top of page

BCMGA Biweekly Email from Paula Lupcho, President February 14, 2023

Biweekly Update

From Paula Lupcho, President

February 14, 2023

President’s Message

Congratulations to the Insights into Gardening Committee and all of the volunteers who worked to make this a great success. There were 350 registrants who enjoyed a day of gardening education from an outstanding slate of speakers. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Welcome to the new trainees who are receiving this update for the first time. Both the BCMGA Biweekly Update and the Extension eNews will keep you informed about the various activities that occur monthly. I have added a new feature to the Updates that is specifically for trainees. I hope this will make trainee-relevant information easier to access. Enjoy your training, and we look forward to having you in the BCMGA community. Gardeners are great people!

Committee chairs should pay close attention to the special announcement that is just below Trainee News & Opportunities. After a hiatus of several years, we are bringing back the Special Allocations opportunity. Check it out.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Trainee News & Opportunities

Å The following volunteer service opportunities will count toward the required 5 hours dedicated to Plant Sale propagation. Note that there are weekend dates available.

New Dates added! The Plant Sale Team will be meeting at Philomath High School, 2054 Applegate St. on the following dates. Please join us! Trainees welcome. We may be working inside the greenhouse to pot up our many native and perennial starts or outside to divide, repot, groom and label. Bring tools and dress for outside weather just in case.

Friday, February 17, 10:00-12:00

Saturday, February 25, 10:00-12:00

Friday, March 10, 1:00-3:00 (note time change)

Saturday, March 18, 10:00-12:00

Friday, March 24, 1:00-3:00 (note time change)

In order to make sure we’ve got the help we need, please RSVP Leslie Hauser,, the days you are able to come.

Special Announcement

Å Special Allocations 2023—BCMGA Committees

At the board’s January meeting it was decided that BCMGA would renew the Special Allocation process this spring. Special Allocations are for specific one-time projects, not on-going operational costs, and should be in accordance with the purposes established in the Articles of Association. A special Ad hoc Committee chaired by Jana Tindall will review the applications and make recommendations to the board at the April meeting. Applications must be submitted by March 31 to Jana at Please review the Policy and Procedures in 2.8 and submit applications using the form in Appendix B. BCMGA committees receiving funding may spend the funds in the current year or funds may be carried over to the following year in order to complete the project. A final report to the board is due upon project completion. Questions about the process may be directed to Jana Tindall at the email address above. (Policies and Procedures can be found at in the “Members” tab.)


Å Board Meeting Update: The March meeting will be in-person on Monday, March 13 from 9 to 10 a.m. It will be held in the Sunset Room at the Extension Office.

Å BCMGA Membership Meeting: Monday, Feb. 20. 7:00 p.m. Hybrid meeting (in-person & Zoom) In Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard, Doug Tallamy discusses a creative means for saving wildlife populations that are in decline – planting more natives and creating what he calls the “Homegrown National Park”. Janet Magedanz, president of the Corvallis Evening Garden Club, has graciously agreed to provide a recording of that Zoom presentation to Master Gardeners at our February membership meeting. This presentation will suggest steps all homeowners can take to improve habitat and provide conservation corridors and thus help restore wildlife biodiversity.

Å NEW! Annual BCMGA Membership Awards: It's time to submit nominations to the Board for two of our annual BCMGA membership awards: Benton County Master Gardener of the Year, and Benton Behind the Scenes Award. Complete and send the attached nomination form to Membership Secretary Marge Alig at The Board will select awardees at its April meeting. The nomination form will be available shortly at in the Members section.

Benton County Master Gardener of the Year Award

This annual award recognizes outstanding dedication and service of an OSU Master Gardener for Benton County. The award should be based on years of service, association involvement, leadership with BCMGA, and outstanding and unusual service.

Benton County Behind the Scenes Award

This annual award recognizes an OSU Master Gardener™ who works quietly and unselfishly behind the scenes to further the OSU Master Gardener Program. This is not a person who is out in front working on projects so everyone knows their contributions. It is likely that this person is NOT a committee chair or on the Board of Directors. Rather it is a person who few may actually know the level of their contributions. Please nominate a single individual.

Å OMGA Advocacy Committee: OMGA Advocacy group is launching a campaign to push for more state funding for Extension programs. Judith Kenner ( is on this taskforce. They are asking MGs to contact their legislators to ask that Extension funding be increased. Below is a list of legislators. When you contact your legislators, please copy Judith on her email or let her know how you have communicated. See the 6-month action plan and time line in the link. It is not too soon to start now. The 6-month action plan will give you valuable information that can be included in to communication to legislators. This is extremely important to the future vitality of Master Gardeners and Extension as a whole.

Here are additional links from the latest OMGA newsletter:

From the OMGA website:


House Speaker Dan Rayfield, House District 16

Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, Senate District 8


Representative David Gomberg, House District 10

Senator Dick Anderson, Senate District 5


Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, House District 15

Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, Senate District 8

Volunteer Opportunities

Å A New Day for Mentoring We have a large incoming class of trainees, and they need mentors to welcome them to our Association and to help continue their training as Master Gardeners. The welcoming part is easy and any active Master Gardener, whether certified or not, can do it. Do you love the demo garden? Do you enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie of the plant sale? Do you value the opportunity to teach others about gardening through Seed to Supper? This is your chance to bring new blood to your favorite project…without needing work at the help desk. Let me know you want to help, and I will share with info about the interests and talents of our trainees, and you can pick someone you would enjoy mentoring. We also need a core group of dedicated help desk gurus to teach these trainees how to properly use the computers, the microscope and camera, and the pH meter and how to effectively communicate with the public in person, by phone, and by email to respond to their gardening questions. Let me know you’d like to help, and I will arrange refresher training on using the desk…which we all need after the last few years. Finally, we need Master Gardeners at our Farmers Market and other remote clinics who can work with those of our trainees who need to fulfill their service hours on weekends or in the evenings. People with experience with Ask an Expert will also be useful. Let me know you are available, and I’ll get you in touch with those activities. Thank you, Alan Taylor, 541-929-4141,

Å NEW! OPPORTUNITY TO EARN VOLUNTEER HOURS! Community Garden Education Committee: For the past three years a group of Master Gardeners has maintained an educational demo garden at Calvin Community Garden growing crops that are carefully selected to be culturally appropriate for our LatinX community. Food Bank donations have averaged 500 pounds per year. With the departure of some of the Master Gardeners who helped with the Calvin Garden, we need Master Gardeners or Master Gardener Trainees who could help us to maintain those gardens by planting, weeding, watering and/or harvesting.

We share the work with a flexible schedule to accommodate times that are convenient for you including weekends. We need to know by the end of February or early March that we have a minimal crew to support this garden or we will have to discontinue our efforts. The time commitment is a few hours per week. If you speak Spanish, we can use your skills, but speaking Spanish is not a requirement.

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Ellen Tappon,, or Lynn Trimpe,

Å Plant Sale Propagation: New Dates added! The Plant Sale Team will be meeting at Philomath High School, 2054 Applegate St. on the following dates. Please join us! Trainees welcome. We may be working inside the greenhouse to pot up our many native and perennial starts or outside to divide, repot, groom and label. Bring tools and dress for outside weather just in case.

Friday, February 17, 10:00-12:00

Saturday, February 25, 10:00-12:00

Friday, March 3, 1:00-3:00 (note time change)

Friday, March 17, 1:00-3:00 (note time change)

Saturday, March 25, 10:00-12:00

In order to make sure we’ve got the help we need, please RSVP Leslie Hauser,, the days you are able to come.


Save the dates! Our 2023 Plant Sale at the Benton County fairgrounds will be here before we know it! Please get these dates on your calendar now for when we need everyone to help with BCMGA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. We are on track to have over 10,000 plants and will need your help!

Friday, May 5 - set up day

Saturday, May 6 - Plant Sale

Leslie Hauser (Plant Sale Volunteer Coordinator) is already working on filling some of the lead/supervisor positions. If you’ve had a lead position in the past and would like to do that job again or if you’ve had your eye on another role, please email Leslie at

Å Public Seed Library: The Public Seed Library Inventory & Growing Guide google document is ready for volunteers to hop online and get it completed, following these instructions! Interested volunteers please email Jill Farrow to request edit access, and to help you get started and answer your questions. The timing is now through February 13, to get the document completed with time for review and laminating for the Public Seed Library slated to open March 4. The Inventory & Planting Guide is a key tool for the new Public Seed Library as it consolidates the crop-growing information from local primary resources of seed companies so that patrons will know when and how to plant and tend the seeds they’ve selected. Patrons will be asked to select the seeds they want and to take them home in small kraft paper envelopes provided for that purpose, leaving the seed packets at the Library for others to access. Doing the data research and entry is fun for those who enjoy looking at seed catalogs or who want to learn more about the vegetables, herbs and companion flowers they might want to grow. We’ve received donated seeds for every plant in the document! And we need volunteer help now to get this critical task done. Because this is a google doc, volunteers can work concurrently and at any time they choose. First, though, the document will need to be shared by me with them for editing. I’m thinking of hosting several “Flash Mob Public Seed Library Document Entry gatherings” on zoom so that folks can volunteer in the community and get any questions answered timely. To get involved please contact Jill Farrow: Report service as Educational writing: direct.

Å Community science: Contribute data to research on gardens, plants, and wildlife. Many projects are remote and on your own schedule. Report the time as “citizen science: indirect”.

Å Master Gardener Desk (Office Plant Clinic): The office is open and there are questions coming in from the public. Volunteers are encouraged to return to the desk, in particular certified MGs comfortable with the pH meter and the microscope are needed. Sign up for shifts to answer client questions or practice skills. You can either work at the desk or in the Extension conference room if you’d like more space.

Find more opportunities on the Benton Volunteer Opportunities Page.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Å Gearing Up for Gardening: This popular brown-bag gardening education series begins on January 3, 12:00-1:00 at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. Go to to view all the up-coming classes.

Å Teach Kids About Pollinators: Join us for a free 1/2 day training workshop in Independence! Each county participating will receive a free Bee Smart School Garden Kit from the Pollinator Partnership ($200 value). This is a complete curriculum with starter supplies. It can be taught as a series or as individual lessons. It can be used in school gardens or in your Master Gardener demonstration gardens. When: April. The specific date & time will be decided on by the participants. Who: Trainees and continuing/veteran Master Gardeners Where: At the Polk County Master Gardener's Inspiration Garden in Independence Sign up here. Reach out to Brooke Edmunds, for more info. You will be notified by email after 2/15.

Å Save the date! 9th Annual BEEvent Pollinator Conference- March 4, 2023, Linn Expo Center, Albany, Oregon. “Adapting Your Garden to the Coming Changes”. This in-person conference is back after a 2 year on-line only presence. Focus on Home Gardens and Small Farms. 9:00am – 3:30pm Registration will open in February:

Å Growing Oregon Gardeners – Level Up 2022: watch the recorded sessions.

Å Other Opportunities

Feb 14 Rooting for Runoff: Storing and Treating Home Stormwater Using Rain Gardens 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST Online

Feb 14 Groundcovers: great alternatives to turf grass 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm PST Online

Feb 15 Growing Caneberries 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST Online

Jan 18 Pruning Ornamental Trees 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST Online

Feb 22 Growing Tomatoes I: 10-Minute University™ Noon-Time Chat 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PST Online

Å On-going! The MG trivia tournament is an opportunity for all MGs to participate and win prizes. 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 Continuing Education Credit in the Master Gardener program. Questions? Contact Nicole Sanchez at

  • February 16, 2023, 6-7pm, Being Fruitful: Managing orchard and small fruit challenges

In Other News

Spring into Gardening “Our Changing Landscape”, a one-day educational event, is on Saturday, March 18. This is organized by Yamhill County Master Gardener Association. The keynote speaker will be James Cassidy (Soil). Other speakers on the program will be well-known to you. For more information and registration, go to the Yamhill County MGA website All classes (except Topiary) count toward Continuing Education hours.

Extension News

Å Coffee chats are back for 2023! If you are a board member, committee chair, or engaged volunteer, this is a chance to visit informally with program staff (Elza). Learn more and sign-up.

Å Volunteer Reporting System updates. The statewide Master Gardener volunteer reporting system is now more secure. It also has a new look and feel. Please bookmark the new site: : When you log in, follow the steps to update your password. Tech Support is at (Trainees – please wait on making accounts until prompted – thanks!)

Å The Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge, Oregon State University Extension’s statewide seed giveaway, returns for a fourth year in 2023 featuring a continued partnership with the Oregon Potato Commission.

Starting Feb. 6, individuals and households, schools, and groups can sign up to receive an individual/household seed kit, group kit or seed-starting teacher classroom kit through the mail.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page