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Beet 2024 01 January

Volunteers Needed – Josephine County Home Show

By Beet 2024 01 January

Volunteers Needed

Jackson County Master Gardener Association is participating in the Builders Association Josephine County Home Show in Grants Pass.

The show is on February 16th, 17th, and 18th in the Floral Building at the Grants Pass Fairgrounds.

We will have a booth with our volunteers to answer questions and to pass out our many brochures and sell Garden Guides.

This will be a fun event and a great opportunity to meet and greet the public.

Volunteers are needed to be in the booth.

The event is

  • On Friday, February 16th the hours are 12:00to 5:00 p.m.
  • On Saturday, February 17th the hours are 10:00 to 5:00 p.m.
  • On Sunday, February 18th the hours are 10:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Please contact Sandy Hammond to volunteer.


There will be a volunteer meeting at the extension at the end of January


Jackson County Master Gardeners Announcements — January 2024

By Beet 2024 01 January


  • JCMGA Board Meeting will be a hybrid meeting on January 12th.
  • JCMGA Membership Renewal for 2024 is now open.
    • Remember to be included in the JCMGA Chapter Directory, you need to renew your membership by January 31, 2024.
    • If you don’t want your contact information in the 2024 Directory, let Barbara Low know by January 31st.

·        Articles for the February Garden Beet due by February 20th.  Send articles to



  • JCMGA Chapter Directory Photo Contest
    • Have photos to Sandy Hansen by February 1st.
  • Friends of the Gardens Logo Design Contest – submissions due by February 15th.

“Friends of the Gardens” Logo Development Contest

By Beet 2024 01 January

The Jackson County Master Gardeners Association would like you to enter the Friends of the Gardens Logo Development Contest.  You could win a $25 gift certificate for the JCMGA’s native plant nursery.    We will feature the winner in the March Garden Beet.

As we look to expand our volunteers through the “Friends of the Gardens” program we would like a unique logo for the program. If you have artistic skills, please enter our contest!  The logo would be use on letterheads, JCMGA website, posters and flyers to catch a gardener’s eye and will be used to brand and promote this program.

So, pull out your drawing implements, paints, or computer skills and send in your ideas!  Please submit an electronic copy of your design.   We plan on using the design when advertising the Friends of the Gardens program.  The design would become the property of JCMGA.  We would like the finished design to be in either jpg or Word format and submitted by 5 pm on Thursday, February 15th, 2024.

Designs are to be submitted to the JCMGA President, Barbara Low


President’s Corner

By Beet 2024 01 January

Time seems to fly – 2024 has already begun!

In looking back at 2023, I hope that you all have had a wonderful, relaxing time with your family and friends during the holidays.

Last year, Marcie Katz led us as we worked to move forward after Covid. We held more in-person events, increased activity in the Demonstration Gardens, reinstated Student Practicum, and held hybrid Board of Director meetings, to name a few.  Marcie is a wonderful role model.

I plan to continue work on moving our organization forward in 2024. This will include increasing activities in our communities and improving our communication with each other and with the OMGA.  To do this, we need to work together.  I encourage you to continue to be involved with our many working groups (Fundraising, Community Outreach, Gardens, Marketing & Technology, Member Services, Program Support, Spring Garden Fair, Winter Dreams Summer Gardens).  If you are not currently involved with a working group, please consider joining one.  It is a great opportunity to learn the inner workings of JCMGA and to meet new friends.

Working together includes discussing old and new ideas, collaborating, brainstorming, setting goals, and – best of all – celebrating our accomplishments!

For example, last year the Community Outreach Working Group and the Member Services Working Group worked jointly to create the Friends of the Gardens program. The Board has approved the program and we are continuing to work on the details so we can implement it in April!

We are a unique organization with tremendous energy, experience and ideas to offer.  I am asking for your support, patience, and insights…

 Our January board meeting will be January 12th and will be a hybrid meeting (in-person at SOREC Auditorium and via Zoom). From 9:00-9:30 a.m. will be a social gathering; the meeting will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  You are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, contact me at

Coordinator’s Column

By Beet 2024 01 January

Hello Gardeners,

The cold and snowy weather is the perfect time to think about next year’s veggie garden. What do you like to eat? How much will your family eat? How much can you grow in your garden? These are the questions we think about when planning our gardens. I encourage all of you growers to also think about how you can dedicate an extra row, bed, or section of your veggie garden for food donations.

One of the Master Gardener program priorities is local food production and access in Oregon. A large component of that is food security for all Oregonians. There are lots of ways a more food secure Jackson County can be achieved.  One way we, the Jackson County Master Gardeners, help out is through produce donations to ACCESS Food Bank. Last year we donated 1,108.5 pounds of produce! Much of that donation came from our Plant a Row Campaign.

The Plant a Row Campaign encourages people to grow an additional row of veggies for the purpose of donation. This past summer we collected and weighed produce donated at SOREC on Wednesdays. Our contact with ACCESS picked up our donations with their food van. That food gets distributed throughout the county at various ACCESS sites. We are hopeful that more people will participate in this campaign next year to increase our positive impact within Jackson County. You do not have to be a Master Gardener to donate produce through our Plant a Row Campaign, so tell your neighbors!

While the Master Gardeners partner with ACCESS Food Bank, there are many other groups that offer food pantry services in the county. If you cannot make it to SOREC to drop off produce for our collection day, consider dropping off produce to your local pantry. Here is a list of food pantries in the county Reach out to see if they will accept your homegrown produce.


We are preparing the JCMGA 2024 Chapter Directory!

By Beet 2024 01 January

Preparations include:

  • Making sure members know that they need to renew their membership by January 31, 2024, to be included in the Directory.
    • Log onto the JCMGA Member Portal to begin the renewal process.
    • To renew your membership, you don’t need to have recorded volunteer and educational hours. Just pay the $25 and complete the Membership Renewal Form.
    • If you want to teach a gardening class, help in the Plant Clinic, or be a mentor in the JCMGA Student Practicum, you need to make sure to record your volunteer and educational hours.
  • Making sure that members can leave their contact information out of the Directory.
    • If you do not want your contact information in the JCMGA 2024 Chapter Directory, you will need to contact Barbara Low ( by January 31st.
  • Having a Photo Contest. The winning photo will be on the cover of our 2024 directory. Information will be emailed soon to members.


JCMGA 2024 Board Members

By Beet 2024 01 January
  • President – Barbara Low
  • President-Elect (vacant position)
  • Past President – Marcie Katz
  • Recording Secretary – Kathy Apple
  • Membership Secretary – Ann Ackles
  • Treasurer – Keltie Nelson
  • Assistant Treasurer – Regula Pepi
  • OMGA Representative – Colet Allen
  • Archivist – Pam Hillers
  • Members-At-Large:
    • Rebecca Cohn
    • Randa Linthwaite
    • Rob MacWhorter
    • Lucy Pylkki
    • Cassandra Toews
  • Working Group Chairs:
    • Community Outreach – Ronnie Budge
    • Fundraising – Jane Moyer
    • Gardens – Janine Salvati
    • Marketing & Technology – Randa Linthwaite and Barbara Low
    • Member Services – Barbara Low
    • Program Support – Grace Florjancic
    • Spring Garden Fair – Marcie Katz and Lucy Pylkki
    • Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens – Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, and Barbara Low


JCMGA Board Meetings are the 2nd Friday of each month from 9:30-11:30 a.m. (We have a social time from 9:00-9:30 a.m.)

Announcing the Annual JCMGA  Photo Contest

By Beet 2024 01 January



The Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association Member Services Working Group (MSWG) announces its annual photo contest.

✦The 2024 JCMGA Photo Contest is open to all current Jackson County Master Gardener™ Association members.

Photos may be submitted from January 1st  until February 1st, 2024.  We can accept two (2) photos from each member, although there will be only one winning photo per person.

✦Photographs are limited to those taken in gardens of the Rogue Valley and the focus must be on a plant or flower – no people (for privacy issues), or garden animals or insects.

✦Please submit your photograph in portrait format, rather than landscape format to

✦All photographs must be at least 1500 x 1575 pixels (5”x5-1/2” at 300 dpi) and all submitted photos become the property of JCMGA.

In addition, since the photograph on the cover of the directory is longer from top-to-bottom than from side-to-side, photos submitted must be in portrait format rather than landscape.

Please submit your picture to and include your name, phone number, email address and a short description of the flora pictured. If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Hansen,    All identifying information will be removed and the contest will be judged by members of the Member Services Working Group and the editor of the Garden Beet.

The winning photograph will appear on the cover of the 2024 JCMGA Chapter Directory, and four runners-up will have their photographs featured in the Garden Beet. Winners will be announced in the April Garden Beet. Four runners-up will have their photographs featured in the Garden Beet. Winners will be announced in the April Garden Beet.

Whether your garden consists of several acres or a single plant in a hanging basket, we would love the opportunity to honor the beauty you have created and nurtured.

  • All submitted photos become the property of JCMGA.


January in the Garden for 2024

By Beet 2024 01 January

Last year I did a monthly article concerning home gardening based on The Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month book.  It was suggested to have the articles in this year’s Garden Beet. I hope that you find these articles helpful and informative.

The air is brisk and temperatures are just plain cold. Plants are dormant – sleeping for the winter and awaiting the warmer temperatures that spring will bring. Hopefully, we will get lots of precipitation during the coming months for our plants to thrive and survive the summer.

With that said, our gardens still need to be cared for so that they will do well in the spring and summer.

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 book.  This great reference book for gardeners is mainly about the growing of vegetables, berries, and melons.

In this article, I will briefly refer to what we should be working on during the month of January based on the information in this book and articles on the OSU website.

January is the time to

  • Plan what you want to plant in spring – if you haven’t done it already. What seeds do you want to order? Do you want to try some new or different vegetables and/or berries? Last year I tried some new vegetables, and I will be growing them again this year – Italian Sweet Peppers and Midget Cantaloupe.  It’s always fun to try new things.
  • Take the time to browse seed catalogues or websites – but don’t take too long or you might not be able to receive the seeds you want to try. Find plants that are good for growing in our area during both cool and warm weather. Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year Round & Month by Month (Revised 2017).  Pages 52-58 (Crops to Grow in Cool Seasons) (Crops to Grow in Warm Seasons) (Berries); pages 58-69 (Planting Tips for Specific Crops); and page 87 (Month of January).
  • Plants which you plant as seeds to transplant later are
    • Cabbage
    • Lettuce
    • Parsley
  • Plants which you can plant as seed outside
    • Peas (if there are the right soil conditions)
  • Time to prune your grapes


The Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley – Year-Round & Month by Month 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.


Happy Gardening and Stay Warm

Garden For Life

Lavender Garden ADA Paths

By Beet 2024 01 January

During the 2023 class, student Kendyl Berkowitz approached the Fundraising Working Group with an offer that couldn’t be refused.  As Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley, a local foundation providing housing upgrades for low-income families, she searches for grants available to fund the foundation’s work.

A $10,000 grant had come available from Fortune Brand.  The requirements included the funds had to be given to a local non-profit to increase accessibility.  Kendyl determined the Jackson Co. Master Gardener Association would be the ideal recipient.

All Working Groups were asked for accessibility ideas.  Garden pathways that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards was chosen.  Because the renovation of the grounds will be starting soon, creating the need to move some gardens, it was decided that a garden unlikely to be moved should be chosen.  For that reason, and because it is on the annual Lavender Tour and, thus, more visited by the public, the Lavender Garden was determined to be “the one.”

Irv Johnson and Margaret Clark, the Garden Education Mentors (GEMs), asked that the work be scheduled after the Lavender Tour in July.  The contractor, Travis Curtis Construction, set the beginning date for October when the cooler weather would be suitable for drying cement.

Originally the path to be converted to ADA standards was going to run between the Lavender Garden and the Vineyard with a landing pad running along the front of the garden.  SOREC Director Alec Levin asked that another path be added to run from the entrance to the northeast corner of the garden, allowing visitors in wheelchairs to get into the garden.  He offered to use funds available to him to pay half the cost of this addition.  The JCMGA Board of Directors agreed to pay the other half.

GEM’s Irv Johnson and Margaret Clark; Garden Enhancement Committee members Marcie Katz, Janine Salvatti, and Lynn Boening; Fundraising Working Group members Sandy Hammond and Jane Moyer; JCMGA Board Member Kathy Apple, 2023 student Lorrie Kaplan, and Master Gardener Coordinator Grace Florjancic worked multiple days to cut back the lavender along the affected paths to create room wide enough for wheelchairs.

Everything was going smoothly.  Travis Curtis used small equipment to dig the paths out.  The date for pouring the cement was set for October 12.  And then, OH, NO!  Travis contracted COVID!  Everything came to a screeching halt!

Finally, in early November, the day came with one unexpected bonus.  Travis had mistakenly cut one path too many. Rather than having to take the time to fill it back in and compact it, he offered to make an additional path at his expense.  THANK YOU, Travis!

We encourage all Master Gardeners to pay a visit to the Lavender Garden to see the new paths.  They are beautiful!