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Jackson County Master Gardeners

President’s Corner 

By Beet 2024 03 March


Spring is on its way!   

Trees are budding and flowers are starting to bloom.   

What a great time of year! 


We started 2024 off with a bang. Jackson County Master Gardeners Association has been busy!  We’ve embarked on many activities: 

  • JCMGA held its Winter Board Retreat at the end of January.  We had great discussions concerning our Strategic Plan for 2024.  The data from our Member Services Survey, completed in November, was used to help make some of our plans.  Thank you to those who took time to complete the survey.  We continue work on our Strategic Plan for 2024 and will complete it at our March Board meeting.  It will be in the April Garden Beet.   
  • Our Working Groups are very busy working on different aspects of JCMGA.  Together we can accomplish a great deal in a small amount of time.  In the process we build friendships, share knowledge, and especially have FUN. 
  • The Master Gardener Class of 2024 started their optional Practicum.  This involves hands-on activities concerning home gardening.  They are busy planting seeds for our upcoming Spring Garden Fair. 
  • We are planning several activities and hope that you will join us.  Please mark your calendars: 
  • Spring Garden Fair – May 4-5 at the Southern Oregon Research Extension Center 
  • Medford Open Streets Event – May 17 
  • JCMGA Annual Meeting – June 14 
  • Annual Picnic and Awards Ceremony (with educational component) – June 29 

One of the things that I truly enjoy about working with people at JCMGA is their focus on gardening and all its aspects.  We all have so much knowledge to share, and can all continue to learn. But also, we enjoy each other’s company and provide support in the tasks we do.  

Thank you again for all that you do for JCMGA. 

Jackson County Master Gardeners Association  2024 Spring Garden Fair 

By Beet 2024 03 March

By now, I am sure many of you have heard the buzz about this year’s Spring Garden Fair, affectionately known as the “SGF.” Yes, folks; we are back, and it is happening the first week in May! We rocked it last spring with our one-day comeback (after Covid took us out for two years). This year we are jumping in with both feet and holding it two days – Saturday May 4th, and Sunday May 5th 

Like last year, it will be held at the Southern Oregon Research Extension Center. Vendors will set up in the Extension parking area, in the arboretum and inside the auditorium. General public parking will be located out in the SOREC fields again, with a parking fee of $5 per car instead of an admission fee. We are adding a food court with 2 or 3 food trucks, children’s activities, and even more vendors.  

The 2024 Master Gardener Practicum is in full swing with an energetic class, and we can’t wait to see those greenhouses fill up with veggies, herbs and flower starts! Of course, the Native Nursery will also be brimming with a wonderful assortment of native plants to tempt fairgoers.  

You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it takes all the JCMGA membership to put on a Spring Garden Fair! There are many volunteer opportunities, and with as little as a 2-hour work shift, it is an easy “can do”, even if you have limited mobility. Please consider volunteering to help. Your support enables our success. 

The community was overjoyed to have us back last year.  Many look forward to the event as a start of their growing season, plus you can go home with your organically grown plants. Please come join in making this a successful and fun SGF. If you can volunteer, please contact Colet Allen or Barbara Low . 

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.

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.


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

JCMGA 1st Annual Fall Festival

By Beet 2023 10 October

The 1st annual Fall Festival is set for October 14th

at the SOREC Extension, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point.

This will be a 1-day event.

The hours are 9:00am to 2:00pm.

  • A fun day was had by all on September 15th making glass garden art. Some volunteers made their art project to keep, and some made garden art to sell at the Fall Festival.
  • There will be 6 outside vendors along with our wonderful Native Garden nursery.
  • The event will be outside and in Greenhouse #2.
  • We will even have Sanctuary One bringing their goats for petting and viewing.
  • There will be holiday items such as wreaths and decorations along with garden art.


Cookies and beverages will be provided for free.


Thanks to Jane Moyer there will also be beautiful Christmas cacti for sale.


Parking will be in the parking lot only so carpooling is a good idea.


Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023

By Beet 2023 10 October

~~~ Registration Now ~~~

The Jackson County Master Gardener Association is back, virtually!


Dates: Fridays, October 27 and November 3 and

Saturdays, October 28 and November 4, 2023

9:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Comfort of your own Home via Zoom


We have a variety of top-notch speakers who will be speaking on many interesting

and time relevant topics.



All sessions will be recorded and available for a limited time for paid participants.

Cost is $30 for 14 presentations.

Landscaper Board CEH re-certification available.

Email us at if you have any questions


Make it a family reunion & invite friends, family

and all your known far flung Gardening Enthusiasts!

OSU Extension Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs, services, activities, and materials.


The President’s Corner — Summertime Blues

By Beet 2023 09 September

I find it ironic how we can’t wait for winter to be gone. Away with the cold weather! We are ready to put sweats, socks, and sweaters into storage and get outside to do anything that brings the sunshine to our pale faces and color back into our world.  We envision our gardens growing and bountiful, our decks and yards amass with annual and perennial color, our time spent outdoors shared with friends and family.

And then it’s summer; usually an instantaneous happening here in the Rogue Valley, as we go from a cold spring with late frosts, to 80- and 90-degree days. No transitional, gradual warming, nope! It comes in like a bang, and we are thankful that it is here. Yay! We can plant gardens, visit nurseries and eat outdoors.

And suddenly it is too hot to stay outside for very long, even though slathered in sunscreen. Now days are spent indoors again, slipping outside only at dawn and dusk to water the many plots and containers we were so excited about planting just two months ago! Then, just when we figure out watering schedules, activities, and what we won’t be planting next year – the dreaded wildfire smoke comes into our lives. It’s summer in the Rogue Valley!

Living in a beautiful area with an abundance of nature also means that the health of our forests plays a dominant role in our lives. Forest fires in the PNW used to occur every 5–10 years; now they happen yearly. Where there is fire there is smoke. In 2018 we averaged 37 days of unhealthy air pollution; in 2020 it was 41 days (particulate matter in the air was over 100 on the Air Quality Index). There goes the tail end of summer.

Life is not how we dictate it should be, it is what it is. We need to adjust to the new kind of “summer” whether we want to or not. Here’s hoping the fires will soon be contained and the smoke will clear. We can enjoy the merging into fall; delighting in the cooler weather and sunny afternoons, as we clear the gardens for next season’s crops. Goodbye Summertime Blues!