Master Gardeners Certificates and Rewards 2019

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by Amy Grandpre

Below is a list of Master Gardeners who have gotten their Certification or Hour rewards.

Level 1 Shirt & Certificate
Linda Todd
Paul Scarpari
MaryAnne Wanca-Thibault
Kyle/Deborah Neary
Maggie McBride
Roberta Fuller
Deb Yates
Lisa Guy
Keith Buxbaum
Lori Buxbaum
Kayla Grams
Claudia Janecek

Level 2 Shirt & Certificate
Elizabeth Waddington
Suri Lunde
Joanne Bylsma

Level 3 Shirt & Certificate
Sheri Frederickson
Cheryl Fowell

200 Volunteer Hours
(Yellowstone County Pin)
Donna Canino
Julie Osslund
Karen Botnen
Maia Dickerson

$25 for 400
Volunteer Hours
Brian Godfrey
Gail Tesinsky

$50 for 600 Volunteer Hours
Brian Godfrey
Joyce Hendricks
Marion Grummett
Sue Carter

Mantle Clock for 1400 Volunteer Hours
Merita Murdock – donated reward value to Master Gardener Account to use for MetraPark Square Foot Garden Signage (thanks Merita)

$200 for 2000 Volunteer Hours
Sharon Wetsch (thanks Sharon for all you do)

Whirling Carrot-Top: Valeria Jeffries

by Bess Lovec

Give this gal a hurdle and she will either bulldoze through it or climb over it. For instance, when I interviewed Valeria Jeffries, she had just finished her first marathon. Not only did she complete it: She finished best of class in her age group (admittedly due to the help of Dr. “Joe”). She bonked due to the heat, yet recovered enough to finish. One of the perkiest people I have ever met, I’ve known Val for years through the Yellowstone Art Museum, where she served as Chair of the Board. She just radiates energy, even though she’s very busy as a regional executive with Holiday stores. I felt a surge of excitement when I saw that she enrolled in the Master Gardeners’ program the year I did.

How does she do it? Gardening overlaps with most of the six roles she wishes to improve upon: leader, gardener, chef, athlete, artist, and as a spouse. Allen and she have five acres by the Yellowstone River that provide numerous opportunities for creative gardening. Allen has a salsa garden of tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers among their four raised beds. Another is of wild flowers. Plus they have a pond that Val surrounds with a variety of bulbs. “I always enjoy plants” she shares. Carrot topWith her fast-paced career involving lots of travel, Val makes time to walk through nurseries to reduce stress. Unfortunately their property was hit by the recent hailstorm, but with her can-do attitude, she brushed off the property and views the changes as an opportunity for growth. Even though her car was totaled along with six windows and two roofs, her thoughts go towards the farmers struck by the devastation.

Her gardening days began in Minnesota when her mom sent her and her siblings to the garden to pick fresh vegetables. Lately Val finds joy in companionship gardens, in which gardeners share plants with other gardeners. She hosts the Master Gardeners booth at Pompey’s Pillar’s annual event and also volunteers with Chris Smith at Jim’s Jungle every weekend in May. Chris and Val first met when providing advice at Lowe’s.

Her praise for the MG program overflows, but her highlights include getting to know other gardeners and learning specifics about soil types, fertilizers, the essentials. She values Amy’s ability to build community. Val calls herself a Master Learner rather than a Master Gardener, although, based on photographs she shared, she’s both! The only area of improvement that she hopes will evolve for the MG program? Improved, updated videos.

She’s flummoxed by begonias but has found success with black-eyed Susans and bulbs. Next Val plans a shade garden on her back patio and, potentially, grapevines. She feels her best accomplishment as a gardener is yet to come. Her advice for new gardeners radiates wisdom! Volunteer, keep reading, ask questions, and participate. That formula sounds ideal for success in any endeavor.

 

A Master Gardener Cheerleader: Phil Painter

When I say Phil Painter is an optimist, I’m not referring to the local nonprofit club. Instead I’m sharing that he radiates positivity, which is always welcome as we fall headlong into winter! Phil completed Level 1 about the same time he began a lawn care/landscape maintenance business. He, like many Master Gardeners, combines his interest in gardening with his work life. His business has been so successful that he has little time to garden or volunteer, although his spouse gardens. This summer his wife had enough beefsteak and roma tomatoes, generated in pots, to give many away. She also raises herbs for cooking. The weekly weeding, though, falls to Paul. They plan raised beds for spring 2019 with a few intended goals: so the Chesapeake Bay retriever cannot dig their labors and to utilize less city water. In the past they have grown corn, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, squash, and broccoli.

He was included and even at times forced into gardening his parents’ 20×60-foot plot. His mother found the pursuit much more challenging in Harlowtown than her native California. Eventually he recruited her to the MG program, which she did in Helena. Sometimes knowledge flows upstream!

The welcoming, open format is what Paul cherishes about Master Gardeners. Prior to his enrollment, he struggled to find correct regional information, and he appreciated learning the why to many of his questions. Much of the prior information he was supplied, even locally, was opinion rather than fact, so he was hungry for accuracy.

He finds value in the attitude of sharing information plus the broad range of topics explored. He freely and frequently gives Amy’s number to customers. His advice to new gardeners? Call the Extension Office and sign up for Master Gardeners’ classes. We have a super cheerleader! He hopes the direction of the program will be towards youth, suggesting the Boys and Girls Club or Scouts, to give young people a sense of accomplishment. Even though he has little time to volunteer with our various activities, he has enjoyed observing the number of volunteer options blossom.

His company does not spray because to do so requires special licensing. This factoid alerted me to the notion that if a company does spray, the client might want to check on their licensing. I’m relieved that spraying necessitates licensing. Of course homeowners can spray at their own familial and pet risks.

We discussed brands of equipment, which I won’t endorse herein, and the services he provides: mainly mowing, then power raking, clean-up, and fertilizing with non-pesticide products. He only does sprinkler blowouts for his customers. For landscaping and tree pruning, he makes referrals. Wise enough to limit his scope of practice to what he can successfully manage, Paul devotes this time of year to blade sharpening and oil changes. Specific wisdom he shared with me included that there’s no need to water lawns until July (yards don’t like “wet feet,” aka wet roots), and the many lovely tall grasses so popular lately need thinning every 3 to 5 years. Also trim lilacs after blooming rather than eliminating new blooms in the spring.

So if you crave witness to one of the successes of our program, contact Phil Painter for inspiration and information!

Submitted by Bess Lovec

4 X 4 Square Foot Garden Winners

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

2018 newsletter 19.1

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.

Submitted by Amy Grandpre

Thank You & Welcome Officers!

I would like to express a special thank you to our Association’s outgoing President Bob Wicks and Vice President Sharon Wetch. Thank you both so much for 6 years of service and for being a major part of the force that got the Yellowstone County Master Gardener Association up and successfully running.

Welcoming our new association President Brian Godfrey and new Vice President Sheri Frederickson. Appreciate so much your willingness to serve the Yellowstone County Master Gardener program in this way.

Submitted By Amy Grandpre