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by Michele Worden, Advanced Master Gardener, MGANM President
As I write this, the snow is falling so heavily that my dog was completely coated in a few moments when I let him outside. I can watch it accumulate with the naked eye. The temperature is dropping, and lake effect snow is making us homebound and humble. Winter is here. Time to light the fire, make some hot chocolate and read gardening books. Time to hibernate.
This is a good time to reflect on all we have accomplished this year. I am grateful to see all the wonderful and impactful work Master Gardeners have done to support their communities. I am so happy that we have a new coordinator in Nate Walton to support us. I am appreciative of the MGANM board that has worked so hard for the past two years, and very thankful for the incoming board members Peg Burman, Sue Newman and Whitney Miller. And please say thanks to Cheryl Gross when you see her for serving as Vice President for the past two years. But don’t worry, she is not going away. Cheryl will continue to serve as the editor of The Real Dirt. (We still have an open Director position on the board. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in serving.)
In addition, I am grateful to Ruth Steele-Walker and the board of the Michigan Master Gardener Association for walking us through the convoluted affiliation process. You can see a welcome letter and more information in this newsletter from Ruth. Last, I am very, very grateful to the volunteers who threw such a great party at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon! Good food, good company and great prizes – both silent auction and door prizes! And the decorations were fabulous Evelyn!
This is a good time to map our future. There are changes on the horizon in 2018. MSU Extension is increasing the Master Gardener volunteer and education hour requirements raising our certification requirements to be consistent with other states. The Michigan Master Gardener Association will also be undergoing a strategic planning process this year. What input would you like to give them? What are your concerns and issues as Master Gardeners? Who are we as diverse individuals of this group called MGANM? How can MGANM best meet your needs? How can we grow and thrive? In 2018, we will be asking you these, and other questions. If you have a burning question you would like to ask, please email it email@example.com.
Marketing is important for impact. I know I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. We are hoping to improve Master Gardener visibility in the community by having everyone wear logo wear when they volunteer. Being visible means the public feels comfortable asking you questions (helps outreach), positively influences county governments that fund the MSUE MG program, and helps attract new trainees to the program by showing that we exist. You are our best advertising!
Logo wear can be purchased at the Oakland county website https://www.mgsocstore.com/. MGANM also has organized a one-size fits all cobbler apron order. We will have the ordering information at the January meeting. We need a minimum of 20 to order and they must be prepaid. The aprons go over the head with side ties and have handy pockets, with both MGANM and MSUE Master Gardener Volunteer logos. If you are interested in ordering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay warm; and enjoy a happy and healthy new year.
Dear Members of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan,
On behalf of the board of directors of the Michigan Master Gardener Association, I’d like to welcome the entire chapter to the MMGA. We’re delighted that MGANM members have chosen to become an affiliate chapter!
For those of you who don’t know the MMGA history, our organization was created in 2012 to assist Master Gardeners around the state. MMGA exists to provide a collective voice for Master Gardeners as we work collaboratively with Michigan State University to help us further the Master Gardener goal of educating others and to provide the peace of mind that comes with having liability insurance to cover any accidental injury you do to others while working at a Master Gardener project site or when giving advice.
We look forward to having MGANM as one of our affiliate chapters as we head into 2018. Thank you for joining the MMGA. Together we can continue to beautify our lovely state through volunteering and education.
Ruth Steele Walker
President, Michigan Master Gardener Association
Michele Worden, Advanced Master Gardener, MGANM President
On November 5th we had record turnout at the Master Gardener Volunteer Recognition luncheon and the crowd was not disappointed. The decorations were superb. Twinkling light strings lent a festive air. A stunning table was set with bronze chargers and garlands sprinkled with walnuts and leaves. The table theme was native plants and several made lovely centerpieces. As always Eveyln Laman’s decorations create a party!
For the shopper there was a great selection. Denise Brown from the Oakland County society brought an enormous amount of logo wear as well as other fun logo items to purchase. My favorite was the water proof garden journal. She had fleece jackets and vests, all styles of shirts, totes, water bottles – you name it. Their store is online also.
We also had an amazing selection of items for the silent auction – everything from a Yen Yoga basket to a tour and tasting at the Grand Traverse Distillery plus succulent pots created by Master Gardeners and more. There was furious bidding and many happy customers. We raised over a thousand dollars for the scholarship fund from the silent auction. Many thanks to Lori Piggot for organizing this!
Before we settled down to listen to Duke and Nate talk about climate change and insects, we enjoyed a delicious lunch. Samuel, the chef from 9 bean Rows, did a great job. Everyone raved about the food. We enjoyed a rolled chicken dish with mushrooms, a harvest pasta dish, roasted vegetables in balsamic glaze, and a new greens salad from their hoop house. But the dessert as to die for – pumpkin cheesecake drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with candied walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
Of course, the highlight of the event was honoring our Master Gardener friends for their service. Welcome new trainees! And thank you all for your dedication and service to our communities! Pictures of everything can be found on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mganm.org/.