Coconino Master Gardener Association

From Cindy Murray a molting yellow rumped warbler eating aphids on her peach tree in Timberline. She likes to call him "Scruffles".

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 Viola's Flower Garden (610 S. 89A (site of the old Jackson's Grill)). 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
Contacts.
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at an informational booth for the Master Gardeners
--Be a speaker about gardening topics at a variety of venues

--Host a garden tour
--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 Excetera
-Volunteer with the Seed Library
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!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gardening Excetera Column 12/31/11

GARDENING WITH THE LEFT EAR

Dana Prom Smith

“I knew it! I just knew it! I’ve told you so often that you never listen!” Meine Űberfrau was responding to the news that I’ve lost some hearing in my left ear for high decibel, highly pitched voices and sounds, the ear I use when listening to lots of people. “It’s not only that,” she continued, “you just tune out lots of times, like in restaurants and noisy meetings, like you’re floating around in midair in some kind of alternate reality. It’s like you’re not there, and I wonder where you are.”

When the audiologist peered into my ears, she said, “Oh, good, they’re clean.” What a relief! After sitting in a claustrophobic cell straining to hear barely audible sounds, she showed me a chart on which the lines plummeted at high-pitched sounds. Then she asked me if I could hear what people were saying in the next room. Puzzled at the question, I said, “Why should I?” I’ve heard enough for a lifetime.

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes was close, “There is no new thing under the sun.” While that’s true, there’s more to it than that. There’s too much noise. There’s not enough time to think, let alone to think before speaking. We live in a society of hard surfaces and rectangles, reverberating harsh messages in strident voices, the clipped brutalities of corporate functionaries. We are overwhelmed by noise. The Swiss philosopher, Max Picard, wrote: “Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence.”

The silence of life in a garden is a boon to the ear, left or right. It’s not the absence of sound, but the silence of life. There is a great line in Genesis 3:8, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” The prophet imagined hearing a footfall, the brush of branches against a thigh, a sigh on catching the scent of a rose, the hushed flurry of insects, all indicating a Presence yet unseen. It’s quiet in the cool of the day when the noise of the day is over. It’s in that pause after the heat and clamor when the gloaming draws nigh. Eugene Mason, an English poet at the turn of the 20th century, wrote: “I all but touch Him with my outstretched arm.”

Such a time is the reward of gardening. It’s that time when one can sit down and gather the pieces of oneself, having been scattered throughout the day. There’s something special about a garden in the cool of the day. It’s elemental, connecting all the five senses to the sensations of the garden. It’s gardening with the left ear when everything has been said, shutting out the hard-surfaced noises of shiny, impenetrable buildings, and listening to the silences of life, to Elijah’s “small voice of stillness.”

Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence is about an urban bleakscape where the voices are “talking without speaking,” and “hearing without listening.” It is the silences of indifference, deafened in the racket of subway walls. The voices of a garden’s silences are different, not hard-edged, but soft, the kind that one strains to hear for the listening.

Every garden needs a bench, a chair, or a large rock on which one sat sit and listen to the silences of nature. Cicero, the Roman nobleman, statesman, and father of rhetoric, said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

A good resolution for the New Year is a life attuned to the silences of a garden, a winter’s snowfall, the scent of a rose haunting the air, the songs of birds, the scurrying of squirrels chasing each other upon and down the trunk of a tree. What Picard said of the forest can be said of a garden: “The forest is like a great reservoir of silence out of which the silence trickles.” In a society geared to the harsh, to strident voices, to false promises, to everything hard-edged, the garden is a place to hear a Presence unseen yet heard in silence.

Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2011
Dana Prom Smith, editor of GARDENING ETCETERA, can be reached at stpauls@npgcable.com and blogs at http://highcountrygardner.blogspot.com.

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