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Beet 2023 06 June

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements — June 2023

By Beet 2023 06 June


JCMGA Photo Contest Reminder

  • We will be again having a Photo Contest for the front cover of the 2024 JCMGA Chapter Directory.



Saturday, June 3rd

  • Come join us in Lithia Park to enjoy some nice scenery and the company of the Master Gardener community. Lithia Park has a new addition many of us may be interested in seeing: the Japanese Garden.
  • Bring your own lunch to eat at one of Lithia Park’s many picnic tables or dine downtown in Ashland after touring the garden.
  • When is it? From 10:00am to 12:00pm
  • Where is it? The Ashland Japanese Garden at Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon More Information:


Friday, June 9th

  • Annual Member Meeting from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • This will be a hybrid meeting. In-person in the Auditorium at the Extension and through Zoom.


Thursday, June 22nd

  • JCMGA Field Trip to Stout Family Farm at 6:30 p.m.

(see article in this issue)



Saturday, June 24th

  • Native Plant Popup Sale at the OSU Extension, 569 Hanley Road, from 9:00-2:00 p.m.


Saturday, August 19th

  • JCMGA Membership Annual Picnic

The President’s Corner — “We Put the Spring in Spring Fair”

By Beet 2023 06 June

By the time you read this it will be June. The sixth month suggests many things – we’re halfway through the year, kids get out of school on summer vacation, the summer solstice gives us the longest day of the year – and it’s gardening time!

All around the valley gardeners are out tending their newly planted tomatoes, squash, cukes, eggplants, melons and peppers, thanks in part to our Spring Garden Fair held May 6th on the OSU Extension campus. It was an incredible feat, considering it had been 4 years since the last SGF was held at the Expo. The Jackson County Master Gardener Association took a leap of faith that the community would remember us, even though the fair was smaller and only open for one day. Our motto was “If we grow the plants, they will come!” Of course, a large part of the picture was having a full class of 55 students enrolled in the Master Gardener Program and a Practicum that ran eight sessions a week, including weekends to accommodate everyone’s schedule!

This Practicum was very different this year as we lost our old classroom due to asbestos. Everything that had been packed up and placed in storage now had to be found and unpacked. Supplies were given a home in greenhouse 1, which served as our new “classroom”. Mentors came back – but at half the numbers – yet still we persevered with Jane Moyer and Lynn Kunstman as our valiant leaders. There was much to do, but the students and mentors did the work. The results were two greenhouses of beautiful, lush vegetables, herbs, ornamentals, and of course native plants in the Native Plant Nursery.

But that wasn’t the only setback. We were on uncharted ground, literally, as the SGF would be on the SOU Extension grounds. How many vendors could we accommodate? Where do we put them and where do we park all the cars?  Thanks to the partnership with SOREC, Alec Levin, our new director, granted us the use of a 20-acre field for parking. Surprise – it required driving over a one lane bridge to get in and out!  Sandy Hammond, Chair of the SGF Committee, arranged for volunteer traffic controllers and event signs from ODOT. They did an amazing job parking over 3000 cars successfully!

Sandy Hansen contacted the vendors and brought in some of our very favorites. With the help of Lucy Pylkki, they organized the site and volunteers, the use of two-way radios and how to run Square for credit cards at the cashiers’ stations. Janine Salvatti’s Garden and Grounds people did an incredible job tidying up the grounds and several of the gardens too, so the place shined.

Many attendees told us they were so happy our fair was back and that they loved seeing all the gardens and experiencing the Extension for the first time. Without our many volunteers we could not have made this happen – especially our student volunteers who really stepped up to the plate. We are so lucky to have such a great bunch!

So let summer begin! We are off to a terrific start! We can sit back and enjoy our gardens, listen to the birds and bees, and think about next year’s Spring Garden Fair!

Coordinator’s Column

By Beet 2023 06 June


Hello Gardeners,

Have you noticed the western bleeding hearts and wild ginger in bloom this past month?

As the flowers fade and the seeds develop, you may notice ants marching to and fro around these plants. Both bleeding hearts and wild ginger have developed a symbiotic relationship with ants. The seeds of these plants have a fatty protein-rich tissue called an elaiosome attached to them. Ants carry these seed to their nests, eat the elaiosome, and then ditch the intact seed in their trash pile. The elaiosome is not needed for the seeds to germinate. Seeds then sprout in a nutrient rich area away from the original colony of plants. This form of seed dispersal facilitated by ants is called myrmecochory.

There are at least 11,000 species plants that have elaiosomes on their seeds. There is no single common ancestor for elaiosome development. Plants have evolved this adaptation in different ways multiple times throughout history. Elaiosomes are a great example of convergent evolution – the independent evolution of similar structures that serve a similar purpose. Some other plants that have evolved elaiosomes include trilliums, celandine, violets and many more!

A Loss for Us All

By Beet 2023 06 June

Many of you may have had the pleasure and good fortune of attending one of Dr. Bernadine C. Strik’s excellent presentations at past Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Events.  A Professor in the Department of Horticulture for Oregon State University (OSU), she often graciously shared her extensive expertise as a berry specialist.  Sadly, Bernadine Strik died of ovarian cancer on April 14, 2023, leaving behind her husband, Dr. Neil Bell, and their two daughters.


Born in Holland, Bernadine Strik grew up in Australia and then in Vancouver, BC, where her parents owned and operated a large retail nursery. Working at the nursery, she became enamored of horticulture.  She entered the University of Victoria, where she earned a B.S. in botany with honors and completed her undergraduate thesis on rhododendron propagation.


Bernadine went on to earn a doctorate with distinction in horticulture at age 25 from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.  Upon graduation, the new Dr. Strik accepted a position as assistant professor at OSU in 1987.  Dr. Strik focused her research on commercial berry crop physiology and production systems.  By 1992, she was Berry Research Leader for North Willamette Research and Extension Center, a 160-acre research farm south of Portland.


In 1990, Bernadine met her future husband. Dr. Neil Bell also was a horticulturalist and says that “Berries brought us together.”  They were married in 1994 and Neil joined Bernadine at OSU, working in community horticulture for Extension until his retirement in 2022.  They were avid travelers together, visiting other countries both for pleasure and to collect plants and share information.  They at times were joined by their daughters to hike challenging routes.

In Dr. Strik’s 34 years at OSU, she made a significant impact on Oregon’s berry industry.  In that time, blueberry acreage in Oregon grew from 1,200 to 15,000 acres, with large changes in production systems based on her research.  Her landmark 14-year study on organic blueberry production – planting methods, fertilization, mulching, cultivar adaptation, and weed control – helped drive an increase in Oregon’s organic acreage from 2% in 2006 to 20% in 2020, as growers adopted Dr. Strik’s research-based production methods to increase profitability.


Dr. Strik’s career was studded with accolades.  In 2007, she was honored by the receipt of the American Society for Horticultural Science Fellows Award.  As she retired in 2021, she received the highest honor bestowed by the International Society for Horticultural Science for her industry-changing program on berries.  This award is bestowed on scientists who have made a significant impact on horticulture internationally.  She was a dynamic presenter and a prolific author of many publications that are referenced worldwide.


Dr. Bernadine Strik will long be remembered for the beneficial contributions she made to Oregon’s berry crop industry through her innovative research, teaching, and outreach at OSU Extension.  She will be missed.



JCMGA Field Trip to Stout Family Farm

By Beet 2023 06 June

Jackson County Master Gardeners are invited to tour the Stout family’s Ashland 1/2-acre garden of 51 raised vegetable beds, 22 fruit trees, numerous flowers and berries, and a greenhouse on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30pm. The garden is cared for by Trina Stout (2022), her brother, and her dad, all of whom will be present to give the tour and answer questions. The address is 356 Otis Street, Ashland, OR 97520. Bring sun protection, water, and comfortable shoes, as it can be quite warm that time of year and time of day.




Accessibility information: the garden is in a field behind the house. From street parking, there is either a steep driveway up or a set of eight stairs with a handrail. This leads across a small lawn, and then to a slightly inclined path of pavers leading to the backyard. From there, there are two more steps, then the paver path continues to the garden. The raised bed portion of the garden is flat ground covered in sliverless bark mulch. Adjacent to the orchard is flat-ish but uneven grass. There is a slight incline up some compacted grass to get to the greenhouse.

Beneficial Insects You Need to Know – Part 2

By Beet 2023 06 June

Back in April you read Part 1 of this series about beneficial insects you can encourage in your yards. I discussed predatory insects: lacewings, mantids, ladybird beetles, pirate bugs and syrphid flies. All of these are active hunters of garden pests. Now we need to shift our focus to the parasitoids – those insects who parasitize other insects. In this instance, females of the parasite find a suitable host insect – usually a caterpillar – and lay their eggs directly in the body of the host.  The host remains alive while being eaten from the inside by the larvae of the parasite. Not a pleasant vision, but one uniquely designed by nature to maintain ecosystem balance. Examples of parasitoids are parasitic tachinid flies, braconid, chalcid, Ichneumonid and trichogramma wasps.


Tachinid flies are quite variable in appearance but are usually very bristly. Adult flies feed on nectar and are important pollinators in your garden. Female flies lay one to several eggs in a host caterpillar or similar larva.  Those eggs then hatch and the fly larvae feed on the living host until they are ready to pupate, at which point they emerge, finally killing the host insect.







Parasitic wasps range in size from small to minuscule and defend gardens against caterpillars like corn earworm, tomato fruit worm, cabbageworm, and tent caterpillars.


The parasitic wasp has a piercing ovipositor. She lays an egg on the aphid, and the larva eats the aphid, which is not dead. When you look at an aphid colony and see perfectly round holes in the abdomens of individuals, the wasps have completed their life cycle in the body of the aphid and emerged, leaving behind an aphid husk. If the aphids are tan-colored and fat, they are being actively parasitized. Don’t spray because the parasitoids are part of the cycle.


Trichogramma wasps

Are the smallest and one of the most popular beneficial wasps. They are much smaller than the other three parasitic wasps – like a speck of dust. Females lay up to 300 eggs, usually in the eggs of the host insect.  But some also lay eggs directly into the bodies of adult scale, aphids, beetles, psyllids and caterpillars such as cutworms, hornworms, corn earworms, and leafrollers. Trichogramma wasps can be purchased in nurseries and organic growing supply stores.




Braconid wasps lay eggs in caterpillars and aphids too – check for perfect circular holes in mummified aphids or pupating wasps on hornworms.






Chalcid wasps parasitize caterpillars of several different species, while






Ichneumonid wasps specialize primarily in tree pest insects.  Chalcid, Braconid and Icneumonid wasps are much larger than Trichogramma and parasitize caterpillars directly.




To attract all these beneficials into your yard, provide habitat in the form of native nectar plants from the sunflower, mint, and carrot families – native yarrow, biscuit root, and coyote mint.  Remember, tiny mouths need tiny, shallow flowers from which to drink.






The Class of 2023 – The Bounce Back Class

By Beet 2023 06 June

At JCMGA, 2023 has seen the Master Gardeners jumping back into what is beginning to feel almost normal. Several things have come together and created the look and feel of former excellence once again.  The open vacancy for our OSU Coordinator was filled in January with Grace Florjancic. She is a quick study, and we are so happy to have her energy, enthusiasm, and knowledgeable leadership helping to put JCMGA back in line as one of the best Master Gardener Chapters in the state of Oregon. Welcome Grace!

Jane Moyer and a group of JCMGA mentors helped to organize the 2023 Master Gardener Program, with a 14-week class every Wednesday afternoon beginning in January.  Students learned from a 22-chapter text, online modules and in person instruction. They also teamed up with other classmates to create presentations on many Plant Families. They researched their subjects, created online presentations, and presented their findings to approximately 75 people in attendance. Hopefully, each student will pass on their learned knowledge to a broader community in the Rogue Valley.

The Master Gardener Class of 2023 is a promising lot. They started out 55 strong and at this writing the class has only lost two of its original members. There is a large age range represented. Kemper Rose was in utero during the first 2 months of class. Her mother Kendyl Berkowitz was in the early stages of labor during Sunday’s Practicum before Kemper Rose was born later the following day on March 13th, 2023.

Kendyl provided the following interesting facts about Kemper’s name, “Less than 100 people in the world are named Kemper every year. And her name means ‘farmer’. Her middle name is Rose, partly because we have grandmothers with that name but also because I am Bette Midler’s biggest fan EVER.” This was a family affair. Kemper’s Grandfather Jory was also taking the class, along with Kendyl and Kemper Rose. Dad and husband Michael was busy supporting the family and helping to keep Oregonians safe as a supervisor for Oregon State Police Dispatch.  I am sure dad was doing some double duty helping to keep Kemper’s 2-year-old brother happy with mom going to class and keeping up with her job as Executive Director for Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley. This is a nonprofit that uses donations and grant funding to supply low-income disabled homeowners with home modifications to keep them safe at home for as long as possible. Kendyl, on behalf of Rebuilding Together, has also provided a generous grant for JCMGA’s use for improving access to the demonstration gardens.

This class brings many skills and talents to JCMGA. They have signed up for several roles that were vacant after Covid took its toll over the past two challenging years. They have learned new skills and gardening techniques that they can use for the rest of their lives and will hopefully spread this newfound information to our Southern Oregon communities. They have also made new friends.

One of the traits that I witnessed during the Practicum was how our group, mostly strangers, became a well-oiled machine. Once they were taught where things were located, the processes they would use during practicum and the jobs that needed to be done, they worked together. There were no slackers in this group. They volunteered readily, helped one another, buddied up to be more efficient and offered suggestions.  They learned from each other as well as our two knowledgeable and supportive Mentors. It was a joyful way to spend three hours, continuing to learn new skills, volunteering for a wonderful organization and being surrounded by growing plants.

An Unsung Lady

By Beet 2023 06 June

Sandy Hansen is a proud JCMGA graduate of the class of 2017. Her husband graduated in 2016 and convinced her it was a great “club” to join. Apparently, she agreed with him because she soon accepted the role of helping Linda Holder with the tremendous responsibility of organizing vendors for the Spring Garden Fairs in 2018 and 2019. Back then we had over 100 vendors at the Expo. Sandy learned her job well and developed great rapport with the vendors. This year, with the new experiment of holding the 2023 Spring Garden Fair at the SOU Extension, Sandy successfully acquired wonderful vendors. She followed through with them from the initial contact to the ending farewell, making sure they all had a satisfactory experience.


Sandy also assumed the role of Communications Work Group Chair (now called the Marketing and Technology Work Group), which she held for several years. She once again stepped up to the plate with efficiency and competence. She was a “calmer downer” for me, which I needed a lot. She is a friend and very good at handling tense situations.


Now Sandy is concluding her vendor and communications responsibilities. For all that she has accomplished, we give Sandy Hanson our gratitude and respect.  She has been a real asset to our group, and we are lucky to have her.






What a Great Fair!

By Beet 2023 06 June

Sandy Hammond

Chair of the Spring Garden Fair


The 2023 Spring Garden Fair was an experiment that succeeded! We did not know how many people would attend or how the vendors would react to having the fair at this year’s location.   Fortunately, we were able to use the 20 acres adjacent to the extension grounds for parking, making for easy public access.

The great news is IT WORKED! The plants were exceptional this year, thanks to the 2023 Practicum students and mentors. The Native Plant Nursery also provided some outstanding plants for the sale.

The revenue from our sales was over $14,000. Not bad for a 6-hour fair.

The vendors were signed up and organized by Sandy Hansen. The site was organized by Lucy Pylkki. Both women did a terrific job. The radios we purchased for communicating during the fair proved invaluable in making things run smoothly.

The parking folks also did a great job wrangling thousands of cars. A special thanks to Brian Smith (husband of Nicole Smith, 2023 student). His experience was critical in getting a parking system up and running.

There were so many valuable volunteers – and by golly – they sure are appreciated.

Give yourselves a big pat on the back!

We learned what to do and what not to do for next year. It just proves that Master Gardeners are about more than just plants; they are people who can succeed in keeping our association thriving and growing as well.




Plant a Row Opportunity Update

By Beet 2023 06 June

In the April issue of The Garden Beet, we introduced the idea of “Planting a Row” to help families in our community who are struggling to feed their loved ones. Beginning in late July, you can donate any extra produce you grow and Access Community Action Agency of Jackson County will distribute it to help feed others.

Plant A Row started in Anchorage, Alaska, when garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels asked readers to plant an extra row of vegetables to donate to the local soup kitchen. The community took up the challenge and were able to provide fresh vegetables and fruit to others. The program went national in 1995.

How can you donate produce to people in need?

  1. Grow food! Whether you have a community garden plot, or just a few tomato plants, every pound helps.
  2. Produce can be dropped off at the SOREC Extension by the Free Table on Wednesday mornings from 9-10 a.m. This will start July 26th.
  3. Once you’ve dropped off your donation, we will have a record sheet which you may use to record how much produce (by weight) and what kind of vegetable/fruit you have donated so we can keep track! (The form is on the next page if you want to fill it out in advance.)
  4. Encourage friends to participate even if they are not Master Gardeners.


If you have questions, please

contact Barbara Low at



Plant A Row Project


Name _____________________________________    Date ________________


Type of Vegetable/Fruit Weight of Produce


Please drop off donations at the SOREC Extension

569 Hanley Rd, Central Point, OR 97502

By the Free Table on Wednesday mornings from 9-10 a.m.

beginning on July 26th.