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Barbara Low

JCMGA Working Groups Summaries

By Beet 2023 05 May


Community Outreach Working Group

JCMGA will have a booth at the Medford Open Streets Event on May 20th.  We have been busy preparing for it and are still looking for volunteers to help.

JCMGA awards Community Gardens Grants.  This year the grant selection committee, chaired by Mary Foster, awarded three $500 grants.  Recipients were Eagle Point Garden Club, Blue Heron Park in Phoenix, and Options for Housing Assistance and Resources in Ashland.

We have been working on updating the Speakers Bureau and updating the vetting process for potential speakers.

Talks are continuing concerning the concept of “Friends of JCMGA”.

Since the Member Services WG is discussing the same subject, we will have a joint meeting to discuss the idea of “Friends of JCMGA”.



chair is Sandy Hammond

The FUNrasing working group meets on the 3rd Friday of each month in the conference room. We do have fun tossing around ideas and seeing which ones will work. Part of the FRWG is grant writing, Garden Guides sales and bottle and can return.  We have been busy brainstorming other possible Fundraising projects.


Garden Working Group

Chair is Janine Salvatti

We have been very busy getting the Demonstration Gardens ready for our upcoming Garden Tours.  We have also been busy getting new signage for the gardens.


Marketing and Technology Working Group

chair is Marcia Harris

Three Class of 2023 Student Master Gardeners have joined Lisa Brill to be JCMGA editors.

We have been reviewing our current technology and looking to see what we may need in the future.


Member Services Working Group

chair is Barbara Low

We completed the JCMGA 2023 Chapter Directory and members should have received their copy through the mail.  We are currently researching possible field trips for interested people to attend.

Talks are continuing concerning the concept of “Friends of JCMGA”.

Since the Member Services WG is discussing the same subject, we will have a joint meeting to discuss the idea of “Friends of JCMGA”.


Program Support Working Group

chair is Grace Florjancic

Students are finally applying the knowledge they have learned in class to solve problems in the Plant Clinic. Mentors have been impressed with the student’s eagerness to learn and their excitement to experience the unknown mysteries brought to the clinic. We are ramping up to a very busy spring, which is great for keeping the students on their toes!



chair is Sandy Hammond

Spring Garden Fair is the main source of funds for JCMGA. It is held on the 1st Saturday in May. This year’s event will be held on May 6th on the Extension grounds. We have been very busy organizing this event.  We look forward to being able to provide this event to the public.


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Working Group

chairs are Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, and Barbara Low

We have been busy organizing the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 Symposium.  This virtual event will be October 27, 28, November 3, and 4.


Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements — April 2023

By Beet 2023 04 April


The Plant Clinic hours are changing this month.  It is now open at the OSU Extension office on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00 – 2:00 p.m.


OMGA Award Nominations due April 15th.    See article for details.


Bee City Event: Native Plant Sale

  • Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 11:00-2:00 p.m.
  • At the Phoenix Industrial Studios, 4495 S Pacific Highway, Phoenix
  • Contact Lynn Kunstman at for further information


Spring Garden Fair

  • Saturday, May 6th from 9:00-3:00 p.m.
  • At SOREC Extension, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point
  • This year we are pleased to announce the return of many of our perennial vendors who have stood by us through the COVID years. Our Native plant nursery will be selling a variety of native plants, also there will be plants grown by our Student Volunteers including vegetable plants and herbs. Our

Propagation nursery will have a variety of ornamental plants available.


Medford Open Streets Event

  • Saturday, May 20 from Noon-4:00 p.m.
  • JCMGA will have a booth to pass out gardening information, Plant Clinic information, and JCMGA information.
  • We will be asking for volunteers to setup, man the booth, and take down.
  • Contact Barbara Low if you would like to volunteer


JCMGA Working Group Updates

By Beet 2023 04 April

Community Outreach Working Group

Chair:  Ronnie Budge

JCMGA will be participating in the Medford Open Street Event on May 20th from noon-4:00 p.m.  We will have a booth by Hawthorne Park.  If you are interested in volunteering to help man the booth, please contact Barbara Low ,  The Speakers Bureau is being updated and enlarged which is being spear headed by Colet Allen.



Chair:  Sandy Hammond

This working group has been busy working on fundraising projects – RV Garden Guides, Spring Garden Fair – and looking into future fundraising projects.  They have been looking at potential grants to fund JCMGA projects/needs.


Gardens Working Group

Chair:  Janine Salvatti

This working group has been busy preparing the gardens for visitors to enjoy.  New signage has been installed.  They are looking for volunteers who would be interested in working in a Demonstration Garden.


Marketing & Technology Working Group

Chair: Marcia Harris

Sandy Hansen has stepped down as chair and Marcia Harris is now the chair of this working group.  This group has developed a new JCMGA brochure and JCMGA magnets.  They are working on continuing to get the JCMGA name out to the public.


Member Services Working Group

Chair: Barbara Low

The 2023 Chapter Directory should be coming out soon.  This working group is working on retaining current members and getting new members.  They are starting to plan for the JCMGA Annual Picnic which will be on August 19th.



Program Support Working Group

Chair: Grace Florjancic

The Program Support Working Group is happy to announce that the full schedule for the Community Education Classes has been posted. These classes are open to everyone in the community to come and learn. Tell your friends, your family, and the little gnomes that live in your garden to check out the schedule for interesting classes.

Register Here:


Spring Garden Fair

Chair – Sandy Hammond

Things are coming together for this year’s Spring Garden Fair – May 6th.  Lots of planning and organizing being done.


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 Symposium

Co-chairs:  Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, Barbara Low

We have been busily working on planning and recruiting speakers for our upcoming WDSG.

Lori Ross has joined the group.

Plant a Row Opportunity

By Beet 2023 04 April

During this time our community has many families who are struggling to feed their loved ones.  We have an opportunity to help.  JCMGA wants to encourage people to participate. ACCESS Community Action Agency of Jackson County will accept our produce this year.

Plant A Row started in Anchorage, Alaska, when garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels asked readers to plant an extra row of vegetables to donate to the local soup kitchen. Gardeners took up the challenge, and garden-fresh vegetables piled into the kitchen. The program went national in 1995, as gardeners across the country promoted planting extra crops for donation. Since then, gardeners have donated more than 20 million pounds of produce to food banks, soup kitchens, and related charities across the U.S. as part of the program.

Would you like to donate produce to people in need? There are three steps to participating.

  1. Grow food! Whether you have a community garden plot, or just a few tomato plants, every pound helps.
  2. In the June Garden Beet, we will have details on where your harvested produce can be dropped off. Details are being worked out now.
  3. Once you’ve dropped off your donation, we will have a record sheet which you may use to record how much produce (by weight) you have donated so we can keep track!  Every pound counts! The Members Services Working Group and the Community Outreach Working Group are working on this.


For more information about the Plant A Row Opportunity visit


OMGA Awards Nominations Wanted

By Beet 2023 04 April

It’s time to nominate someone for State Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year, and our local county JCMGA Master Gardener of the Year and Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year. This year you can also nominate a volunteer who has worked to advance Growing and Belonging.

~~~~ All nominations are due by April 15th. ~~~~


The annual Master-Gardener-of-the-Year Award recognizes outstanding dedication and service in support of sustainable gardening to benefit all of Jackson County and/or the entire Oregon Master Gardener program. Describe your nominees’ contributions in education and outreach, such as work in the Plant Clinic, teaching classes, serving as a mentor, planning and organizing a major project, or other activities. Include any leadership roles they have held. If their work has had an impact beyond the borders of Jackson County, e.g., if other county Master Gardener programs have adopted projects that started in Jackson County, be sure to mention that!


The annual Behind-the-Scenes Award can also be for service just in Jackson County or statewide. It recognizes individuals who work quietly and unselfishly in ways that may not be noticed by everyone, e.g. by preparing and serving refreshments, keeping accurate records, maintaining and repairing the physical plant, or seeing projects through to completion.


In addition to our Master Gardener of the Year, and Behind the Scenes awards, 2023 marks the first year recognizing and celebrating the volunteers who have significantly contributed in advancing diversity, inclusion, access, and/or equity among Master Gardener volunteers and the communities we work with.


In 200 words or less, describe your nominees’ activities as fully as you can ​with specific examples​, and e-mail your nominations to ​Barbara Low at

Let Soil Temperature Guide You When Planting Vegetables

By Beet 2023 04 April

In thinking about preparing my garden for spring and itching to get out in my yard, I came across this article written by Kym Pokorny from OSU.

We are getting our much needed rain to help us get out of the drought that we have been experiencing – but this article helped to remind me of some very important points regarding this year’s gardening.

“Weeks of cold temperatures and rain have unsettled the gardening season. You may be raring to get your garden planted – but hold on. Sowing seed or planting seedlings at the wrong time will bring nothing but heartache.”

‘One of the biggest mistakes people make is to plant too early,’ said Weston Miller, a former horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. ‘They get excited when it’s sunny for a few days, put plants in the ground and think they will grow. But the seeds either rot from damping off fungus or germinate very slowly. At the very least, they’ll be stressed for the rest of the season and never catch up.’

Usually, we are able to plant many different vegetable seeds in the ground. We need to pay attention to the soil temperature.

“This year, however, paying attention to soil temperature is the best way to go. An inexpensive soil thermometer helps keep planting time in perspective.”

Fifty degrees is a good benchmark for cool-season crops,’ Weston said. ‘And the soil should be 60 degrees or more for warm-weather plants like tomatoes, peppers and basil. In fact, for tomatoes it should ideally be 65 to 70.’

“If you can’t resist the urge to plant warm-season vegetables before the soil warms sufficiently, Miller recommends using some sort of protection from the chill, such as a floating row cover, individual glass or plastic cloches or even milk jugs or soda bottles with the top cut out and turned upside down over plants. For directions on building a large, greenhouse-type cloche with PVC pipe and plastic, check out the OSU Extension guide on “How to Build Your Own Raised Bed Cloche.”

‘Gardening depends on the weather, which is unpredictable,’ Miller said. ‘But it pays to wait.’

Check out Weston Miller’s top five tips for a successful vegetable gardening —

  • Prepare the soil
  • In addition to adding complete fertilizer to the soil, use a soluble fertilizer like fish emulsion for transplants
  • Use transplants when possible
  • Control weeds early in the growth cycle of your veggies 
  • Monitor and control slugs and other insect pests often.


To view the entire article go to

Annual Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association Photo Contest Winners

By Beet 2023 04 April



The Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association Member Services Working Group (MSWG) would like to announce the winners of its annual photo contest for 2023.

Last month we announced the winner of our photo contest.  Janine Salvatti’s photo will be on the cover of our JCMGA 2023 Chapter Directory!

We also have four very beautiful photos of our runners up.  Each photographer has written 1-2 paragraphs about their photo.


The overall winner was Janine Salvatti (2019) with her photo “Monarch Butterfly and Asters”.

“This photo was taken as my hubby and I were headed out for a long weekend before Covid hit.  The day was glorious, and we stopped along the way as the whim struck us. We saw a sign for a butterfly garden and headed down a little potholed road.  In a wide clearing we found a small butterfly house filled with milkweed and many other plants. Several varieties of butterflies were busy flitting from flower to flower and we saw our first monarch eggs ever on the milkweed.  Such a treat. “  Janine Salvatti






The four runners-up are —

Alexius Lucas (2023) for her “Red Hisbiscus” photo

The Notorious R.B.G.

My beautiful red Hibiscus flower resides at my home in Talent, Oregon.  Just days after the Alameda fire I went to a plant sale and fundraiser held for the Phoenix and Talent School District.  I wanted to both help the fire survivors in the community, and to add some of nature’s beauty to my depressing and totally empty neighborhood.  At the time, I was living in my house with no electricity.  So, I was spending nearly all of my time outside bringing my gardens and flowers back to life, after surviving several days with no available water.

Just a day before the fundraiser and plant sale Ruth Bader Ginsburg had sadly passed away.  I decided to name this outstanding Hibiscus flower “The Notorious R.B.G”, after an amazing role model in the pursuit of gender and workplace equality.



Linda Millus (2023) for her “Stargazer Lily” photo  

I rescued this liliaceae (Stargazer Lily) from my mother’s perennial garden after she passed.

I absolutely love fragrant and showy flowers and is one of the best!

It reminds me of my mother and all the times we spent in her garden together sharing her knowledge as a master gardener with me.

Knowing she had her hands on this very plant, and smelled the wonderful fragrance is truly a treasured memory for me.




Trina Stout (2022) for her “Rainbow Over Garden” photo   

This photo was taken last April in our backyard family farm/garden. It was raining in the morning and then the sun popped out and my dad saw this gorgeous rainbow, so he grabbed his iPhone and ran out into the garden and as it continued to rain, he took this photo of the rainbow and our garden/farm.

I tend this farm/garden with my dad (who’s completing his Master Gardener hours in 2023) and my brother Kevin. We have 48 beds, 22 fruit trees, cane berries, and flower beds that provide food for six families and many friends and neighbors. We love giving tours, so please reach out!



Lora West (2020) for her “Bleeding Heart” photo   

I planted the bareroot in 2019.  I didn’t know it had lived until last summer when it appeared as if out of nowhere.  I’ve learned that’s not uncommon, that perennials play their cards close to the chest until they’re ready to show their hand!

“Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce. In summer, we work hard to make a tidy garden, bordered by pansies with rows or clumps of columbine, petunias, bleeding hearts. Then we find ourselves longing for the forest, where everything has the appearance of disorder; yet we feel peaceful there.” Natalie Goldberg (2011). “Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life”, p.6, Open Road Media

Congratulations everyone!!

April in the Garden

By Beet 2023 04 April

Spring is here! Daffodils, grape hyacinth, and tulips are popping up.

I am continuing this series of articles and hope that you find them helpful and inspiring. In April, there is quite a bit to do in the garden depending on what you want to grow.  Our gardens still need to be cared for so that they will do well in the spring and summer. By caring for our gardens, we are also caring for ourselves – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The Jackson County Master Gardener Association has a great resource for gardeners to use. It is the Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month.  This great reference book for gardeners is mainly about growing vegetables, berries, and melons.

April is the time to:

  • Plant grapes
  • Plants which you plant as seeds to transplant later
o   Basil Cantaloupe
o   Cabbage o   Celery
o   Cucumbers o   Eggplant
o   Peppers o   Squash
o   Watermelon o   Tomatoes
  • Plants which you can plant as seed outside
o   Beets o   Carrots
o   Chervil o   Chives
o   Collards o   Cilantro
o   Corn, sweet o   Dill
o   Florence Fennel o   Kohlrabi
o   Kale o   Leeks
o   Lettuce o   Parsnips
o   Parsley o   Peas
o   Radishes o   Potatoes
o   Salsify o   Scallions
o   Swiss Chard       Tomatillos
  • Plants to transplant this month
o   Broccoli o   Cabbage
o   Cauliflower o   Chinese Cabbage
o   Endive, Escarole o   Jerusalem artichokes
o   Leeks

o   Onion

o   Pak Choi

o   Rhubarb

o   Lettuce

o   Oriental Greens

o   Parsley

o   Tomatoes

  • Time to fertilize
    • Established artichokes
    • Established blackberries


Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month. This book contains a wealth of gardening information. You can purchase it at our local Grange Co-op or at the OSU Extension office for $21.00. It can also be purchased on-line at Note that a shipping fee will be applied.



Happy Gardening and Stay Warm

Garden For Life