Skip to main content

Beet 2021 12 December

Time to Renew Your JCMGA Membership

By Beet 2021 12 December


JCMGA membership renewal for 2022 is now in progress.  Periodic Mailchimps are being sent to remind you how to renew and to provide you with links to your chosen renewal process.  Annual dues remain at $25 and if you want to be included in the 2022 Chapter Directory, please be sure to complete your renewal by January 31, 2022.

Similar to last year, there are three different ways to renew:

1) Complete the renewal form and pay your dues online

The online form is available on the member side of our website. Go to and click on the Member Portal at the top right of the homepage. Enter your username and password to access the Green House (the members-only portion of the website). On the Green House home page, scroll down through the Member Links on the right and click on Membership Renewal. There you can complete the form, make your dues payment of $25, and even make a donation to JCMGA if you would like.

2) Mail in your renewal form and dues

Print the one-page renewal form (no need to return the information/direction page) and send it and your $25 check for dues to:

JCMGA Member Renewal

569 Hanley Road

Central Point, OR, 97502

There is a link to a printable renewal form on the Mailchimps that are being sent out periodically throughout the renewal period. Click on the link and print the one-page renewal form.  Complete the form and mail it and your $25 dues to the address above.

3) Request that a paper copy of the renewal form be mailed to you

There is also a link on the renewal Mailchimps that you can use to request that a paper renewal form be mailed to you.

Potential JCMGA members who do not have email addresses listed with JCMGA have been sent a paper renewal form by mail.


If you have questions about the renewal process, please contact Patrice Kaska, JCMGA Membership Secretary, at

Britt Festival Demonstration Garden – planting day success!

By Beet 2021 12 December


Dear Master Gardeners,

This month, I want to highlight the big success of installing the new demonstration garden at the Britt Festival, which features a variety of native, pollinator, and waterwise plants.  This garden is located at the main entrance of the Britt Festival pavilion, next to the ticket booth.

The Britt approached me last winter and asked if the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program would be interested in partnering on a gardening project which would showcase native plants, pollinator plants, and waterwise plants.  This was a great opportunity to partner with a local organization outside of our normal wheelhouse.  The project was first opened to 2020 students to give them the opportunity to have ownership in a project (after all the challenges of COVID!).

Sharon Bryson, Cassandra Toews, and Lora West were our leaders in this project and did an amazing job designing the space.  We were grateful to have the expertise from some experienced Master Gardeners, along with Christie Mackison of Shooting Start Nursery (Central Point) to give the final design the green light.

On November 18, nine MGs – Teresina Christy, Louise Parker, Lynn Kunstman, Cassandra Toews, Barb Steely, Ruth Alexander, Sharon Bryson, Romina Ramos, and Lora West – came together to plant over 100 plants donated by Shooting Star Nursery, Forest Farm and Plant Oregon (thanks to Lora West for the rocks she donated!).  The JCMGA also generously donated 45 Camassia bulbs and compost (thank you!). Thanks also to Sherri Morgan who donated native iris plants.

We will create signage over the winter describing the various plants, highlighting our donors, and other relevant information.  The signs will be installed in time for the Britt’s 2022 season.

Thanks again to everyone who came out on planting day, and thanks to Cassandra, Lora, and Sharon for all of your hard work and dedication!


Reelin’ in the Year

By Beet 2021 12 December


Fall has arrived with its gray mornings and rainy days.  As I struggle to get my “Dawn of the Dead” vegetable garden vines and shrubs into the compost pile, I am heartened by all the bird activity amongst the standing stalks and stems.  Even looking its worst, my garden is providing important food for birds and insects.  I have raked the leaves up off of sidewalks and paths and placed them gently under the shrubs and trees to provide overwintering sites for moths, butterflies and other insects.  The juncos, thrushes, robins and other birds will utilize this resource for winter sustenance.

Things are winding down on campus as well.  The gardens have been tucked in and are enjoying the rain after the long summer dry spell.  The gardens and grounds crew continues to place signs, and remove debris from paths — a year-round job.

In the Native Plants Nursery, volunteers working in Greenhouse 2 meet each Wednesday from 9 to noon to start seeds in stratification trays and pots.  Beginning in December, we will start planting our milkweed seeds in special pots for sale in the spring.  As always, I am looking for a crew to help with that.

The failure of the well is being addressed.  Our hope is that the winter rains will recharge the shallow well used to irrigate the orchards and gardens.  However, we are going forward with research on a rainwater catchment system to use as supplementary water.  Also, an old well site is being evaluated as another possible source of water for next summer’s irrigation needs.

Our JCMGA association election is complete and we are pleased that all positions have been filled.  I am thankful that we had members willing to step up and take on positions of responsibility to assure that the association could continue.

It has been both a challenge and a great honor to have served as president this past year, and I sincerely thank all those who guided and supported me in that effort.  If you are interested in becoming more involved with Master Gardeners, we welcome your attendance at our monthly meetings on the second Friday of each month.

Finally, we are looking forward with great hope to the coming year and the start of a new Master Gardener class.  Having students on campus is always such a joy.  And teaching new skills to gardeners is pretty much what we do this for.

Hope you will all come out, as the weather and your interests permit.  And remember to Garden for Life. 

A Very Merry Winter Berry

By Beet 2021 12 December


A Very Merry Winter Berry

While you’ll likely savor Alpine strawberries until late autumn, on occasion you might snatch the last few stragglers in December.  However long they last, you’ll be glad to have Fragaria vesca in your edible landscape.

Commonly known as Alpine strawberries, they’re not only native to the USA and Canada as well Asia and Europe, they’re also true heirloom berries. Because they are so tender, they are not usually a commercial crop.

Although petite in size, these hardy little perennial beauties that will survive to minus 0°F pack a surprising punch with super sweet fruitiness.  Their fragrance and flavor will scent your plate like no other garden strawberry.

Alpine strawberries are also commonly called wild strawberry, woodland strawberry, European strawberry and fraisier de bois. The woodland strawberry variety (Fragaria vesca var. vesca) bears fruit in June, while Alpine strawberries produce fruit all summer long (according to The Strawberry Store).

Like all woodland berries, Alpines aren’t hybrids as with most of the usual strawberries we grow in our gardens.  So, Alpines are one of the only types that will grow true-to-seed, if you collect their seed to sow the next year.

They’re very well-behaved in the garden scape given their lack of runners.  However, they will self-sow but usually remain within reasonable space. Excess plants can easily be potted to share or enjoy the larger yield.

Requiring little attention, Alpines flourish in most garden soil as long as it’s not soggy. Growing to 1 to 2 feet tall, they make excellent border plantings beneath taller plants or trees that provide them with their preferred filtered light.

Alpines also make wonderful container plants if kept in the shadier side of the garden. Unlike hybrid strawberries, they don’t need bright sun to enrich their crimson blush-colored and creamy-skinned fruits as do hybrid strawberries.

There are creamy-white Alpines, too.  If the red ones don’t get you, then the whites surely will with the pronounced fragrance and flavor of intense pineapple. No kidding!  You certainly won’t taste that with hybrid strawberries!

Flowering from early spring through summer and well into autumn, you can have a readily- available supply of these delicious, petite berries on hand.  They bear fruit the first year they’re planted.

If you plan on starting Alpines from seed, be patient as it can take up to a month for their first green sprouts to pop.  Plants are an option if you’re not one to wait.  Whichever way you choose, once started, your plants will self-sow so you won’t need to plant them again.

You can divide the crowns of mature, established plants for more plants and thinning brings new life to existing plants.

Alpine strawberries are best enjoyed fresh when fully ripe.  When mature, they easily slip from their stems.

So, if you’re craving some of these intensely fragrant strawberry and pineapple-flavored berries, put in some Merry Alpine berries of your own.


Sources for Alpine Strawberry Plants and Seeds:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

They have seed for Alexandria (scarlet) and White Soul varieties.


The Strawberry Store

They have the most varieties, including: Yellow Wonder and Pineapple Crush, the best-flavored white varieties as well many red types, both seed and plants.


Raintree Nursery

They have five varieties of Alpine plants.




Alpine Strawberry Napoleons

1 package frozen puff pastry (17 ¼ oz) thawed

½ cup organic confectioners’ sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup 2% vanilla Greek yogurt (Tillamook was used here)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

zest from one organic lemon

2 pints of Alpine strawberries (red, white or both)

2 tablespoons organic sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Open pastry and with a serrated knife cut into eighteen 2×3-inch rectangles.  Place strips on parchment-covered baking sheets. Bake for about 7-10 minutes until puffed.  Remove strips from oven and gently press them to about 1/8” thick with a wire rack. Bake another 8-10 minutes until light brown.

Increase oven to 475°F.

Dust all the strips evenly with confectioners’ sugar (a small shaker works best or a fine sieve) and return to oven for about 10 minutes until browned.

In medium bowl, combine cream and organic sugar.  Whip until soft peaks form.  Add vanilla and almond extracts, yogurt and lemon zest.  Whip until stiff peaks form.

To assemble six pastries:

Spread or pipe ¼” layer of whipped cream on 12 of the pastry rectangles, then top with a single layer of berries.  Stack six filled pastries atop the other six filled pastries. Place a plain pastry rectangle on top of each of the six filled pastries “towers”.  Pipe a rosette of cream atop and pop on a berry.

Six servings.