White apple blossoms, green leaves, against a blue sky.

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.

Harriet Ann Jacobs

The arrival of spring has metro area Master Gardeners eagerly awaiting so many opportunities. The opportunity to return to active gardening once again by plunging hands into the warm soil, sowing seeds and nurturing garden dreams. It also means a return to favorite Master Gardener service activities or trying new ones. So much is in store for our Master Gardener Program this spring season.

Save the Date! Celebrate our Master Gardener Community!

Lavender paper lantern, and green crepe paper streamer.

Metro area Master Gardeners are invited to a celebratory gathering to cultivate community and seed our future! The date is Sunday, June 4th,  from 1:00pm-3:00pm at Millennium Park Plaza in Lake Oswego.

Look forward to an afternoon filled with informational and educational displays, door prizes, food, drink, and festive celebration!

We hope you will join in, and bring family and friends as we joyfully reunite and celebrate our Master Gardener Community, together.

More event details to come!

“Let’s Talk Plants” at Markets and Community Events

Two people wearing brown aprons that say 'Ask Me OSU Master Gardener'. Talk to a person wearing a tweed hat, holding up a piece of a plant with green leaves.

Our Master Gardener ‘Let’s Talk Plants’ information tabling opportunities at area Farmers Markets and community events are launching soon! Check your schedule and get ready to sign-up for your favorite market or try visiting a market new to you. 

Please look for an email notification this week announcing the opening of registration on CERVIS for most market/community events.  Continue to check CERVIS throughout the season as more opportunities are posted.

Important Note: to allow as many MGs as possible to volunteer for their favorite market, we are limiting sign up for one specific market to 2 shifts maximum, for the first two weeks that registration is open. Please honor this request so that we will not need to unregister those who sign up for more than 2 shifts.

Update Your CERVIS Profile

Sign-up for upcoming volunteer shifts at Farmers Markets and other special volunteer opportunities will be on CERVIS.  In order to be ready to sign-up, when the time comes, please visit CERVIS and update your profile, including your email address, mailing address and phone numbers.

Weston Miller, A Grateful Farewell

Weston Miller

It is bittersweet as we send a fond and grateful farewell to Weston Miller. In February Weston sent a letter to all metro area Master Gardeners sharing the news that he was moving on to a new career opportunity.

Read more as we wish Weston the best on his new venture.


Welcome Amy and Lisa!

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the metro area OSU Master Gardener Program team.

Amy Espinoza

Amy Espinoza is serving as an Education Program Assistant based in Washington County. She supports the Master Gardener volunteer program with a focus on expanding community outreach and service. 

Amy holds a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Spanish/Arts & Letters, and a Master of Education in Library Media/K-12 classroom teaching. She brings over 20 years of professional experience working with several school districts and libraries, including teaching adult Spanish classes through Portland Community College. 

Amy has a passion for gardening, instilled in part by her mom and aunt, both accomplished gardeners. This year she is keenly focused on ensuring that her one-year-old Pix Zee peach tree will bear fruit despite our cold, wet start to spring.

Lisa Kirby

Lisa Kirby joins the Master Gardener team as an Education Program Assistant based in Multnomah County. She is enthusiastic about the OSU Master Gardener Program having served 10 years as a Master Gardener volunteer.

Lisa has a broad outreach and engagement background with non-profit organizations. Recently Lisa served as both a volunteer and staff member at the Leach Botanical Garden. Her experience with plants extends to working for a number of nurseries in the area.

Lisa is a dedicated sustainable gardener and readily speaks about the impact gardeners can have taking care of the earth and each other. Whether a gardener grows native plants to support pollinators, veggies and fruits to bring to the table, or flowers to share beauty with others.

Both Amy and Lisa bring a wealth of skills and enthusiasm to support the Master Gardener program. Welcome, Amy and Lisa! 

Dam Proud Day – One Day, Everyone Together

Person kneeling next to a raised garden bed growing with onions. Person has an onion in her hand and a black container filled with onions.

On April 26, 2023, Master Gardeners and supporters will come together to show our belief in the Master Gardener program and Oregon State University’s Dam Proud Day.

This 24-hour period is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of the Oregon State community, including supporting Master Gardeners, and stretching ourselves toward our aspirations.

The Master Gardener Program as been chosen as a featured fund on Dam Proud Day, so we have a special opportunity to raise money to support our work.

On one day, can you imagine what we could do together?

Here’s how Master Gardener volunteers, past and present, can help NOW.

1.     Follow OSU Extension Master Gardener on social media. www.facebook.com/OSUMG and @mastergardenersOSU on Instagram. Share our stories and posts about Dam Proud Day with your friends and followers.

2.     Show up on April 26th and make a donation online signaling your support for the Master Gardener program. It’s all online, all on one day. Donations large and small are all appreciated. Let’s see if the Master Gardener program can solicit the most donations on Dam Proud Day!  https://www.damproudday.org/

For Oregon State University’s Dam Proud Day, the Master Gardener Program is fundraising to support the Seed to Supper Program and an update of our foundational textbook, the Sustainable Gardening Handbook. The Seed to Supper program is a introductory vegetable gardening course for beginning and low-income gardeners, that includes considerations for gardeners who don’t have easy access to land. Our Sustainable Gardening Handbook is the text used to teach new Master Gardener volunteers. We need to update this resource, to include advances in the science of sustainable gardening, as well as consideration of climate change impacts on Oregon gardeners.

Donations can be as low as $5. A symbolic gift of $50 recognizes the 50 years that the Master Gardener Program has been serving communities across the United States! Every donation helps us get closer to our goal, and unlocking the FIVE challenge grant gifts that we have set up.

On one day, we can show up for gardening and Master Gardeners in Oregon!

OSU Master Gardeners Showing their Pride

Check out the stories of OSU Master Gardeners who reached out to the statewide program team to share why they are #DamProud to be a Master Gardener. Plus see some familiar faces of your fellow metro area Master Gardeners. To read their stories visit the OSU Master Gardener Program News 

Get Ready! It’s Plant Sale Season!

We are all eager for high gardening season and with that comes the excitement of the annual fundraising plant sales of the three metro area Master Gardener Associations.  A chance to load up on wish-list plants and to sign-up for some fun volunteer opportunities

Spring Garden Fair!

May 6th and 7th the iconic Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s Spring Garden Fair will satisfy anyone’s plant lust! Perennials, annuals, natives, ornamentals, veggie, fruit, herbs, garden art and garden supplies!  10-minute University classes, Soil pH testing, New Plant Introductions, a fabulous raffle and more! Clackamas County Event Center, Canby.

To volunteer for the Spring Garden Fair go to: https://springgardenfair.org/volunteers/


May 6th the vibrant Washington County Master Gardener Association’s Gardenfest Plant Sale guides home gardeners in creating beautiful gardens that thrive!  Perennials, shrubs, vegetables, annuals, herbs, and garden tools! Classes that support successful gardening!  Find ideas that inspire as you tour the Washington Co. Master Gardener’s Education Garden. PCC Rock Creek Campus, Portland

To volunteer for the Gardenfest contact Larina Hoffbeck: hoffbeck@frontier.com

Incredible Edibles Plant Sale!

Order TODAY! Plant orders are now open for the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s Incredible Edibles Plant Sale. The sale has moved to a pre-order format and is taking orders for organic veggie, fruit and herb plant starts now! Mini classes will guide gardeners in growing a bountiful harvest. Plant orders will be available for pick-up on Saturday, May 13th (NE 16th and Hancock Street).

To volunteer for the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale Set-up on May 12 go to: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/May12Setup

To volunteer for the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale on May 13 go to:

Be sure to mark your calendars to join in the fun volunteering and/or shopping to your heart’s content!

In remembrance: Dr. Bernadine Strik

Dr. Bernadine Strik
Credit Dave King

We saddened to share that Dr. Bernadine Strik passed away on April 24.  Dr. Strik was a renowned OSU berry researcher, and educator for 34 years.  She was incredibly generous, sharing her time and vast knowledge teaching Master Gardener classes over the decades. No doubt thousands of Master Gardeners have benefited from her teachings, as she traveled across the state. We send our heartfelt sympathies to her family. Here is more about the dedicated, amazing, kind, generous, Dr. Strik. https://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/bernadine-strik-remembered-amazing-person-mentor-friend

Annual Master Gardener Requirements

Need a refresher on the annual requirements to maintain your Master Gardener certification? Visit here for all the details.  https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/how-maintain-active-osu-master-gardener-status

Photo of Weston MIller
Weston Miller

It is bittersweet as we send a fond and grateful farewell to Weston Miller. In February, Weston share with all metro area Master Gardeners that he was moving on to a new career opportunity.

Weston has served as our metro area Community and Urban Horticulturist and manager for our metro area Master Gardener Program for the past 15 years.  He has led the program with phenomenal vision, great passion, and modeled leadership for those of us lucky to work alongside him.  

He has taught thousands of Master Gardener volunteers and community members across the state about sustainable gardening and has been a wonderful community partner to many metro area organizations.

Weston held unwavering dedication to expanding the reach of the Master Gardener Program to an even wider audience and breaking down barriers to participation.

His vision to provide a user-friendly online resource for effective, low risk pest solutions for all Oregonians was recently realized with the launch of Solve Pest Problems.

We are grateful to Weston for being a steadfast leader and visionary for the OSU Master Gardener Program and our community.  We wish him the very best in his new journey.

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Service Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

Are Ladybugs Harmful? “A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension expert answers questions about the annual swarm of the beetles as temperatures drop.” (Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications) https://tinyurl.com/yck95ms8

Bumblebee on yellow flower
Bumble bee – Photo: Sandy Debano, OSU

Adorably, Bumblebees Enjoy Playing Ball For Fun Just Like Dogs And Dolphins- The next step is to get them to master fris-bee.” (Eleanore Higgs, iflscience.com) https://tinyurl.com/43b2dws7

Another drainage solution that makes problems worse. (Linda Chalker-Scott, gardenprofessors.com) https://tinyurl.com/y2b5cjwr

Home Greenhouses III: Basic Structure Types. (John Porter, gardenprofessors.com) https://gardenprofessors.com/homegreenhousestructures/

Boy’s discovery reveals highly complex plant-insect interaction. “Research conducted at Penn State and SUNY Buffalo State uncovers a previously unknown insect-plant-insect interaction.” (Sara La Jeunesse, PennState University) https://tinyurl.com/yw378b62

9,500-Year-Old Tree Found in Sweden Is the World’s Oldest Tree. (Beautyoftheplanet.com) https://tinyurl.com/2jb4xzh5

Red apple on branch
Apple – PHoto: Jennifer Alexander, OSU

Chill out!  Winter cold and chill hours for fruit. (Pam Knox, gardenprofessors.com) https://tinyurl.com/yc2an4h4

Potential Contaminants in Residential Rain Barrel Water (Home Garden Series). Residential gardeners often use rain barrels to collect rainwater from roofs as a supplement to summer irrigation. Rainwater is a natural and unchlorinated water source for aquatic plants and animals. However, rooftop runoff can be contaminated by chemical and biological pollutants from atmospheric deposition, bird droppings, and the roofing material itself.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://tinyurl.com/2p8kbx36

Lady Beetles: Should We Buy Them for Our Gardens? (Home Garden Series). “Many gardeners purchase these insects online or at nurseries and garden centers for release on their property. This publication discusses the drawbacks to the use of purchased lady beetles and suggests some alternatives for attracting and retaining local species.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, Michael R. Bush, WSU) https://tinyurl.com/2bpdtwma

New tomato bred to naturally resist pests and curb disease. “A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects.” (Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell University) https://tinyurl.com/68uz5wb8

The World’s Largest Giant Waterlily was Found for the First Time in More Than a Century (Hasanjasimonline.com) https://tinyurl.com/yum64kvk

Why Larvae of One Wasp Species Often Eat Their Siblings. While episodes of sibling rivalry among humans can sometimes be amusing, it is not so funny in the animal kingdom, where it often results in cannibalism and “siblicide.” Researchers at Japan’s Kobe College have been studying this phenomenon in the parasitoid wasp Isodontia harmandi for the past few years.” (Ed Ricciuti, Entomologytoday.org) https://tinyurl.com/yrc27y8y

Stream of golden colored oil falling in pool of oil.
Petroleum Distillates – NPIC

Petroleum distillates.  “Petroleum distillates are separated from crude oil for many industrial uses. They can be found on a pesticide product label as active or “other/inert” ingredients. Mineral oil, naphtha, heavy fuel oil, waxes, and benzene are examples of petroleum distillates.” Learn more: https://tinyurl.com/m475af6y

Pesticide Home Remedies. (Master Gardeners do not give out home remedies) (NPIC.orst.edu) https://tinyurl.com/4mkfeeuy

Plant Stressors: 10 Ways You Unknowingly Stress Your Plants. Plants can help us overcome stress in a variety of ways, but did you realize your plant can exhibit stress symptoms as well. A stressed plant is more susceptible to insect and disease problems. Here are ten ways you may unknowingly stress your plants.”(Maxine Hunter, ifas.ufl.edu) https://tinyurl.com/46apmwt3

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Service Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

Two people kneeling in a garden plot with hands in soil.
Photo: Oregon State University

The scientific reasons you should resolve to start gardening in 2023.  “Funded by the American Cancer Society, the first-ever, randomized, controlled trial of community gardening found that those who started gardening ate more fiber and got more physical activity—two known ways to reduce risk of cancer and chronic diseases. They also saw their levels of stress and anxiety significantly decrease.” (Lisa Marshall, Coloado.edu/today) https://bit.ly/3IH4dFG

REVISED PUBLICATION: Gardening with Oregon Native Plants West of the Cascades.  Growing a garden in western Oregon is easier when you include native plants. That’s because native plants are adapted to our wet winters and dry summers. Native plants also provide benefits to native pollinators and other wildlife. Learn where to find native plants for your garden, how to care for them and which plants are best for pots and small gardens. This publication also includes an illustrated list of Pacific Northwest native plants that are easy to establish and grow.” (Linda McMahan, Heather Stoven, Erika Szonntag, OSU) https://bit.ly/3QvAB01

Dorsal view of Northern Giant Hornet with wings outstretched.
Northern Giant Hornet,
Oregon Department of Agriculture

REVISED PUBLICATION: Northern Giant Hornet: A Potential Threat to Honeybee Colonies in Oregon.  “The northern giant hornet was detected in British Columbia and Washington in 2019. This publication outlines the identification, life cycle, and predatory habits of the northern giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) for beekeepers. It also provides recommendations for reporting a suspected sighting in the Pacific Northwest (Ellen Topitzhofer, et al, OSU) https://bit.ly/3GXsEh3

REVISED PUBLICATION: Growing Your OWN.  “Growing Your Own is now available as a bilingual publication in Spanish and English! It provides basic advice on a wide range of gardening topics, including composting, container gardens, fall/winter gardens, fertilizing, insect pests, plant diseases, planting guidelines, raised beds, site selection, slugs, soil improvement, tilling, warm-season crops, watering, and weeds. Includes regional tips for various parts of Oregon.” (Gail Langellotto, OSU) https://bit.ly/3XnbnDd

Vaccine protects honeybees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a conditional license for a vaccine that protects honeybees against American Foulbrood disease. (Simrin Singh, CBSnews.com) https://cbsn.ws/3IIuBzg

Companion plants, they are not what you think!  Companion plants! Great, what a good idea. When you first hear the term and think about the concept it sounds great, but there is a lot to not to like about it. The term “companion plants” implies that these plants are partners and they “enjoy” each other’s company.  The term is an anthropomorphism or overlaying human qualities on non-human organisms.  A more appropriate term may be plant associates or plant associations, a term taken from plant ecology which more basis for its use.” (Jim Downer, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3GVJoVY

Goodbye to 2022 and hello, 2023!  A review of “…the weather and climate of the past year, both the average conditions and some of the extremes we saw.” (Pam Knox, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3CG6Sf4

Pest Profile: Spotted Lanternfly. Be on the lookout! The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is a 1-inch long planthopper native to China, and has since spread to Japan, South Korea, and the United States.” (Abi Saeed, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3CG751Q

So you think you want a home greenhouse, do you?  “… home greenhouses have been a “thing” for a long, long while – from well-to-do folks with conservatories on their estates to the more common and basic home greenhouse in the last few decades.  But shifting interests, and more/cheaper options have made home greenhouses more accessible to the masses.” (John Porter, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3ircDGN

Field of sunflowers in bloom.
Photo: Harry Olson

Sunflowers Linked to Reduced Varroa Mite Infestations in Honeybees.  “A new study indicates a benefit to honeybees of local sunflower cropland.  Even low levels of sunflower acreage nearby correlate with reduced Varroa mite infestation in managed colonies, researchers found, and supplemental sunflower pollen helps ward off the mites as well.” (Paige Embry, Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3ipVLQM

HIRING AN ARBORIST– MGs sometimes can’t identify a tree problem via a phone call or email.  Our diagnostic skills are limited in that we can’t go to the site to see the tree in person.  Photos and the plant’s history can provide a wealth of information, but sometimes seeing the tree on site may be necessary to give a correct diagnosis.  In such cases, clients should be advised to hire a Certified Arborist.

Here are a few suggestions on hiring a ‘Certified Arborist’:

  • As representatives of OSU, Master Gardeners don’t endorse a specific business or
  • Many commercial companies employ Certified Arborists–This means that they have passed tests recommended for their industry and have taken part in continuing education to further their knowledge.
  • Suggest client search on the internet, ‘Tree’ or ‘Trees’ or ‘Tree Service’ in their area.
  • Then look for statement or logo stating Certified Arborist.
  • Some companies may charge a fee for an on-site inspection.
  • Check to see if licensed and bonded.
  • Encourage client to get at least 3 estimates before selecting a company to do any work. 
  • The International Society of Arboriculture certifies arborists and has list of their certified arborists (more info below.)

Clients can be referred to ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) for information on Certified Arborists: “ISA exists so that professionals, allied professionals, public officials, and consumers worldwide recognize the economic, environmental, and societal benefits and values of trees and their care at a cost that demonstrates the wise stewardship of resources.”   Go to: https://www.isa-arbor.com/ (click on the link ‘Find an Arborist’). 

This takes you to the site: ‘Trees Are Good’ ( https://www.treesaregood.org/ ). “The International Society of Arboriculture manages ‘Treesaregood.org’ …an educational website that provides the public with quality tree care information…helps increase awareness of the benefits of trees and provides homeowners and other tree owners with access to resources to help sustain trees in an urban environment. Examples of a few resources you’ll find on TreesAreGood.org include:


Warm Winter Wishes and Utmost Gratitude!

Cup of coffee with design of hearts in the milk foam, surrounded by apples, fir boughs and white frosted pine cones.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

As 2022 nears its end, we want to take the opportunity to extend warm winter wishes and our utmost gratitude for your dedicated service as OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners.  Thank you for your selfless commitment educating others in successful and sustainable gardening practices. 

This year as we transitioned back to familiar, favorite, and new favorite volunteer opportunities know that your efforts have positively impacted so many in our community!  Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year, as you continue to share your passion for education and gardening!

Annual reporting, stickers and badges. Oh my!

Thank you to all who have submitted the annual required forms and reported your continuing education and volunteer service hours for 2022! As we transitioned back to in-person volunteer opportunities, you rose to the challenge generously supporting our communities with valuable gardening guidance and leveling up your knowledge by diving into a wide range of continuing education opportunities! Kudos to one and all!

2023 OSU Master Gardener Recertification sticker

For those who have fulfilled the requirements to maintain their status as an active and “current” Master Gardener you will receive a 2023 Recertification sticker to proudly display on your MG badge in mid-January.  The sticker is a designation that you are current and up-to-date, having completed all annual requirements.

Perennial MGs who have fulfilled the 10-hour continuing education requirement and have submitted the required forms will be sent their 2023 MG sticker in January.  For Perennial MGs still needing to complete their annual 10-hours of continuing education please refer to the September/October newsletter for designated continuing education opportunities and also see the information in the article below regarding recordings of our Fall Recertification webinars.

2020 and 2022 cohort members who have completed their Master Gardener training requirements will receive our hearty congratulation and their shining new OSU Master Gardener badge in January.

All 2020 and 2022 cohort members who have submitted the annual required forms will be sent (in January) a 2023 Master Gardener sticker to be displayed on their new OSU Master Gardener badge or if still working toward meeting the training requirements, displayed on their cohort training badge.

Review OSU Master Gardener annual requirements and Master Gardener training requirements here.

Fall Recertification’s Reprise Informs

Screen shot of title page of webinar "Native Plants for Gardens and Pollinators"

In November, we enjoyed the reprise of our Fall Recertification with 4 webinars focusing on information to support you in your role as garden educators.  Many thanks to our presenters, Cecile Evans, Dr. Gail Langellotto, OSU Master Gardener Program Manager, Alex Gorman, OSU Forestry and our very own Weston Miller, who all provided thoughtful, informative presentations.

If you were unable to attend, you can view recordings of three of the presentations here.

Stellar Hands-on Workshops

To enrich our 2022 OSU Extension Service Master Gardener training, we ventured into the garden and offered 36 hands-on workshops for Master Gardener trainees. Nineteen garden-focused topics were presented that ranged from ‘Insect Identification’ to ‘Gardening for Wildlife’. 

The workshops were made possible all thanks to a team of experienced Master Gardener volunteers who developed and delivered the engaging hands-on instruction. 388 class slots were filled. Participants shared their appreciation for the hands-on opportunity, “The instructors were top-notch”, “I loved being in the garden, seeing plant pests and diseases up-close”.

A special shout-out of gratitude to Susan Albright, Sherry Sheng, and Corinne Thomas-Kersting for their time and efforts coordinating and guiding the development of the Hands-on Workshop curriculum in their county’s.

These science-based workshops support our Master Gardener training cohort members in serving as effective community educators.

Hearty thanks to these metro area OSU Master Gardeners who volunteered their time to plan and deliver 36 fantastic hands-on learning opportunities…

Louise Adams

Karen Anderson

Marlene Andrejco

Susan Barnett

Rich Becker

Fran Beebe

Marie Blacklidge

Cheryl Borden

Dennis Brown

Cheryl Brock

Eric Butler

Sally Campbell

Jane Collier

Mike Collins

Al Didier

Helen Dorbolo

Laura Eyer

Marilyn Frankel

Eve Freeman

Linda Goldser

Claudia Groth

Linda Haas

Lisa Hansen

Jen Hazen

Carole Hardy

Mary Hewitt

Larina Hoffbeck

Sherry Holley

Will Hughes

John Jordan

Sue Karstad

Steve Kister

Kathy Krentz

Kasey Marks

Barbara McCanne

Martha Mealy

Libby Merwin

Nancy Muir

Tamara Newton-Baker

Heidi Nichols

Peg O’Rourke

Kirk Peterson

Bette Pierce

Leah Puhlman

Priscilla Robinson

Eddie Rosen

Sue Ryburn

Barb Seekins

Jack Shorr

Linda Souba

Iliana Tovar

Shirley Wolcott

Youth Garden Education Volunteer Opportunity

Child's hands cupped with a butterfly sitting in the hands.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Do you enjoy teaching garden-focused classes to youth? Do you have interest in going into school classrooms and/or school gardens to teach, fun, engaging garden concepts? We are looking for a team of Master Gardener volunteers interested in school outreach.

Every year we receive multiple requests for Master Gardeners to teach at area schools and with these requests we have realized the need to have prepared ‘garden education kits’ which Master Gardener volunteers can easily take into classrooms and school gardens to deliver focused and engaging garden education curriculum.

In anticipation of school requests in the coming year, we are seeking Master Gardeners interested in participating in teaching youth. Master Gardeners would teach alongside a fellow MG volunteer. In advance of signing up to teach a specific class there will be an orientation to familiarize all volunteers with the ‘garden kit’ curriculum, along with completion of a criminal history check which is required by OSU for volunteers teaching youth.

A small yet mighty committee of metro area Master Gardeners have developed seven ‘garden education kits’ to launch this project. 

The topics include:

  • Calling All Pollinators
  • Invertebrates/Vertebrates In the Garden
  • Some Insects are Heroes
  • What Makes an Insect an Insect
  • Wonderful Worms

Each kit includes learning objectives and an outline for delivering the class, including activities, and supplies. Volunteer time designated as ‘Program’ hours.

If you are interested in serving as a garden educator, alongside another metro area Master Gardener at area schools, please contact Marcia McIntyre.

Sincere thanks to the Education Outreach committee for developing these engaging and valuable lesson plans: Cheryl Borden, Cheryl Brock, Jane Collier, Larina Hoffbeck, Jack Lazareck, Corinne Thomas-Kersting, and Hope Preston.

New! Valuable Pest Management Resource

After several years of extensive planning, collaboration, and fine-tuned development, a user-friendly, science-based, online resource to help urban and rural communities to solve pest problems is now a reality!  In partnership with OSU and Oregon stakeholders, Solve Pest Problems launched this fall with 50+ web pages focused on high-priority pests, pesticide safety, and pesticide risk reduction methods.

The project led by the vision of our very own metro area OSU Master Gardener Program manager, Weston Miller, prioritizes low-risk pest management approaches. The content focuses on topics to help Oregonians and anyone in the Pacific Northwest solve common pest problems. 

Solve Pest Problems has hundreds of high-quality color photos to correctly identify pests, along with practical prevention and control methods. With it’s science-based solutions it will serve as an invaluable resource for Master Gardeners guiding and supporting Oregon gardeners in successful and sustainable gardening practices.

Be sure to explore the site to discover more about this useful resource. If you missed Weston’s Fall Recertification presentation highlighting details about Solve Pest Problems, you can view the recording.

OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program News

Plant foliage surrounding colorful patchwork quilt, framed with the words 'You belong'.

Read the latest state-wide Master Gardener Program updates on the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program News blog. November updates share how diversity, equity and inclusion work is going for the Master Gardener Program and how we are growing who we are, who we serve and steps to creating a community where everyone belongs. Read all the details here.

Winter Master Gardener Trivia

Master Gardener Trivia continues into the New Year in January and February. Open to Master Gardeners throughout Oregon, join-in for an evening of multiple-choice trivia, online. With 50 questions per session, learn about timely gardening topics, have fun, and earn valuable prizes.

Our metro area Master Gardeners fared well this fall with 2 prize winners! Congrats Megan and Rhonda!

Each session qualifies for one-hour Master Gardener Continuing Education credit.

How it works

Register below for each night you plan to play. Then the night of the event, join via Zoom, and play along via the trivia app “Slido” on your phone or computer. Instructions will be sent upon registration.

Valuable prizes each session!

1st place: $100 gift certificate*

2nd place: $50 gift certificate*

3rd place $25 gift certificate

*Gift certificates to mail-order garden companies in the PNW such as Territorial Seed Company, Conifer Kingdom, Heirloom Roses, Noname Nursery, etc. Winners will receive gift certificates approximately one week after each event.

Register at the following links

Oregon Season Trackers

Master Gardeners, are you interested in honing your observation skills to be a part of an important community science network? Join in to learn about Oregon Season Tracker, an Oregon State University Extension program. Volunteer observers across the state contribute to a network of data collection on precipitation and plant phenology by monitoring rain gauges and observing native plants in their backyards, farms, woodlands, and schools.  

Earn volunteer service hours while supporting this valuable program and learning more about your local environment.  Register for one of two upcoming informational webinars to learn more.

Autumn oak leaves, yellow, green, golden.
Photo: Timothy Eberly, Unsplash

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

– Emily Brontë

Tis the Season for Master Gardener Annual Reporting

Autumn marks the season for annual reporting of volunteer service and continuing education hours for metro area OSU Master Gardeners. All current, certified, metro area Master Gardener volunteers received an email from Marcia McIntyre in September with a survey link to report their hours.

Note: for 2022 the 20-hour volunteer service requirement was waived.  10-hours of designated continuing education hours are required for Perennial Master Gardeners in 2022.

2020 and 2022 cohort members have an additional year to complete their Master Gardener training requirement of 40 hours of volunteer service but please take the time to respond to the survey.

A big shout out of thanks to all who have submitted your hours by answering the survey and uploading your log sheets.  We love seeing where you are serving in the community.

For those who have yet to respond to the survey, please respond, so that you will be kept on the active, certified Master Gardener role. We have extended the deadline to October 31, 2022

In addition to this survey, we sent, via email, the annual Conditions of Volunteer Service document and a Standards of Youth Safety document.  To make the process quick and easy, the documents were sent 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, 2022.

Time remains to fulfill continuing education requirement

Annually 10-hours of designated continuing education hours are required for Perennial Master Gardeners to maintain certified status.  For 2022, we have extended the deadline for fulfilling and reporting the required 10-hours of continuing education until October 31, 2022.

There is a great variety of designated continuing education opportunities to enrich and support you in your role as a garden educator.  Opportunities include webinar recordings that can be accessed from the comfort of your home!  So put your favorite streaming service aside and start binge watching some great designated, garden education presentations.

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.

Video of orange dahlia blooming. From a closed tight bud to full bloom.

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.

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 Noon-time Chats, whether in-person, webinar or recording of a past webinar. 

Look for continuing education designation of two asterisks **, indicating if a Speaker/Lecture Series recording counts as continuing education.

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.

Fall Recertification Returns!

Our annual ‘Fall Recertification’ returns this November 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 for 2023. 

An invitation to register for the ‘Fall Recertification’ webinars of your choice will be sent out later in October.

Save the dates.

Wednesday, November 2, 6:30pm
                            Solve Pest Problems
with Weston Miller, metro area OSU Master Gardener Program manager

Thursday, November 3, 6:30pm
                            Introduction to Food Sovereignty
with Cecile Evans, 2020 Master Gardener cohort

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm
                           Emerald Ash Borer: ID the Pest, Signs, and Symptoms
with Alex Gorman, OSU Extension Service, Forestry & Natural Resources

Thursday, November 10, 6:30pm
                             Native Plants for Gardens and Pollinators
with Dr. Gail Langellotto, Oregon Master Gardener Program Manager

Master Gardener Trivia

Open to Master Gardeners throughout Oregon this fall and winter, join us once a month for an evening of multiple-choice trivia, all online. With 50 questions per session, learn about timely gardening topics, have fun, and earn valuable prizes.

Each session is good for one-hour Continuing Education Credit in the Master Gardener program.

How it works

Register below for each night you plan to play. Then the night of the event, join via Zoom, and play along via the trivia app “Slido” on your phone or computer. Instructions will be sent upon registration.

There are prizes

  • Valuable prizes each session!
  • 1st place: $100 gift certificate*
  • 2nd place: $50 gift certificate*
  • 3rd place $25 gift certificate

*Gift certificates to mail-order garden companies in the PNW such as Territorial Seed Company, Conifer Kingdom, Heirloom Roses, Noname Nursery, etc. Winners will receive gift certificates approximately one week after each event.

The whole schedule (separate registration for each):

Questions? Contact Nicole Sanchez at nicole.sanchez@oregonstate.edu 

Metro-area Master Gardeners Recognized for Their Service

Each year the three metro area county associations nominate and designate members for special recognition, through an Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA) nomination.

We enthusiastically congratulate and extend our sincere gratitude to the following individuals who are being recognized for their extensive contributions as an OSU Master Gardener volunteer! 

Sherry Sheng – OSU Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year!

Image of Sherry Sheng
Sherry Sheng, OSU Behind-the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

We are excited to share that Sherry Sheng has been recognized as the 2022 OSU Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year!  Sherry’s deep commitment to providing quality education to all those interested in gardening is evident in her thousands of hours of volunteer service (logging over 7,500 hours the past 17 years).  Sherry has led the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s, highly successful, 10-Minute University Program for 12 years. With the onset of the pandemic, Sherry realized a deep public need and led the launch of a noontime chat webinar series that engaged over 7,000 viewers from around the world.  Sherry is a generous supporter and champion of the OSU Master Gardener Program. We are extremely grateful to Sherry for her many years of generous leadership and service!  We extend hearty congratulations to Sherry for this well-deserved recognition!

Clackamas County Master Gardener Association

Clackamas County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Sharon Andrews
Sharon Andrews, CCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

If you know about the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s (CCMGA) events and community education opportunities, it is most likely due to the dedicated efforts of Sharon Andrews. Sharon became a Master Gardener in 2009 and since then she has communicated gardening knowledge and information throughout the Clackamas chapter, the local community and across the country. Her skills in social media, print media, web development and event promotion have helped elevate the CCMGA, including the iconic Spring Garden Fair. She also serves as an OSU Master Gardener educator at the Pioneer Gardens at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association

Multonomah County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Dennis Brown, seated, holding a bucket of fava beans on an outdoor patio.
Dennis Brown, MCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

Dennis Brown is a dedicated Master Gardener who clearly understands the mission and values of the Master Gardener program by educating and inspiring both Master Gardeners and the public. Dennis has initiated innovative partnerships with community organizations developing garden curriculum for under-served communities. Most recently Dennis has been working with individuals experiencing houselessness at the Bybee Lake Hope Center. Dennis makes dozens of gardening presentations annually to community groups and libraries including city of Portland Fix-it Fair, and both the metro area OSU Master Gardener program, and the statewide Growing Oregon Gardeners webinar series.

Multnomah County Behind the Scenes

Image of Cheryl Brock.
Cheryl Brock, MCMGA Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

The challenges and the constraints of the pandemic did not deter Cheryl Brock, who created, developed and implemented a successful educational outreach with the Garden Grow Kit project. The project provided garlic and/or seeds to gardeners and included research-based information and resources to support their success. The project was funded with a Garden Education Grant from the MCMGA. Garden kits were distributed to community gardens with the goal of reaching diverse and under-served community members. In her four years as a Master Gardener, Cheryl is keenly focused on educating others with solid garden guidance.

Washington County Master Gardener Association

Washington County Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Pat Simmons
Pat Simmons, WCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

Pat Simmons views change as an opportunity, not a roadblock. Through her leadership, a new model for education and fundraising successfully developed and launched  for the Washington County Master Gardener Association (WCMGA). Gardenfest! was not only financially successful and well attended, but also engaged 75% of the WCMGA membership. Pat has secured grants and donations, established online sales platforms and assisted in rewriting chapter bylaws and strategic planning. In addition, she established the plant propagation team and served on the board and as OMGA alternative representative.

Washington County Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

Image of Shirley Wolcott
Shirley Wolcott,
WCMGA Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

During Shirley Wolcott’s five years as an OSU Master Gardener, she has served on the WCMGA board, established a monthly recognition program and welcome program for volunteers, and helped survey new members for their skills and interests. She has helped research questions asked by the public to be used as a teaching aid for members. She leads the plant propagation committee and taught Seed to Supper for two years.

Oregon Master Gardener Association News

Image of sunflowers against blue sky with 'The Gardener's Pen' title in foreground.

The Oregon Master Gardener Association’s (OMGA’s) fall issue of the ‘Gardener’s Pen’ newsletter is posted for your reading pleasure. Check out the important updates on the OMGA’s advocacy for improving funding for the Master Gardener Program. https://omga.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Fall2022GardenersPen.pdf

Check out past issues of the Gardener’s Pen HERE.

As an OSU Master Gardener volunteer do you receive questions about damp or soggy landscaped areas? Do you have inquiries about resources for how to convert a lawn space with native plantings?

The Stormwater Stars program focus is to help provide tools and build confidence for people to work on their own landscape spaces to improve watershed health, enhance habitat and reduce the need for harmful lawn and garden chemicals. The basic practices we work with include lawn replacement, depaving, amending soil, porous pathways, contained planters and planting native plants. We host hands on installation workshops in the Fall and Spring to demonstrate these practices on private residential properties, at businesses, or community spaces. We also provide free site visits to homeowners and property representatives to help provide guidance for landscape improvements for watershed health.

Sign up for our Workshops:

People planting plants in open garden bed.

Sign-ups for our free workshops happen through the website. At the workshops we spend a little time introducing what we will be doing that day, and the bulk of the time is spent with our gloves on making the improvements to the site. Every workshop is different and throughout the season we do our best to provide opportunities to learn a variety of different landscaping practices on different size projects.

Sign-ups for our Fall Workshops have begun on our website:


Currently we have one workshop scheduled on November 13 from 1:00 pm – 3 pm in the Crestwood neighborhood of SW Portland.  We will be reviewing how to remove grass and working to replace it with a beautiful landscape using Willamette Valley Native Plants.

What about hosting?

Garden bed with plants, including blooming lupine, plus a mailbox with signs posted on the side: Stormwater Stars, Certified Backyard Habitat, and Pesticide Free Zone.

We are still looking for Fall Workshop locations as well as locations for the Spring and beyond.

Our workshops are open to everyone however workshops are located within the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District service area. The program was started in 2014 and initially focused on locations in SW Portland. We have since expanded the area that we serve and are actively looking to hold more workshops in NW Multnomah County.

For those interested in hosting a workshop, we will come look at spaces in their yard that might be a good fit and what practices could be demonstrated. Our workshop areas are typically about 600 square feet in area, but can vary depending on what the site needs. Workshop projects must be visible to the public, typically in front or side yards. Together we will decide if your space would be a good location to bring in volunteers where we can create and learn together. If your site is selected for a workshop we will work together to make a plan. Each site varies in terms of what is needed, and we provide assistance with design, plant selection, compost and native plants.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact the Stormwater Programs Specialist Rachel Dvorsky with questions or to set up a site visit at hello@stormwaterstars.org. You can also find more information about our program, practices, as well as past projects on our website at www.stormwaterstars.org

We look forward to seeing you at a future workshop!

Stormwater Stars is a program delivered by Neighbors West Northwest and the Westside Watershed Resource Center, in partnership with and funded by generous contributions from West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Service Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

Pile of hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts. Photo: Oregon State University

Listen to the article: Hazelnut Industry’s partnership with OSU Foundation Produces Long-term Benefits.(Capitalpress.com) https://bit.ly/3Q01MyH

Water Woes. (Jim Downer, gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3cKdK0M

Saving Your Trees from Drought! (Jim Downer, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3zh9WMq

Less than 1% of Mosquito species spread human disease. (Entomologytoday.org) https://bit.ly/3OxFxPf

FYI Orchid aficionados:  Federally threatened Orchid found in Vermont. (Vermont Fish & Wildlife)https://bit.ly/3BlUgKi

How Stressed-out plants produce their own aspirin. (Jules Berstein, U of CA Riverside) https://bit.ly/3PYLMgo

Watch the video: Fungus That Makes Male Flies Mate with Infected Corpses Somehow Worse Than We Thought. (James Felton, iflscience.com) https://bit.ly/3vedcqs

Barf! An ode to the fascinating life of slime mold. (John Porter, Gardenprofessors.com) https://bit.ly/3J5HH7T

Artificial photosynthesis can produce food without sunshine.Scientists are developing artificial photosynthesis to help make food production more energy-efficient here on Earth, and one day possibly on Mars.” (Holly Ober, U of CA Riverside) https://bit.ly/3S4HtSf

Red tomato hanging from vine
Tomatoes. Photo: Chris Branam, Oregon State University

Vegetables: Disease resource color photo guide.  PDF’s of various diseases with great color photos of Crucifers, Cucurbits, Onions, Peppers and Eggplant, and tomatoes.  It is a commercial diagnostic site: any chemical controls must come from OSU recommendations. (Bayer.com) https://bit.ly/3J6jRZF