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Sandy Hansen

Unsung Hero of the Master Gardener Program — Linda Holder

By Beet 2022 12 December

Linda Holder has been a Master Gardener since 1998. As you can imagine, Linda has seen the ebb  and flow of the Master Gardeners over the years with some good times and not so good times, but I would bet she saw more good years than bad. Recently, she recounted one of the good memories from when the Master Gardeners hosted Fall Festivals. Linda said the festival was held on campus. All of the different SOREC programs had booths and there was not only a 4H petting zoo, but there were hayrides around the campus. Of course, Linda was more likely than not very much involved with that.

Over the years she has held many positions, including being President of the 2005 board. Linda was also one of the Spring Garden Fair Co-Chairs from 2017 to 2019, where she served as the Vendor Coordinator. Linda and her crew wrangled more than 100 vendors, a mix of plant growers, artisans, bakers and candy makers. She laid out the site map across the Expo, with each vendor’s particular preferences in mind. Linda and her other Co-Chairs (Kate Hassen, Jane Moyer and Sandy Hammond) had several years of successful Spring Garden Fairs.

Because of Linda’s knowledge of the Master Gardeners, she is one of the archivists along with Pam Hillers. Linda’s penchant for organization serves her well in this task. Throughout the years, she gathered information about all of the Master Gardener Events and documented them for prosperity.

Linda keeps Board members on task by regulating Dropbox files where we have all of our Board reports. She is very sweet when she makes you promise to follow the guidelines. It is necessary for the reports to be consistent and orderly so anyone who reads them can completely understand what is going on.

Besides being so heavily involved behind the scenes, Linda is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. She never has harsh words about anyone. Linda is a trusted member of the Master Gardener program. Linda is extremely smart as well.

Unsung Hero — Sandy Hammond, Busy and Smiling

By Beet 2022 10 October

Most of you know Sandy Hammond. But just in case, let me tell you Sandy is one of the most delightful people in the Master Gardener Association. Sandy graduated in the class of 2015 which she describes as “The Best Class Ever” and maybe she is right.     

There are so many ways to describe Sandy, but here is my best description. Sandy is one of the most generous, funniest people I know. She starts every meeting you have with her with a joke or some kind words. Sandy is always smiling and is quick to have a good laugh. She exudes warmth and kindness.

Since becoming a Master Gardener Sandy has been busy – and boy howdy has she been busy! She has been the chair of the Fundraising Working Group (FWG) for several years. The FWG has put on yard sales, pop up sales and the Holiday Gala. The yard sales have been a huge undertaking, lots of organizing to make sure there are enough volunteers to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. The pop-up sales are made possible by her coordination with Lynn Kunstman in the Native Plant nursery. And there is the Holiday Gala which we had before the pandemic and are planning to have again this November.

In addition to her work as chair of the FWG, Sandy also volunteers in the Demonstration Gardens every Wednesday. She has served on the Board as both a Chair and a Representative. She has been a Practicum mentor over the years. Sandy was also co-chair of the Spring Garden Fair, taking on publicity and finance, two very important positions with lots of responsibilities. She has handled them both with grace and ease.

Being a Rogue Valley native has been extremely helpful as she sells our Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Year ‘Round & Month by Month. Sandy sells the GGRV all over the valley. She has clients from Grants Pass to Ashland to whom she personally delivers. Sandy’s sales have been a major contributing factor to our ongoing revenue stream for the past couple of years.

In Sandy’s spare time, she and her husband love going on epic camping trips in her motorhome with 45 of her closest friends and her beloved dog. While camping, she loves to cook for the crowd and put on variety shows.

Sandy is truly a special person. If you don’t know her yet, you should!


JCMGA Unsung Heroes

By Beet 2022 09 September

We have all heard the phrase “Unsung Heroes” which often describes folks who work behind the scenes, doing the necessary work that makes the finished product look easy.

The Master Gardeners have many of those people in the organization, but I am only concentrating on two (two very important people), Maxine Cass and Lisa Brill. Maxine and Lisa are the editors and proofreaders on The Garden Beet newsletter that is published each month. Their job is to correct spelling errors, run-on sentences and to fact check each article.

Maxine Cass has been a Master Gardener since 2015. In addition, she is also a Master Food Preserver, Master Woodland Manager and a member of the Land Stewards. In her spare time, Maxine writes and edits other publications. Plus, she has 20 acres of land here in the Rogue Valley that she and her husband manage. Maxine has been a writer and researcher for other organizations here and abroad. She spends one to three hours per month editing articles that come into The Garden Beet for publication. Her main goal is to make sure that the Beet is not only accurate in its writing but upholds the integrity of the Association.

Lisa Brill is another unsung hero you don’t hear from often. Lisa is from the class of 2020/2021 and has chosen to lend us her time working as an editor for The Garden Beet. It has been said that Lisa is a very fine editor who can write for a variety of different audiences. Like Maxine, Lisa tries to make sure the articles in the Beet are accurate and written with integrity. When not gardening, Lisa is an avid bicyclist. She is the president of the Siskiyou Velo bicycle club and loves to tackle a few hills (and the flats) when riding in the Rogue Valley. In Lisa’s professional life, she managed a flu vaccination campaign and wrote member education materials and operational, clinical and policy guidelines for Kaiser Permanente in northern California. Lisa had long desired to become a Master Gardener, so when she retired, she fulfilled that dream.

Without these two talented and dedicated women, The Garden Beet would not have the esteem that it has now. They take well-written articles and make them into excellent articles. I thank them for their hard work. I am sure now that you know a little bit about them, you will appreciate their critical eye too. The Garden Beet would not be the same without them.



By Beet 2022 07 July

Wow, what a wonderful event! The Membership Working Group put on a “Tea” to bolster membership in the Master Gardener program. Marcie Katz came up with the idea to have a Tea Party and invite Master Gardeners whose membership had lapsed due to the pandemic. Well, as it turned out, it was a wonderful idea. 

Some Association members did not know that the Demonstration Gardens were open again, so it was time to become reacquainted with the grounds and see all the changes that have been made since we had to close due to COVID-19 in 2019. Plus, it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends. The event moved from the arboretum into the auditorium because of unpredictable weather. The room was full of laughter and lots of chatter from participants who were delighted to see each other again.


Of course, tea was served along with an array of delicious desserts. Marcie supplied a beautiful collection of vintage teacups and tea pots which adorned the tables that were covered with lace tablecloths. Atop the tables, Sandy Hammond had made arrangements of roses (from our Rose Garden). Janine Salvatti and Lyn Boening served the teas. Annette Carter and Colet Allen helped arrange the desserts. Carol Bogedain and Teresina Christy staffed the Membership table. Clean up had so many hands in the dishwater that they are too many to name.

The Membership Working Group would like to welcome back the people who renewed their membership. We really appreciate each and every one of you, thank you. As you all know, the Association plays a vital role in our community which means we need everyone to help us keep going. If you missed this event, we have others coming up in which you can become involved. If you have a special skill or talent or simply want to have a new challenge, we need you.


Thank you and Welcome back!