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Posts Tagged: master gardener

LIVE: Planting Right with Plant Right Talk

UC Master Gardener Program and PlantRight have partnered for a LIVE Facebook and YouTube talk about invasive plants on Jan. 19at noon. Invasive plants harm the environment and cost California millions of dollars to monitor and manage each year. Almost half of invasive plants in the state get their start through the nursery trade, and many invasive plants are still legal to sell today. Educating people on the impact of invasive plants is just a small piece of removing them from the environment.

What is PlantRight?

PlantRight is a program that works together with the nursery industry, conservation, science, and government agencies to identify and help nurseries voluntarily phase out invasive plants. For each invasive on the list, PlantRight suggests safer, regionally appropriate alternative plants. PlantRight's goal is to teach everyone from landscapers to home gardeners how toplant “right”. Learn more about PlantRight at www.PlantRight.org. Stay up on the latest from PlantRight by following them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

UC Master Gardener Partnership

The partnership between the UC Master Gardener Program and PlantRight supports planting the right plant in the right place. The right plant in the right place leads to a healthier environment and healthier plants. Because of UC Master Gardener volunteer efforts, PlantRight can survey plant nurseries all over California.  Armed with clipboards, cameras, and data sheets, specially trained volunteers collect and report to PlantRight. The information volunteers gather is vital to PlantRight for three main purposes:

  1. Tracking the sale of invasive plants currently on the plant list and retiring those that have been mostly phased out of retail.
  2. Helping PlantRight determine whether or not to add candidate plants to the plant list.
  3. Informing industry outreach strategy with information about sales in different regions and store types.

UC Master Gardener volunteers play a vital role in educating the public on right plant, right place, and helping PlantRight survey California's plant nurseries.

Planting Right with PlantRight, LIVE on Jan. 19

The UC Master Gardener Program is celebrating this great partnership by hosting a free LIVE talk titled Planting Right with PlanRight. No registration is required. The discussion will be live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at noon. Guest speaker, Alex Stubblefield, PlantRight Project manager, will be educating us on invasive plants in California and offering plant alternatives as well as the importance of the annual plant survey.

LIVE talks are an authentic and interactive way to interact with our audience in real-time. Share the Facebook and YouTube Live opportunity with your friends on social media and tune in to the UC Master Gardener Program LIVE broadcast! In the comments section below, let us know what topics or questions you would like answered on Tuesday, Jan. 19, or ideas for future LIVE topics. The event will be recorded and available for later viewing for those who can't make it. Attention UC Master Gardener Volunteers: Whether you join LIVE or watch the recording, be sure to record your continuing education hours in the Volunteer Management System.

Ask your local UC Master Gardener

For more gardening help and local county resources, click here to Find a Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers, staff, and our extended community's health and safety is our number one priority. Many UC Cooperative Extension offices are offering only phone and virtual services but are here to help, be sure to check your local program for resources. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 2:05 PM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Healthy Soils Week Celebration and Learning Opportunities

Learn and celebrate Healthy Soils Week with the UC Master Gardener Program and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Nov. 30 – Dec. 4! Healthy Soils week is full of virtual activities, at-home projects, and LIVE talks to join.  Growing and supporting soil health is something all of us can contribute to whether we have a full landscape to work in, a small patio, or a community garden plot. 

Why Healthy Soil?

Soil quality is critical to healthy plants, crops and is a vital part of our living ecosystem. Soil is alive with organisms that slowly grow or change depending on what is added or used.  Soil health, much like our own, is gradually improved over time so focusing on its constant improvement helps sustainability. Adding certain practices into your gardening routine, such as incorporating organic matter, can improve soil health and quality.

Tips to Keep your Garden Soil Healthy, LIVE on Dec. 3

The UC Master Gardener Program will celebrate healthy soils week by hosting a free LIVE talk on Tips to Keep your Garden Soil Healthy. No registration is required. The discussion will be live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 10 am.

Guest speaker, Dustin Blakey, will be breaking down what gardeners can do to support healthy soil for years to come. LIVE talks are an authentic and interactive way to interact with our audience in real-time. Share the Facebook and YouTube Live opportunity on your social media and tune in to the UC Master Gardener Program LIVE broadcast! In the comments section, let us know what topics or questions you would like answered on Thursday, Dec. 3 or ideas for future LIVE topics.

The event will be recorded and available for later viewing for those who can't make it. Attention UC Master Gardener Volunteers: Whether you join LIVE or watch the recording, be sure to record your continuing education hours in the Volunteer Management System.

Other Events and Activities

California Department of Food and Agriculture and more than 20 partners have teamed up highlighting healthy soils on the farm and at home.  Find a full list of partners participating in healthy soils week and a calendar of this year's online activities at www.cdfa.ca.gov/healthysoilsweek/.

Ask your local UC Master Gardener

For more gardening help and local county resources, click here to Find a Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers, staff, and our extended community's health and safety is our number one priority. Many UC Cooperative Extension offices are offering only phone and virtual services but are here to help, be sure to check your local program for resources. Thank you for your understanding.

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:23 PM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Congratulations! 2020 Gardeners with Heart

"If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” Kofi Annan

Congratulations to all of the volunteers awarded as the 2020 Gardeners with Heart! UC Master Gardener Program is excited to feature special volunteers or Gardeners with Heart from across the state in celebration of our program's 40th year. Gardeners with Heart volunteers were nominated by their local county leadership for their creativity, strategic thinking, passion for the program's mission, and commitment to outreach. Please enjoy this celebration of the contributions of 52 of our 6,000 exceptional UC Master Gardener Program volunteers!

2020 Gardeners with Heart: 

  • Barbara S., Lake County

  • Bob C., Ventura County

  • Borah L., Los Angeles and Yolo County

  • Bob and Sharon Y. San Bernardino County

  • Cheryl T. El Dorado County

  • Cie C., Sonoma County

  • Darlene D., Contra Costa County

  • Debi A., San Bernardino County

  • Devra L., Alameda County

  • Diane G., Santa Barbara County

  • Diane J., Sonoma County

  • Doris M., Amador County

  • Electra D., Sonoma County

  • Esther M., San Bernardino County

  • Eve K., El Dorado County

  • Gail M., Marin County

  • Harry L., Ventura County

  • Irene B., Alameda County

  • Jan K., Sutter-Yuba County

  • Janet M., Contra Costa County

  • Jerry M., Lake County

  • Jessica W., Marin County

  • Jillian K. and Adam W., San Bernardino County

  • Joan S., Alameda County

  • Judie T., Nevada County

  • Julie D., Alameda CountyKarole W., Lake County

  • Karole W., Lake County

  • Kathy M., Sonoma County
 
  • Kay P., Butte County

  • Lee R., Ventura County

  • Lee M., San Joaquin County

  • Linda H., Ventura County

  • Linda G., Orange County

  • Linda D., San Joaquin County

  • Mary J., Contra Costa County

  • Mary Lou L., Orange County

  • Merry Jo V., Lake County

  • Nancie R., Alameda County

  • Nicole V., Ventura County

  • Norma Y., Orange County

  • Pam R., Santa Clara County

  • Pat S., San Joaquin County

  • Peg S., Yolo County

  • Penny F., Sonoma County

  • Roanna P., Ventura County

  • Robin S., El Dorado County

  • Robyn B., Contra Costa County

  • Sherida P., San Joaquin County

  • Sherry R., Solano County

  • Stacey S., Contra Costa County

  • Steve S., San Joaquin County

  • Sue L., Sonoma County

  • Summer B., El Dorado County

  • Ted H., Stanislaus County

  • Terri T., Contra Costa County



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Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 11:41 AM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Growing Creativity in the COVID-19 Era (Part 4 of 4)

For the past three months, COVID-19 and social distancing requirements have changed the way the UC Master Gardener Program serves our mission to extend trusted gardening information. With a resurgence of interest in gardening, UC Master Gardener volunteers adapted to the pandemic using new and innovative ways to share gardening support and help.

This is the fourth feature of a four-part blog series. Read our earlier posts about how volunteers in Amador County learned new skills and quickly brought program resources online in Part 1 of this 4-part series. Explore how volunteers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties created the “Great Tomato Plant Share' in Part 2 of this 4-part series. San Diego County was featured in Part 3 of this 4-part series for how quickly they adapted and brought classes online for UC Master Gardener trainees.

Join us as we celebrate the innovation, creativity, and flexibility of UC Master Gardener volunteers and county staff during this unique time! 

SAN LUIS OBISPO

Across the state program coordinators for the UC Master Gardener Program have been working tirelessly to stay up to date on local and state health guidance, support volunteers with the transition to online training, maintain relationships with community partners, and more. In some counties, the ‘new normal' for county-based employees have included work at emergency response facilities.

In San Luis Obispo County, Maria Murrietta is serving her community as a disaster service worker. Twice a week from March through June, Murrietta has delivered food from the food bank to high-risk residents in San Luis Obispo County. These vulnerable residents are unable to venture out to get supplies or groceries because they are following strict self-quarantine guidelines. The disaster service program is the result of a collaboration between the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo County.

Disaster service workers in San Luis Obispo County pick up food pantry packages for delivery to residents during the COVID-19-related shelter-in-place. Maria Murrietta (left) serves SLO as a disaster service worker in addition to her role as UC Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

At noon every Tuesday and Friday, Murrietta joins delivery drivers at one of five food delivery hubs throughout the county. Once Murrietta reaches her pick-up location, she collects two bags of food (one full of dry goods, the other packed with produce) for each adult, in each home on her list. Site leaders provide delivery drivers with route information, special instructions, and face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to ensure their safety and the safety of residents.

Disaster service workers in San Luis Obispo County load bags of dry goods and fresh produce into county vehicles for delivery to vulnerable residents. The UC Master Gardener Program in SLO donates produce to support these delivery efforts. Photo credit: Maria Murrietta

Upon arrival at each residence, Murrietta makes contact by phone or at a safe distance, with each recipient to ensure they received the delivery. “Having that brief contact with the recipients has been so gratifying,” says Murrietta. “I've visited many of them multiple times and they were all so appreciative of the extra help. Lots of ‘bless you' and ‘thank you' and reminders to ‘be careful out there'. Even neighbors of the recipients have thanked me for helping their community members. One home in particular always leaves a different handwritten thank you note taped to her front door. I take a photo of each one. One resident at a senior facility told me about the wonderful soup she makes with the big bag of produce she receives.”

A SLO resident leaves no-contact messages of gratitude for disaster service workers who deliver dry good and produce on a bi-weekly basis. This message reads, “Thank you SLO delivery angels! Sorry it’s kind of hot out there! Lots of love.” Photo credit: Maria Murrietta

Murrietta is confident that the produce being delivered is of high quality – because a portion of it is grown by volunteers in San Luis Obispo County. The UC Master Gardener Program of San Luis Obispo County has been harvesting and donating fresh fruits and vegetables to the food bank since 2016. Last year was its best year yet with more than 1100 lbs. of fresh produce donated from its vegetable beds and fruit orchard.

UC Master Gardener volunteers, (from left to right) Kathlene Henry-Gorman, Lisa Mowery, and, Aliza Golan, in San Luis Obispo County with a recent harvest from its community garden, the Garden of the Seven Sisters, being donated to a local food bank. Photo credit: Jacqueline Shubitowski

“UC Master Gardener volunteers have been working hard to keep this up during the statewide shelter-in-place order. They were among the first groups to be approved as essential workers - according to the early UC ANR guidelines - so they could continue this vital work,” says Murrietta. “They continue to adjust as the procedures continue to change, even when, for a short time, the food bank stopped accepting donations from non-commercial growers. During this brief break, our lead UC Master Gardener volunteer went to work and found two additional locations in our region that were happy to accept fruits and vegetables - the Salvation Army food pantry and our local homeless services center!”

UC Master Gardener volunteer, Cory Kelso, holding a freshly pulled bunch of carrots from the Garden of the Seven Sisters in San Luis Obispo. Fruits and vegetables harvested from the garden are donated to local food banks to help feed residents in need. Photo credit: Jacqueline Shubitowski

Murrietta reports that demand at the food bank has tripled since March 2020 and that seed racks at two local nurseries are nearly empty. “Food insecurity is not a new topic, but is a new concern for many people for the first time,” explains Murrietta. In San Luis Obispo County, residents can benefit from UC Master Gardener Program harvests, in the form of produce donations, and from gardening education that the volunteers provide to the public. “I think this time of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of what UC Master Gardeners can offer a community, and it has reminded UC Master Gardener volunteers of how important their work is,” notes Murrietta. “Their skills and knowledge and their desire to contribute go beyond helping other gardeners have a pretty landscape!”

While COVID-19 has affected all communities and volunteers differently, the resilience, creativity, and flexibility, of UC Master Gardener volunteers and coordinators alike, continues to inspire and impress. The stories featured in this four-part series here are a small snapshot of the innovation and strength that this food community and garden education community has to offer.

Please note: Reappointment for the 2020/2021 Program Year began on June 1st and ends July 30th. The UC Master Gardener Program celebrates and appreciates ALL volunteers, regardless of their ability to contribute hours during this unprecedented time. Volunteers who choose to remain active and reappoint will be approved, regardless of the number of volunteer or continuing education hours completed this year.  Volunteers will not be responsible for making up any incomplete volunteer and continuing education hours in the following program year. However, all volunteers must complete reappointment to remain active or limited active in the UC Master Gardener Program.

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 7:22 AM
  • Author: Maria Murrietta
  • Author: Marisa Coyne
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

Growing Creativity in the COVID-19 Era (Part 1 of 4)

COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on social, environmental, and economic conditions throughout the state of California and across the globe. Collectively we have endured a series of losses, from financial security to the lives of loved ones.  We have had to adapt to shifts in our way-of-life, and vision a new, safe future for our communities.

Volunteerism and the many benefits of gardening have recently seen a flood of interest from local and national news media. While much about the future is still uncertain, it is clear that the UC Master Gardener Program's work to extend practical, research-based home horticulture, integrated pest management, and sustainable landscaping information is more relevant than ever before.

COVID-19 related shelter-in-place orders, social distancing requirements, and public or individual health threats have changed the way UC Master Gardener volunteers engage with community members and with each other. Most volunteers have had to limit their participation following federal, state, local, and UC system-wide guidance. Many volunteers are simultaneously balancing childcare, eldercare, work, and personal responsibilities, resulting in limited time for volunteer commitments. For some volunteers, this global crisis has led to engagement in new and innovative extension methods.

Join us over the next two weeks as we share a four-part series of stories that celebrate the innovation, creativity, and flexibility of UC Master Gardener volunteers and county staff during this unique time!  

AMADOR COUNTY

“When California went into shelter-in-place, our public education team stepped up to ensure the public would still be able to connect with UC Master Gardener volunteers and receive gardening information and support,” said Tracy Celio, UC Master Gardener program coordinator in Amador County.  

UC Master Gardener volunteer, Ed Bass, was especially committed, teaching himself how to use video software to create educational gardening content. Bass shared his videos about spring gardening and using compostable materials in raised beds on social media on the UC Master Gardener Program of Amador County's Facebook page.  After a couple of successful videos with high engagement, Celio proposed an online public workshop via Zoom. “We chose to feature a virtual tour of the Heritage Rose Garden followed by a question and answer session with our UC Master Gardener rose experts,” said Celio.


Ed Bass shot and edited the virtual rose garden tour video, working alongside fellow volunteer and workshop instructor Judy Woods. Bass and Woods worked closely together to develop a strategy for the online tour and how to best meet its learning objectives. UC Master Gardener volunteer, Doris Mosblech, jumped aboard to help trouble-shoot and manage the Zoom waiting room and chat. 

“Because of Ed's flexibility, enthusiasm, and willingness to try something new, UC Master Gardener volunteers in Amador County have been able to stay engaged with our community. We could not have done it without him,” said Celio.

UC Master Gardener volunteer in Amador County, Ed Bass, sends congratulations to 2020 graduates of the UC Master Gardener Program. His photo was featured in a video created by Lauren Snowden, statewide training coordinator, to celebrate the nearly 700 newly certified UC Master Gardener volunteers and garden educators throughout the state. Source: Ed Bass

Visit the UCCE Master Gardener Program of Amador County Facebook page to view more exciting videos and virtual content.

While COVID-19 has affected all communities and volunteers differently, the resilience, creativity, and flexibility of UC Master Gardener volunteers and coordinators continue to inspire and impress. The stories featured in this four-part series here are a small snapshot of the innovation and strength that this food community and garden education community has to offer. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the 4-part series on Growing Creativity in the COVID-19 Era

Please note: Reappointment for the 2020/2021 Program Year began on June 1st and ends July 30th. The UC Master Gardener Program celebrates and appreciates all volunteers, regardless of their ability to contribute hours during this unprecedented time. Volunteers who choose to remain active and reappoint will be approved, regardless of the number of volunteer or continuing education hours completed this year.  Volunteers will not be responsible for making up any incomplete volunteer and continuing education hours in the following program year. However, all volunteers must complete reappointment to remain active or limited active with the UC Master Gardener Program.

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 6:39 AM
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

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