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Beet 2022 10 October

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements

By Beet 2022 10 October

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements

October 2022


Native Plant Sale Pollinators

Dates: Sunday, October 9, 2022 10 AM – 4 PM     

Parking lot behind The Pollination Place
312 N. Main St., Phoenix.




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









If you know anyone who would be interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, registration for 2023 OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training in Jackson County will be open later this Fall!    Please call the OSU Extension office at 541.776.7371 and leave your name, phone number, and email.  We will contact you when registration is open.

Native Plant Sales are a BIG SUCCESS!

By Beet 2022 10 October


Our Native Plants Nursery is up and running at full capacity. And our recent Pop-up Sale in September proved to be enormously successful. Volunteers spent August potting nursery stock into gallon containers. Crews came the week of the sale on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and weeded paths, spread bark chips, weeded containers, put the nursery plants in common areas, erected sale canopies and put information and sales signs around the nursery.

The Saturday sale had a steady stream of customers until about 1 pm, despite the scorching temperatures. We sold 429 plants: 381 natives, 27 figs and 21 non-natives. We also sold three books. Sales totaled $2,378.00.

Customers were given handouts when they checked out: How to Plant a Native Plant, Keystone Plants for Specialist Bees and Lepidoptera by the National Wildlife Federation and a trifold of Seven Steps to Increasing Biodiversity in Your Yard, with a plant list keyed to our local keystone native plants.

During the coming weeks, we need to continue to pot on plants and begin to stratify the native seeds for germination next spring. We will have two more sales; the first is on Sunday, October 9th, from 10 am – 4 pm, at Pollinator Project Rogue Valley: 312 North Main Street Phoenix, Oregon. Here is the link to that event Please consider sharing this information and inviting your local gardening friends on Facebook and through other social media.  At this sale last year, we made $1,300. We are hoping to make much more this year. If you missed our September 10th sale, please try to make the October sale.

On Saturday, November 12, the nursery will be open for plant sales during our Winter Gala Event. Hours are 9 am – 3 pm. Holiday gifts, wreaths and decorations will be for sale in the auditorium on the SOREC campus – 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. And plants will be available in our nursery next to Greenhouse 2 and the parking lot. You can also visit the nursery and buy plants most Wednesdays through October from 9 am – noon.




Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2022 — Saving the Best for Last

By Beet 2022 10 October



This is the last Garden Beet article showcasing our Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens presenters. Have I saved the best for last? Well, who knows what will be the best presentation? They all sound exciting to me!

Join us on October 28-29 and November 4-5 for Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens. Sixteen one and one-half hour lectures with Q&A on timely and relevant gardening topics will be presented.

Be sure to register at Registration cost is only $30.00 for all 16 lectures, less than $2.00 for each. Now, that’s a bargain you can’t turn down. The Zoom link will be sent to you the day before and will be the same link for each class that day.


Brian Hendrix       

  • Title: Fire Adapted Landscaping: Best Practices and Understanding Defensible Space
  • Description of presentation: Designed to help gardeners improve your understanding of what “being Firewise” really means for gardens and landscaping around the home. Learn how various wildfire risk reduction activities can improve the survivability of a home in a wildfire event. We will introduce terms and activities relating to wildfire mitigation, learn basics about effective plant spacing and maintenance for improved defensible space and differences between a “Firewise” or “Flammable” plant. We’ll offer examples from local homes and help prioritize actions related to vegetation maintenance for wildfire preparedness.


  • Bio: Brian Hendrix is the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator for Ashland Fire & Rescue. He has served since 2017 and is a Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist and Fire Inspector II. Brian was the Weed Abatement Coordinator and a Wildfire Mitigation Assistant for AF&R’s Wildfire Division.



     Neil Bell

  • Title: Groundcovers of Every Size for Unirrigated Landscapes
  • Description: The term “groundcover” is usually interpreted to mean a diminutive plant which spreads horizontally in the landscape and does not exceed a few inches in height. In most landscape situations, groundcovers are utilized in a supporting role as filler between shrubs or trees that are the real focus of the landscape and serve principally to suppress weeds. Weed management is a worthy goal of groundcover plants, but their effectiveness is directly related to the height of the plant and the density of the canopy. This presentation will look at an array of groundcovers which vary in size for use in un-irrigated situations not as filler, but as a mainstay of the landscape itself.


  • Bio: Neil Bell was Community Horticulturist for OSU Extension Service from 2000 to 2021 and coordinated the OSU Master Gardener programs in Marion and Polk Counties during that time. He oversees landscape plant evaluations on drought-tolerant shrubs and is currently conducting a 3-year evaluation of shrubs for groundcover in unirrigated landscapes at the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, OR.



Ray Seidler         

  • Title: Why Regenerative Agriculture?
  • Description: The global food system currently generates approximately one-third of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. What we eat and the kinds of agricultural practices used to produce our food contribute significantly to these emissions. Seidler will provide an operational definition of regenerative agricultural practices that lead to numerous agronomic benefits including lower fossil fuel inputs as well as sequestering or removing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Thus, he says, there is a clear nexus between regenerative agriculture practices and climate change mitigation. Dr. Seidler will also explain how all of us, regardless of our gardening skills, can help mitigate climate change and reward American farmers who are already participating in carbon sequestering regenerative agricultural programs.


  • Bio: Dr. Seidler has studied, taught and conducted research at 5 major American Universities. He received a B.S. degree from California State University, Northridge and a Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of California at Davis.  He was a tenured professor of Microbiology at Oregon State University and later a senior research scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In retirement, he and his wife grow lavender commercially using regenerative and organic practices at Pompadour Lavender Farm, Ashland.



 Sherry Sheng

  • Title: Fruit Tree Pruning
  • Description: This class will discuss how to use different types of pruning cuts and when and where to apply them. Attendees will learn whether fruits are produced on spurs or shoots so that pruning stimulates an abundance of fruiting wood to support good production. Join us and learn how to shape a young tree and steps for pruning pome fruits (apple and pear), stone fruits (plum, cherry, apricot, peach and nectarine), persimmon and fig.


  • Bio: Sherry Sheng is an Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener who leads and teaches for the award-winning 10-Minute University™ Program. She began teaching gardening classes in 2006 and has many instructional videos to her credit. Sherry gardens at home, at a community garden, and co-manages a pollinator garden at a public park.



Susie Savoie   

  • Title: Creating the Troon Vineyard Native Plant and Pollinator Botanical Garden
  • Description: In December 2020, Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds installed a ½-acre Native Plant and Pollinator Botanical Garden at Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley that includes nearly 100 species of native plants. Primarily established through direct seeding, with some use of potted native nursery plants, the garden provides an opportunity to learn about native plants in a scenic, organic, and biodynamic vineyard setting that is open to the public. This presentation will focus on how the space went from bare ground to a botanical garden with paths, a small meadow, and blocks of species highlighted with plant signs within two years. Lessons learned and specific species information will be provided.
  • Bio: Suzie Savoie is co-owner of Siskiyou Ecological Services and Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds. She was co-author of Native Pollinator Plants for Southern Oregon and an editor of The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology. Suzie provides native seed collection services, online native seed sales, native nursery plants and native plant consultation. For nearly 20 years, she has been using native plants for gardens and habitat restoration on her property in the Applegate Valley, and she enjoys helping others do the same.



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!


Come Back to Us!

By Beet 2022 10 October

Dearest Master Gardeners,

This is a call to action from your JCMGA Board of Directors.

The last 2½ years have been a struggle for our association:  COVID-19, loss of our program coordinator, loss of many of our experienced board members, fire, drought, the failure of the well on campus, and the condemnation by the county of our Practicum classroom.  All have conspired to diminish our ability to function and left a small, core group of dedicated volunteers struggling to keep the association going.

Despite all the bad news, we have been able to accomplish remarkable things:  We have teachers at OLLI, and folks giving classes at Jackson County Library Services branches and to garden clubs. The Plant Clinic is up and running. The Demonstration Gardens are open and the GEMS are on site every Wednesday from 9 to noon. The Native Plant Nursery is bursting with plants that need homes. We have had pop-up plant sales and are selling our The Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Year ‘Round & Month by Month book at all the local nurseries. The rain catchment system is installed and waiting for its interpretive sign to be purchased and installed. As you can see, the small cadre of dedicated volunteers are working like mad, but we need YOUR help!

There are so many ways you can get involved.

  • The Plant Clinic needs more man/woman power.
  • The Demonstration Gardens need volunteers to help keep them presentable.
  • Our Communications Working Group needs help with outreach on social media – we could really use a volunteer tech person to help. We need folks with marketing experience, someone to help with the membership database and member services.
  • We would like to reinstate our Garden Buds program with the 2023 class and need someone to head that.
  • Our Membership Committee needs help planning and setting up for events like our annual picnic, first day lunch for students, graduation banquet and other events.
  • We need folks to help get the Spring Garden Fair back up and running, albeit in a smaller form on campus for 2023.
  • The Community Outreach Working Group needs speakers for community education, someone to work with Community Garden and School Garden grants and with scholarships.
  • The 2023 Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens will need speakers and someone to line up those speakers, starting in July.
  • Once our 2023 class begins, we will need an apprentice coordinator to place students with GEMS in the Demonstration Gardens.
  • And Practicum is always looking for more mentors, as we would like to get that program up and running again.

If you would like to become more involved, please contact Lynn Kunstman at and let me know where you would like to “plug in.” I will forward your mail to the committee or working group chair in charge of the area in which you have an interest.


Looking For a New Master Gardener Program Coordinator

By Beet 2022 10 October

Jackson County Master Gardener Association (JCMGA) has been without a coordinator since March 31 when Erika Szonntag left for Colorado. Have you started wondering if there will ever

again be a replacement? Well, hope springs eternal!

A Search Committee was formed in July with the following members:

  • Didgette McCracken, Grant County Open Campus Coordinator, Search Chair
  • Kayla Sheets, Local Liaison Between County Clients, Government, and OSU, Search Advocate
  • Danielle Knueppel, Josephine Co. Small Farms and MG Program Coordinator, Horticulture Faculty Representative
  • Gordon Jones, Assistant Professor, Crop and Soil Science, SOREC Representative
  • Jane Moyer, Jackson County Master Gardener, Community Stakeholder

The hiring timeline established by the Search Committee is:

  • August 26, Job posting and flyer published
  • September 13, Review interview questions
  • September 25, Closing of application period
  • October 4, Committee reviews applications
  • October 10 or Oct 20, Zoom interviews with Committee
  • October 25, Check references
  • November 1-3, In-person interviews
  • November 4, Make recommendation to Regional Director and Associate Dean of Extension
  • November 10, Start HR processes

All dates are subject to change.

The in-person interviews will include a tour of SOREC and community meetings where finalists will make presentations and community members will have a chance to make recommendations to the Search Committee. Details will be sent out in advance. Watch your email for the Mailchimp.

Contact Jane Moyer if you have questions or comments (

Catching the Rain

By Beet 2022 10 October

This year we have had two very successful water projects. First, we had the Emergency Water tanks when the well pump was offline. More recently came the installation of the Rain Catchment System by Sage Hill Landscapes.


As you may or may not recall, last January our irrigation pump at SOREC was shut off due to the low water table. But we had a challenge. We needed to continue to water our newly propagated plants and seedlings. A few of us got together and located small 250-gallon (caged) tanks at a very reasonable price. We applied for a grant from the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District (  and received a reimbursement grant. It was valuated at $1/gallon. In this case, it meant a maximum of $2,500 in total reimbursement. We were reimbursed for the entire amount of the emergency water system we created to irrigate the propagation underway in Greenhouse #2.                                           



The other project was to install a permanent Rain Catchment System so we would not need to pay for emergency water if that was needed. The project also served to demonstrate how a rain catchment system works and how easy it is to implement on nearly any home, farm or ranch.

  Photo by Sean Cawley  Cage Tanks Emergency Water Project

In fact, the Rain Catchment Project was ongoing when we encountered the emergency water need. We received a very favorable bid from Sage Hill Landscapes. They even donated one of the holding tanks to help us out in our pricing.


We again applied for a grant from Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District and obtained approval for a reimbursement grant with a maximum payout equivalent to the amount of water we would collect. In the case of our system, it was 5,000 gallons and therefore a maximum grant of $5,000. However, there were some challenges and JSWCD’s request list was long. We only received $2,500 in reimbursable grant funds. Thanks to a GoFundMe project that Lynn Kunstman initiated, we received nearly $10,000 in contributions.

We still have to pay for signage for the Rain Catchment System. We have not yet received estimated costs for the signage. The estimate for our total costs for the Rain Catchment System will be in the neighborhood of $2,500. That’s not too bad for a system that costs more than $14,000 overall.

Photo by Sean Cawely   Rain Catchment Tanks


Thanks need to go to the Water Committee: Lynn Kunstman and Susan Koening without whose assistance these projects would not have happened.


Gardening Safari

By Beet 2022 10 October

While most may never venture to view the giants of the vast Serengeti, one needs to go no further than their own garden safari to see Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum.

Elephant garlic, neither related to the African elephant nor a true garlic, is sure to satisfy your gardening ventures.

Also, while it may not sport the more familiar tusks of its namesake, its very impressive ivory cloves are trophies worthy of planting.

Elephant garlic is sometimes known as “Great Headed Garlic” and does indeed have huge-sized heads as large as or larger than an apple that may weigh more than half a pound. Individual cloves are as large as an entire bulb of true garlic (A sativum).   

It also has its own unique flavor. More closely related to a leek than to regular garlic, the flavor is much milder with slightly bitter overtones. Lacking true garlic’s sulfurous content, Elephant garlic is mild enough to slice and consume raw.

Elephant garlic has a rich history, according to Colin Simpson, Oxted, Surrey, England. It’s believed to have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean where the name “Great Headed Garlic” came from.

A famous botanist and gardener, John Tradescant the Younger, also included Elephant garlic in his 17th century English garden.

According to Simpson, it was American nurseryman Jim Nicholls, who rediscovered Elephant garlic growing in an old Balkan settlement in the Willamette Valley in Scio, Oregon in 1941. After propagating the most select disease-resistant cloves of what had been known as “Scio’s garlic” for 12 years, Nicholls released the bulbs on the market and renamed them “Elephant garlic”.

Not only is this hardy bulbing herb impressively large, but like its namesake it’s a wonder to see in its garden habitat.  Recognize it by its wide, strappy, bluish-green leaves. Its large bulb consists of five to six substantially sized cloves surrounded by bulblets. Plants grow to 3’ or more in height.

Early in summer, cylindrical stalks are adorned with a single spathe resembling a swan’s head. These pointy pods explode to reveal densely packed, mauve-tinted flowers that attract pollinating insects and can be made into unique arrangements when dried. They’re a dramatic backdrop for all who view them.

Elephant garlic’s mild flavor falls between garlic and leeks (for strong garlic flavor use true garlic). Use this magnificent herb raw, boiled, in soups and stews, baked, roasted, or pickled– not only for taste, but also for vitamins A, C and E.

Plant Elephant garlic in the fall for the highest yield, as it needs cold weather to divide properly. Plant cloves point up like true garlic, but 4” to 6” deep and spaced 10” to 12” apart (or follow your seed company’s directions for the Pacific Northwest) in well-drained, composted soil with some soft-rock phosphate (a product that includes calcium and phosphorus). Irrigate adequately until rain comes. When green leaves resume growing in spring, fertilize with nitrogen (fish meal or emulsion or blood meal).

Harvest when the first few bottom leaves are yellow. Stop watering before harvesting. Do not pull up the bulbs by the stalk. Instead, carefully unearth the heads – after loosening them – then gently pull with a digging fork or spade. Remove the excess soil and cure the heads in a well-ventilated shaded area for about two weeks. Then enjoy your harvest.

Remember to save your biggest and best bulbs for replanting next autumn.

So, venture out on a garden safari and you just might spot an elephant, or maybe even more.



Axillary bulblets surrounding main head can either be consumed or planted out. Leave in the ground for a second year to get sizable heads.

Flower stalks can be allowed to bloom but cutting immature scapes will produce larger garlic heads. Young scapes can also be consumed.


References for this article:

Oregon State University Extension Service, September, 2021

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Organic Gardener Magazine, Australia. Sept 2018.

Arkansas State Parks


Sources for Elephant garlic seed:

Keene Garlic


Irish Eyes and a Hint of Garlic

(A detailed growing guide is available on this site.)


Southern Exposure Seed Exchange



Roasted Elephant Garlic Spread

1 to 2 heads Elephant garlic, cloves separated and peeled

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (regular or lemon)

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese or equivalent block of firm tofu

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Toss garlic cloves with oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Place all in a large piece of heavy aluminum foil, then seal the packet closed. Place on a medium low heat grill and cook about 15-20 minutes until brown and soft. If using an oven, preheat to 400° and roast for about 35-40 minutes.

Let garlic cool to room temperature then put in a food processor with cream cheese or tofu and olive oil. Pulse on and off a minute for chunky texture or longer for creamy.

Serve as a spread for snacks, sandwiches, or wraps.




BRITT Native Plant Garden

By Beet 2022 10 October

As many of you know, a group of Jackson County Master Gardeners has designed and planted a Native Plant Demonstration Garden on the Britt Music & Arts Festival grounds. It is located surrounding the ticket office – look for the signage.

Not everyone is familiar with the value of native plants to our ecosystems and wildlife populations. It is our hope that by offering this example, with explanatory signage, it will encourage others to include native plantings in their home gardens. Doug Tallamy’s latest book, Nature’s Best Hope, is all about taking environmental action into our own hands and creating ‘conservation corridors’ within our own yards – rather than waiting for government policy to catch up.

Now that we have planted this garden, we will need volunteers to help maintain it and keep it looking good as it takes shape. The Britt gardeners have set up a watering system but every few months, or seasonally, it will need to be weeded and have fallen debris cleared. All volunteers will need to sign up as a Britt volunteer for liability requirements – and to specifically identify “native plant garden” as your focus. See to sign up.

I hope you’ll find this project as important as I do and will join me in an occasional work group at the Britt. Please contact me, Cassandra Toews, via email at if you’re interested.

Tallamy, Douglas W., Nature’s Best Hope. Timber Press, 2019.


Speakers Bureau Presentation to Jacksonville Garden Club Part I Soil Biology by Susan Koenig

By Beet 2022 10 October

During Susan Koenig’s Soil Biology Part 1 presentation to the Jacksonville Garden Club on Thursday, September 15th, there was a bit of scurrying about to get the audio-visual situation set up so that it worked for Susan. I want to mention to speakers and potential future speakers that you must know what your needs are in advance of your presentation. Make sure the venue you are in can accommodate your specific needs. At least know what you need to make your presentation work in their space. That is crucial to your success and your ability to deliver the information you have prepared for your audience comfortably and without undue anxiety for yourself.

I thought when we heard that her presentation would be given in the Jacksonville City Hall Council Chambers that the venue would have everything she would need. It did, but the configuration was totally backwards. The podium with sound and a placement area for a computer on the podium faced in a direction that had Susan not facing the audience. Fortunately, there were some cardboard boxes available. Susan grabbed them, stacked them appropriately, and oriented them in the direction she would face. She made the space work for her. She asked the audience to move to one side of the huge room which had ceilings so high it would make the moon envious.

Another thing was that the 48” TV screen that her presentation would be projected on was very high up at the far end of the room so that the printing on the slides was not readable although, the pictures were okay. If you are using PowerPoint or a similar program, be aware of the font size that you must use to make sure people can read it.

Susan did just fine, reading what the slide said and then giving them the information she wanted to pass along. I saw many very engaged people in the attendance scribbling like crazy to record the information.

When Susan wrapped up, she was right at the time limit for her presentation. Because of the time spent with boxes and reorienting her position to face her audience, there was no time left for Q & A. Her audience was not finished; they paid no attention to the clock and started their questions. Fifteen minutes later, Susan wrapped it up and received very hardy applause.

Susan is a seasoned speaker and turned that potential conundrum into a real success. The following day, this note from Heidi Elliot, the Jackson Garden Club Vice President arrived in our email.

Hi! It was so nice to meet you both today. The feedback I’m getting is wonderful. It seems everyone loved your presentation. Including me!!

I had several people tell me how pleased they were to learn new things that can be so helpful to us wanna-be Master Gardeners!

I hope you will consider joining us again with further knowledge in the future!

Many thanks,

There were lessons learned today by me, Susan, and Janine, one of our new speakers, who came to observe one of our Master Gardeners in action. I know that I will ask a lot more questions when receiving a request. I am sure any of the speakers going to present someplace they have never gone to before will also make sure they know the availability of equipment, the layout of the room, etc. Thanks, Susan, for turning this into a learning moment.

We will certainly go back. It was a very warm and friendly group obviously very interested in learning more from Master Gardeners. Heidi said she would send out a questionnaire and ask what subjects her club members are interested in. JCMGA might be able to provide some of them. We do have Lynn Kunstman scheduled for Native Plants on October 20th and John Kobal in 2023. The Club meets at the Jacksonville City Hall.

We have some new speakers and if any of them would like to share their ideas with the Jacksonville Garden Club, let me know. Heidi and I did speak about the situation Susan encountered and she will address this with the City Hall IT person and see what can be done so that the garden club presenter does not have to deal with this issue in the future. They meet every 3rd Thursday from 12:30 to 2:00 through June 2023.