Greetings and congratulations, Graduates! We have celebrated a momentous occasion, honoring your perseverance and determination to complete the Master Gardener Program. I welcome you all as fully certified Master Gardeners to our incredible organization: Jackson County Master Gardener Association. We hope you will remain with us, and continue to work, learn and teach with us as the years progress. The best way to hone your gardening skills and help your community is to learn from the amazing group of volunteers who make up our association.
If you read the Garden Beet, you have seen me use our slogan GARDEN FOR LIFE at the end of all my articles. This really is what we believe in.
In JCMGA, you will find community, friendship, support and a joy in learning and sharing knowledge that is unsurpassed. We want all of you to stay involved and welcome you and the talents you bring. Each of you has unique expertise and gifts and yours are needed now, more than ever.
We are looking to the future with hope and need your help. Come spring, we will need volunteers in our gardens on campus and in the Native Plant Nursery. Our Board of Directors is always looking for new talent. If you have experience in communications, fundraising, business, member services, community outreach, education or administration, please refer to the organizational chart in your directory and see where you might plug in. Contact a board member or a Working Group chair and ask how you can get involved.
Once we can meet in person without restrictions, we will need volunteers to help with the social events we hold on campus as well – picnics, meetings, banquets, work days.
Our Working Groups meet monthly and are happy to welcome new members. Communications WG is responsible for our JCMGA website, Facebook, YouTube channel, the Garden Beet, document storage, membership database, and marketing and publicity. If you are a techie, we could certainly use your help.
Membership Services WG is for you if you love planning and staging social events, field trips, the Garden Buds program and all things people related.
Community Gardens WG oversees our community garden and school garden grants, scholarships, and runs our Speakers Bureau.
Fundraising WG is in charge of making money to run our programs through fundraising, corporate and private donations, sales and grants.
Program Support WG runs the MG class and the Plant Clinic and oversees Practicum and Seed to Supper.
The Gardens and Grounds WG coordinates the demonstration Gardens, along with irrigation and garden enhancement projects.
Our two major educational events each year are Winter Dreams, Summer Gardens – coming to you virtually this November 5, 6 and 13, and Spring Garden Fair, hopefully live, the first weekend in May. Sign up for Winter Dreams, Summer Gardens now on our website. https://jacksoncountymga.org/
As we go forward into 2022 and beyond, I want to reassure you that learning about gardening is not just a matter of taking a class or a course of instruction. Gardening is a PRACTICE, and just as teachers and doctors get better in their “practices,” so will you. JCMGA sees you as the newly-planted Master Gardeners here in the Rogue Valley. We know you will need care, and food, and encouragement to grow, just like any young plant. We are here to provide that for you so that you can grow and thrive and become the best gardener you can be. If you want to attend this year’s Practicum, please let me and Erika know so we can get an idea of numbers. And of course, you are always welcome to sit in on Master Gardener classes starting in January.
Gardening, helping, learning and teaching about gardening is a great gift that we give to ourselves and others. JCMGA pledges to support you. We hope you will support us as we all GARDEN FOR LIFE.