Coconino Master Gardener Association

Photo from cleaning Melanie Lembke’s yard as a winner of the Fall CMGA Clean-up Raffle. From right to left Susan Holiday, Bea Cooley, John Holmes, Molly Larsen, Hattie Braun, Lyle Holiday, and Julie Holmes working hard. Master Gardener program director Hattie Braun consultant in the foreground.
Photos by Dallas Larsen.
Welcome to the Coconino County Master Gardeners' Association Blog. The mission of the Coconino Master Gardener Program is to support the University of Arizona by providing researched-based information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping to the public. The program creates a corps of well-informed volunteers, and delivers quality horticultural education programs adapted to our regional high elevation environment. The mission of the association is to provide support for those volunteers and Master Gardener graduates, continuing education, and opportunities to participate in community programs that increase the visibility and participation in the Master Gardener Program.
On this site you will find gardening news, links, a calendar for local events, volunteer opportunities, book reviews, agenda/minutes for our association monthly meetings, and association documents and contacts.
The Coconino County Master Gardener Association was founded in 2009 by a small group of master gardeners with the help of Hattie Braun the Director of the MG Program. After several small meetings it was opened to all master gardeners on May 21st, 2009. Meetings are held monthly on the 2rd Thursday of each month from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We meet at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, located at 1601 N. San Francisco, Flagstaff, 86001. The agenda usually includes continuing education and a short business meeting. Watch this blog for the agenda and minutes for all meetings. Contacts for the association (officers and committee chairs) are listed at the bottom of this blog.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours

All master gardener trainees and certified master gardeners need to report their hours.
Beginning in 2010 certified master gardeners need to have 6 Education hours and 12 Volunteer hours in order to maintain certification.The on line reporting system allows you to report Education or Volunteer hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new reporting system, please contact Crys Wells or Hattie Braun. Their contacts are listed at the bottom of the blog under
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at the Sunday/Wed. markets this year
--Be a speaker for the speakers bureau
--Work at the home show
--Work at a MG site (Olivia White Hospice, the Arboretum, Riordan Mansion, or school gardens (many others)). Check out the Assoc. Doc. & Forms under Volunteer Sites.
--Work in the Extension office
--Write an article for the newspaper column -Gardening Etcetera
Be creative! There are many ways to fulfill your hours. Just remember for volunteering it needs to be a non-profit endeavor or an approved for profit site.

Change in Contact Information

Have you moved or changed your e-mail address, but would still like to be contacted about high elevation gardening information from the Extension? The Coconino County Extension Master Gardener Program has a site that will let you change your information on-line.

Click here to change your contact information!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Seed Saving - Gardens for Humanity

Saving Seeds – Preserving our Food Heritage

October 18 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Saving Seeds – Preserving the Biodiversity of our Food Heritage

Saving seeds in one’s garden is an inexpensive way to perpetuate beloved vegetables and flowers and adapt them to your particular garden environment. Join us to learn about how to save your favorite seeds and about seeds saved by the Hopi since the time of their ancestors. Native seeds and self-saved seeds are particularly well adapted to the harsh growing conditions of Arizona.
Part I – Seed saving basics – Richard Sidy, Gardens for Humanity
Why save seeds?
What types of seeds can the home gardener save?
How to save seeds — Easiest seeds to hardest;
When plants “naturalize” – the wild garden.
Part II – Preserving Native Seeds – Kayo Parsons-Korn, Friends of the Well
Goals of the traditional use garden at Montezuma Well;
The heritage of indigenous agriculture the Verde Valley;
Saving Native Seeds once grown in the Verde Valley
Free to anyone in the community, donations are welcome.
Sponsor - Gardens for Humanity
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2-4pm
Pro Build, 2385 AZ 89A, Sedona

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Yard Clean-up Raffle Event

Saturday, October 4, was a perfectly beautiful day for the Master Gardener’s Association’s yard clean-up for the two raffle winners.  The yard of Carole Mandino was serviced by Sherline Alexander, John Mead, Michele Lytle, Cheryl Bridgman, Sherry Markel,  and Ed Skiba.  They removed small trees, trimmed overgrown junipers, rejuvenated the iris bed, and weeded.  Melanie Lembke’s yard had Bea Cooley, Susan Holiday and her son Lyle, Julie Holmes and her husband John, Molly Larsen and Leslie Pennick working hard.  They removed dead vegetables, pruned multiple perennial beds, removed small trees and suckers, and did general clean up.  County agent Hattie Braun spent time at both yards working and giving advice.  Dallas Larsen took photos at each place.  Sue Martin Caskey and Hunter Kemmett provided manure for the two winners.  A pizza and salad lunch was provided for the hungry volunteers after their three hour job.

Many thanks go to the volunteers who worked the yards, all the people who sold tickets for the raffle as well as the community supporting the association with their ticket purchase.  Over $2000 was raised for the 2015 grants. 
Molly Larson

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flagstaff Foodlink - UA Downtown Lecture Series/Live Streamed in Flagstaff

For all those interested in growing and eating local foods for diversity and health.
I'm happy to announce that Rendezvous Coffee House has generously offered to stream the UA's Downtown Lecture Series which is focused on FOOD this year.

LIVE streaming will be taking place every Wednesday starting on October 15 and will go through November 12 at 6:30pm at Rendezvous Coffee House at 100 South San Francisco St. in Downtown Flagstaff.

Here is the schedule of the 5 lectures:

October 15, 2014

Diana Liverman, Co-Director of the UA’s Institute of the Environment 
October 22, 2014
Gary Nabhan, UA’s W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems

October 29, 2014
Maribel Alvarez, UA Professor of Anthropology and Program Director of Tucson Meet Yourself


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 10/9/14

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 10/9/14
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
6:30pm – 6:40pm          Welcome – Agenda – Ed Skiba filling in for Hunter Kemmet
                                                Brief review of agenda for the evening
Announcements            Meeting Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win                                                
                                              - Drawing will be held after refreshments and before the business meeting
6:40pm – 6:45pm           Introduction of speaker Ed Skiba
6:45pm-7:40pm              Continuing Education
                                               Dr. Kristen Potter Bees and Other Pollinators

7:40pm-7:45pm              MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
                                               - Highland Conference

15 minute break
7:45pm-8:00pm               Refreshments provided by Laura Parker and Jackee Alston
                                               and Raffle Prize Drawing  
8:00pm - 8:25pm             Business Meeting – Ed Skiba filling in for Hunter Kemmet
                                            Nominations and committees
                                               - Nominating Committee - Crys Wells
                                               - Standing Committee's - Ed Skiba
                                                     - Think about volunteering for one of the committees.  The new CMGA president will
                                                     appoint the committee chairs.  **See descriptions at the end of this agenda.
                                             Financial report – Linda Guarino/Crys Wells
                                             MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
                                               - Designated Campus Colleague program
                                             Committee Reports:
                                             Fund Raising
                                               - Garden Clean-up raffle final report – Molly Larson

                                               - Aprons – Loni Shapiro
                                               - Calendars – Debi Stalvey
                                             Continuing Education - Ed Skiba
                                             Community Markets - Andrea Guerrette
                                             MG Projects/Blog - Loni Shapiro
                                             Volunteer Support - Crys Wells
8:25pm - 8:30pm              Gardening Questions?
Next meeting:                   November 13, 2014 - Joe Costion presenting Economical Greenhouse Construction
                                                                                    (speaker has not yet confirmed)  
Educational Opportunities and Events may be found on this BlogSpot  Pages: 'Educational Opportunities and Events'.
**Standing Committees: (full descriptions in bylaws on this BlogSpot under Pages: 'Master Gardener Association Documents and Forms')
Continuing education - committee organizes speakers
Volunteer support - committee tracks hours and social recognition
Community support - committee mainly community markets
Master gardener projects - committee looks at guidelines for projects,
                                                 review project applications and
                                                 projects suitable for MG training hours

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Slug Garden Update/Volunteering

Saturday 10-4-14 tour at 8:30 - 9:15; Garden hours 9:30 -12:30.  Come and join in!  
This Saturday, The Joel Olson Classroom project continues with Sierra West  leading Americorps, ACE and SSLUG Garden volunteers!  Sra. Marina Vasquez, AIS Distinguished Indigenous Elder will also be joining us working in the garden along with students from AIS 470 and the Native American Cultural Center. And, as always, we will be harvesting vegetables from the garden to take to Flagstaff Family Food Center, and for our own nourishment and enjoyment!

Regular SSLUG Garden hours now through November 15th (weather allowing): 
Drop-in any time during garden hours and help harvest, water, weed, plant, make compost, collect seeds, orient others and begin to prepare the garden for winter.

Wednesdays and Thursdays: 1pm -4pm
Fridays  9-12:30Saturdays 9:30 -12:00   (note - 10/4/14 Americorps project will be from 9am - 4pm)Any questions?  You can reach me at 928 864-7037.
Thanks everyone who has come out to help and to harvest!   GROW ON!  AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK....


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Native Plant Society Flagstaff Chapter Monthly Meeting and Walk

Evening Program

Tuesday, October 14*, 7:00 p.m.: Dr. Wendy C. Hodgson, “Pre-Columbian Agaves in
Southwestern United States: A New Way of Looking at Species and Their Cultural Landscapes”
at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, 1601 North San Francisco.  Easy to find! Easy to park! This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Hodgson is Research Botanist and Herbarium Curator at the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix,
Arizona. She is interested in the flora of the Southwest, particularly the Grand Canyon region, rare and endemic plants, and systematics of Agave and Yucca, including pre-Columbian agave cultivars.
Wendy coordinated the Cactus family treatment for Intermountain Flora and is head of the Cactaceae of Western U.S.project by Garden research staff and research associates. She is an avid plant collector who strives toward making high quality herbarium specimens.
The talk will focus on how the importance of agaves to Mesoamerica’s cultures has distorted the plants’ role for cultures north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Pre-Columbian farmers cultivated several species of agave in Arizona dating to at least A.D. 600 that have persisted in the landscape to the present. Most probably they  originated in northern Mexico and were traded as far north as the Grand Canyon. Verde Valley is a region of intense agave cultivation, having at least four of the five known domesticates. Landscapes and plants should be viewed from a cultural, rather than “natural” perspective that helps discern cryptic species and requires interdisciplinary collaboration.
*Note:  This is the second Tuesday of the month, not the third, which is our usual meeting date. 


Horseshoe Ranch Adaptive Restoration and Stewardship Program

Greetings, All,
This information about the Horseshoe Ranch Adaptive Restoration and Stewardship Program may be of interest to you. 

Project Purpose:  
Northern Arizona University researchers are collaborating with the Department to use the Ranch, as one of three sites for establishing an experimental cottonwood garden, as part of a regional-scale research project to investigate the impacts of climate change and exotic species on riparian ecosystems in the southwest U.S.   The project will also contribute towards a Ranch management goal to enhance and restore native riparian wildlife habitat on the Ranch .

October 10th @ 8:30 am – a brief kickoff presentation on the project will be provided by NAU
Posted by
D. Lamm 
See attachment for details on volunteering.
Attachment(s) from Dorothy Lamm | View attachments on the web


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weed Identification

Here's your opportunity to learn about those pesky weeds on your property. 
Identifying Weeds at Willow Bend

Sunday, Sept. 21
10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Willow Bend, 703 E. Sawmill Road

Do you have a mystery plant growing in your yard? Is it taking over? Bring your ‘suspect’ or pictures of it. The folks from the San Francisco Peaks Weed Management Area will identify invasive weeds and give advice. 

Posted by Dorothy Lamm

Flagstaff Festival of Science

During the Flagstaff Festival of Science Sept. 19-28, 2014  ("The 10 Best Days of the Year"), there will be an amazing number of excellent presentations and field trips.  You can find information on them all by going to

One that might be of particular interest to native plant lovers is the Open House at the Fort Valley Experimental Station on Sunday, September 21 from noon until 3 p.m., Hwy. 180, 1 mile north of Snowbowl Road.  The native grasses are astounding; and the blossoming flowers are outstanding all summer.  Late in September there still may be a few to see. 

This is the only day all year when the Experimental Station is open to the public.  You will be able to:
  • visit research plots and learn about on-going research at the station;
  • take a walking tour and learn about native grasses;
  • tour the historical buildings and learn about the history of the Station; and,
  • make fun pine cone crafts with your children.
 Posted by Dorothy Lamm

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Garden Clean-up Raffle

Thanks to Molly Larsen and all those who helped with the "Garden Clean-up Raffle". More than $2000 was raised to assist master gardener projects in 2015. The winners of the two prizes were:  Carole Mandino (ticket sold by Michele Lytle) and Melanie Lembke (ticket sold by Debi Stalvey). The clean-up crews will meet and schedule October days for the work by Master Gardeners from Coconino County. The two lucky winners will get three hours of yard/garden work done by five master gardeners; that’s 15 hours of labor!   A load of aged horse manure is also available for delivery to the winners which can be spread by the workers. Thanks go also to those who purchased tickets for this first time event. I guess I will have to plant my own bulbs after all!

Loni Shapiro
Chair MG Projects and Finance committees

Garden Visits 2014

Hi Everyone-We have another visit this weekend, see below.  Unfortunately I don't have another lined up.  If you know someone or want to offer your own garden please let me know.  Thanks Christine and Duncan Orr for having us last weekend, it was awesome.  The following is what  Christine sent me regarding some of your questions.  See you Sat.  Debi 699-3504

> So…. the name of the powder coating business is Iron Horse Coatings, 1300 S. Thompson St., Set. B and the # is 774-3700. Doug and son, Matt are the owners and really nice people. Good communicators and that counts for a lot in business today! Our 6 pieces were completed in a very timely way.
> Catalog for my favorite self-watering containers for annuals, peppers and tomatoes: Gardeners”s Supply Company, I like their large 17” square containers better than the Earth Box or the one Warners sells. They also make a 15” square one. Pricey but watch for the price reduction sale when buying at least 2. They come with casters and the system to tell you when to water is great!

Sept 13th 10am:Jackie Clark-Foxglen
The yard is fairly mature. The bones were there when we bought the house 14 years ago. We have added and subtracted over the years. The yard is a series of gardens, separated by paths. We added a flagstone patio and a small lawn this year which greatly added to our enjoyment of the space.
1627 N Owl (Foxglen).  Take 4th St to Butler. Left on Butler. Left at the light onto Foxglen. Right (after the condos) onto DeerCrossing. Left immediately onto Owl. We are on the left at the end of the block.

Gardens for Humanity Fall Workshops

What to Plant in a Fall Garden
Saturday, September 13th
Sedona Pro-Build Garden Center
2385 Hwy 89A, West Sedona 
Hands-on Biodynamic
Compost Building Workshop 
Sunday, September 14th
At the biodynamic farm of Joshua Capy in Cottonwood. Directions provided upon registration. Limited to 15 participants. $10
Check out their site for details

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Master Gardener Picnic for 2014

See attached link for details on the Annual Picnic at Fort Tuthil Navajo Ramada on Sept. 7 - 4/6pm.

Friday, September 5, 2014

50th Anniversay of the Wilderness Act Hikes in the Coconino National Forest

The Coconino National Forest will be hosting four hikes in local Wilderness areas every Sunday throughout the month of September. September 3rd 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the signing of   the Wilderness Act in 1964. This Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System,         outlining areas of public land that should be saved from development and human interference. These areas are left untouched for the enjoyment of the American people, with opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation. Come out and enjoy the lasting effects of this great legacy!

Sunday, September 7 8:00 am-12:00 pm. Kachina Peaks Wilderness, Inner Basin Beauty.
Enjoy the mixed conifer forest, Basque aspen carvings and the beauty of the Peaks with USFS interpretive rangers in this high elevation, moderate to strenuous hike from Lockett Meadow to the Inner Basin.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry water and bring lunch. Meet at the bottom of Lockett Meadow road to carpool up. For more information: 928-527-8283. 

Sunday, September 14 7:30 am-1:00 pm. Kachina Peaks Wilderness, Humphreys Saddle. Are you ready for a challenging wilderness hike with USFS Interpretive Rangers? This climb to Humphreys Saddle will begin at 9,200’ and end at 11,800’ and will be strenuous! Sturdy hiking shoes, food and water are essential. To be part of this uplifting experience, e-mail for more information.  

Sunday, September 21 8:00 am-12:00 pm. Kendrick Mountain Wilderness, Fire Tower Lookout.  Come out and hike to one of the highest points in northern AZ. Led by Wilderness Ranger Dutch Maatman and Interpretive Ranger Chelsea Schroeder. Uncover the    history of the area, including the 2000 Pumpkin Fire. End the hike at the fire lookout on the summit with spectacular views. Difficulty: Strenuous. Take Hwy 180 north and turn left onto FR 245. At end of rd. (3 miles) turn right onto FR 171.  Meet at Kendrick   Mountain Trailhead off of FR171. 928-527-8283.

Sunday, September 28 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Strawberry Crater Wilderness, More Than Meets the Eye. Moderate 2.5 miles over the exotic landscape of Strawberry Crater, one of the area’s     youngest volcanoes. Meet 16 miles north on Hwy 89 where FR 546 turns off east. High   clearance vehicles recommended. Bring water and snacks. 928-527-8283.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CMGA Fall Garden Clean-up Raffle


Do you  get overwhelmed by autumn chores in the yard before a freeze occurs?  Would you like all those leaves or pine needles to disappear?  How about the spring bulbs you bought that are waiting to be planted?  Or the beautiful summer flowers that need to be cut back for winter?  CMGA is sponsoring a raffle fundraiser this summer to help with grants to local organizations wishing to develop, maintain, or beautify gardens.  Two lucky winners will get three hours of yard/garden work done by five master gardeners; that’s 15 hours of labor!   A load of aged horse manure is also available for delivery to the winners which can be spread by the workers.

Tickets are being sold for $5 each or 5 tickets for $20 by master gardeners.  The drawing will be held September 7 with the winners notified by phone.  Saturday, Oct. 4 is the scheduled work day with a bad weather date the following Saturday, Oct. 11.  This raffle is available to all city residents as well as Kachina Village, Mountainaire, TImberline/Fernwood, Doney Park, Fort Valley and Forest Highlands.

For more information and for tickets, call the Extension Office at 928-774-1868, ext. 190.  Thank you for supporting this fundraising event, and Good Luck!
Molly Larsen and Hattie Braun


Monday, September 1, 2014

15th Annual Highlands Garden Conference

Harmony in the Highlands:
Gardening with Nature
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Optional activities on October 24th
Prescott Resort & Conference Center
1500 State Route 69
Prescott, AZ
Come hear the usual great speakers for the conference, visit with many gardeners from high elevation areas, and just have fun. See attached link registration form for details. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Grand Canyon Trust Workshop

Hi friends,

The monsoon season has been satisfying and as fall begins to show its face, we here at the Grand Canyon Trust are gearing up for a final workshop at our historic homestead. Please share with your networks.

Urban Land Stewardship Workshop

Last month many of you came out to help with and learn about composting science, weed management, and urban landscaping principles. Thank you! The native plants we planted are doing great, the paths are inviting, and the sunflowers keep on thriving! Our upcoming workshop will be Friday, September 5th, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, September 6th, 9 p.m. - 3 p.m.  We will be partnering with our friends at TerraBIRDS for another round of learning, planting, and landscaping! Click here to register for the workshop. Click here for a link to our location. If you are planning to come to both days, please register for both. 

Following our workshop, we will gather for a community BBQ potluck at the Homestead on Saturday, September 6th at 6 p.m. to celebrate our work and the mighty Colorado River during the week-long Colorado River Days event. Bring a dish and a story to share. Please RSVP if you will be attending this evening event.

Hope to see you - enjoy the rain!

Your friends at Grand Canyon Trust

Friday, August 29, 2014

Native Plant Walk at Willow Bend



Learn about the traditional uses of plants in the native gardens that surround Willow Bend in the County's Sawmill Park. All experience levels are welcome. Ethnobotanist Mike Masek is offering this guided walk as a fundraiser for Willow Bend. Your generous donation is much appreciated.  Drop in at 5 pm when the walk begins.

Riordan Mansion Workdays

Forward from Dave Brimhall (
Good morning everyone!
Just wanted to Thank Charlotte one more time for her amazing leadership and vision on the Riordan Project.  Charlotte, you have become such a good friend and part of our community.
We will truly miss you.  Good luck in Sacramento and come back to visit us often!
I will be out of town the first two weeks of August so let me put out the schedule for the rest of the 2014 season.
Friday Aug 29th
Friday Sept 12th
Friday Sept 26th
Friday Oct 10th
Friday Oct 24th
We will meet at 9:30 and generally work until 1:30.  You are welcome to come for all or some of the time.  Any time you can give really helps.
I am unable to work at Riordan on Saturdays but anyone can go and help out at any time.  Just call me and I'll give you some ideas of things that need to be done.  699-3331
Thanks for all you do!
 Update from Dave 8/27

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 8/14/2014

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 8/14/2014
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco
 6:30pm - 6:40pm             Welcome – Agenda – Hunter Kemmet
                                              Brief review of agenda for the evening               
 Announcements               Meeting Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win
                                              Drawing will be held after refreshments and before the business meeting
                                              Prize:  A book ‘The Complete Book of Herbs’ and a Ginger Mint Plant

                                              Garden Clean-up raffle - Turn in sales during break to Molly Larson
                                              Aprons – See Loni Shapiro during break to purchase MG Apron
 6:40pm - 6:45pm             Introduction of speaker Ed Skiba
 6:45pm - 7:45pm              Continuing Education
                                              Rachael Edelstein
                                              Edible and Poisonous Northern Arizona wild mushrooms

15 minute break 
 7:45pm - 8:00pm              Refreshments – Cheryl Bridgman and Hunter Kemmet
                                              and Raffle Prize Drawing