGs, and educational enrichment for 2020/2022 cohort trainees.  Develop your skills identifying and understanding plant diseases, insects, spiders and more. The group meets twice a month via Zoom. All metro area Master Gardeners welcome.  If interested in attending email: tricountymgstudygroup@gmail.com

Read! OSU Extension Service publications. – Perennial MGs earn continuing education credit reading an OSU Extension publication on home gardening topics and submitting a brief report about what you learned to Marcia McIntyre.


Pacific Northwest Handbooks Online

Black and yellow butterfly, with flowers in the background.

The go-to resource for Master Gardeners diagnosing plant and pest problems are the Pacific Northwest Handbooks, often referred to as PNW’s.  Starting this year Oregon State University is only offering the PNWs online with no print option.  Therefore if you are tabling at a Famers Market or other community tabling event, you will not see those familiar tomes in the clinic supplies.

While at a remote MG clinic table, like a Farmers Market, you can access the PNWs via your smartphone or if you prefer not using your phone to look up information to assist a client, please refer the client to our Master Gardener Helpline.  Each clinic box has a yellow tear-off pad with contact information for the Helpline.

Pacific Northwest Disease Management Handbook
Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbook

Remember, do not give any chemical recommendations without first referring to the current issue of the PNWs.

If you would like to familiarize yourself with the online version of the PNWs.  Here are two great video tutorials.

How to search the handbooks. 

How to find general articles in the handbooks.  


Here Comes the Sun! Take Precautions!

Yellow flowers, with blue skies and clouds in the background.
Sunshine” by rkramer62 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here comes the sun, and with it the potential for searing temperatures and we want to make sure that you take care of yourself at Master Gardener volunteer events.

When taking part in metro area OSU Master Gardener or supporting Master Gardener association outdoor volunteer service activities, please take steps to protect yourself from the extreme heat. 

Heat illness is a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and can progress quickly from mild symptoms to a serious and life-threatening illness.

Please be sure to take regular breaks in the shade if your volunteer shift is in the sun.

Bring enough cool water so that you have access to 32 ounces per hour during your shift.

Learn how to recognize signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Be aware of how your body is coping with heat. If you develop any heat-related illness, excuse yourself from the shift and take care of yourself. Ask for help from another person if needed.

Please keep an eye on your fellow volunteers and watch for any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and take the appropriate action to assist them if you recognize symptoms.

Please contact Weston Miller (metro area OSU MG program manager) to report any heat-related illness.


Fall Recertification Returns!

Save the dates and stay tuned for our virtual ‘Fall Recertification’ when we will host 4 webinars highlighting information to support you in your role as an OSU Master Gardener educator.  Each webinar will count towards continuing education.  Save the date and stay tuned!

  • Wednesday, November 2, 6:30pm
  • Thursday, November 3, 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm
  • Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm