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.


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 Noon-time Chats, whether in-person, webinar or recording of a past webinar.  Look for designation with listings of association Speaker/Lecture Series.

Find many of the association Speaker/Lecture Series recordings and a couple of 10-Minute University Noon-time Chat recordings HERE. Look for those presentations designated for continuing garden education with the double asterisk before the title of the presentation (**).

Metro area Master Gardener 2020 webinar series – if you missed any of the metro area MG Program’s 2020 webinar series watch the recordings for 1-hour continuing education credit

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

Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring? 

Neltje Blanchan


Favorite Master Gardener Activities Resume

2 Master Gardeners helping a client. One Master Gardener pointing to page in brochure.

We are excited to be resuming favorite Master Gardener volunteer opportunities in the next few months.  Please look for announcements in the coming weeks and months as we resume our in-person helplines, Farmers Markets and Master Gardener tabling at community events. We will send out notification when these events are open for registration.



Master Gardener Helplines to Open

Three people in office, with thumbs up

We are happy to announce we are opening the metro area Master Gardener office helplines in the coming months.  The resumption will be staggered across the 3 counties, as we train volunteers to use our new online helpline system.

The online helpline system is the same system we have been using to serve the public remotely the past two years.

An orientation on the new helpline system is a prerequisite to volunteering in the office. Look for upcoming announcements to register for an orientation.


Update Your CERVIS Profile

Sign-up for upcoming volunteer shifts at Farmers Markets, Helplines, and 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 mailing address and phone numbers.


Welcome 2022 Cohort

Five people holding up their soil covered hands, palms up.
MG trainees at Soils Workshop, with Master Gardener instructor Claudia Groth

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our 140 trainees from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

We are excited to have you join our program of committed garden educators. Your online training is winding down, and soon you will be out in the community actively practicing and sharing your newfound knowledge

Possibilities will abound with a wide range of volunteer opportunities. We hope you will dig in, have fun, and share your passion for gardening with fellow MGs and the gardening public.  This is an opportunity to further your garden education and  gain confidence in teaching others how to sustainably and successfully garden.

A big shout out of thanks to all the Master Gardener associations and volunteers who have developed and are leading the instruction of hands-on workshops to the trainees. You have created a stellar line-up of educational offerings to support trainees in their journey to serve the community as garden educators!

Perennial Master Gardeners, as you start volunteering in-person this spring and summer, be sure to extend a warm welcome to both our 2020 and 2022 Cohort members as you meet them at events.


Education/Demonstration Gardens

Person kneeling near planting bed, planting seeds

Currently our supporting Master Gardener associations are a great place if you are aching to get your hands in the soil and spend time with your fellow Master Gardeners.

Be sure to visit all of our supporting Master Gardener association webpages for details about their education/demonstration gardens.

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



Get Ready!  It’s Plant Sale Season!

Person leaning over planter of flowers. Person looking over the shoulder of the person leaning over the planter.

Spring is in the air, along with an excited buzz as our supporting associations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties resume fundraising activities this spring.

Two favorite plant sales are back! 

The iconic Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s Spring Garden Fair kicks off at the Clackamas County Fair Grounds and Event Center, April 30 and May 1.

The Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s Incredible Edibles Plant Sale, a celebration of growing your own food, resumes on Saturday, May 7th, in NE Portland, (NE 16th and Hancock Street).

You will also find a wide array of great gardening tools and books at the Washington County Master Gardener Association’s ‘Gifts for Gardeners’ booth at both the Spring Garden Fair and the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.

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



Weston Shares Gardening Guidance

Your OSU Community Horticulturist and Master Gardener instructor, Weston Miller, has had several appearances on local and national radio programs, sharing a wealth of guidance and insight for gardeners. Take a listen…

National Public Radio, Science Friday: Weston was the guest expert to field questions from across the nation.

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Think Out Loud: discussion about climate change affecting home gardens.  

Jefferson Public Radio, The Jefferson Exchange, Weston discusses changes in where plants are grown and how well.


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series

The Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series offers Master Gardener continuing education opportunities (1 hour), focusing on an array of subjects. Whether you want to learn better irrigation techniques, understand if clearing leaves in the fall is really good for garden insects or not, or if you get excited for all things roses, there’s a webinar for you!

Can’t make a date or missed a webinar.  Don’t despair!  Recordings are made available for all webinars following the live broadcast.

This year’s schedule: 

Presenters for this year’s schedule include OSU faculty, as well as national research experts, authors and industry leaders. View the website for full descriptions of the 2022 workshops and presenters.  

The closed-captioned webinars are broadcast via Zoom and streamed via our Facebook page the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, February through November 2022. This series is open to the public and OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class. All webinars are recorded and will be available to view on our website within two weeks of airdate. 

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series is produced by a team of horticultural faculty and staff of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program. The series launched in 2021, engaging thousands of gardeners live, online and through recordings on the OSU Extension website. The program received the 2021 Oregon State University Extension Association (OSUEA) Search for Excellence award.  






Crocus in bloom with dew drops

“A light exists in spring, not present in the year, at any other period, when March is scarcely here.”

-Emily Dickinson

Springing back to in-person volunteer service!

With spring quickly approaching we are incredibly excited to be able to start a gradual resumption of our in person, Master Gardener volunteer activities. Please look for announcements in the coming months as we resume our in-person helplines, Speaker’s Guild and Master Gardener tabling at community events.

In addition, if you are aching to get your hands in the soil and spend time with your fellow Master Gardeners, be sure to visit all of our supporting Master Gardener association webpages for details about their education/demonstration gardens.


Welcome to 2022 Cohort

Last month, with eager anticipation and excitement, we launched our 2022 OSU Master Gardener training Cohort for the metro area. We are pleased to welcome 140 trainees from Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. This year the training is a combination of online modules and remote webinar ‘Q and A’ sessions. In addition, trainees have the opportunity to participate in hands-on training workshops. A big shout out of thanks to all the Master Gardener associations and volunteers who have developed and are leading the instruction of these workshops to the new Master Gardener trainees. You have created a stellar line-up of educational offerings to support trainees in their journey to serve the community as garden educators!

Perennial Master Gardeners, as you start volunteering in-person this spring and summer, be sure to extend a warm welcome to both our 2020 and 2022 Cohort members as you meet them at events.


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series Launches for 2022

The Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series offers Master Gardener continuing education opportunities (1 hour), focusing on an array of subjects. Whether you want to learn better irrigation techniques, understand if clearing leaves in the fall is really good for garden insects or not, or if you get excited for all things roses, there’s a webinar for you!



This year’s schedule: 

Presenters for this year’s schedule include OSU faculty, as well as national research experts, authors and industry leaders. View the website for full descriptions of the 2022 workshops and presenters.  

The closed-captioned webinars are broadcast via Zoom and streamed via our Facebook page the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, February through November 2022. This series is open to the public and OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class. All webinars are recorded and will be available to view on our website within two weeks of airdate. 

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series is produced by a team of horticultural faculty and staff of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program. The series launched in 2021, engaging thousands of gardeners live, online and through recordings on the OSU Extension website. The program received the 2021 Oregon State University Extension Association (OSUEA) Search for Excellence award.  


March is Women’s History Month: A message from fellow Master Gardener, Celina Ratliff.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, metro area OSU Master Gardener and state-wide OSU Master Gardener DEI Task Force member, Celina Ratliff, has compiled and shared a variety of inspiring, informative resources highlighting gardening and landscape accomplishments of women. See her letter to fellow Master Gardeners and her list of recommendations in the most recent OSU Extension Master Gardener News blog.


Frost covered buds on branch of a tree or shrub.

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.”

William Cullen Bryant


OSU Master Gardeners Impact Our Communities

Last month we highlighted the steadfast commitment of metro area Master Gardeners to serve the community and build their knowledge and skills as we navigated through another year of challenges.  

Now read those highlights in the 2021 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report, and see the resolute spirit the OSU Master Gardener Program has throughout the state, to grow knowledge and grow reach, all in the midst of challenging times.

2022 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series Launches for 2022

Sunflower behind promotional text for Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series. With OSU Extension Service logo.

It’s a new year and a new slate of free online learning webinars with Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series. Whether you want to learn better irrigation techniques, understand if clearing leaves in the fall is really good for garden insects or not, or if you get excited for all things roses, there’s a class for you!


Metro area Master Gardener, Dennis Brown, kicks off the series on Tuesday, February 8, 12noon
Presenting: ‘The Science and Practice of Seed Starting: Secrets to success when growing by seed’


This year’s schedule: 

Presenters for this year’s schedule include OSU faculty, as well as national research experts, authors and industry leaders. View the website for full descriptions of the 2022 workshops and presenters.  

The closed-captioned webinars are broadcast via Zoom and streamed via our Facebook page the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, February through November 2022. This series is open to the public and OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive 1 Continuing Education Credit for each class. All webinars are recorded and will be available to view on our website within two weeks of airdate. 

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series is produced by a team of horticultural faculty and staff of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program. The series launched in 2021, engaging thousands of gardeners live, online and through recordings on the OSU Extension website. The program received the 2021 Oregon State University Extension Association (OSUEA) Search for Excellence award.  


OSU Master Gardener Program’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Task Force

Screen shot of 32 faces participating in JEDI task force webinar meeting.

The first cohort of the statewide OSU Master Gardener Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Task Force was launched last year.  The Task Force includes over two dozen Master Gardener volunteers from around the state and seven Master Gardener program staff and faculty.  

Read about the professional training and work of the Task Force Group in the 2022 OSU Master Gardener Impact Report  which includes testimonials from Task Force Members.


Applications Being Accepted for 2022 JEDI Task Force Members

Excerpt from the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program News

Applications for the second cohort of Master Gardener JEDI Task Force Members are now being accepted. Click here to submit your application. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2022. We are specifically seeking applications from Master Gardener volunteers, across the state of Oregon, who are

  1. committed to advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity with in the Master Gardener program.
  2. wanting to deepen their own understanding of inequities, historical racism, and colonialism within horticulture, Land Grant Institutions, and Oregon.
  3. able to make a 12 month commitment (April 2022 – March 2023), of 4-6 hours per month, for Task Force work.
  4. willing to be a bridge between the Task Force, and their local Master Gardener group, to ensure that the work that we do on the Task Force is brought back to county Master Gardener Programs.

JEDI stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity. Sometimes, we call ourselves the DEI Task Force. Sometimes, we call ourselves the JEDI Task Force, because frankly, the word ‘JEDI’ is both more representative of what we are trying to do, and is also more fun to say.

You can learn a bit more about the aims and structure of the JEDI Task Force, by visiting this post, from May 2021. Service on the Task Force can be counted towards your volunteer service requirement or recertification requirement.’


Hands holding another pair of hands which are cupping a small plant surrounded by soil.

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. […] You only need a heart full of grace.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


New Year’s Greetings and Gratitude

With another year of challenges in our rear-view mirror, we extend our utmost gratitude for the on-going support and service of metro area OSU Master Gardeners.  You have remained strong in your commitment to serving your community and expanding and strengthening your knowledge through continuing garden education. 

In 2021, metro area Master Gardeners took part in over 3,000 hours of continuing garden education opportunities.  With Oregonian’s steady demand for gardening guidance, metro area Master Gardeners answered nearly 6,000 questions via our remote helpline, virtual community events and OSU’s ‘Ask Extension’.  Once again, you dug deep into your community and home gardens, and our supporting county association gardens, by growing and donating nearly 12,200 lbs. of produce to area food pantries.  Despite the challenges of 2021, metro area Master Gardeners volunteered over 15,000 hours in service to your community!  Kudos to one and all! 

2022 Master Gardener Training
We are entering the coming year with excitement as we get ready to welcome a new Master Gardener training class. Our 2022 Master Gardener training will be a combination of online modules, webinars and outdoor hands-on workshops. Training will commence mid-February. Look to meet and welcome new trainees at Master Gardener events in the spring and summer of 2022.

OSU Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Events

Movie and Discussion: The Ants and the Grasshopper, and a climate change discussion for gardeners with Vivek Shandas

Gardeners in Oregon saw what climate change looks like last summer: widespread leaf scorch and leaf drop from trees, bees at risk from heat stress, and plants succumbing to a record-breaking “heat dome”. Dr. Vivek Shandas saw it too, and on the hottest day of the year he set out with his son to measure air and ground temperatures in some of Portland’s most vulnerable communities. His research on climate adaptation and climate justice shows that how people fare during extreme heatwaves is in large part dictated by where they live. Halfway around the globe, Anita Chitaya lives with climate change in Malawai, as a farmer and community activist. She traveled to America to speak with farmers, growers, community organizers, and politicians about climate change and how we can work together to reduce its rapid trajectory. 

Join the OSU Master Gardener Program for the 40th anniversary of OSU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  Gather virtually to reflect upon environmental justice as a component to achieving social justice.  We will watch the documentary that chronicles Anita Chitaya’s story, “The Ants and the Grasshopper”. Afterward, stay for a live discussion with Dr. Vivek Shandas about climate change effects on vulnerable communities, the intersection of climate change and social justice, and what role gardeners can play to promote healthier living environments for all.


‘The Ants and the Grasshopper’ Film Screening and Post Film Discussion
When: Monday, January 17, 2022, 6pm movie, 7:15 pm discussion
Where: Online, via Kinema


About the movie, The Ants and the Grasshopper : How do you change someone’s mind about the most important thing in the world? Anita Chitaya has a gift: she can change farmers’ minds about what to grow, she can change what people love to eat, and she can even persuade men to fight for gender equality. Now, to save her home in Malawi from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real.

About Dr. Vivek Shandas: Vivek Shandas is a Professor in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. His work focuses on developing strategies for addressing the implications of climate change on cities. His teaching and research examine the intersection of exposure to climate-induced events, governance processes, and planning mechanisms. As the Founder and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) laboratory at PSU, he brings a policy-relevant approach to research, including the evaluation of environmental stressors on human health, developing of indicators and tools to improve decision making, and the construction of frameworks to guide the growth of urban regions. Over the past several years, research from the SUPR Lab has appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Minnesota Public Broadcasting, NY Times, Qatar Times, and several other national and international media.

About this event: The OSU Extension Master Gardener program is sponsoring this event as one small part of OSU’s 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration. This event is open to all gardeners, including Master Gardener volunteers, and is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and our programmatic commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as climate change. 

How to access this event: Tickets are free but require registration. Once you register at Kinema 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.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – Ways to Serve from Home

  • In 2022, commit to exploring how gardeners can align to combat climate change. Here are some practical ideas for steps gardeners can take, from OSU horticulturist Brooke Edmunds
  • Commit to learning how those most vulnerable to climate change intersect with that reality, and the need for environmental justice. Determine what role you can take to elevate and support the voices of impacted communities.
  • Support our OSU Extension Food Hero and Grow This! program, by signing up to provide guidance and advice to participants of the Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge. Find details in our December newsletter.
  • Make seed tape or mason bee houses to donate to your local community garden or school garden. Scroll down in this newsletter to see the ‘How do I create seed tape’ video from fellow Master Gardener, Dennis Brown
  • Make your vegetable garden plan to include growing fresh veggies and herbs for donation to your local food pantry
  • If your Master Gardener Association hosts an annual plant sale, include plant donations to local organizations who support under-served community members. Donate garden tools and seeds to organizations who support a community garden or support gardeners in under-served communities.

Metro area Master Gardener Recognized for Service

OSU Master Gardener, Rhonda Frick-Wright

Last month, at OSU staff’s annual Extension Service Conference, metro area Master Gardener, Rhonda Frick-Wright was presented with the OSU Extension Association ‘Ask Extension’ Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her service answering questions via Ask Extension.  Sandy Reichhuber, OSU Extension co-coordinator for Ask Extension, presented the award and stated “Not only does Rhonda know what she is talking about, she answers questions in a graceful easy-to-understand and knowledgeable way.”

Of course, we in the metro area Master Gardener program know Rhonda as a valued, generous volunteer and we are delighted that Rhonda was given a celebratory shout-out for her service educating Oregonians.

Congratulations and utmost thanks Rhonda for your committed service!


Pre-order OSU Master Gardener’s New Book

In our December Newsletter we shared the exciting news…fellow OSU Master Gardener, Elizabeth Price, has written a book ‘Native and Ornamental Conifers of the Pacific NW’ that OSU Press will be publishing in the spring of 2022. 

More good news! You can now pre-order Elizabeth’s book!  Use Promo Code SP22 when you order online, for 20% off and free shipping (offer expires May 15, 2022). 

The book is an outcome of the outstanding conifer ID workshops  Elizabeth has led over the past 10 years for the metro area MG Study Group. It will serve as such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of conifers in the Pacific NW. 


Master Gardener holding up seed tape

New Year – Garden Plans – DIY Projects

As we embrace winter, our thoughts move towards gardening plans and ‘hope of spring’. If this year’s gardening plans include starting your own plants by seed, here are some great DIY project videos presented by fellow OSU Master Gardener, Dennis Brown.

How Do I Create Seed Tape?

How Do I Make Pots to Start Seeds?

How Do I Create a Set-up for Garden Transplants?

Rose bud and leaves covered with light frost.

Winter garden
the moon thinned to a thread,
   insects singing
.

~Matsuo Bashō


Year closes with hearty gratitude!

As winter approaches and the year comes to a close, we extend our hearty gratitude to all our metro area OSU Extension Service Master Gardener volunteers, for your commitment to serving our communities as garden educators. In the midst of such challenging times, you have continued to serve by guiding and educating neighbors in sustainable gardening practices, answering gardening questions online, serving on the state-wide, metro area and/or county association’s diversity, equity and inclusion advisory groups, growing thousands of pounds of produce for donation to area food banks, providing community members with seed kits, creating and building educational signage, kiosks and compost bins, plus reaching thousands of Oregonians remotely through educational webinars.  Kudos to one and all!

Our gratitude extends further…

Thank you Catalina and Jenifer!

We are truly grateful to OSU Extension Office Specialists Catalina Santamaria and Jenifer Halter for their valuable support to our metro area Master Gardener Program. 

As many of you are aware, Jenifer has been supporting Master Gardeners since she joined the Washington County Extension office five years ago.  We are delighted that since this fall, Jenifer is also providing administrative assistance to the metro MG program.

Catalina and Jenifer provide attentive service to both clients and Master Gardeners and take care of so many vital behind-the-scenes details for our MG program.  We are fortunate to have both as part of our metro MG team and extend our utmost thanks for all they do!


2022 Master Gardener Training Applications Being Accepted

Become a Master Gardener promotional graphic.

We are busy making preparations and eagerly looking forward to our 2022 metro area OSU Master Gardener Training. State-wide the Master Gardener Program has updated and redesigned how we deliver the program.  It is reflective of the community’s needs for flexible learning and volunteer opportunities to serve as a garden educator. Training will be a hybrid format with online courses and hands-on outdoor workshops in the garden!

Applications are now being accepted!  If you know anyone who loves learning about gardening and has a desire to share their knowledge with the community as a garden educator, please direct them to our ‘Become a Master Gardener’ webpage to apply.  Applications are being accepted through December 31, 2021.


Sign up to be a Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge Champion in 2022

Love to grow veggies? Master Gardener volunteers are needed to provide advice for participants of the Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge.

The details of the Grow This! Champion program:

  1. Must be a current Oregon Master Gardener volunteer (or a Master Gardener representing a county demonstration/educational garden).
  2. Sign up today (as of 1/10/2022 applications are still being accepted). When signing-up indicate that you are a Master Gardener when asked about your gardening experience.
  3. You will be mailed 5 seed packets free of charge (cilantro, green onions, kale, mesclun lettuce mix, zinnias) to plant in your garden.
  4. Must agree to give feedback on your growing process and results at least once—but as often as you want—during the Challenge. Feedback could include suggestions, comments, challenges and solutions, stories, photos, drawings or videos that we can share with others (with or without your name). You will receive an invitation to join our private discussion group—just for Master Gardeners—which will have monthly prompts and requests for your feedback.
  5. Report your active time spent on this project as Master Gardener volunteer hours (report as ‘community science’).

Hope you are able to join in!

Questions? please reach out to Brooke Edmunds, OSU Extension, brooke.edmunds@oregonstate.edu


Metro area Master Gardeners Awarded Director’s Coins

OSU Extension Director, Dr. Ivory Lyles (center) with Director’s Coin Recipients, OSU Master Gardeners, Claudia Groth (left) and Sue Ryburn (right), Not pictured, OSU Master Gardener, Susan Albright

OSU Extension Service Director Dr. Ivory Lyles recently visited the Washington Co. Extension office as part of his tour around Oregon during his first 100 days. The meet and greet with Extension staff and stakeholders also included Dr. Lyles and Regional Director, Angela Sandino, awarding metro area Master Gardeners Susan Albright, Claudia Groth, and Sue Ryburn with OSU Extension Director’s Coins. The coins were presented in recognition of their valuable contributions towards the mission of OSU Extension and the Master Gardener Program.

Congratulations Claudia, Sue and Susan!  We are grateful for dedicated service and many contributions.


Susan Albright

  • For 10 years, Susan Albright has prioritized education as an OSU Master Gardener, developing quality educational resources, education-focused special events, and hands-on garden classes at the Washington County Master Gardener Association (WCMGA) gardens. She has been a key-leader in establishing and growing the educational outreach programs and educational features at the Association’s Jenkins Estate and PCC Rock Creek Gardens.  She has led the WCMGA to develop community partnerships. Susan is currently serving on the Extension Advisory Committee (ECAN) for Washington County Extension.

Claudia Groth

  • Since 1989, Claudia Groth has provided unwavering community service as an OSU Master Gardener.  She has taught innumerable classes for the metro area Master Gardener Program.  She is a sought after instructor who travels the state presenting to other county Extension programs, along with presenting engaging, research-based garden information to the community-at-large. As a leader, Claudia guides and encourages her fellow Master Gardeners and association members to support the statewide and metro Master Gardener Program, with educational outreach and financial support. Claudia is steadfast in her efforts extolling the value of the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program.

Sue Ryburn

  • As an OSU Master Gardener, for nearly 10 years, Sue Ryburn holds garden education at the forefront of her service.  Sue was instrumental in the establishment of the Washington County Master Gardener Association’s Jenkins Estate Learning Garden and the Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek. Sue has created and delivered stellar educational presentations on a range of gardening topics through the association’s “In the Garden Series.”  Sue consistently looks beyond the boundaries of the association to establish valuable community partnerships, with like-missioned organizations.

OSU Master Gardener’s Book, Going to Press

We are delighted to share exciting news!  Fellow OSU Master Gardener, Elizabeth Price, has written a book ‘Native and Ornamental Conifers of the Pacific NW’ that OSU Press will be publishing in the spring of 2022. 

The book is organized around jargon-free charts that guide the reader to species identification. Each chart is a photographic matrix of the key features of a group of genera or species, allowing for side-by-side comparison. The charts are preceded by material on the characteristics, botany, and natural history of each group of conifers, all of which is supported by original photographs. Research across many disciplines is blended with direct observation and personal experience, creating a book that goes beyond identification and is both rigorous and engaging.

The book is an outcome of the outstanding conifer ID workshops that Elizabeth has led, over the past 10 years, for the metro area MG Study Group. It will serve as such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of conifers in the Pacific NW.  Look for the book, this coming spring, via the OSU Press Catalog


Gather

Last month, did you miss the screening and panel discussion of the film Gather?  Good news! There are still opportunities to view the film and the informative, post film, panel discussion focused on Native American resilience, plants, and the renaissance of Native food systems.

The film is available for viewing via these streaming services:

  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Netflix
  • Kanopy – If you have a public library card or are a part of a University, you most likely have access to the online streaming service Kanopy, where you can watch it for free.

A recording of the post film conversation featuring Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield, is posted on the OSU Master Gardener ‘Culture of Gardening’ website. The website hosts many stories of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture and identity.

You can access the panel discuss recording here: https://beav.es/UDE



Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series

The Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up webinar series has concluded for the year, but you still have the opportunity to view recordings of any of the 11 webinars.

The webinars are a great way for you to super charge your garden knowledge.  Each webinar is taught by horticulture experts from around the state, including our very own Weston Miller, who presents: ‘Dirt Gone Bad: When your soil amendment has been contaminated’ and ‘Adapting Your Landscape and Garden for Climate Change’.  Every webinar viewed can be counted as 1-hour of Master Gardener continuing education credit.

Look for the featured presenters and topics for the 2022 series, at the link below, in early January.

View the Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series here.


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.


Sunflowers.
Photo: Pixabay

It was a lovely afternoon—such an afternoon as only September can produce when summer has stolen back for one more day of dream and glamour.

L.M. Montgomery




The waning days of summer usually involve Master Gardeners compiling all their volunteer service hours for submission. Yet, we realize that the ongoing pandemic has brought an array of challenges to so many of our volunteers and it has also severely limited our volunteer service opportunities. Therefore, we have waived all annual volunteer service and continuing education hour requirements for Perennial Master Gardeners for 2021. We have also extended the time period for 2020 Master Gardener trainees to complete their training volunteer service requirement, until September 30, 2022.

Yet it is still important to document all hours that metro Master Gardeners were able to serve since October 1, of 2020, and the many hours of continuing education that you logged via our online offerings. We want to celebrate and share your contributions with OSU. We will be sending you a brief survey in the next week for you to submit your volunteer service and continuing education hours. You do not need to submit a log sheet. Simply answer the survey questions and click submit. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the survey and show the contributions of service made during such challenging times.


Master Gardener Photography Contest

Join in the OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Photography Contest!

OSU Extension Master Gardeners are invited to participate in a statewide photography challenge and contest.

• How can you capture in photos what you love about the Master Gardener program?
• How would you show others what you see about being a Master Gardener?

Submit your photos by September 30, to the Master Gardener photography contest!  

FUN! There are prizes for the winners!

First-place winners in each of the three categories will receive signed, autographed copies of the books Trees to Know, and Shrubs to Know, plus an OSU Foods of Oregon reusable tote.  

All second-place winners in each of the three categories will receive signed, autographed copies of the book Trees to Know, and an OSU Foods of Oregon reusable tote.  

Make sure you are taking your photos for the categories! They need to be either people, places, or program priority photos. Here are some examples: 

Gardener holding handle of a wagon which is overflowing with weeds.

Many potted plants and nursery flats of plant starts.

Landscape photo of path leading to a field of lavender, with a garden arch flanked by a white picket fence and two yellow rose plants.

You can get all of the details, including a guide to taking great photos on the program news blog here


Metro-area Master Gardeners Recognized and Thanked for Service

Each year the three metro area supporting county associations nominate and designate members for special recognition, either through an Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA) nomination or by heralding their praise and appreciation.

This year is no different and we would like to extend our hearty congratulations and thanks to the following individuals who are being recognized for their extensive contributions as OSU Master Gardeners!  Congrats and utmost gratitude to all!

Two Metro Area Master Gardeners Honored with State Awards!

We are thrilled to share the news that two metro area Master Gardeners were recently designated as the Statewide awardees!  Susan Albright as Statewide Master Gardener of the Year and Sue Ryburn as Statewide Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year.  Susan and Sue’s dedicated service has greatly benefited the Washington County Master Gardener Association (WCMGA), the metro area and statewide OSU MG program, and the community as a whole.  We are thrilled they have been honored and are grateful for their tremendous contributions to the Master Gardener program!


2021 Statewide Master Gardener of the Year

Susan Albright, Washington County: Over the past decade, Susan Albright’s dedication and impact for gardeners in Washington County has been profound. She’s held so many leadership and co-leadership positions they’re too many to list, and her background as an educator has been brought to the forefront of her work as a master gardener volunteer. She’s designed and planted areas of demonstration gardens, provided leadership in establishing educational outreach goals, and developed educational materials for adults and children. She has presented at the statewide level, and is an active citizen scientist, combining forces with Xerces and Oregon Bee Atlas. She has led the Washington County Master Gardener Association through changes and adjustments, all with incredible communication and teamwork. – LeAnn Locher

2021 Statewide Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

Sue Ryburn, Washington County: Sue Ryburn may be a tremendous leader, but she’s also a significant doer, working behind the scenes on multiple projects at a time. Whether it’s securing tens of thousands of dollars in grants, establishing multiple education gardens, or developing Washington County’s “In the Garden Series” as a deliverable to gardeners at home during COVID-19, she consistently looks beyond boundaries of the association to establish community partnerships and work collaboratively with program leadership. This commitment to collaboration can be seen in her formation of the Community Collaborators group, made up of organizations with like-minded missions to that of the Washington County Master Gardeners Association. This network and support are invaluable, innovative and exciting work, true to the spirit of everything she takes on. – LeAnn Locher


Clackamas County Master Gardener Association

Special Recognition for Three Dedicated Clackamas County Master Gardener Association Members
The Clackamas County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) is giving special thanks and recognition to three members who have worked above and beyond for their very successful programs during this pandemic year.  CCMGA President John Wilbur writes…”We would like to recognize and thank, Nancy Muir and Eve Freeman for Grow an Extra Row (GAER) and Sherry Sheng for the webinars. Both programs were highly successful and made an important impact on the community during these difficult times.  We also acknowledge the support and participation of the additional chapter members who assisted in these programs.  Thank you all for your efforts.”


Multnomah County Master Gardener Association

Multnomah Co. Master Gardener Association – Master Gardener of the Year
As Multnomah County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden Director, Linda Goldser has helped guide both the Master Gardeners who volunteer in the garden, but also the garden’s future. With vision and planning for post-pandemic work in the garden, she’s moving the chapter forward and ensuring a strong and vital demonstration garden.  –LeAnn Locher

Woman holding a certificate in a garden with blooming cosmos flowers in the background.
Linda Goldser – MCMGA Master Gardener of the Year
Photo: John Jordan

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association – Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardeners of the Year

Thanks to the publicity skills of Susanne Cavicchi, the Incredible Edible’s sale is wildly popular and is the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s major fundraiser. She edits the newsletter and chairs the communications committee.  – LeAnn Locher

Elaine O’Keefe brings significant experience and insight into organizational structure and serves as representative to the OMGA, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  – LeAnn Locher

During the pandemic, Cynthia Chase and her communication skills kept the board moving forward. Her personal fundraising skills have helped raise money for the demonstration garden and she serves as the chapter’s Facebook editor.  –LeAnn Locher

Multnomah Master Gardener Association – Special Projects Award

Bob Shaw was given a Special Projects Award for his work in the Demonstration Garden.  Specifically, for his work in the North Hedgerow area of the garden where he documented the work.

Man holding certificate, in a garden.
Bob Shaw – MCMGA Special Projects Award Recipient
Photo: John Jordan

Washington County Master Gardener Association

Washington Co. Master Gardener Association – Master Gardener of the Year
Karen Graham
has led the Washington County Master Gardener Association through times like no other, with calm and resolve. With the many challenges that arose through the past several months the association needed to make quick and nimble adjustments. Karen adeptly handled each challenge. She quickly adapted and learned how to keep communication lines open with association membership and members of the public, taking the WCMGA’s Speaker Series and meetings online.  The WCMGA has greatly benefited from Karen’s positive, calm, and encouraging leadership.

Washington Co. Master Gardener Association – Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year
In a mere three years, Fran Beebe has wasted no time making significant contributions as an OSU Master Gardener and Washington County Master Gardener Association member.  Fran has been instrumental with the WCMGA’s GardenFest fundraiser, potting 100+ houseplants, creating nearly as many terrariums and 30 hanging Kokedams for the sale and was a key contributor to the Propagation Team producing nearly 2000 vegetables and flowering plants. When Gardenfest 2020 was cancelled, Fran helped maintain the propagated plant stock, and, when it was mandated the greenhouses be closed, helped with distribution, donation and foster care for the plants.  Fran serves on the Speakers Committee and is a dedicated OSU Master Gardener Helpline volunteer.


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up SeriesAutumn 2021

Join the Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series on Tuesday, September 14, 3PM, as Dr. Gail Langellotto, presents, Gardening with Native Plants for Pollinators.

Native plant gardening has been ranked as one of the top three landscape and garden trends over the past few years, in part because of the benefits that it offers to pollinators. However, native plants are not widely planted by home gardeners, and only limited selections can be found at many retail nurseries. This talk will share research conducted by the OSU Garden Ecology Lab for the past four years, and will address questions such as:

  • Which Willamette Valley native plants are most attractive to pollinators?
  • Why aren’t native plants more broadly available for purchase?
  • What native plants are most attractive (according to Oregon gardeners), and which native plant traits gave gardeners concern?
  • Are native cultivars a good approach to some of the problems associated with the production and sale of native plants?
  • Do pollinators visit native cultivars as much as they do native plants?

Finally, we will end with our recommendations for native plants that western Oregon gardeners should plant, if they want to support Oregon’s pollinators.

Register here.

Coming up in October and November…

Adapting Your Garden and Landscape for Climate Change, Tuesday, October 13, 3PM
Join in as Weston Miller shares strategies to adapt gardens and landscapes to the new extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing in the Pacific Northwest.

Healthy Soils for Healthy People, Tuesday, November 9, 3PM
Research has suggested that healthy soils can benefit human health, via transfer of beneficial microbes from the soil to the skin. Dr. Gail Langellotto will provide an overview of what is known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, and how this relates to healthy garden soils.

Register for the upcoming webinars or view recordings of past webinars here.


The Culture of Gardening

The OSU Master Gardener Program’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Taskforce has launched a new storytelling initiative called ‘The Culture of Gardening’. This initiative explores and shares the voices of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture, and identity. While it’s a project of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program, the stories transcend us, weaving through our communities and identities and include farming, self care, family celebration, recipes, tools, and more.

Tyler and his dog

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. Stories are being collected of people all around us, past and present, who do just that: the voices of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture and identity.

Explore these inspiring stories and celebrate the different ways we all come to the garden. Meet Ann, Athen, Charlie, Farah, and Tyler. Check back as more gardeners generously share their voices and their connection to their heritage, culture, and identity through gardening.

If you have a story you’d like to share, or know of a gardener who connects with their culture and identity through gardening (they don’t have to be a Master Gardener!, but they should have a connection to Oregon), please contact: LeAnn Locher


SAVE THE DATE! Gather: Film screening and discussion
A film screening and discussion about Native American Food Sovereignty
Wednesday, November 10, 7PM

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

Following the film screening, stay for a panel discussing Native American resilience, plants, and the renaissance of Native food systems.

About this online event:

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: https://kinema.com/events/gather-l-iq6j