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Beet 2022 09 September

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements

By Beet 2022 09 September

Adelinia grandis

Members and friends, we are back on campus and desperately need your help in our demonstration gardens. Come on any Wednesday, from 9 am to noon, from now through October.  Our goal: get our gardens back to their former glory.

Contact Lynn Kunstman





  • Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium 2022 will be held October 28th, 29th, November 4th, and 5th
  • Check out the list of presentations.
  • Registration is now open!!
  • Register online at
  • Most sessions will be recorded.  These recordings will be available to view until the end of December 2022.

JCMGA Picnic Food a Great Success

By Beet 2022 09 September

One of the favorite dishes was Susan Koenig’s Carrot Cake.  Many people asked her for the recipe.  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake




Cake batter

2 C flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1-1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

2 C. sugar

1-1/2 C vegetable oil

2 C peeled and finely grated carrots

8 oz. crushed pineapple

3/4 C. pecans, coarsely chopped



12 oz softened cream cheese

1-1/2 sticks softened butter

1 Tbps. vanilla

1 C. pecans, coarsely chopped

6 C. confectioner’s sugar


3  9-inch round cake pans, 2″ deep



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Sift together all dry ingredients
  3. With electric mixer, beat eggs until light
  4. Add sugar slowly to eggs while mixing
  5. Mix in oil in slow stream until combined
  6. Mix  in pineapple with juice, carrots and pecans on low.
  7. Mix in 1/3 of dry ingredients at a time to wet ingredients.
  8. Grease and flour pans.
  9. Pour 1/3 of batter into each pan.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes, switching the position of the pans between top and bottom to cook evenly.
  11. Insert knife into center to test for doneness. If knife comes out clean, cake is done.
  12. Remove pans from oven and cool on wire rack.



  1. In the mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium until very soft — about 5 minutes
  2. Add powdered sugar slowly while mixing on medium low to incorporate, then beat for 5 minutes at medium high until smooth — about 5 minutes.
  3. Cool in refrigerator to stiffen a little before icing the cake.



  1. Remove cakes from pans and cool thoroughly.
  2. Spread 1/4 of icing on first layer.
  3. Add another layer on top and spread 1/4 of icing on that.
  4. Add the top layer and add the remaining icing to the top.
  5. Spread icing down sides and across top with a wide spatula .
  6. Sprinkle top and sides with coarsely chopped pecans.



Highlighting JCMGA Experts Presenting at Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens

By Beet 2022 09 September

Last month began our Garden Beet series of three articles on the instructors and their presentations for the upcoming Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium October 28-29 and November 4-5. This month, I am going to shine a spotlight on JCMGA’s own Master Gardener experts who will be presenting at the symposium. I’m including Rachel Werling in this group, because she was the instructor for my class in 2016 and we made her an “honorary” Master Gardener. Although you may have heard presentations by each of them in the past, these Master Gardeners are developing NEW lectures for this symposium. We have a deep and talented bench!


Rachel Werling                                                                                 

  • Title of presentation: Wildflowers to Know
  • Description of presentation: We will have a virtual tour through some of our lovely Southwest Oregon habitats and see native blossoms in their native habitats. We will give pointers on where to see wildflowers, tools for identification, and suggest places to find these species for sale for your own garden.
  • Short bio: Rachel Werling runs the OSU Land Steward program and Klamath Siskiyou Ecoregion Course of the Oregon Master Naturalist Program. She is president of the Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon.



Lynn Kunstman


  • Title: Why Natives? – Seven Steps to Restoring Biodiversity in Your Yard
  • Description: Planting native plants is crucial to ecosystem health and to preserving and protecting life on earth. Plant choice matters and choosing native plants helps to restore and ensure vital ecosystem services in our landscapes. Based on the work of Dr. Doug Tallamy, this presentation outlines seven steps you can take to create healthy, productive gardens and help save our disappearing pollinators and birds.
  • Short Bio: Lynn is a Master Gardener living in Medford Oregon. She has lived in the

Rogue Valley since 1986. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management and a

Master’s Degree of Science in Education. A retired middle school science and special

education teacher, Lynn’s students at Ashland Middle School established the butterfly

garden there. Her first project upon retiring and moving from Ashland to Medford was

to mulch out all the lawns on her property. Lynn’s entire front yard in Medford is now

given over to wildlife: planted with edible trees and shrubs, and pollinator plants. The

back yard is planted in fruit trees, berries and vegetables for the humans. She is an

enthusiastic advocate of gardens planted with wildlife, pollinators and butterflies in mind.


Robin McKenzie                                                                                 

  • Title of Presentation: Planning and Growing a Living Landscape: Gardening for Biodiversity
  • Description: Save time and money by planning before you plant! With the right knowledge about native and ornamental plants, timing, seasonality, and basic design principles, it’s easy to transform any space into a pollinator and bird paradise, regardless of size. You’ll walk away from this information-packed class with step-by-step planning techniques for creating a garden that supports native and migratory pollinators and birds, while offering a beautiful, soothing vista for you and your neighbors.
  • Short Bio:Robin McKenzie is a landscape designer in Talent, Oregon. Rockbird Gardens specializes in transforming typical lawns into living landscapes using native and ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennials. As an avid birder, Robin values insects as critically important parts of the ecosystem and encourages students to embrace gardening that brings all facets of life into the neighborhood. Robin tends her own official Talent Pollinator Garden as well as a Certified Monarch Butterfly Way Station.



Sherri Morgan                                       

  • Title: Lawn Gone
  • Description: Many of us grew up with lawns and have always considered them a major part of our landscapes. But we live in Southern Oregon, which has a Mediterranean climate, with four-plus months of little to no rain. Currently, we are in the third year of a significant drought, with water restrictions increasingly likely. Lawns are thirsty and do little to provide food or shelter to our native insects and vertebrates. This class will show how to easily remove the lawn. Then, we will discuss replacing the lawn area with plants that preserve a sense of space, but which are more appropriate for our climate and support the ecosystems in which we live.
  • Short Bio: Sherri is a Master Gardener and 15-year resident of Jackson County. She has taught in the Master Gardener Practicum program since 2009 and currently is the mentor of the Native Plants Garden at the Extension (SOREC) in Central Point. Sherri has certificates in landscape design and construction and over the past several years has focused on designs that feature plants native to our area.



Shirley Wentworth                                                                   

  • Title: Incorporating Herbs into Your Life
  • Description: A discussion of herbs used as flavorings, infusions, scents, nutrients and in cooking that can be grown in the Rogue Valley. Shirley will talk about growing selected herbs and how to use them.
  • Bio: Shirley has been a Master Gardener since 2013. She is the Garden Education Mentor for the Herb Garden at Extension and was the organizer of the Herb Study Group.



John Kobal       

  • Title: Year-Round Vegetable Gardening
  • Description: Why not take advantage of gardening year-round? With a little planning, you too can reap the benefits and enjoyment of eating your own fresh produce. Change what you grow with the changing seasons. Start your winter garden before cool weather sets in. Know what crops to plant and when to expect harvests. Interplant crops to anticipate changes in weather. Have a greenhouse or a heat mat? Start your seeds early.
  • Short Bio:   John has 30-plus years of gardening experience. He relocated to the Rogue Valley in 2014 and became a Master Gardener in 2015. John has an extensive orchard, an in-ground garden and 18 raised beds used for growing vegetables. He has three worm bins which compost most kitchen scraps. John is a garden lecturer for civic organizations, interfaces with several local school gardening programs, is a Practicum instructor in the Master Gardener Training Program and hosts the garden lecture series at the annual Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair.

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.


The Picnic is Back with Master Gardener Awards!

By Beet 2022 09 September

After two long years, the annual Master Gardener August Picnic is back! Although our numbers were not what they were before COVID-19, we had a wonderful turn out of about 50 people. The auditorium was beautifully decorated with tablecloths, burlap runners and Mason jars of flowers by the Picnic Committee that included Sandy Hammond, Marcie Katz, Sandy Hansen, Lynn Kunstman, Colet Allen, Regula Pepi, Lucy Pylkki, Pam Hillers and Margaret Saydah. The menu was delicious BBQ burgers with all the fixins, and a wonderful variety of side dishes and desserts brought by the attendees. It was a joyful get together with old acquaintances and students from 2020 and the 2022 classes who finally got to meet and mingle with our newly graduated as well as experienced Master Gardeners.

Awards were the key focus of the event, with a BIG congratulations going to Jane Moyer (although she was not in attendance) who received the 2022 State Master Gardener of the Year Award, selected over nominees from all the MG Chapters in Oregon! Jane’s service and dedication to our organization for the last 17 years is impressive and her Practicum Curriculum has been copied and shared throughout the state. Jane is currently on the committee to select the new coordinator for the 2023 MG class and to plan next year’s Practicum.

Jackson County Master Gardeners awarded Lynn Kunstman as the 2022 Master Gardener of the Year for her hard work in keeping the Native Nursery functioning through the hard times and bringing in much needed revenue from plant “pop up” sales. Her passion for spreading the word about native plants emphasizes a key objective for Master Gardeners as we go forward into a time of insect apocalypse and climate change. You can hear her each week on Jefferson Public Radio as she answers listeners’ gardening questions. Lynn also taught a class on native plants at the recent OMGA Mini College and is always willing to answer questions about native plants. You can find her working diligently in the Native Nursery.

Sean Cawley (2020 class) was awarded the JCMGA Behind the Scenes Master Gardener for his enthusiastic and hard-working management of the Vegetable Garden (formerly the Children’s Garden) and the Orchards! He has single-handedly pruned all the apple, pear and peach trees in the big orchard as well as pruning the Fig Grove down to the ground last fall to give it a revitalization! Those interested in cover crops, companion planting and the various other experiments going on, should visit his garden. Sean also taught several outdoor classes to the 2022 students and helps with grounds maintenance in assisting Doug Kirby. Sean and Lynn were both instrumental in getting the new Water Containment System in and preparing us for the future.

The Award Nominations Committee also wanted to acknowledge several others who have contributed to the organization throughout the hard times we have experienced in the last few years and presented awards to the unsuspecting recipients.

Sandy Hammond is “Captain of Fortune” for her tireless delivery of Garden Guides from Ashland to Grants Pass, the sales of which have kept us in the black and for her work as Chair of the Fundraising WG!

Doug Kirby is “Keeper of the Sacred Grounds” for his dedication to maintaining the irrigation system, ordering soils and amendments, working on the weekend fixing the pump piping, and always being there to help on volunteer workdays, sanding benches, moving beds, cutting blackberries, etc., all while he keeps the beautiful Perennial Garden a delight to behold.

Last, but not least, is Ronnie Budge, who was awarded the title of “Herald” for her active role in Chairing the Community Outreach WG while living in Seattle! With the goal of Diversify, Integration and Equality she has led her group on a renewal of the Speakers Bureau, Community Garden projects and School Scholarships. Ronnie was also made a Lifetime Member of the JCMGA for her 11 years of service, which included years as mentor in the Practicum. As President, she led us through the year of COVID-19 in 2020; she kept us together while learning how to navigate and conduct board business meetings on (the dreaded) Zoom!

Congratulations to all the Award recipients!

To those who have been on the fence, please stay involved. We are making our way back to “normal” with many future events planned.

I hope to see you all at the Graduation in October. Come and meet the new Master Gardeners and let’s get ready for a fantastic 2023!

Over the Fields and Through the Woods…

By Beet 2022 09 September

…to grandmother’s winter garden we go. Grandmother sure knew what she was doing when she sowed onion seed in autumn!

Allium cepa, specifically in this case, overwintering onion varieties, are something we northwestern gardeners should consider sowing in our autumn garden plots.       

Why plant onions for overwintering? If you’re looking for more succulent, sweet, and milder onions for your seasonal menus, then these are for you.

Also, given our fickle springs, onions sown at that time often do poorly. It’s very frustrating to find all your diligent efforts result in little to harvest. Slow to germinate, onions that are sensitive to cold temperatures can leave you with very pungent golf balls instead of succulent onion bulbs.

Despite a few challenges, overwintering onions offer not only earlier harvestable bulbs, but also different varieties. Both bulbing and bunching onions can be overwintered. If desired, you can still supplement them with spring sown onions to extend the season.

Overwintering onions also withstand freezing weather. Since they’re in the ground much longer than their spring counterparts, they develop much stronger root systems. Most of their growth also takes place in early spring when soil moisture is most ideal.

These onions also mature and dry in early summer, between June and July, when days are longest for good curing. Hence, you get more superior bulbs that will bring you joy for your efforts as well as the tastiest bulbs.

Sowing overwintering onions in September is best, as the hottest days should have somewhat lessened. For August sowing, you need to select more bolt-resistant varieties to avoid this undesirable occurrence.

Overwintering onions may result in superior harvests and their seed is more vigorous than other types of onions.

To help with sprouting, always purchase quality seed (order from reputable seed companies) and sow only current year seed.

After sowing about ¼” deep, cover seed with fine compost or seedling start mix.  Both hold water and help with germination.

You’ll also want to thin appropriately according to the varieties you’ve sown as overcrowding can result in poor plants. Ideally, you want your plants about ¼ inch in diameter as winter begins.

Although you can sow directly in open garden plots, raised beds are preferable. They not only have superior drainage, (onion seedlings are very susceptible to rotting in heavy-wet conditions) but more friable soil. The use of hoop houses also helps manage moisture during the winter.

Raised beds also hold moisture more evenly–a must for successful overwintering. They help prevent pink root problems and promote general root health by minimizing nitrogen loss. Ultimately, this all means more vigorous bulbs for you to savor earlier.

Onions will start regrowing in late January-February. Once growth starts, side dress them with blood meal, then repeat again in mid-April. Use a complete balanced fertilizer in mid-May.

Once tops start to turn golden (except for bunching onions that should be harvested while still green earlier in spring), stop watering about two weeks before pulling the bulbs.

In no time, you’ll be grateful that grandma had such a great idea. You, too, can enjoy those lovely sweet and succulent overwintering onions.

Seed Sources:

Leeks may also be included for overwintering.

Territorial Seed

They have Red Spring, Hi-Keeper, Walla Walla and White Lisbon bunching onions.


Johnny’s Selected Seeds

They have T-448, Bridger, Desert Sunrise, and Walla Walla along with Bandit organic leeks.



Caramelized Spring Onions and Peppers

1 ½ pounds spring onions (bunching, regular onions or a mix of both) red and/or yellow, washed, roots and skin removed then sliced in 2” pieces for bunching and thin crosswise slices for regular onions

2 large sweet red peppers, washed, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary minced

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup each sweet sherry and organic apple juice

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oil in heavy-lidded sauté pan until it’s hot but not smoking. Toss in onions, peppers and rosemary.  Cook on medium heat until limp, about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and gradually add sherry, apple juice, balsamic vinegar, honey and sea salt. Stir to mix, then return to medium heat, stirring until it bubbles. Cover with lid and continue cooking on medium low about 15-20 minutes until liquid has concentrated into a glaze and onions are a golden color. Serve hot or cold as relish, on a burger, sandwich or salad, on seafood, poultry or vegan dishes.

Store in fridge.



Oregon State University, dry bulb onions Western OR Dec 2012

Johnny’s Seeds overwintering trials

The Westside Gardener by Travis Saling



Call for Plant Sale Volunteers

By Beet 2022 09 September

Greetings, Jackson County Master Gardeners!

We have volunteer opportunities for you coming up this fall.  For new students, these hours can help you earn hours toward graduation.  For veteran MGs, these can be used to earn your annual required hours.


We have the following Pop-up Sales planned.

  • September 10, 2022 – At SOREC Extension Campus 569 Hanley Road, Central Point 8 am – 4 pm (where our nursery is located)

We will need volunteers for this the day of the sale – to sell plants,  and Wed, Thurs, and Friday before the sale – to put labels on plants and place informational signs.

  • October 9, 2022 – At Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, 312 N. Main Street,   8 am to 4 pm

We will need volunteers the day of the sale, and the day before, to load equipment, and plants, and to transport plants

  • November 12, 2022 – At SOREC Extension Campus 569 Hanley Road, Central Point (where our nursery is located) 8 am to 4 pm

We will need volunteers for this the day of the sale – to sell plants,  and Wed, Thurs, and Friday before the sale – to put labels on plants and place informational signs.  This sale will be in conjunction with our HOLIDAY GALA, which will be in the auditorium.

If you are interested in volunteering for any (or all) of these events, please contact Lynn Kunstman at and give me DATES and TIMES.  I will be constructing spreadsheets for each sale, with volunteers’ times and contact information.

Thanks everyone for helping to make our fundraisers so successful!


Out in the Community

By Beet 2022 09 September

JCMGA Members Participating in the Annual OLLI Open House Share Their Insights


by Colet Allen

JCMGA participated in the OLLI Open House held at SOU’s Stevenson Student Union on Friday, July 23, 2022. John Kobal and Susan Koenig were asked to staff one of the instructor’s tables for Recreation. I was seated directly across from them at the Development Committee table. I almost never saw them as they constantly had three to seven people lined up with questions and folks eager to talk to about gardening. John and Susan now have their own OLLI following. They will be teaching an Ornamental Gardening in the Rogue Valley class on Wednesdays this fall from 9 to 10:30 a.m. For information on registration, go to the OLLI at SOU website.

You could tell that people were enjoying this event by the noise level and vibration in the huge room. The hustle and bustle of people going to and coming from the Heritage Organizations in the main entry hall and the fabulous, donated food from several of our retirement facilities who were set up in the cafeteria all added to this event. The Rogue River Room housed information tables for SOU, OLLI Instructors and the OLLI Committees.

It was a successful event partly because several past members returned and there were about an equal number of new members who signed up. Some of the new members had just moved to the Rogue Valley. It was a fun event, a great outing and wonderful to get together with good friends again. I heard that there were over 800 people in attendance.

From John Kobal:

A fun time was had by all at the OLLI Open House. OLLI has so many interesting courses – and one that covers Ornamental Gardening, too. Yup, Susan Koenig and John Kobal are at it again. They are co-hosting the Fall OLLI series of classes, as was done two years previously. OLLI (via Zoom format) affords attendees the opportunity to learn about gardening in the comfort of their own homes. With all the COVID-19 scares still abounding, we again opted for the Zoom format. In between each session, attendees can forward questions specific to their needs. John and Susan respond directly to the participant and share questions/responses with the class when deemed generally applicable. Questions during the class are also encouraged. OLLI has proven itself very valuable in concert with the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau. Many participants are simply after help with their own gardens and OLLI provides a great medium for obtaining information and access to Master Gardeners (Susan and John). OLLI also provides a forum for promoting Jackson County Master Gardener classes and the Association. It’s a win-win for everyone.

From Susan Koenig:

John and I were asked to staff the Recreation table at OLLI’S annual Open House. Six to eight hundred attendees were expected. The booths were staffed by instructors in each subject area. We were available to talk with attendees about our curriculum for Ornamental Gardening which will be held this fall and Vegetable Gardening, which is held in the spring. I brought both Garden Guide texts, an outline of each curriculum, and a laptop with one of the PowerPoint presentations that attendees could page through. I also had a signup sheet for those who wanted to be reminded of when the registrations for Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens and the Master Gardener Program open. We got 21 signatures for both! I’m not sure how many people stopped by the table, but I do know I was always busy talking to some delightful folks and the hour and one half went by very quickly. It reminded me of working in the Plant Clinic because I fielded several questions on plant problems and made recommendations on plant selection, too. All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon and I discovered that there is life after COVID-19 for the JCMGA with a new, enthusiastic group of volunteers waiting to join us.