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

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.

‘Growing and Belonging’ Equity-focused Training Requirements (2023)

As part of your continuing education for 2023 (and beyond), all OSU Master Gardeners (including the 2020 and 2022 cohort) are required to complete at least 1 designated course from the following ‘Growing and Belonging’ options for 2023:

This requirement aligns with our commitment to create a welcoming and inclusive program.


OSU Extension Service strives to provide educational services to all Oregonians. We acknowledge that there are numerous underrepresented Oregonians that have not been equitably served by the Master Gardener program.

The mission, vision, and guiding values of the statewide Master Gardener program provide a compass to address this inequity in public service.

We’ve been working hard to address equity issues under our purview in the metro area Master Gardener program (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties).

OSU Master Gardener Program Equity-focused Mission, Vision, and Guiding Values

Mission: Cultivating resilient and healthy communities throughout Oregon through sustainable horticulture education and gardening projects that are rooted in science and that are supported by OSU Extension volunteers.

Vision: We provide accessible and equitable education programs that nurture life-long learners and volunteers who can expand the reach and impact of science-based sustainable gardening practices to benefit all Oregonians.

Guiding Values: We are connected to Oregon State University, and use both science and local knowledge to inform our community engagement, educational outreach, and horticultural expertise. We strive to make the resources of Oregon State University accessible to all and inspire and encourage lifelong curiosity and learning through continued scientific exploration and discovery.

Implementation of Equity Focus (Metro Area Master Gardener Program)

  • Initiated a quarterly advisory group focused on racial equity issues in the metro area MG program in 2021.
  • Improved application process for the metro area MG program including registration forms/process to make it more welcoming for underrepresented people.
  • Reduced the fee for the metro area MG training (from $495 to sliding scale $200 to $300).
  • Provided equity-focused content in the 2022 Master Gardener training (Inclusive Excellence for OSU Volunteers).
  • Convened an on-going affinity group for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks in the metro area MG program. The goal is to build community among BIPOC metro area MG program participants.
  • In 2019 and 2020, four diversity, equity and inclusion trainings were offered to all 750+ metro area Master Gardener volunteers.

Looking Forward, You Can Help

We acknowledge that we have significant work to do for the metro area Master Gardener program to bring forth our equity-focused mission and vision. 

Please join us in creating a welcoming educational and volunteer program:

  • Take the time to welcome new 2020, 2022, 2023 Master Gardener trainees at events. Let them know you’re glad their part of our program.
  • When representing the Master Gardener program, treat other volunteers and the public with dignity and respect.
  • Make efforts to apply an equity focus toward volunteer-led activities including demonstration gardens, plant sales, MG association activities, and more. Reach out to the MG program office for support.
  • Attend an advanced DEI training for BIPOC allies in the MG program (optional, offered in 2023).
  • What are your ideas to improve the MG program’s capacity to welcome and serve all Oregonians?

We look forward to working with you, the metro area Master Gardener community, to meet the garden/landscape information needs of all Oregonians.

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.

Henry David Thoreau

Grateful for your Commitment and Passion

In a year filled with tremendous challenges, we extend our deep gratitude to the metro area OSU Master Gardener volunteers for your generous dedication and passion to serve the community as a garden educator.

With our in-person community outreach put on hold, you stepped up to expand your horticulture knowledge. You learned the art of Zoom attending our metro Master Gardener Garden Webinar Series en masse, Chapter Lecture/Speaker Series, and other OSU MG continuing education opportunities.  You have shown your strong commitment to garden education rooted in science!

Master Gardener Will Hughes with the produce he and Kathy Krentz grew for donation to a community food bank.

The pandemic did not hold back Master Gardeners from serving their community.  You reached out to your neighbors and fellow Master Gardeners to check on their well-being.  You grew vegetables at home to donate to food banks.  Even with the challenge of a severely shortened season, Chapters grew a remarkable amount of produce at their community demonstration gardens, for those experiencing food insecurity.

Master Gardeners juggled work from home, managed home schooling, cared and watched out for family, neighbors, and friends; and served as dedicated front-line essential workers.  Your efforts and care confirm your commitment to serving your community!  We are grateful to you all!

2020 Survey Response

Thank you to all those perennial Master Gardeners who took the time to answer the brief survey that Marcia McIntyre sent out in October.  Even though we have suspended annual volunteer requirements, we appreciate you reporting your volunteer and continuing education hours.  Plus, the remarkable amount of produce you grew and donated to area food banks.  This will enable us to report all your valuable contributions to OSU.  Thank you also for submitting your signed Conditions of Volunteer Service.  Now you are ready for our 2021 Elevated Master Gardener Training (see details in article below)!

Utmost appreciation to our class of 2020 for your patience, excitement and passion for learning and community service!  We don’t need you to submit a report this year – but please be sure to answer the survey Marcia McIntyre sent out in October, which offers three easy methods for signing the Conditions of Volunteer Service. A signed and submitted form has you ready to participate in our 2021 activities.

To those Perennial Master Gardeners and those in the Class of 2020 who have not responded to the survey, please take the time to respond by Friday, November 13th, so we know you are committed to continuing in the Master Gardener program in 2021.

Our Garden Webinar Series Continues

Adult spotted lantern fly. Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Our metro area Garden Webinar Series continues in November and December, with two special presentations from Jessica Rendon, PhD., from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Jessica will highlight invasive insect species that are important for Oregonians to know about, including the Asian giant hornet, Japanese beetle, and Southern pink moth, to name just a few. 

Friday, November 20th, 1PM
Part 1 – Invasive Species Threatening Oregon! What to Look For and How to Help. The first session will cover Gypsy Moth, the Again Giant Hornet, Jumping Worms, and the Southern Pink Moth. To register for Part I, go to… https://beav.es/oBh

Friday, December 4th, 1PM
Part II – Invasive Species Threatening Oregon! What to Look For and How to Help. This session will cover the Japanese Beetle, the Spotted Lanternfly, the Houdini Fly, Lily and Viburnum Leaf Beetles, and finally the Allium Leafminer! To register for Part II, go to… https://beav.es/oHU

Celebrate Master Gardener Week in Review

It was wonderful that so many Master Gardeners were able to participate in the state-wide Celebrate Master Gardener Week last month.  We hope you enjoyed the Film Festival, film discussions, and Insect Trivia night.  We are grateful to you all for the tremendous dedication you bring to the OSU Master Gardener Program.  You are amazing! 

In case you missed either…below is a our state-wide thank you video from OSU Extension faculty and staff, along with State-wide Master Gardener Coordinator, Dr. Gail Langellotto’s annual Master Gardener Program Update.

Master Gardener Program Update – with Gail Langellotto, Ph.D

Thank you Master Gardeners!

Master Gardeners Sowing and Growing in 2021

State-wide OSU Master Gardener faculty and staff are busy developing engaging, interactive curriculum for our 2021 Elevated Master Gardener training. This exciting new programing will be offered to both Perennial Master Gardeners and our Class of 2020 trainees, around the state. This is an opportunity for Master Gardeners to enhance your gardening know-how “via a combination of self-paced learning and live webinars and online conversations with OSU experts.” Learn more about this innovative new curriculum, that will be offered starting in January of 2021 HERE.  Be sure to submit your 2020-2021 Conditions of Volunteer Service form now, so you are ready to go in January.

Webinar Recordings Work with Your Schedule

Do you have a schedule conflict with an upcoming webinar?  Don’t despair!  We are posting recordings of many of our webinars in the days following the presentation.  Recently fellow Master Gardener, Dennis Brown, kindly inspired us with tips for what to do in our vegetable gardens in the fall. 

To see Dennis’ Fall Vegetable Gardening Tips Webinar, along with other past webinars visit: https://beav.es/4FR

Fine-tune Your Garden Know-how

The metro area Master Gardener Program has two great opportunities for you to fine-tune your garden know-how; the Tri-county MG Study Group and the Washington Co. Master Gardener Chapter’s Learning Group. Consider joining-in to expand your garden knowledge in the company of fellow Master Gardeners.  Both groups are currently meeting via Zoom and are open to current Master Gardeners and 2020 Master Gardener trainees.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Price

Tri-county MG Study Group
Tri-county MG Study Group is dedicated to taking a deep dive into a range of horticulture subjects and gardener practices.  The group meets twice a month on the first and third Mondays, from 1pm to 3pm.  The first Monday session is a fun and interactive ‘Show and Tell’ where attendees can bring one insect or plant for identification, or a garden triumph or problem to share with the group.  Group members assist with identification or problem solving. The second Monday session takes a fine focus on a specific horticulture subject.  Participants receive a study guide prior to the session in preparation.  Tentative upcoming 3rd Monday topics will cover ‘Group Diagnostics’, ‘What does reliable, research-based, peer review mean’, ‘Household Insects’, ‘Pine ID’,  ‘Verticillium Wilt’, ‘Plant Viruses’, ‘Plant Rust’, ‘Soils’, ‘Rain Gardens’, and ‘metro area stinging wasps.’ 

Interested participants can email: tricountymgstudygroup@gmail.com

Washington Co. Master Gardener’s Learning Group
The Learning Group is organized by the Washington County Master Gardener Association to assist Master Gardeners in building their knowledge-base to answer client gardening questions with confidence, in a fun, relaxed setting.  Topics covered are based on common and seasonal questions that Master Gardeners are often asked at office helplines and Master Gardener tabling events. 

Sessions are offered once a month via Zoom, the third Thursday of the month, 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  Participants receive a learning guide prior to the interactive learning session. Upcoming session topics include: raised-bed, container gardens, soil and soil testing, and research techniques for Master Gardeners.

Interested participants should contact: Sandy Japely, sjapely@gmail.com

Our November and December Garden Checklist

Fall provides lots of opportunities to accomplish garden tasks. Plant spring bulbs, renew mulch, clean and sharpen tools, and embrace leaving the leaves! Find it all in our November and December garden checklist…

“This is exactly the time we need to step up our game, listen, learn, and grow our work to be more equitable and inclusive of our many communities, particularly our communities of color. We look forward to growing together, and to working towards racial justice and equity in the Master Gardener Program.”

Gail Langellotto and LeAnn Locher

The Master Gardener Program and Racial Justice

Earlier this month we shared a message from Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Gail Langellotto, and Master Gardener Outreach Coordinator, LeAnn Locher regarding the OSU Master Gardener Program’s commitment to racial justice and equity.  We would like to share, once more, Gail and LeAnn’s imperative call for racial justice in the OSU Master Gardener Program. https://beav.es/4Hk

Last week Gail followed-up with a post, explaining the overwhelming support she received from dozens of Master Gardeners in support of racial and social justice.  In addition, Gail also listed the reading recommendations responders shared to begin and expand understanding of racial justice.  You can find Gail’s post here https://beav.es/4rv  

The metro area Master Gardener Program also received messages of strong support for the Program’s call for action.  Metro area Master Gardeners also shared resource recommendations, many of which were included in Gail’s post. 

Here are the additional resource recommendations from metro area Master Gardeners…

The metro area Master Gardener Program echoes the commitment to racial justice and equity for the MG program, expressed by Gail and LeAnn.  We recognize that there is a lot of work to be done, and a lot to learn.  Together we need to identify barriers in our program, take action to remove those barriers, and remain focused on creating an inclusive, welcoming community for all gardeners.

Webinar Series Continues

Bumblebee on heath blossoms

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

Upcoming webinars…

  • 1PM, Friday, June 19th, “Pollination and Pollinators: Sex and the Single Flower”, with Bob Falconer, OSU Master Gardener Register at this link https://beav.es/4rc
  • 1PM, Friday, June 26th, “New High Priority Noxious Weeds—How to ID” with Michele Delepine, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Friday, July 3, no scheduled webinar
  • Friday, July 10, “Therapeutic Horticulture, Gardening for Healthy Living”, with Scott Hoffman, Therapeutic Garden Program Coordinator, Whole Health, Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System

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

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

Webinar Recordings

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

Check out past webinars here:

Master Gardener In-person Volunteer Activity Suspension

In the midst of the pandemic, and with OSU Extension Service’s commitment to keeping communities safe, suspension remains in effect for any in-person volunteer activities for OSU Master Gardeners.  This includes all Master Gardener clinics (phone, Farmers Markets, and special events), classes, workshops, demonstration gardens, parks, partner organizations, Speakers Guild presentations, fundraisers, and in-person meetings/lectures/speakers. 

As the State of Oregon lifts restrictions, around the state, OSU Extension is in the process of approving some restricted, limited, volunteer activities.  Approved activities will have requirements regarding safety protocol, which must be met.  As the University provides information and guidance regarding a resumption plan, we will provide updates.

Volunteering with Partner Organizations

Although some Partner organizations in the metro area may be resuming volunteer activities, at this point, in the metro area, Master Gardeners are not approved to participate and volunteer at any partner venues.  

We are deeply appreciative of those partner organizations who are clearly communicating the restrictions of the OSU Master Gardener Program.  We are keeping those organizations apprised of any changes to the University’s in-person volunteer policy and look forward to the day we can resume these valued partnerships.  We will alert all volunteers as restrictions are lifted.

OSU Master Gardener icon

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

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

Master Gardener Hangout

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

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

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

Online Educational Opportunities

A wide-variety of educational webinars are available to view from other Master Gardener and Extension programs across the state. Check them out.

Master Gardener Advanced Training webinars continue on July 16th, 10am with Solve Pest Problems: A New Resource for Master Gardeners and the Public. Join Weston Miller, and learn about the exciting developments for the Solve Pest Problems website.
Pre-register here: https://learn.extension.org/events/3762

Gardening Will Save the World webinar series, sponsored by the Hood River Co. Master Gardeners. To register, see link below.

·  June 17, Insect Apocalypse: Real of Hype?, presented by Dr. Gail Langellotto, OSU Master Gardener State Coordinator

·  July 1, Pollinators, presented by Dr. Andony Melathopolous, OSU Professor, Pollinator Health Extension

·  July 15, Pesticide Safety, presented by Brooke Edmunds, Community Horticulture, Master Gardeners Linn and Benton Counties

For ‘Gardening Will Save the World Webinar Series’ details go to: https://beav.es/4rt

Sunshine streaming through trunks of trees in a forest.

Tree School Online
OSU Extension Clackamas Co. Tree School continues to offer weekly online webinars through July 28. Look for classes designated for Master Gardener continuing education credit. For more information go to https://beav.es/4Hn

Recently Reported Contaminated Soil and Compost

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently reported that it discovered soil and compost contaminated with the herbicide clopyralid.  The contamination was found in products purchased at two landscape distribution companies, Dean Innovations and McFarlane’s.  Details regarding the contamination, plus the ODA’s recommendation on the steps gardeners can take if they purchased the contaminated product can be found here… https://bit.ly/2MZkF6m

More information for gardeners…
Clopyralid in Compost: Questions and Answers for Gardeners and Farmers in Western Washington

Gardeners seeking further information about pesticide risk for their situation can contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 Monday –Friday from 8:00am –12:00pm, or email at npic@ace.orst.edu

Any updates on the investigation will be posted here.  https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/Pesticides/Pages/PesticidesCurrentIssues.aspx

Our June Garden Checklist

You still have time to plant your warm season vegetables, and once drier weather arrives remember to water your fruit trees. Check out the details in our June Garden Checklist.