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BCMGA Biweekly Update, Aug. 8, 2023 from Paula Lupcho, President

President’s Message

🧅 I hope everyone is enjoying their gardens at this time of year. What is usually a very quiet time in the BCMGA calendar has a surprising number of opportunities available. Check out the upcoming events in the following news items below.

I thought I would give everyone an overview of what activities will fill out our Master Gardener year. Coming up in September is our annual end-of-summer picnic. This is a social ocassion to gently move us back into Fall. October is a particularly important month because 2 things will happen. The October membership meeting on Monday the 16this our annual membership meeting at which time we will elect the 2024 BCMGA Board. President Elect Brenda Bye will be putting together a nominating committee shortly. If you are interested in participating as a board member, contact Brenda. Also, October 31 is the official end of the Master Gardener year. Hours are due by that date. BUT, why wait to the very last minute! Remember that the VRS is a statewide program and can get bogged down with the high volume of traffic as MGs from around the state try to log in. It also puts a hardship on our Membership Secretary who will be the primary person involved with the end-of-the-year awards. Having an accurate hours summary at the beginning of November is essential. Please log your hours early.

In November, BCMGA will be hosting the Graduation & Awards Ceremony for both Benton and Linn Counties. We are starting to plan for this now, but location, day and time have not yet been determined. In December, we will have our annual greens party. This is a particularly fun way to end the calendar year. Members can design a wreath, swag, or centerpiece for the holidays from the donated greens that are provided by fellow MGs. Some of our members are truly artistic. That would not be me.

As a coda to this message, I would like to thank all of the MGs who volunteered at the Demo Garden Plant Clinic during the Benton County Fair. I would also like to thank all of the certified MGs and trainees who have been working throughout the spring and summer at the Corvallis Farmers Market and to thank Debbie Lauer who has coordinated this effort.

A Message from Brooke Edmunds

🧅 Office Etiquette: Welcome to the Help Desk! We’re so glad you’re here to help answer gardening questions.

We want you to enjoy yourself and get to know each other but please keep in mind that this is a shared office environment. There are other staff members working in this space and it is open to the public, including 4-H youth. Please make sure your personal conversations are in line with OSU’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and that the topics are appropriate for a public office. Thanks again!

And if you ever have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Brooke Edmunds, interim Benton County horticulture faculty,

Trainee News & Opportunities

🧅 Congratulations to the trainees who have completed their hours for the trainee year and to those of you who are closing in on that goal! Please remember to enter your hours in the Volunteer Reporting System (VRS) . This is very important. It will be a great help to mentors as they help you reach your goal. If you have questions about where to log your hours, contact your mentor or Paula Lupcho .


🧅 Directory Update from Marge Alig, Membership Secretary: A revised membership directory has been posted on the BCMGA website. This will be the most accurate list available regarding contact information of members. There have been a number of changes.

Please add Ella Peterson’s phone number to your printed copy (541-760-8817).

Website address: The membership list is in the Members Resources tab. The password to get into that tab is in the inside cover page of the printed directory.

🧅 Summer Tours: A Message from Lynn Trimpe, Vice President.

A garden tour is coming up at Fred Prahl’s home from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, August 17. It’s a drop-in format, so come when it's convenient for you during the open period.

Here's what Fred had to say about the yard he has created: In 2015, the year of my retirement, our backyard was and had been since the time we bought our house (1989), a flat, monotonous palette of primarily poorly attended lawn. Upon taking the in-person Master Gardening course in 2016, I decided to take on our backyard as a landscaping project. I removed the lawn through a lot of manual labor and used the excavated grass and its associated soil to build topographic highs strategically throughout the yard. I also excavated other areas to construct patio surfaces. That material was also used to enhance topography. I added various cedar structures (I do enjoy carpentry) and paths with stepping stones and then started to populate the area with ‘appropriate’ trees / shrubs / perennial flowers. Initially my approach to ‘appropriate’ was driven by 🤔 but after reading books by Douglas Tallamy and Michael Douglas Pyle and learning about the mission of groups like the Xerces Society and the Institute for Applied Ecology, my gardening approach became much more focused. Our yard, fore and aft, is currently a work well in progress - it’s come a long way since 2016 but I aim to keep it continuously in some sort of development. Hey, I’m retired. I have ‘thyme’ on my hands.

Fred's address is 2735 NW Arthur Ave

🧅 BCMGA Summer Picnic: Wednesday, September 13th from 5-7 p.m. It will be held at Philomath Park, 1650 Pioneer St. This is our traditional get-together to kick off the Fall activities. More information will be in the next Update.

🧅 Grow This! Update: Rosalind Hutton and Tatiana Churanova have been participating in the Grow This! program and have been posting blogs about their progress. This is a statewide program being coordinated by Leann Locher, Statewide Master Gardener Outreach Coordinator. This year, there have been 77 social media posts that have reached 330,835 people! The posts appear on the Master Gardener Facebook and Instagram and Food Hero Facebook and Instagram pages.

Volunteer Opportunities

🧅 NEW. Climate-Ready Landscape Plant Field Day. Learn about the latest research on water-efficient plants on Thursday, Aug. 17 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at OSU’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora (15210 NE Miley Rd.) Rate the aesthetic quality of landscape plants in the research trial, learn about current drought-stress research, and discuss impacts of climate change. Details are on this page: . Participation in the 60 min evaluation can be recorded as volunteering under the category ‘Citizen Science’.

No registration is needed. Participants may drop in. Water and coffee provided. Sturdy shoes and a hat are recommended.

🧅 NEW. The Oregon State Arthropod Collection (OSU Department of Integrative Biology) is launching a new volunteer opportunity called “Collection Connection”. The first of these will take place August 17th from 4-6pm. Space is limited to 10 participants and requires registration (see link below). Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

The Collection Connection events are a citizen science approach to Natural History Collection curation. Dr. Christopher Marshall will present and exhibit a group of insects in need of curation from OSAC research holdings (most of which are never put on display). Dr. Marshall will present an introduction to their biology, diversity and the local fauna and have a question answer period. After that, participants will work as a team to accomplish a curatorial task related to that material.

The event this August will be focused on Katydids! A group of insects in our holdings that are in need of cataloguing. Dr. Marshall will introduce the participants to this fascinating group of insects and show them a diversity of katydids – as well as some close relatives in the Orthoptera. The group will then be shown how the entire collection is being inventoried– making the collection’s holdings available online – and as a group, catalog the Katydid collection for the first time!

It should be 2 hours of fun, educational activities.

For more information and to register, visit:

Questions can be sent to the curator:

(The educational portion of this program can be counted as Continuing Education hours. The data input part of the program can be counted as Citizen Science hours.)

🧅 NEW. Oregon State Fair. Multiple shifts 8/24-9/5. Come share your garden love and lore with fairgoers in Salem. Our activity and info booth will be located inside the air-conditioned lobby of the Farm & Garden/Floral Building. A fair admission ticket and parking pass is provided. Sign up here. Make sure to include your county so tickets can get to your Extension office. Record as ‘Plant Clinic’ in VRS.

🧅 Demo Garden: Volunteer at the Demonstration Garden. Every Wednesday 9:00-11:00 a.m. Come when you can, as often as you can, and help grow vegetables, herbs and fruit. The Demo Garden is on the south side of the Benton County Fairgrounds. Enter through the driveway for Benton Oak RV Park on 53rd St and go to the left. Wednesday work hours count as indirect--garden maintenance. Event staffing, which occurs through the summer on weekends and during the Benton County Fair, count as direct--plant clinic. For more information, text or call Rosalind at 541 908 3991. Email

🧅 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

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. And please make sure to record these hours in VRS!

🧅 NEW! Public Seed Library: A lecture will be presented on Thursday, September 14 from noon - 1pm, by Darren Morgan of Shonnard's Nursery discussing soil tending, from soil testing and amending to cover crops and covering.

🧅 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.

🧅 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.

🧅 New OSU Publication. Grow Your Own Peppers. 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.

Community Opportunities

🧅 NEW! The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition's annual Edible Garden Tour is on Wednesday, August 9 from 5 - 8 pm. This is a free self-guided tour in north central Corvallis near the Corvallis High School, with 5 inspirational home gardens this year, including BCMG Emily Herb as one of the hosts showing her garden! The homes are all within a few blocks of each other, and the tour is intended for both new and experienced gardeners. For a map and addresses, go to

🧅 Public Seed Library: Seed Donations to Public Seed Library: If you've started your summer crops and have left over seeds, individual donations of open and partially used vegetable, herb, and flower commercial seed packets packed for '22 and '23 are needed now to restock the Public Seed Library seed rack, and can be donated any time at the Corvallis Library Circulation Desk.

Extension News

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

  • Have a gardening question? Get help at:.

  • Interested in gardening classes and events?

  • Want to join Master Gardeners? Contact Benton County Extension Office, 541-713-5000

  • Want to partner with Master Gardeners? Please contact Brooke Edmunds to get connected:

Current volunteers:

  • Need information about training, volunteering, or logging hours? First check the Volunteer Sourcebook and website.

  • Need a sign-up, promotions, or printing for an upcoming event?

    • First, use the Event Checklist to collect all needed information

      • In Benton County send to Nicole Mason Martin:

      • In Linn County send to Laurie Gibson:

  • Need to update your contact information? Need a badge?

    • Contact Laurie Gibson:

  • All other questions:

    • Please contact Brooke Edmunds:

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