This year the 4×4 Square Foot Garden not only went through major upgrades, but we also had a most vigorous competition. Everyone did such a great job and it was a most challenging competition for our judges, Debbie Werholz and Rosemary Power, to undertake. (Thanks so much, Debbie and Rosemary.) The winners of this year’s 4×4 competition are:
First Place $50 – Merita Murdock
Second Place $25 – Roy Wahl
Two Third Place $10 – Ron & Joyce Hendricks; Charlie Hendricks
Extra special thanks go out to our other competitors: Rick Shotwell, Joann Glasser & Pat Morrison, and Rebecca Starr. You all gave those who viewed our gardens a beautiful representation of the options one can have in small spaces.
The 2018 Flower Show, hosted by the Thumb-R-Green Garden Club, had the theme of “Under Montana Skies.” The flower show was held Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at the D.A. Davidson Building, in conjunction with the downtown farmers market. Of course all the displays were super, but especially enticing were the underwater arrangements…what a fun twist on flower arranging.
Thanks to all the Master Gardeners who helped in making this yearly event easier for all involved: Ann McKean, Bess Lovec, Charlie Hendricks, David Fisher, Gail Tesinsky, JoAnne Bylsma, Joyce Hendricks, Linda Walters, Marion Grumett, Mary Davis, Merita Murdock, Ron Hendricks, Vonnie Bell.
This year’s DanWalt tour ended up being on an unseasonably cool and wet Aug. 26th day. This special garden is now owned and managed by current Master Gardener Suri Lunde and husband Clint, who are doing a wonderful job carrying out what must have been a most all-consuming life choice. The gardens were beautifully kept. The hibiscus were in their prime (so huge), and the Love Lies Bleeding amaranthus had some strands over 2 feet long.
An extra bonus were pears for all who were interested from the huge pear tree beside the pavilion. We did have rain showers to contend with, but Suri and Clint had us covered with umbrellas for all so the tour went on with-out a hitch. The traditional chicken salad lunch was delicious as always, and the cheesecake Divine. We then had a real surprise when Dan Jellison (former owner) showed up by accident just as dessert was finished. Of course he mingled and shared his sharp wit for many light hearted laughs. For those of you who missed or who would like to share DanWalt with family or friends, don’t forget the self-tour option. This garden is well worth visiting and sharing.
Sponsored by Riverstone Health, this Thursday afternoon market is small enough to be kid friendly and big enough to have a good variety of produce, crafts, and flowers. Master Gardeners this year gave away free vegetable and flower seed packets as well as information. There was also a children’s activity each week with the favorite being to sit a spell and color fun garden themed pictures – can you find a puppy hiding in the vegetables? If you didn’t have a chance to work this event, consider it for next year or at least stop by to support these small-scale growers who are sharing their bounty. What’s not to love about a little girl selling posies?
Submitted by Elizabeth Waddington
Originally posted in the Oct/Nov/Dec issue of the newsletter. Webmaster apologizes for the late posting – check on this for summer 2019!
On August 28th, Master Gardener Association members were treated to a tour of Swanky Roots, a new aquaponics business in Billings. Our tour was given by co-owner Veronnaka Evenson, who graduated from Montana State University in 2016 with degrees in Plant Science and Agricultural Education. Veronnaka and mom, Ronna Klamert, are owners/operators of this most clean and modern greenhouse business. (I was most impressed with the requirement of washing our hands and walking on a specially treated mat to be sure no contamination entered the greenhouse.)
At this early stage of the business it’s mostly lettuce being grown, which is available for purchase if you happen to be out in the area…on the way to Oscars Dreamland. The future will include sales of fish and more produce items, as ongoing research and demand are determined.
As you enter the greenhouse, you see the large blue tanks that are holding the fish (which some of our group got to feed!). The fish water is then cycled to irrigate the plants that are grown through a Styrofoam type mat that floats in aerated bins of water from the fish tanks. The large greenhouse is filled with these long bins of water and plants, with the exception of an area along one side, which has larger plant material grown in a medium of expanded clay balls.
This was truly a unique, first-time tour for our group of a business such as this. We wish them well on this most ambitious business venture.
(The webmaster apologizes for the delay in this post, and several others, to the newsletter blog. This was originally published in the Oct/Nov/Dec issue. Forgive me – the arrival of the first grandbaby was eventful but amazing!)
The 2018 Courthouse Memorial Planter is beautiful this year. What a wonderful accent to the Combat Wounded Veterans Memorial.
A special thanks to all who have contributed to the planting and care of this most public gar-den:
Chris Smith, Gail Tesinsky, Kristi Brenden Rebecca Star, Sherry Doty, Val Jeffries