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Beet 2023 11 November

Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements — November 2023

By Beet 2023 11 November


Member Services Working Group Survey

  • A short survey will be sent to JCMGA current and past members November 1st
  • Please take the time to complete the online survey

Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 (via Zoom)

  • November 3rd and 4th


You can still register for Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 Satisfaction Survey

  • Will be sent to those who registered, and the data will be used for planning the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2024


JCMGA Membership Renewal for 2024 begins November 6th.

  • Remember to be included in the JCMGA Chapter Directory, you need to renew your membership by January 31, 2024.

JCMGA Chapter Directory Photo Contest

  • We will again have a Photo Contest in January 2024. The photo chosen will be used for the front cover of the 2024 JCMGA Chapter Directory.

The Presidents Corner — “November”

By Beet 2023 11 November


November is here, and the year is winding down. Leaves are turning brilliant colors, plants are concluding their life cycles, and nature is going into hibernation. After the holidays are over, thoughts of feasts and festivities will be tucked back into the recesses of our minds like Christmas ornaments in the attic.

November is a time for reflecting on what the year has brought us, both good and bad. That is true for organizations like the Master Gardener Association also. We enter each new year with the expectation that our organization will be as strong, if not stronger, as before. But unexpected things happen, as we all remember the changes Covid brought: diminished membership renewal, abbreviated MG classes, limited garden upkeep, etc. As we were just getting back to normal, the drought came and literally dried up our well.

Thank goodness for our leadership in those trying years. Each January we start with a new Board of Directors – elected in November – who lead us on. They take on the duties needed to keep the organization running for another year, keeping house so our family can come together to have events like the Spring Garden Fair, Picnic, Fall Harvest Festival and the Practicum. Our leaders deal with internal issues and make decisions; they are the heads of the family with the relatives branching out in all directions coming to them with wants and needs. Ours is a family of volunteers. They are dedicated to preserving the Master Gardener way, using science to educate and bring gardening information to the people.

Without our volunteer Board of Directors, there would be no Master Gardener Association.

This year, please consider running for the board as an officer or member-at-large. Without a Board of Directors, our chapter would be dissolved and the hard-earned money that we share with our community through scholarships, grants, and classes would be given directly to the OMGA. No one wants to see this happen! If no one volunteers to run for open positions on the board, especially for the President Elect position, it could happen to our chapter.

The President Elect stays on the board for three years (President Elect the first year, President the second year, and Past President the third year). The Board meets once a month for under 3 hours with a great group of people. You would be at the center of what makes this organization work and have the satisfaction of helping the dedicated Jackson County Master Gardeners keep going and pursuing our mission.

As outgoing President, I have enjoyed my tenure. I am an “event person”, so my agenda was to positively push for having a new, redesigned Spring Garden Fair and to try a Fall Harvest Festival. Both were experiments because we held the fairs on SOREC property. Whatever you are passionate about could be on your agenda.

I beseech each of you to seriously consider running for President Elect this November. Write yourself in or contact Barbara Low to get on the ballot. Without a President elect for 2024, there will not be a President for 2025 and we will be in default of our by-laws, meaning no more Jackson County Master Gardener Association.

Coordinator’s Column

By Beet 2023 11 November


Hello Gardeners,

As we move into November, the cold weather creeps up on us. We spend less time working out in our gardens, in favor of staying warm and cozy indoors. However, there are still plenty of things we can do to nourish and care for ourselves over the winter in preparation for a busy spring gardening schedule. Two important items on that list are 1) exercising and 2) assessing our tools.

Gardening is a great form of exercising from our arms down to our toes. Gardeners spend all growing season lifting, squatting, and pushing heavy objects across our gardens. We don’t want to lose any of our strength and flexibility over the wintertime. We don’t need to train like a sports star but throwing in a couple of exercises each week can have big results. Starting the morning off with an easy stretch or exercise can help awaken any joints that are stiff from lack of movement while asleep. There are many free resources for simple at-home exercises to help keep us in shape and prevent future gardening injuries.

Winter is also a great time to go through our tools and see what needs cleaning, sharpening, or replacing. Consider modifying your tools or replacing them to become more ergonomic. Many ergonomic gardening tools have either a curved handle or have the tool at a 90-degree angle to the handle. This shape reduces strain on our wrists. Ergonomic tools tend to have a wider handle for an easier grip. There are ways to add material like foam to tool handles to increase their size. Some larger tools like shovels have a round handle at the end for an easier hold.


Food Hero Exercises

Aerobic Activity –

Balance –

Flexibility –

Strength –


Level Up Class

The Healthy Gardener –



Walk With Ease –

Better Bones and Balance –


Ergonomic Tool Examples

We Need Your Help!

By Beet 2023 11 November

Ballots for the 2024 JCMGA Board have been sent out. Voting ends November 4th. You should have received your ballot via email from on Oct. 23.

Unfortunately, no one has volunteered to run for President-Elect or Assistant Treasurer on the Board of Directors. These are two important positions. As the President, you would be at the center of what makes this organization work and have the satisfaction of helping the dedicated Jackson County Master Gardeners pursue our mission. As Assistant Treasurer, you will support and aid the Treasurer and serve on the Budget Committee.

The President-Elect position is a three-year commitment.  After serving the first year as President-Elect, the next year this person becomes President.  The following year, he or she becomes Past-President and works with the incoming President-elect. There are specific duties for each year – as listed in the JCMGA Bylaws on the Member Portal of the JCMGA website. There is a binder to go along with each position.  As the 2024 President, I would work closely with the 2024 President-Elect. The position is not overwhelming, and we are always here to help in any way. This position could also be done by 2 people – co-President-Elects.

The Assistant Treasurer position is also listed in the JCMGA Bylaws. That person will learn from and help the JCMGA Treasurer. This position has a one-year term.

To continue to be a viable organization we need to fill these positions. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact me at

Please seriously consider being a part of our JCMGA Board!


The Benefits of Volunteering

By Beet 2023 11 November

The hope is that everyone in the class of 2023 will want to stay involved with Master Gardeners.  I frequently tell people the four main reasons I stay involved are I enjoy gardening, I value the many friends I’ve made through JCMGA, I learn something new every time I am at the Extension, and it’s a great way to give back to the Rogue Valley community.

Recently I read an article on the benefits of volunteering in the fall edition of Healthwise, the Oregon PERS Health Insurance Program Newsletter. In case anyone still hasn’t discovered good reasons to stay involved, here are the ones listed in that article —

  1. Staying connected: no matter your age or life situation, volunteering can distract from any worries and create connections with other like-minded people. The more people in your social circle, the fewer chances there will be feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  2. Boosting your self-esteem: many volunteers report getting significant satisfaction from the contributions they make. The sense of accomplishment that comes from helping others can provide a healthy dose of confidence.
  3. Getting your body moving: volunteering by gardening can provide cardio and strength-building benefits with no gym involved.
  4. Sharpening your mind: the old saying, “Use it or lose it!” applies to our minds as well as our bodies. Learning, reading, and teaching gardening practices uses cognitive skills that would otherwise sit idle.

We hope you continue to volunteer with JCMGA – for whatever reasons motivate you and bring you joy!

Seed Donation

By Beet 2023 11 November

Artichokes, beans, celery, dill, and everything to zucchini!  Ferry-Morse Seed Co. donated boxes and boxes of 2023 seeds to ACCESS, the Community Action Agency of Jackson County. In turn, ACCESS donated them to the Jackson Co. Master Gardener Association. Marsha Waite organized seed packets to make it easy to see what was available.


The Master Gardener Practicum took multiple varieties of tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, cucumbers, and a multitude of other veggies, plus ornamentals, while barely making a dent in the supply. Seed-to-Supper also took a share to use next spring in the S2S program. Seeds will be soon offered to the GEMs for use in the gardens. And finally, in January, seeds will be made available to students in the 2024 class.


In addition to the seeds, the donation included bags of Jiffy Seed Starting Mix and containers with trays for seed starting. Practicum will  put these supplies to good use and save money in the process.  Many thanks go out to ACCESS and Ferry-Morse!

The Fig Grove

By Beet 2023 11 November

You are invited to visit our little fig grove, tucked waaaay back in the northwest corner of the Demonstration Gardens. A sorry-looking bramble had been concealing seven varieties of delicious figs. From their sad state the sweet figs called to the Garden Enhancement Committee (GEC) to adopt them. The wild growth was pruned away, the 5-foot weeds were replaced with cardboard and wood chips, and slowly the grove appears to be coming back to life in time for its winter sleep.

Our grove still needs work. The trees are crowded and much too tall for the fruit to be enjoyed by anyone but the lucky birds. But spring will see the GEC embark on the next phase of maintenance. The trees are beautiful – almost tropical looking – and fortunately for us, hardy and forgiving!

If you are interested in helping maintain the fig grove, please email or text either

Many hands make light work!


November in the Garden

By Beet 2023 11 November

I am continuing this series of articles and hope that you find them helpful and inspiring. In November, there is quite a bit to do in the garden depending on what you want to grow.  Time to make sure that we are ready for winter. 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.

November is the time to:

  • Time to provide protection for the watering system. Make sure to drain the lines and protect the faucets and valves from freezing.
  • Check drainage in case of heavy rains.
  • Tie trailing cane berries to wires. Prune fall-bearing raspberries.  Good time to apply manure to berries.
  • Still time to plant garlic and shallots – weather and soil conditions permitting.
  • Remember to keep a cold frame producing with lettuce and other greens.



Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month. This book contains a wealth of gardening information. You can purchase it at our local Grange Co-op or at the OSU Extension office for $21.00. It can also be purchased on-line at  Note that a shipping fee will be applied.



Happy Gardening

Garden For Life

Are You NOT Receiving Emails from the Jackson County Master Gardener Association?

By Beet 2023 11 November

Emails sent from the JCMGA to our members are sent from “Jackson County Master Gardener Association” at If you are not receiving our emails, the first thing to do is check your spam, promotion, or junk email folders. If you find the emails there, create a contact for “Jackson County Master Gardener Association” and under the e-mail field, enter”. Emails from “Jackson County Master Gardener Association” should now show up in your inbox because the program considers the sender to be a known contact.


If you still do not see the emails there, please contact Keltie Nelson at so that she can investigate and solve the problem.

It is time to renew your Jackson County Master Gardener Membership for 2024!

By Beet 2023 11 November



Remember that to be included in the

2024 JCMGA Chapter Directory, you need to

renew your membership by

January 31, 2024.

It’s a great deal at just $25!


You may renew on the Member Portal of the website  Specific renewal directions will be sent via MailChimp on November 6th.


Contact Barbara Low, temporary Membership Secretary, if you have any questions at