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BCMGA Biweekly Newsletter February 6 from Brenda Bye, President

President’s Message

🌷It was heartening to see so many familiar faces at our January Membership Meeting as we delved into the fascinating world of invasive weeds with our guest lecturer Michael Ahr. This was our largest meeting since the pandemic and a great chance to socialize and learn together. I hope to see you again at the February meeting. 

As February starts, it’s a great time to roll up our sleeves and get involved with our BCMGA Projects. Start earning your Direct Service Hours by participating in the Plant Clinic, engaging in the Community Garden Education Team (CGET), and exploring new opportunities with our partners at the Public Seed Library. Each hour you contribute not only adds to your personal growth but strengthens our relationship with our community.

There are a number of new items in this update for both continuing education, meetings and volunteer opportunities. I expect things will just get busier as our new trainees begin their classes later this month. It’s an exciting time to be a Benton County Master Gardener! 

The 33rd Annual Insights into Gardening—Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 -----------------------------

LaSells Stewart Center

🌷 Insights into Gardening is Benton County Master Gardener Association’s largest educational event of the year. Our registration has sold out but there are still volunteer opportunities for a variety of jobs including sending cookies, door monitors and clean-up. Go to the SignUp Genius website and pick your volunteer job. 

If you have questions about volunteering, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Susan Hoffman at or text/call 541-602-4504.

BCMGA Membership Meeting - Monday February 19, 2024 --------------------------------------

🌷Co-Vice Presidents Lynn Trimpe and Michelle Brown welcome all BCMGA members to the next membership meeting for socialization and Continuing Education credits. Coffee and tea are provided and feel free to bring a treat. Raffle prizes for in-person attendees. 

Location: Extension Building, Sunset Room

Use East side entrance (other doors locked at night)

Format: Hybrid meeting (in-person and via Zoom)

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., program starts at 7:00 p.m.

February Program, February 19, 2024 Presented by Dr. Gail Langellotto, Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University. Topic: We Study Gardens: An Update from OSU’s Garden Ecology Lab. 

**If you have ideas about speakers/topics for our membership meetings, please contact Lynn Trimpe or Michelle Brown with your suggestions. 

Public Seed Library -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

🌷 Public Seed Library is a collaborative project of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library with educational support from BCMGA.

  • Seed Library Lecture Series - Has been approved for Continuing Education by OSU Extension. 

  • Starting Growing Tomatoes and Peppers

  • February 22, 2024 from 12:30 to 2:00PM at the Corvallis-Benton Public Library

  • Garden Guidance on Harvesting and Saving Seeds 

  • March 5, 2024 from 12:30 to 2:00PM at the Corvallis-Benton Public Library

  • Seeking Volunteers - These activities have been approved by OSU Extension for Volunteer Credit. See the Sign Up Genius for more information

  • Event Table Seed Sharing, Q&A

  • Pop-Up Public Seed Library Plant Clinic

  • Seed Rack Stocking


BCMGA News ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

🌷 The February Board of Directors Meeting is on February 12, 2024 at 9AM on Zoom. It is open to all members who are interested in attending. Here is the link. If you have questions reach out to

🌷 Demonstration Garden General Planning Meeting - Friday, February 23rd from 12:00 to 2:00 PM in the Sunset Conference room at OSU Extension. Everyone is invited, current committee members and future committee members, including trainees, to organize and plan the Benton County Demo Garden 2024 growing season.

  • The growing season for the demo garden starts in late April and continues into October. The regular meeting time is Wednesday morning, 9:30-11:30.

  • Some of the projects we've talked doing this year are dry bed farming, growing sweet potatoes and cantaloupe with solar heated water, building a big trellis with vegetables growing up and across, diversity beds, lots of tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, shade gardening, container gardening, simple hydroponic veggie culture and others.

  • Questions: Call or text Rosalind, 541-908-3991

🌷 2024 Benton County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be on Saturday, May 4th. This is BCMGA’s biggest fundraiser to support all our education programs. It takes many volunteers to make this event happen. Please mark your calendars to “save these dates”  Friday, May 3: Loading/Unloading plants and sale set up, and Saturday May 4: Sale 9am - 3pm

🌷 Clinic Table at the Farmer’s Market BCMGA is looking for veteran Master Gardeners looking to staff the Saturday Market Clinic Table. If you have any interest please 

🌷 Ask Extension is looking for Master Gardeners seeking additional insect training. This is a great opportunity for MGs looking to get more direct services hours from home on a flexible schedule. Reach out to Otillia Schreuder if you are interested. 

Volunteer Opportunities ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

🌷 Setup Help for Gearing Up for Gardening The committee still needs volunteers to help with setup and teardown for lectures during January and February.  

🌷 Master Gardener Desk (Office Plant Clinic):  Winter hours are now in effect.  The desk will operate on a Tuesday & Thursday schedule. A Signup Genius has been posted.

Alan Taylor, Mentor Coordinator, would like to let people know that certified MGs could come in at other times to work on voicemail or email submissions. To get refresher training on working at the desk contact Alan Taylor ( ) to arrange for a trainer. Without an advertised “open desk” it should give some opportunities for quiet time to get these things done.

Find more opportunities on the Benton Volunteer Opportunities Page

Continuing Education Opportunities ---------------------------------------------------------------- 

Each program year current Master Gardener volunteers are asked to recertify by completing 10 hours of approved continuing education and 20 hours of volunteering. This ensures that your horticultural knowledge stays current. All the opportunities in this section count towards that goal. Try to get one hour of CE on a diversity, equity, or inclusion related topic. 

🌷  Webinars Opportunities from across the state are listed on the OSU Master Gardener Program’s event page. Record each as one hour of continuing education. 

🌷 Wildlife and Water Friendly Gardening Series - Lectures put on by the Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College. Thursdays, January 25th to March 7th from noon to 1 on Zoom. More information can be found here

🌷     New OSU Publication. Gardens are for Everyone. Read and write a summary paragraph of how you will apply this as a Master Gardener volunteer for one hour of continuing education.  

🌷  Anytime. Recordings of Zoom Master Gardener training from Curry County with guest lecturers from OSU and beyond, are available for any volunteer to take as continuing education. Trainees are also welcome to watch and supplement their classes. More links are being added weekly, see the current list log on to the attached website. 

Extension News -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Need help finding information from Extension?  Here are some important links to access information.

  • Solve Pest Problems: A new tool from OSU Extension to help manage pests around your home and garden with reduced risk to people, pets, and the environment

  • Have a gardening question? Get help at:. 

  • Interested in gardening classes and events? 


Current volunteers:  

Community Events - These Events are NOT Approved by Extension for Continuing Education

🌷 Grand Prairie Albany Gardening Club - First Quarter Talks 

  • Meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1PM at the Albany Public Library  

  • For more information contact Sheryl Casteen 

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