If you haven’t heard, Insights into Gardening is SOLD OUT! Registrations came in at an unprecedented rate this year. Gearing Up for Gardening has also been well received . Classes have been well attended with standing room only. It pays to arrive early! This tells me that the gardening public has been eager for these educational opportunities to return.
Have you dusted off your badge yet? Our committees are revving up for the year and would love to welcome some new volunteers. There are opportunities for everyone. What is your special interest—propagation, working in the soil, teaching, solving gardening problems? There is something here for you. Take a look below and pick one that best fits your talents.
BCMGA Membership Meeting: The January membership meeting is Monday, Jan. 30. The speaker is Stephanie Hazen. Her topic is “Gardening for Butterflies and Moths in and around Salem, OR”. This will be a hybrid meeting (in-person in the Sunset Room or via Zoom). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. (NOTE: This is not the regular schedule for membership meetings. The regular schedule is the 3rd Monday of the month, Feb–May & Oct.)
Board Meeting Update: The next BCMGA board meeting will be on Monday, February 13 (9:00-11:00) via Zoom.
Gearing Up for Gardening: GUFG will NOT meet this week but will resume its schedule on Tuesday, January 31.
OSU Extension Needs Assessment Committee and OMGA Advocacy Committee: BCMGA member Judith Kenner is serving on these two committees. The Needs Assessment group will be sending out a questionnaire to all Master Gardeners. Please take the time to do it. It will provide vital information to inform the OSU Extension administration about Master Gardener program needs. OMGA Advocacy group is launching a campaign to push for more state funding for Extension programs. They are asking MGs to contact their legislators to ask that Extension funding be increased. See the 6-month action plan and time line in the link. It is not too soon to start now. This is extremely important to the future vitality of Master Gardeners and Extension as a whole.
NEW & TODAY! Demo Garden 2023 is starting up! On Tuesday, January 24, 12-3, we are planning projects, selecting vegetables and discussing new growing ideas. The planning meeting is at the Extension office in the conference room. Potluck first, discussion second. If you’re interested in volunteering at the Demo Garden, at the Benton County Fairgrounds, come and help us figure out what we’re going to do. We love to have new members and if you have ideas for projects, even better.
Questions? Call or text Rosalind at 541-908-3991 or Dan at 805-490-1014.
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.
Plant Sale Propagation: More dates for seeding a potting up at the Philomath High School Greenhouse, 2054 Applegate St, 10:00 am-12:00pm:
Saturday, January 28
Friday, February 3
Friday, February 17
Saturday, February 25
We will finish up seeding, then start the huge task of potting up hundreds of our growing seedlings into 4” pots. In order to make sure we’ve got the help we need, please RSVP to Leslie what dates you are able to come. All are welcome! firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant Problem Scenarios: Group Leader (4 sessions) Thursdays in Feb, 10:30 – 11:45
Sign up link here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a45a9ac29a7f85-benton37#/
Last Call for Volunteers for Insights into Gardening: Saturday, February 11, 2023.
As you have probably already read, Registration for Insights is full and closed. However, there are a few spots for volunteering if you are already there and want to do fill a job. We still need:
-Cookie Table fillers and arrangers for the afternoon
-Clean-up at the end of the day
Here is the link to sign up. Note there are two tabs with different jobs on each. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a45a9ac29a7f85-draft#/
For all of you terrific eager volunteers, thank you for signing up. You will be receiving a review of your task/tasks early in the week before the conference. If you have any questions, need to make a change for some reason, or anything else volunteer related, contact Susan Hoffman, email@example.com, or 541-602-4504
Community science: Contribute data to research on gardens, plants, and wildlife. Explore and sign up. Many projects are remote and on your own schedule. Report the time as “citizen science: indirect”.
Online Plant Clinic: Check for messages from the public on evenings and weekends. Volunteer from anywhere with an internet connection. Enroll HERE.
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 HERE 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
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 www.bentonmg.org/gearing-up-for-gardening to view all the up-coming classes.
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: www.LinnMasterGardeners.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
How it works: Register below for each night you plan to play. (You must register separately for each.) 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 for 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 remaining schedule (separate registration for each):
February 16, 2023, 6-7pm, Being Fruitful: Managing orchard and small fruit challenges
In Other News
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 documented completed with time for review and laminating for the Public Seed Library slated to open March 4.
The Inventory & Planting Guide document is a critical tool for the customers of the Public Seed Library because it will provide the growing information on the seed packet – and more – that customers need to grow the seeds they choose to take home in paper coin envelopes, leaving the remaining seeds in the seed packet 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 listed-- you can help create the new resource and get a preview of the seed inventory too.
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 HERE.
Growing Oregon Gardeners – Level Up 2022: watch the recorded sessions HERE.
Have an item for eNews? Please contact staff by the second or last Wednesday of each month. Please use this event checklist to ensure all needed information is included in your request.
Extension partner spotlight: FoodHero.org is your go-to site for advice on growing your own garden and more. Check out Food Hero gardening resources for English and Spanish gardening handouts and more!