Contents (Click on a title or scroll)

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.