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Beet 2023 03 March

Annual Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association Photo Contest Winners

By Beet 2023 03 March



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

Thank you to those who submitted photos for the front cover of our JCMGA 2023 Chapter Directory.

With many wonderful pictures to choose from, it was a difficult decision.


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 











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











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








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








In the upcoming Garden Beets we will highlight the Four Runner-Ups – stay tuned……..


Congratulations everyone!

March in the Garden

By Beet 2023 03 March

Spring is nearly here! Daffodils and grape hyacinth are starting to pop up. 

Hopefully the weather will start to get warmer, and we can spend more time in our gardens.

I am continuing this series of articles and hope that you find them helpful and inspiring. In March, 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.

March is the time to:

  • Plant cane fruits
o   Blackberries o   Boysen
o   Cascade o   Logan
o   Marion o   Nectar
o   Olalla o   Raspberries
o   Santiam o   Youngberries
  • Set out rhubarb roots
  • Plants which you plant as seeds to transplant later
o   Artichokes o   Broccoli
o   Brussels sprouts o   Cauliflower
o   Cabbage o   Chinese cabbage
o   Eggplant o   Leeks
o   Oriental greens o   Pak choi
o   Peppers o   Tomatoes
  • Plants which you can plant as seed outside
o   Arugula o   Carrots
o   Chervil o   Chives
o   Collards o   Corn, salad
o   Cress, garden o   Fava beans
o   Kale o   Kohlrabi
o   Leeks o   Lettuce
o   Mustard greens o   Onions
o   Parsley o   Peas
o   Radishes o   Scallions
o   Spinach o   Swiss chard
o   Turnips and turnip greens
  • Plants to transplant this month
o   Asparagus roots o   Broccoli
o   Cabbage o   Cauliflower
o   Lettuce, head o   Onion
o   Onion sets, plants o   Strawberries
  • Time to fertilize

Established asparagus

Established raspberries

Established strawberries

Established grape vines

Happy Gardening and Stay Warm

Garden for Life





What’s on the JCMGA Website

By Beet 2023 03 March

Did you know that we have several “In the Garden” videos on our website?


There are videos from the Clackamas 10-minute University dealing with cane fruit and grapes.


We also have two recent videos by speakers from our Speakers’ Bureau.  Both presentations are very well done and have lots of good gardening information.



In the Member Portal you will locate the following —

  • 2022 Chapter Directory
  • 2022 Membership List
  • JCMGA Membership Renewal Form
  • JCMGA Member Bylaws
  • JCMGA Articles of Association
  • JCMGA Policy Manual
  • And many other documents


What’s going on?

By Beet 2023 03 March

If any of these working groups interest you, please contact the chair of that group.  Their contact information is in the JCMGA Chapter Directory and on the JCMGA website.


Community Outreach Working Group –

Our meetings are held on the third Friday of each month.

In February we discussed:

  • Medford Open Streets Project
  • Speakers’ Bureau
  • Friends of the Master Gardener program
  • Articles for The Garden Beet

Fundraising Working Group and the Spring Garden Fair Working Group–

In February we discussed:

  • Sale of the JCMGA Garden Guides
  • Spring Garden Fair on May 6th from 9-3 p.m.
  • Fall Festival on October 14th
  • Will start working on creating a priority list of items for possible grants


Garden Working Group –

Our meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month.

At the February meeting we discussed:

  • Status of the Native Plant Nursery
  • Irrigation for the gardens
  • Practicum update
  • Water Catchment update
  • Garden Enhancement Committee update
  • Janine Salvatti is now the Chair of this Working Group.


Marketing and Technology Working Group —

Our meetings are held on the second Monday of each month unless it works out to be a national holiday.  In February, we discussed many topics such as:

  • The focus of the Garden Beet
  • Working on QRL codes for gardens
  • Exploring Google Workspace for Nonprofits
  • The Marketing Brochure
  • Updating the website

If you are interested in joining our group for a discussion or to lend a hand or if you want more information, please contact Sandy Hansen, Chair at or 707-332-4934.  All are welcome.


Member Services Working Group –

We are continuing to work on updating the Chapter Directory for 2023.  Our goal is to have the directory ready for you by the end of March.   We are starting to work on a possible Field Trip later this year – details to follow.  In trying to meet the needs of our members, we are creating a survey to email later in March.  Please take the time to complete it for us.  We are also going to be surveying our past members to find out how we can serve them.   If you are interested in being a part of our group, contact Barbara Low at .


Program Support Working Group –

The Program Support Working Group has been focused on restarting engagement and learning

activities. We have held the first Practicum sessions since the shut down and are building a

Community Education Class schedule! The Plant Clinic has been busy with updates and

preparing mentors to train all our new Master Gardener Students. We will soon have a current

list of reportable pests. The Plant Clinic loves puzzles so much that we have been holding a

scavenger hunt through the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of

Forestry websites to update our reportable pest list.



Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Working Group –

Our group has started meeting on a regular basis to plan for the WDSG 2023!  We have brainstormed possible presentation topics and speakers.

If you are interested is being a part of this group, please contact Colet Allen , Susan Koenig or Barbara Low .


How to Record My JCMGA Recertification Hours for OSU

By Beet 2023 03 March

Recording your recertification hours is a very important part of being a Master Gardener.  Our organization is based on gardening education and volunteers’ hours.  In addition to providing documentation for your recertification, these hours are needed to provide funding for Oregon Master Gardeners.

This task may seem daunting at the beginning, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. 

Currently we are required to have

  • 20 hours of approved volunteer service. Half of these hours must be in the category of direct or indirect education efforts – which are detailed on the OSU website
  • 10 hours of approved continuing education.
  • These 30 hours (minimum) are to be earned from November 1st to October 31st.

The steps are easy to follow as long as you take your time –

This takes you to the OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Reporting System (VRS)

  • In the left-hand side of this page you will find lots of good information. Take time to check out the following –
    • Report Hours button – where you choose if you want to record Volunteer Service Hours or Continuing Education Hours.
    • Documentation Button – there is information here explaining.
      • what is required for re-certification
      • what the new categories are what can be included in each category
    • How To Videos – shows you step by step what to do
  • If this is your first time reporting your recertification hours, you will need to click on the link Enrollment in VRS and follow the directions.
  • If you have recorded your recertification hours before, you should put in your email address and password. Since this is a new website and to strengthen security, OSU has changed their requirements for a password.  You may have to update your password.


People keep track of their hours in a variety of ways before they input them into the OSU Volunteer Reporting System.

  • Many people use a calendar or log to keep track of them.
  • Some people officially report their hours weekly, monthly, etc.
  • You can enter your hours for each individual event, or you can “bundle” them. By bundle, we mean you can take the number of volunteer hours – as long as they are the same coding – for a month or longer.  You would need to explain it in the description box.

If at any time you have questions about this process, please feel free to contact Grace Florjancic, Barbara Low, Sandy Hansen or Jane Moyer.

Have a wonderful year gardening!


March Calendar

By Beet 2023 03 March


  1. 2023 Class – Extension Auditorium and Practicum Mentor Training
  1. Winter Dreams/Summer Garden Working Group meeting
  2. 2023 Class – Extension Auditorium and  Practicum Mentor Meeting – Extension
  1. JCMGA Board Meeting – Hybrid
  2. Marketing and Technology Working Group meeting – Zoom
  3. 2023 Class – Extension Auditorium and  Practicum Mentor Meeting
  1. Winter Dreams/Summer Garden Working Group

17.  Community Outreach – Zoom

Fundraising Working Group – Extension

  1.   Member Services Working Group – Zoom
  2.   Garden Enhancement Committee – Extension
  3.   2023 Class – Extension Auditorium and Practicum Mentor Meeting – Extension
  1.   Gardens Working Group – Extension
  2.   2023 Class – Extension Auditorium and Practicum Mentor Meeting – Extension


People you should know:

Officers and Members of the Board

President:                    Marcie Katz

President Elect:            Barbara Low

Recording Secretary:   Jane Moyer

Archivist                       Pam Hillers

Treasurer:                    Sean Cawley

Asst. Treasure:            Keltie Nelson

Membership Sect.        Margaret Saydah

Member at Large:         Lucy Pylkki

Member at Large:         Trina Stout

Member at Large:        Cassandra Toews

Member at Large:        Dee Copley

Class Representative   Rob MacWhorter

OMGA Rep:                 Kathy Apple

Alternate OMGA Rep: Colet Allen

Past President:            Regula Pepi

Director:                       Grace Florjancic


Working Group Chairs

Ronnie Budge                            Community Outreach WG

Sandy Hammond                      Fundraising WG

Janine Salvatti                           Gardens WG

Barbara Low                              Member Services WG

Sandy Hansen                           Marketing and Technology WG

Barbara Low and                      Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens

Colet Allen and

Susan Koenig

Sandy Hammond                    Spring Garden Fair


Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities, and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, familial or parental status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, reprisal, sex, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.  Oregon State University Extension Service is an AA/EOE/Veterans/Disabled.


The President’s Corner

By Beet 2023 03 March

GEMs of the Demonstration Gardens

When you think of a GEM, a sparkly, shiny jewel comes to mind. One may think that GEMS of the Demonstration Gardens would be an exceptionally beautiful flower, a blooming tree or specimen shrub. In this case though, when we refer to GEMs, it is an acronym for Garden Education Mentor(s). These are the Head Gardeners of the 15 Demonstration Gardens that are located throughout the extension grounds. These dedicated Master Gardeners choose to work in their extension gardens for the love of gardening and an interest in what that specific garden offers. Many of them have home gardens as well, and so coming out once a week (or more) from March through October to tend another garden is truly an act of love and devotion.

Each year they sign a contract that entails: weekly workday attendance on Wednesdays, maintaining their gardens within the parameter of its theme, keeping records of plantings, products used, irrigation and other issues, attending monthly GEMs meetings, and most importantly, TEACHING! They teach basic garden skills to apprentices, as well as training them about the unique requirements that their specific garden needs. Since the Demonstration Gardens are open to the public, GEMs are often asked questions from interested visitors. All Master Gardeners can apply to be a GEM if they complete a minimum of 10 educational hours and 20 volunteer hours annually to be Certified, a requirement by OSU for Master Gardeners that teach.

The last few years have been challenging for our gardens, as for much of 2020 and part of 2021 we were not allowed onto the extension grounds during Covid 19. And oh boy, did our gardens suffer! Weeds reigned supreme, some growing to heights of five and six feet tall! Pathways were obscured and the beautiful resident plants had to fight to stay alive. It is still an ongoing battle, as weed seeds can remain in the soil for years but we are finally getting ahead of them! Then in 2022 the well went dry, and many plants suffered and died as the warm weather lasted into fall. If all that wasn’t bad enough, during those years many of our volunteers, to be safe, remained at home and for varied reasons retired from Master Gardeners. Because the care and preservation of the gardens is a primary issue, hard decisions were made during these times and so, unfortunately, several of our gardens have been decommissioned or their theme changed due to several factors.

Have no fear though, the current gardens are our pride and joy and are very beautiful.  This year we have great expectations of highlighting their glory with Garden Tours from local Garden Clubs and visitors. To top it off, we have a full class of eager Master Gardener Apprentices that will be a huge help for the GEMs, as many hands make light work and there is much to be learned in the varied gardens!

I hope you all take the time to visit the gardens, walk the paths, and talk to the gardeners working in them. Visit often, as they change from week to week, with different plants blooming from March through October in a rainbow of colors. We are currently looking for a GEM for the Culinary Herb Garden, and apprentice(s) to eventually become GEMs of the Lavender Garden and the Vineyard. If you are interested in becoming a GEM or helping to work in any of the Demonstration Gardens, please contact Marcie Katz at





The State of the Speakers’ Bureau Beginning 2023

By Beet 2023 03 March

After Covid and being locked out of the OSU campus and the shutdown of most other places for many months, the JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau is working to rebuild.  We lost several speakers for various reasons and decided that they needed to step back. We greatly appreciate their past service, excellent performance, and support. If at some point they ever feel like they would like to return, they would be warmly welcomed.

I think the saddest thing about the loss of these speakers is that in some cases the JCMGA lost the knowledge that these individuals possess. We did not have a format where we captured their presentations.  I have talked to a couple who left for health reasons, and we have tried to figure out a way to get their knowledge transferred to someone else who might want to take up where they left off. But so far, we have not found anyone who might want to do that or a way to get this information back. If we have someone who would want to work with them to make a presentation and learn while doing it, please let me know. It would accomplish a couple of organizational goals by helping to revitalize the JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau, provide a learning experience and gaining knowledge.  The participating individual would accumulate recertification hours for time spent on this project. This effort would help to regain lost knowledge and build the JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau offerings. More offerings increase the ability of the JCMGA to accomplish our mission of education out in the community. I am not suggesting it would be an easy task but a very rewarding one.

Once Covid released its grip on us, we had 4-veteran speakers (very hardy souls and dedicated to JCMGA’s Mission) who soldered on and kept the JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau on life support. We are so grateful for their effort to keep the Speakers’ Bureau alive and moving forward. They know who they are, and I thank them with all my heart. We have also had at least four more who have come back and have expanded our offerings by two or three new presentations each. Our presentation inventory is expanding. We still have several gaps in our offering, but slowly we are building back and hoping to add more presentations during 2023 by reaching out to other organizations who might be interested in the programming we have to offer. Any Ideas that you have about groups who might be interested in what we do please let me know.

Also, our JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau webpage is grossly out of date and the plan to update it is in the works for this winter.  Ronnie Burge and I have reviewed it and will make a final plan when we can go over our plan later this winter.

The JCMGA Speakers’ Bureau did help to get the word out in 2022 and continue JCMGA’s mission of educating. We had 9 presentations, reestablished relationships with the Medford Library with booked three- series for the 2023 winter.  A fall series as well as a winter series for 2023 are in the works.  In addition to the Medford Library we booked three presentations with Jacksonville Garden Club, from which we received a wonderful letter about Susan’s excellent presentations on soils.  I hope to start inviting regional garden clubs to visit our beautiful Demonstration Gardens at the Extension in late Spring through early fall this year. More information will be forthcoming in future Beet Articles on this outreach effort.

The good news is we just added another Speaker in the last couple of weeks.  I am grateful to Bonni Engelhardt who has agreed to be one of our speakers and will put us in her very busy schedule as time permits.  She brings some excellent expertise with a list of presentations what will expand our offerings. She is an excellent presenter, enthusiastic about her subject and makes the time spent with her fun and well as informative.  I welcome Bonni and look forward to working with her.

Grow Your Own Fresh Herbs

By Beet 2023 03 March

Our mission as Master Gardeners is to educate about sustainable gardening.  And what could be more sustainable than growing your own food?  Growing your own herbs is part of that.   Growing herbs can save you money and save water and shipping resources.  Plus, there is nothing more satisfying than walking outside with a pair of kitchen shears to collect the herbs you need for a recipe.

Many of the culinary herbs we use are woody perennials native to the dry Mediterranean region.  As we have a Mediterranean climate here in the Rogue Valley, they are a perfect choice for our gardens and kitchens.  Why spend good money on four sprigs of sage packaged in a plastic clamshell at the supermarket, when you can easily grow it in your yard?

The woody perennials herbs include: sage (Salvia officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), rosemary (Rosmarius officinalis), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and oregano (Oregano vulgaris).  They are easy to grow and tend to thrive on neglect. A word of warning about oregano: it is now listed on the Oregon Invasive species list, as it escapes easily from gardens.  I recommend an alternative, Oreganum syriaca, which has a similar flavor profile, and is used in the middle eastern spice Za’atar.  And for those who like a licorice flavor profile, French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is well worth growing.  It must be grown from cuttings, as the seeds are sterile.  Other perennial herbs that are very easy to grow are chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and garlic chives (Allium tuberosum).  Both are vigorous clumping bulbs with edible leaves and flowers.  They spread readily by clumping and reseeding.  Many kinds of mint (Mentha) can also be grown, but be sure to grow them in containers, as they will spread aggressively around the yard.  They need more water than most other herbs.

Annual herbs I recommend for companion planting in your summer vegetable garden include basil (Ocimum basilicum), dill (Anethum graveolens), and coriander (Coriandrum sativum).  Coriander seeds are ground for the spice coriander, while the leaves are what we know as cilantro. Mexican tarragon (Tagetes lucida), which is actually a marigold, is used as a replacement herb for French tarragon.

Biennials you should plant are parsley and fennel.  As with oregano, fennel needs a warning.  It is also on the invasive species list, so if you are growing it for seed, please encase those in a paper bag to dry for harvest, so they do not enter the environment.  The stems and leaves of fennel may be harvested before the flowers develop. Both the biennials and the annuals have the added value of attracting pollinators and tiny beneficial predatory and parasitic wasps, which will protect your vegetables from pest insects.  In fact, all the herbs mentioned here are terrific nectar plants for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.  What is not to love?

All of these herbs can be found at local garden centers, and most will be available for sale in the JCMGA greenhouses at the Spring Garden Fair at the Extension on May 6th, this spring.  Try growing some in your garden this year, and GARDEN FOR LIFE!