Coconino Master Gardener Association

Another beauty from Cindy Murray. Swallowtail butterfly on phlox.

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 (1601 N. San Francisco). 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 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, October 7, 2012

Highlands Garden Conference

For all those who did not attend you missed a great show by our local master gardeners. This was the 12th Annual Highlands Garden Conference and Coconino County was the host. The speakers were excellent, the food tasty, and the venue comfortable. The crowd numbered 200 and all enjoyed socializing and taking in the many vendors who had come to share there wares or information. Special thanks to Hattie Braun and Ann Eagan for coordinating this conference.
To me one of the best parts of these conferences is connecting with old friends and gardeners from Coconino, Yavapai, Gila, and Navajo counties.
The keynotes were especially good this year. David Salman, the owner of High Country Gardens/Santa Fe Nursery opened the show with a talk on attracting bees to your garden. It was interesting, as usuual useful, and packed with lots of information on bees and what to grow to attract them. If you are interested in a list of bee attracting plants and what vegetables/fruit trees need pollinators check out this web site  My choice for the breakout session following was Frank Branham our local chef and owner of the Cottage Place. He did a great job connecting gardening to cooking. Because of costs at the Community Market he has begun growing some of his own food at home (tomatoes, squash, etc.). He also made a delicious Squash Soup for tasting, shared other tips/recipes, and sold his 1st book. If you are interested in cooking classes or his book contact the After lunch there was another keynote by noted author and radio personality, Charlie Nardozzi, on growing food among your other plants. He reviewed a long list of edible shrubs/trees/vines/and plants, while entertaining all who came. He also did a breakout session on growing/cooking  an Italian garden. For more info about him check out his web site The afternoon also brought 2 choices for breakout sessions. My choices were Patty West from NAU, on foraging (gathering and preparing native plants). She often does foraging walks in Coconino and Yavapai counties. She talked about precautions, let us sample a few, and covered  how to prepare some foods such as Prickly Pear buds. For more info on foraging you can contact Patty West at The second session I attended was Todd Cislo on Extreme Gardening. He gardens in the Banana Belt of Flagstaff, but had many tips that will work even in Baderville.  It was a great session on winter vegetable gardening. He talked about how to build a simple row cover and gave us a list of vegetables recommended locally. There were many other sessions available that I missed (3 for each breakout), so I will have to share notes with other gardeners.
Overall for the price ($75) it was a steal. Watch the fall gardening calendars in 2013 for the next conference which will be in Gila County.

Loni Shapiro
Co-secretary CMGA

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