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Jackson County Master Gardeners

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.

Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023

By Beet 2023 06 June



~~~~~ Exciting News! ~~~~~

The Jackson County Master Gardener Association is back, virtually!

Dates: Fridays, October 27 and November 3 and

Saturdays, October 28 and November 4, 2023


Comfort of your own Home via Zoom

Dig into four days of virtual garden immersion seminars taught by 14 presenters, all designed to help you plan next year’s spectacular garden. 2023 Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium is an ideal time to take stock while learning with experts about Gardening in Our Rogue Valley Climate.


Cost: $30. Pick your favorite topics or watch them all. Most sessions will be recorded and available for a limited time for paid participants.


Make it a family reunion & invite friends, family

and all your known far flung Gardening Enthusiasts!


Stay tuned — Details to follow



OSU Extension Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs, services, activities, and materials.  Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made 7 days prior to the event by calling the Extension office 541-776-7371.

The President’s Corner — Why Does the Earth get Only One Day?

By Beet 2023 05 May

May Day! It’s finally here, the month of May, the turning point, an end to frost and snow (hopefully) and time to get those tomatoes, peppers and other tender veggies in the ground. As we all know that “Mother’s Day” signals the coast is clear! But is it? Recent weather in the last few years has changed those old predictors, making us stop and re-evaluate. Super cold springs, scorching hot summers, global warming is real, the Earth is telling us to wake up and time to take notice!

I was recently at a local Earth Day Celebration. Everyone there was concerned about the environment, the future of bees, and the importance of native plants in our home gardens. That made me contemplate why we only celebrate the Earth for ONE day! I remember the very first Earth Day in 1970! I was a senior in high school, and very involved in ecology and zero population control. My school had a big outdoor assembly and invited guest speaker Eddie Albert (you may remember him from Green Acres), who was an ecology activist. I belonged to the Ecology Club, and we went to UC Berkeley to attend the burying of a car! What enthusiasm I had at age 17! How naïve! I rode my bicycle to work and back, mostly out of necessity because my car blew up, and being a poor student, I certainly wasn’t leaving a big carbon footprint. Then the years went by, and life happened. Although I moved to Oregon where life was slower and more in tune with the land, my only contribution to the earth was limiting my use of paper towels and plastics. We recycled, we composted, I got the Rodale Press book of “Organic Gardening”, I even made bread (for a while). Then I turned into a consumer, I had two kids and all that came with them, disposable diapers (the real ones lasted one whole week!). Baby wipes, plastic bottles, binkies, and sippy cups. My gardening time was replaced with two jobs – my career as a full time X-Ray Tech and then as a single mother. Earth Day was no longer on my radar; I was in survival mode!

Fast forward to the 2000s – the kids were bigger; I had a new spouse to share the daily chores with and I had garden time again. That’s when I started paying attention to the weather, and things, well, they were a-changing! We had hailstorms in July that dented cars, a month-long freeze that broke pipes, late snows that intermixed with 80-degree days in March, shorter springs and longer, hotter summers with less frequent mid-summer rainfalls. Now people were starting to take notice, as every year major weather events of floods, forest fires, tornados, and hurricanes were in the news.

But why has it taken 50 years? Why didn’t we listen to the predictions, and WHY does the Earth only have one day a year to be commemorated? If you are like me, you try to do your part – we don’t litter, we recycle, go to Goodwill and other thrift stores to buy gently used rather than new if possible, and fix things that are broken instead of throwing away. My old mantra is the “new” three R’s – repair, recycle, repurpose! I also joined the Master Gardeners upon my retirement and that opened my eyes to native plants. I went from a deer in the headlights, “duh, what’s a native”, to being an advocate who tells everyone who will listen to plant them. I watch Dr. Tallamy’s videos and read his books. I want to help the baby birds have lots of yummy caterpillars to eat and have habitat for the wildlife!

We need to celebrate the Earth EVERYDAY! You can do it too, by contributing to agencies that save the whales, clean up ocean plastics or stop the rainforests from being burned, and by planting native plants in your home garden.  This planet is not just for us. Every living thing has a function and part in this amazingly complex design of ecosystems and food webs, and we as humans have successfully turned it upside down. We can’t wait another 50 years. It will be too late; we may be the last generations to know of how the Earth used to be.

Come to the After Sale!

By Beet 2023 05 May

Did you miss the Spring Garden Fair on May 6th at Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center?

Were you out of town?

Did you go to the Expo by mistake, and get distracted by the Home Show?

Or did you attend SGF and just not get ALL the plants you needed?


If so, you are in great luck!  Jackson County Master Gardeners are having an



May 13th from 9 am to 3 pm

Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center


All vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers left over from SPRING GARDEN FAIR will be on sale for HALF PRICE.  Many native plants will be discounted as well.  Come on down and shop ’til you drop!

JCMGA Working Groups Summaries

By Beet 2023 05 May


Community Outreach Working Group

JCMGA will have a booth at the Medford Open Streets Event on May 20th.  We have been busy preparing for it and are still looking for volunteers to help.

JCMGA awards Community Gardens Grants.  This year the grant selection committee, chaired by Mary Foster, awarded three $500 grants.  Recipients were Eagle Point Garden Club, Blue Heron Park in Phoenix, and Options for Housing Assistance and Resources in Ashland.

We have been working on updating the Speakers Bureau and updating the vetting process for potential speakers.

Talks are continuing concerning the concept of “Friends of JCMGA”.

Since the Member Services WG is discussing the same subject, we will have a joint meeting to discuss the idea of “Friends of JCMGA”.



chair is Sandy Hammond

The FUNrasing working group meets on the 3rd Friday of each month in the conference room. We do have fun tossing around ideas and seeing which ones will work. Part of the FRWG is grant writing, Garden Guides sales and bottle and can return.  We have been busy brainstorming other possible Fundraising projects.


Garden Working Group

Chair is Janine Salvatti

We have been very busy getting the Demonstration Gardens ready for our upcoming Garden Tours.  We have also been busy getting new signage for the gardens.


Marketing and Technology Working Group

chair is Marcia Harris

Three Class of 2023 Student Master Gardeners have joined Lisa Brill to be JCMGA editors.

We have been reviewing our current technology and looking to see what we may need in the future.


Member Services Working Group

chair is Barbara Low

We completed the JCMGA 2023 Chapter Directory and members should have received their copy through the mail.  We are currently researching possible field trips for interested people to attend.

Talks are continuing concerning the concept of “Friends of JCMGA”.

Since the Member Services WG is discussing the same subject, we will have a joint meeting to discuss the idea of “Friends of JCMGA”.


Program Support Working Group

chair is Grace Florjancic

Students are finally applying the knowledge they have learned in class to solve problems in the Plant Clinic. Mentors have been impressed with the student’s eagerness to learn and their excitement to experience the unknown mysteries brought to the clinic. We are ramping up to a very busy spring, which is great for keeping the students on their toes!



chair is Sandy Hammond

Spring Garden Fair is the main source of funds for JCMGA. It is held on the 1st Saturday in May. This year’s event will be held on May 6th on the Extension grounds. We have been very busy organizing this event.  We look forward to being able to provide this event to the public.


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Working Group

chairs are Colet Allen, Susan Koenig, and Barbara Low

We have been busy organizing the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023 Symposium.  This virtual event will be October 27, 28, November 3, and 4.


April in the Garden

By Beet 2023 04 April

Spring is here! Daffodils, grape hyacinth, and tulips are popping up.

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

April is the time to:

  • Plant grapes
  • Plants which you plant as seeds to transplant later
o   Basil Cantaloupe
o   Cabbage o   Celery
o   Cucumbers o   Eggplant
o   Peppers o   Squash
o   Watermelon o   Tomatoes
  • Plants which you can plant as seed outside
o   Beets o   Carrots
o   Chervil o   Chives
o   Collards o   Cilantro
o   Corn, sweet o   Dill
o   Florence Fennel o   Kohlrabi
o   Kale o   Leeks
o   Lettuce o   Parsnips
o   Parsley o   Peas
o   Radishes o   Potatoes
o   Salsify o   Scallions
o   Swiss Chard       Tomatillos
  • Plants to transplant this month
o   Broccoli o   Cabbage
o   Cauliflower o   Chinese Cabbage
o   Endive, Escarole o   Jerusalem artichokes
o   Leeks

o   Onion

o   Pak Choi

o   Rhubarb

o   Lettuce

o   Oriental Greens

o   Parsley

o   Tomatoes

  • Time to fertilize
    • Established artichokes
    • Established blackberries


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 and Stay Warm

Garden For Life


JCMGA Spring Garden Fair – May 6

By Beet 2023 04 April


The 2023 Spring Garden Fair is going to be held at the extension on May 6th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Set up for the fair will be on Friday the 5th all day. We have approximately 20 paying vendors and 6 nonpaying vendors. Some examples of nonpaying vendors are SORAC, the Plant Clinic, and the Fire Department. Vendors will be in the auditorium, in the outer limits of the parking lot and in the arboretum. Our vendors are primarily plant vendors. Others are garden art, garden equipment, and garden furniture. There will also be live demonstrations in the small classroom. There will be an 11:00 am demonstration of worm composting and a 1:00 pm class on how to transplant your plants. Students from 4-H will hold on to plant purchases while shoppers enjoy the fair. Students will then assist in taking them to your vehicle, if needed. Donations are welcome.

Because of limited parking, all Master Gardeners, overflow parking and some vendors will be parking at Hanley Farm. There will be shuttle drivers to take people back and forth. The drop off and pick-up area is in front of the Experiment building. The Practicum classes, Native Plant Nursery, and the Propagation Garden will sell their plants with much pride.

The fair is free to the public. This is a test run for the Master Gardener Association. We have great enthusiasm and confidence that we can make this event a success.



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!