Serve – July 2017

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Gardening for the Future

Volunteer at the Boardman River Nature Center!

Master Gardener Scholarship Recipients

Photo of Suttons Bay Rain Gardens, 2015. Photo by The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay

Gardening for the Future

MGANM Member Spotlight – Lillian Mahaney

by Michele Worden and Ruth Steele-Walker, Advanced Extension Master Gardeners

Lillian Mahaney is a rock star Master Gardener.  She has been part of the program for over a decade and is one of our revered ‘Gold Badge’ Master Gardeners –over 1,500 hours of volunteer service in Leelanau County and Northern Michigan. 

What she’s doing now:  Recently Lillian has been helping Annette in the Leelanau MSUE office compile a list of educational and volunteer opportunities that are e-mailed to Master Gardeners bi-weekly.   Lillian also writes for The Real Dirt – the newsletter of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan. 

Experience and Expertise: Lillian has a diverse interest and expertise in horticulture.  She belongs to the Michigan Herb Association, Michigan Master Gardener Association, MGANM, the Wildflower Association of Michigan, Cherry Capital Rose Society, and Botanical Gardens at Historic Barns Park.  

Lillian is an avid rose gardener – both in her native Florida and in Northern Michigan.   

Lillian has also focused on native plants as part of her work as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  Her moniker is “Raccoon Mama,” although she also has rehabbed many other species including fox, squirrels and birds.   She has also taught classes at Kettunen Center on native plants.

She is passionate about the Junior Master Gardener program and has been a driver of it in Northern Michigan.   When she first became a Master Gardener, Lillian began Junior Master Gardener programs at the public schools in Suttons Bay and Leland and at St. Mary Catholic School in Lake Leelanau.  She also developed and taught a training class on how to implement a Junior Master Gardener program to develop more Master Gardeners into local program leaders.  “It’s my passion,” says Lil.  “I want to see people getting involved with Junior Master Gardeners.  The teachers I talk to all want the program but we just don’t have enough volunteers to teach it.”  Lil created student workbook and curriculum, activity sheets and reference information to assist those MGs and others who haven’t taught a JRMG program before.

More recently, Lillian has been working with Sarah U’Ren, Watershed Director, to help recruit people to care for the 18 small rain gardens sprinkled throughout the town of Suttons Bay.  “We work with the public and teach them about the native plants in the rain gardens.”  This project has a big impact on keeping the waters of the Grand Traverse Bay clean.

Future Plans:  Lillian recently completed the Smart Gardening online training program.   “I really hope to be more involved with Smart Gardening,” Lil says, adding that “Smart Gardening really coordinates with my work in wildlife rehabilitation.  Her goal is to create and promote landscapes that help people live harmoniously with wildlife.

Through educating children and planting gardens that are environmentally friendly – Lillian Mahaney is gardening to build a better future.

Volunteer at the Boardman River Nature Center!

by Becky Mang, Community Gardener

Upon completion of the GTCD Nature Center building nearly ten years ago, a large group of Master Gardeners gathered to adorn the surrounding grounds with hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees. The landscape plan, designed by local landscape architects Anita Silverman and Eric Takayama, called for plantings native to the area with the stock that was available at the time. The beautiful stone and rock beds, rain gardens and sun/shade orientation were all considered in the design.

How these gardens have been maintained and sustained over the years is a story that involves very little financial investment but much perseverance. Until just recently, when a monetary budget was introduced, Martha Dively and I have worked with volunteers and Master Gardeners to weed, add compost and mulch the gardens. Conservation District employees have also assisted us with some pruning and irrigation installation. Plants were not moved or thinned, no new plantings were introduced and some beds were left to fend for themselves.

Two years ago, it occurred to Martha and I that we would never realize the Master Gardener mission of community education by simply mulching and weeding.  In discussions with the Conservation District Board members and District employees, we determined we could start raising funds for garden maintenance.  We now rescue plants from our own gardens, as well as from building sites in the area, and sell them at the District’s yearly native plant sale.  We have also applied and received grants to renovate and revitalize some of the garden beds.

Working with the Invasive Species Network, we have begun placing extensive signage throughout the gardens.  These signs identify the flowers, shrubs and trees as well as provide other information about their growing requirements.  We have begun offering garden tours every Monday evening, preceding our work bees, and are reaching out to high school students in the area to work in the gardens for credit. 

At our native plant sale May 20, we were able, for the first time in all these years of garden maintenance, to use the gardens to demonstrate how the plants being sold look and act in their natural environment.  We saw gardeners exploring the beds, reading the signage, and then asking lots of questions. We nearly sold out of hundreds of plants.  Needless to say, this is a dream come true for both Martha and me.

With all of this positive growth there is one caveat.  Our Monday evening and Wednesday morning work bees have not been well supported. This spring has been especially light on help. We know there is a lot of competition for volunteers. (Martha and I must enjoy what we do because we always show up.)  A heartfelt thank you to Jeanne Hunter and Joanne Johnson. They have been tireless volunteers and really worked hard to get the gardens in shape. Also, the newly established Wild Ones chapter have adopted the butterfly garden so look for creative new energy there.  We are so grateful for the work of the Conservation District employees; especially Tricia Forgrave and Tom Vitale, who sometimes volunteer on their own time.

I invite you to take some time to meander the path around the building before or after your next meeting at the Boardman River Nature Center.  You just might notice a flower or shrub that could fit nicely into your garden design while, at the same time, encouraging pollinators.

Scholarship recipients and Master Gardener Trainees Christine Koubek and Lori Piggott (2017)

Master Gardener Scholarship Recipients

by Cheryl Gross, Adv EMG

We were thrilled to award our two 2017 Master Gardener College Scholarships to women who recently completed the Master Gardener training class at the Horticultural Center, Christine Koubek and Lori Piggott.  Christine and Lori are pictured below at Master Gardener College:

We asked them each for a brief introduction:


I was born and raised in Illinois. My indoctrination into gardening came early in life. My Dad was an avid vegetable gardener who used to carry me, as an infant, out to the garden in the morning to water. My mom was the flower gardener. She taught me to prune roses at 7. They both had me planting things as a tot, and by 11 I had graduated to rototilling and using the riding mower. My Dad would go to the local farm for cow and chicken manure. I now fondly grow my own heirloom tomatoes because of that memory and have always loved nature in all forms.

My appreciation for nature and gardening has been an avocation all my life. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have an indoor plant or animal under my care.  I was a member of the friends of the Oak Park Conservatory and a graduate and volunteer of The Openlands Treekeepers program in Cook County, Illinois. My husband and I were members of the Midwest Fruit Growers Association. For years we maintained memberships at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Morton Arboretum.

After vacationing here in NW Michigan for years, we bought a few acres near Beulah in 2011 and in 2016 moved to Michigan. We now live here full time and love it despite jokes from our friends about how “you guys are the only people we know to retire and move North.”  I feel so grateful to be a part of the community here in NW Michigan and now MGANM.

I look forward to learning more and sharing any knowledge I gain from Master Gardener College. My husband and I took a beekeeping course at Tillers near Kalamazoo last year. I’m interested in other pollinators too. So, I’m particularly interested in the class on Building a Bee Hotel.


I recently stopped working, so I could focus on my family and projects for which I feel truly passionate. One of those projects is starting my own business building furniture and home decor called Second Story Art and Design. The other project is playing in the dirt. My mother had her Master Gardener Certification when I was a child, and her father was a proud rose gardener, so it definitely runs in my blood. I started completely renovating all of our flower beds this year. I meant to only work on one or two this season and finish the others next spring.  But once I started, I forgot about that and just kept going. I’d like to learn more about perennials, bulbs, soil quality, and landscaping. Finishing the MSU Master Gardener Volunteer Training program has been a highlight of my year, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can and sharing that knowledge with anyone who wants to listen. Thank you for the opportunity to attend the master gardener college!

We look forward to getting to know Christine and Lori better!

Serve – May 2017

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On The Radar

Master Gardener College Scholarships

On The Radar: May

Cheryl Gross, Advanced Master Gardener, Vice President MGANM, President Plant It Wild

In May, there are many opportunities to establish your volunteering for the season.  Libraries, Schools, Community Gardens, and Community Beautification projects are each in need of Master Gardener leadership in May.  Community gardens that donate produce to food banks are especially in need of layout, planning and planting expertise. Share the wealth of knowledge you have with your community! 

Keep in touch with volunteering opportunities through MSUE email updates and MGANM.

Keynote Speaker Paul Zammit at MG College 2016. Photo by Michele Worden

Master Gardener College Scholarships

Cheryl Gross, Advanced Master Gardener, Vice President MGANM, President Plant It Wild

The purpose of the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is to advance the horticultural knowledge of the citizenry.  When MSU Extension educates ‘regular folks’ in current, scientifically-based practices, the intent is that the ‘trainees’ will, in-turn, volunteer in their communities and raise the knowledge base of all.  Well, that is the plan.  Many of us initially take the class for selfish reasons.  We want to know more and be better gardeners for our OWN purposes.  The Master Gardener Volunteer Training program I took was FANTASTIC.  I enjoyed each and every chapter and class.  I loved the learning…. and S L O W L Y came to understand the ‘volunteering’ part.  That is where the ‘association’ came in.  Thank heavens! for the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan (MGANM).  Without them, learning about volunteering opportunities and having easy access to timely education would not be possible.

MGANM, in addition to being a clearinghouse for volunteering and education, raises funds annually to offer one or two scholarships to the Master Gardener Volunteer Training class (offered at the Hort Center in Leelanau County) AND to send current Master Gardeners to Master Gardener College offered at MSU in East Lansing each June.  The purpose of the scholarships is to encourage those, who otherwise might not be able, to attend.  The scholarships have strings attached.  Those who accept the scholarship money are expected to join MGANM and raise the knowledge of the community as a whole through sharing the knowledge and experiences earned! The ripple effect.

It is not complicated.  Get smart; share knowledge.

Currently, MGANM has TWO Master Gardener College Scholarships available for attendance June 23 and 24, 2017 in East Lansing.  One is funded through MGANM fundraising efforts; the second is funded by Brian Zimmerman, owner of Four Season Nursery, a landscape designer, and plant care servicer.  His desire in offering the scholarship is the same as the original purpose of MG Training.  Create a ripple effect that raises the horticultural IQ of our region.  A third 2017 Master Gardener Scholarship is offered through the Botanic Gardens at Historic Barns Park.  They are a partner with MGANM and benefit from the volunteering of many Master Gardeners.

Therefore, we encourage ALL Master Gardeners in our region interesting in sharing knowledge to apply for one of these three scholarships!  Contact the Botanic Gardens for their application procedures, if you volunteer there.  To apply for one of the two scholarships available through MGANM, answer the following questions and send them to Cheryl Gross, MGANM VP @ or mail to 4628 Westbrook Dr., Traverse City, MI, 49685. Deadline to apply is June 9, 2017.


Contact Information:

MG Training Class Year:

MG Volunteering Experience:

Why you wish to attend Master Gardener College:

How you Intend to Share your new Knowledge with your Community:

If awarded the scholarship, you will be expected to join MGANM and attend Board Meetings and Membership meetings during 2018 and submit an article to the Real Dirt on the Master Gardener College experience.

We hope to have many applicants from which to choose!  Contact Michele Worden or Whitney Miller about the Master Gardener College experience.

Serve – March 2017

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Smart Gardening Program: Educational and Volunteer Opportunity for MSUE Master Gardeners

MGANM Names 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Dr. Duke Elsner finding insects

Dr. Duke Elsner finding insects

Smart Gardening Program: Educational and Volunteer Opportunity for MSUE Master Gardeners

by Dr. Duke Elsner, MSU Extension

The Smart Gardening Program is a relatively new initiative from Michigan State University Extension.  Smart Gardening is a campaign to help home and experienced gardeners adopt and implement proven techniques in their yard and garden that will help them save time, money and the environment!  IPM or Integrated Pest Management has long been a hallmark of MSU Extension programs.  However, the amount of information available -from educational institutions, magazines and commercial product producers – is a challenge to unravel and implement.  “Smart” helps people adopt proven, university-researched tactics in their own back yards.  The program was developed by members of the Consumer Horticulture Team of Michigan State University Extension, based upon the initial three themes of Smart Plants, Smart Lawns, and Smart Soils.  Smart Vegetable Gardening is the newest theme to be developed.

There are three key components to the Smart Gardening campaign.  One is the production of educational materials.  Most of these are in the form of brief “tip sheets” that address a single topic in a basic and very understandable format.  Videos have also been developed for several of the topics.

The second component is hosting educational sessions at public events, such as garden shows, fairs, farmer’s markets, and similar events.  Knowledgeable specialists from Michigan State University and other authorities are recruited to speak on their area of expertise.

The third component is a public relations workforce comprised of Master Gardeners, like you.  We recognize that there is nothing quite like a person-to-person connection to help the public with their gardening needs.  The best method to make connections with large numbers of people is to recruit Master Gardener Volunteers to be part of the Smart Gardening delivery team.

MSU Extension has established a special training program to prepare Master Gardeners to be effective representatives for the Smart Gardening Program.  New Smart Gardening trainees are apprenticed under experienced Smart Gardening Volunteers to further prepare them for their outreach activities with the public.

If you are interested in becoming a Smart Gardening Volunteer, please contact me at  If you would just like to see the various tip sheets, videos and other educational materials, check out the Gardening in Michigan web site:


EMG Stone for Yard Display


MGANM Names 2017 Scholarship Recipients

by Cheryl Gross, Advanced Master Gardener, MGANM Vice President

The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan, MGANM, raises Scholarship funds throughout the year; and primarily at our November Volunteer Recognition event through a silent auction.  All funds raised are given to MSUE on behalf of an award recipient (s) allowing them to enroll in the MSUE Master Gardener Volunteer Training class when the cost might be otherwise prohibitive.

As a condition of the 2017 Scholarship, the recipient is asked to give 10 of the first year 40 volunteer hours to the Association by attending a MGANM Board Meeting, an Association meeting, and otherwise supporting a MGANM project.  MGANM believes that Master Gardener Certification and Association membership has value and contributes to Certified Master Gardeners being engaged in a community of gardeners devoted to keeping current in horticultural trends and research.

We are excited to have been able to award TWO Scholarships this year with the funds raised.  Our Scholarship recipients are:

Michael O’Brien has a passion for growing vegetables, so much so that he has his own hydroponic system that he built by hand.  He recently moved here from a MUCH warmer growing zone, a 10, and sounds like he wants to learn more about growing here in our zone.  He’s very interested in plant propagation, and completing his volunteer hours in a community garden-type setting, or at least that’s what interests him now. 

Marla Tyler wants to become a Master Gardener to learn the best practices to contribute to the health of the environment and be involved in protecting it.  She is committed to learning and volunteering in the community she loves and in which she lives.  She has had some educational sessions with the Leelanau Conservancy to be a hike leader.  She likes native plants and wildlife and said that she enjoys walking Grand Traverse and Leelanau Conservancy lands.  She emphasized her commitment to a project, prioritizing responsibilities, laughing, and having fun. Marla is thankful for the MGANM scholarship to be able to become a Master Gardener.

Of special note, Michael O’Brien’s funds were donated in memory of Rick George, a wonderful Master Gardener who was dedicated to vegetable gardening.  Dedicated Scholarship funds may be donated at any time throughout the year.  Write “MG Scholarship” in the memo portion of your check and it will be used for a Scholarship in an upcoming class.

Serve – January 2017

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In Memoriam—John Richard George (aka Rick)

2016 Volunteer Recognition Awards: Volunteers are the Heart and Soul of the Master Gardener Program

MGANM Anniversary: 20 Years Young

MG Rick George pauses for a smile :) 2009

MG Rick George pauses for a smile 🙂 2009

In Memoriam—John Richard George (aka Rick)

by Terry Harding, Community Master Gardener

What can I say about my brother that you already don’t know!  You know he loved growing veggies and sharing his harvest with friends and food pantries.  But, he was much more than that.

Rick and wife Sally were long-time residents of Royal Oak, MI.  They met in high school and married celebrating their 50th a few years ago.  They had 3 kids, sons Greg and Todd and 1 daughter Tracy.  All kids married and 3 grown grandsons love coming to TC for fishing and to visit their family. Rick worked at several places but retired from General Motors and moved to TC with his wife, Sally. 

One of the first things he wanted to do was have a garden and so he did.  He took the MG training with encouragement from my husband, Bill and myself and became a dedicated Master Gardener, and Advanced Master Gardener earning Master Gardener of the year award—something that was a huge thrill for him.

He made a life friend in Mike Davis through working the community garden in Leelanau.  They were kindred spirits and Rick idolized Mike as they both spent countless hours at the garden.  When that garden “died” from lack of interest, Mike started a small Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the Historic Barns Park as part of the SEEDS program.  He and Rick made raised beds, brought in compost, planted and maintained those beds until Mike and his wife had to move back to Ohio.

Always an outdoors person, Rick loved duck hunting, tying flies for fishing, spending time at their camp around Glennie, Michigan, raising rabbits, and just being able to enjoy the sunshine and water.  He spent hours reading about gardening and probably has one of the finest personal libraries on growing vegetables—especially tomatoes.  He and I attended several Dow Know and Grow seminars in Midland taking in the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers on the subject of gardening.  Aside from being a member of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan and maintaining his certification hours, he was also a member of Cherryland Garden Club, a small group of gardeners (meets the second Tuesday of the month in the evening), who had monthly speakers on a variety of gardening subjects.

I am going to miss him terribly especially when I need help at the Harding Memorial Garden at Peninsula Community Library.  He was always ready and willing to spend hours helping me with weeding, pruning and transplanting. I will also miss his teasing me about growing flowers and not veggies.   But . . . I know he is in veggie garden heaven now where he doesn’t have to worry about enough rain to water plants, frost killing his newly planted plants or weeding or spreading compost or any countless other tasks.  He will be enjoying the endless sunshine watching his garden grow.

2016's decorations

2016’s decorations

2016 Volunteer Recognition Awards: Volunteers are the Heart and Soul of the Master Gardener Program

by Michelle Ferrarese, Master Gardener Coordinator

November 6, 2016.  Gilbert Lodge, Twin Lakes Park, Grand Traverse County: A group of nearly 50 Extension Master Gardeners and guests convened for the annual Master Gardener Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.  The weather was gorgeous; in hindsight, it could almost have been an outdoor event!  Amor Comida provided a delicious lunch of spiced squash soup, salad, and pie, with seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers.  Dr. Duke Elsner, MSU Extension Educator, presented a talk on “Plantings for Monarchs and Wild Pollinators” that was enthusiastically followed with questions and answers. 

MGANM volunteers decked the tables and the hall in lush fall-themed and monarch-themed décor, staffed the check-in table, and orchestrated a silent auction to raise funds for scholarships to the MG training course.

After Dr. Elsner’s presentation, Master Gardener Coordinator Michelle Ferrarese presented achievement awards to EMG Volunteers.  We had a GREAT showing of volunteer hours this year, particularly for a year during which Master Gardeners had no coordinator for half the year! 

Michele Worden coordinated a successful Silent Auction this year, which raised toward the scholarship fund for tuition assistance for the MG Training Course.  Thanks so much to everyone who contributed auction items and also those who bid on items!

Denise Brown (EMG merchandise vendor from Oakland County) set up her display of wares: t-shirts, hats, water bottles, etc, and outfitted many of our volunteers with logo wear!

Recognition went to the following Volunteers:

Newly Certified Volunteers (Trainees who completed 40 volunteer hours):

Bruce Barnes, Kristen Beck, Maryann Borden, Kathryn Danielson Rizik, Tricia Early, Pam Filkins, Kathryn Frerichs, Kay Goodall, Kathy Marciniak, Laura McCain, Chris Newell, Jane Schnack, Kathy Spinniken, Steve Stephens, Bethany Thies

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteers (EMGs who completed 50 volunteer hours AND 25 continuing education hours within five years of initial certification):

Nancy Denison, JoAnne Gerben

Lifetime Service Awards:

250 Hours:

Elizabeth Clous, Kristine Drake, Candy Gardner,Rebecca Mang

500 Hours:

Kelly Dillan, Lin Emmert, Cheryl Gross, Gary Michalek, Whitney Miller, Ruth Steele Walker, Susan Newman

1000 Hours:

Trina Ball, Janet Hickman

2000 Hours:

Ann McInnis

Master Gardeners of the Year

Grand Traverse County:  Michele Worden

Benzie County:  Steve Stephens

Leelanau County: Ruth Steele Walker

After the Volunteer Recognition, MGANM President Michele Worden presented her State of the Association update and conducted annual officer elections.  Officers were elected as follows: President:  Michele Worden (2 year term)  Vice President: Cheryl Gross (1 year term)  Treasurer:  Glynis Waycaster (? tear term)  Secretary: Judy Reich (? year term)

Award recipients AND door prize winners went home with potted pollinator-friendly perennials, gift certificates, and seed packets of annuals to plant for pollinators next season.  Thanks again to all the volunteers (and Annette Kleinschmit!) who made this possible, from the planning meetings to auction organizing to the set-up and tear-down/clean-up.

20th Anniversary Celebration

20th Anniversary Celebration

MGANM Anniversary: 20 Years Young

by Michele Worden, Advanced Master Gardener, MGANM President

It is hard to believe that the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan was 20 years old in 2016.  There is youth and vigor in this inspiring group of volunteers.  To celebrate the occasion, we held a 20th Anniversary party at the Boardman River Nature Center in Traverse City on August 2nd.   

There was a large turnout of friends, old and new.   The room was packed!   It was a bit like a family reunion.  We presented a fun video for the celebration from pictures of past and present projects and friends.   We also created a t-shirt celebrating our 20th Anniversary that members could order. 

Hearty appetizers were served in the reception before the presentations.  We started the evening with a brief introduction by the MG Coordinator and Michelle Ferrarese and myself, the board president.  I made a presentation with Marsha Clark, Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Conservation District on the history and design of the native plant gardens that surround the nature center.  Whitney Miller, Master Gardener, and Nate Griswold of Inhabitect gave a presentation on the value of green roofs in our communities and the construction of the green roof demonstration project at the nature center. 

The demonstration gardens, maintained by Master Gardeners  further our mission by educating the public about landscape sustainability and watershed stewardship.   It was a beautiful summer day, and following the presentations we took a tour of the gardens, ending up at the decorated pavilion where the buffet dinner was ready.  This path also cleverly strolled by our silent auction table which had fun items and memorabilia.

Attendees were served a delicious and tangy pulled pork with several sides such as apple baked beans, a Master Gardeners special recipe.  The meal was underwritten by our sponsors and community partners.  We were so thankful that MSUE bought a cake with which to celebrate, and the Michigan Master Gardener Association supplied the ice cream.  As a special treat we sourced locally grown and produced lavender ice cream – it was to die for!   We were also happy to have raised enough funds with the silent auction for our new leadership scholarship – sending a Master Gardener to Master Gardener College.   We look forward to our next 20 years and becoming part of MMGA in 2017.


Serve – November 2016

Gardening Activity for Kids

by Cheryl Gross, Advanced Master Gardener, Vice President MGANM, President Plant It Wild

While I have three grown children, activities for children do not come easily to me.  Also, I am not the ‘crafty’ type.  Yet in late summer, there I was having a blast with a seed germination activity at our neighborhood block party.

Wanting to pitch-in and help the host, I contacted Lillian Mahaney, a Master Gardener colleague and Jr Master Gardener teacher, for help.  In no time at all Lil connected me to a ‘living necklace’ activity.  Beginning two weeks ahead of the event, I began a seed each day (one week is ample).  It was great fun to check on my seed each day.  By the day of the event, there were three plants in small pots, three plants in small Dixie cups, and four or five still in small plastic bags where the children and adults could see the germination process.

About a third of the children in attendance participated along with two moms.  One mom asked several questions and took the idea to use in her classroom!  It was well worth my effort to pull it all together.  I appreciate that is was a quieter, almost one-on-one activity amid all of the running, throwing and water balloons.  It was craft-like with an educational component AND it was suitable for all ages.  The success of the activity was entirely based on the benefits of connecting with other Master Gardeners in our community!

Living Necklace


Any seed for garden planting (Some use large bean seeds.  I used sugar snap peas because the shoots have a nice edible taste.)

Cotton pads, such as those used for makeup removal

Plastic zip seal bags, roughly 2” x 3”

Narrow ribbon


Hole punch


Wet two cotton pads with water and wring out.

Place a pea or other seed in the center on one pad and cover with the other.

Slide into the plastic bag.

Punch a hole in the top of the bag, beneath the zipper.  Cut a length of ribbon to tie the bag around the neck of the child.

Discuss the germination process… embryo, root, stem and such.

Note: Use caution with the ribbon around the neck (choking hazard).  I had parents available to inform.  If children did not want the necklace, they did not get a ribbon.  The benefit of the necklace is faster germination due to contact with body heat.  The peas in my test did just fine germinating on a ledge in my house.


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