Coconino Master Gardener Association

Currently, warblers of several species are migrating through Flagstaff towards Canada and beyond. The Yellow Warblers, like this little guy are often an exception. They frequently choose to remain in Flagstaff throughout the summer. All of the warblers are busily searching the innermost branches of shrubs and trees for insects.
Photo by Cindy Murray.

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!

Event Calendar

Friday, May 31, 2013

Weed Identification at Willow Bend

Do you have an unknown weed in your landscape that you would like to have identified?  Your have three chances to have it ID'd at Willow Bend this summer:  June 8, July 13, and August 17. 

MNA Colton House weed pull and plant walk

Have you even wondered what native plants are growing in the backyard at MNA's Colton House?  Here's your chance to find out. Join Flagstaff Weed Warriors for a weed pull AND a native plant walk on June 13.

Call Connie Cowan if you have questions or would like to sign up. or 928-774-5211, ext. 216.

Riordan Workdays - May 31 & June 1

Both Friday 5/31 and Saturday 6/1 are scheduled as work days at the Riordan Mansion. 9:30 to 1:00. 

This weekend we will be working around the vegetable garden and orchid area. We will build up one or two of the vege beds, move in more mulch for the garden walkway, clean out some bushes that have gone wild in the area, cement in the posts for the berry trellises on Friday and install the trellis on Saturday.

All help is appreciated. Please park in the back of the main parking lot. If gate is not open to drive through when you get there at 9:30 please open, drive through, then close the gate.

Last weekend we removed the last of the large bushes growing near the foundation from the side of the visitors center and we may be putting in some bushes this weekend.

Thank you
Dave (699-3331) and Charlotte (890-9216)

Monday, May 27, 2013

New Vegetable Cookbook

One of the unfamiliar vegetables in the CSA seedling offering I received this year was Mustard. It has been the first crop along with spinach to ripen in our beds at Olivia White Hospice Garden. As I picked it I wondered what am I going to do with this.
About a month ago I ordered Deborah Madison's new cookbook. For those of you unfamiliar with her she has done several books on vegetarian cooking and one that features cooking foods from the Farmers Markets. She has written over 11 cookbooks and is known for her simple, seasonal, vegetable based cooking. She got her start at Chez Panisse in the bay area, and opened her own restaurant Greens.
This book has a new twist. She covers 12 vegetable families of foods, expands on their benefits, and adds many recipes, including mustard (cabbage familly). It is a must buy for recipes for some of the foods from the Flagstaff Sunday Market. The first recipe I am going to try in addition to one for mustard is Carrot Almond Cake with Ricotta Cream and Limoncello.

Vegetable Literacy  - Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the edible Plant Kindom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes
by Deborah Madison
Ten Speed Press
Berkeley, CA
About $35 from Amazon


Friday, May 24, 2013

Friends of Flagstaff's Future Trail Clean-up Day

When: Saturday May 25th 10:30-12
Where: Foxglenn trail near the Humane Society (follow signs from the Butler 4th St. intersection)
What: A meaningful family friendly volunteer opportunity to clean, weed, and learn about our beloved watershed and trail systems 
Who: Everyone welcome. The work load is divided from very easy to moderately hard. From picking up plastic bottles, to carrying large trash items, to pulling out Scotch Thistle. You can do what you are able. Terrain is flat with little shade. 
What to bring: sunhat, water bottle, and sunscreen. We will provide tools, bags, and snacks. 

For more info, contact:
Moran Henn
Friends of Flagstaff's Future programs and Development Director 
Office (928) 556 8663
Cell (928) 699 6109
E mail

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Riordan Mansion work day - 5/25/13

Saturday 5/25 is another work day at the Riordan Mansion. We have one more side of the visitors center to remove two large bushes that grow against the foundation and then we will be working near the new orchid area and removing overgrowth of wild plants near the vegetable garden. 

9:30 - 1:00 or so. If you can't be there the whole time any time given is much appreciated.  If the gate to the property is closed please open it, drive through, then shut it again. Park in the back spaces of the parking lot.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Riordan Mansion Barrel Planting

Riordan Mansion, Flagstaff 4-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 23

 This annual event is one of our favorite outreaches to the community. Just before Memorial Day weekend each year, we replant the barrels along the walkway to the Riordan Mansion entrance. Since everyone seems to have booked up their Saturdays this year, we're trying a different day and time. Soooooo, join us at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23, (or anytime you can make it ~ we'll be there until we finish, around 6:30 p.m.) at the Mansion.

If you have them, please bring a hand trowel and gloves. The club supplies the flowers, barrels and soil. Hope to see you there. 

For more information about this event, call Club President Star Hunter at 928-637-4401, e-mail her at or write to: FFGC, P.O. Box 23397, Flagstaff, AZ 86002-3397.

Sustainable Backyard Beekeeping Course

Here is a fantastic opportunity to learn to work with bees. Every wanted to produce your own honey? Or just love pollinators? Catch the buzz this summertime in Flagstaff!

Learn how to work with a gentle colony of honeybees in a backyard top-bar hive. Get involved in the movement to restore the health of the amazing honeybee. Practicing organic, holistic principles, we will explore the relationships between:

* the queen, workers, and drones
* flowering plants, pollen, nectar, beeswax, and honey
* eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults
* humans and the rest of nature

To register or for more information, visit or call Patrick Pynes at (928) 600-1193

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Riordan Work Day Friday 5/17

This Friday, May 18th is another work day at the Riordan. 9:30 - about 1pm. Remember that the gate appears closed but is unlocked. Pull car through and then close the gate again if arriving between 9:30 and 10:00.
Charlotte & Dave

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weed Pull - Museum of Northern Arizona - May 16, 9 - noon

There will be a weed pull held from 9 am until noon on Thursday, May 16 at the Museum of Northern Arizona.  Here is a map of the campus. Depending on which map you look at, we will be meeting at building 1 or A on the west side of Hwy. 180. Volunteers should bring gloves and water. Tools will be provided, but volunteers are welcome to bring their own. Weeds that we will be focusing on are cheatgrass, dandelions, and knapweed.

CMGA RE-Garden Sale Sunday June 2nd

The Coconino Master Gardener Association is having a Re-garden Fundraiser.  We are asking for donations of plant starts, indoor or outdoor plants, gently used garden tools, bird houses, bird baths, seed packets and anything garden related.  Yard decorations are also desired.  We ask that anything you donate is clean, in good condition and sell-able   The money raised will be used to continue our mission of helping our gardeners and their master gardener projects.  

You may drop off your smaller donations anytime at      Noah Stalvey Allstate
                                                                                          2200 E Cedar Ave #12
                                                                                          (between West & 4th St on north side)
                                                                                          Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm

We will be having a drop off day for larger items, plants and plant starts the day before the sale on Saturday June 1st from 1pm to 5pm also at the Allstate office.  

We will also be having 10 X 10 spaces available for vendors at $10 per space.  We are looking again for garden related vendors.  If you know anyone interested they may contact me.  Please also see the vendor form attached.  

Feel free to contact Debi Stalvey if you have questions. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Native Plant Society Monthly Walk & Talk

SaturdayMay 18, 2013: Field Trip with Patty West to Tavasci Marsh - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
This is the Saturday BEFORE the regular Tuesday meeting.  
Patty West, who has an MA in Sustainable Communities from NAU, will lead us on a plant walk to Tavasci March next to Tuzigoot National Monument in the Verde Valley. The marsh has been manipulated in many ways but nevertheless has a high diversity of species in floating islands of vegetation. Patty spent two years completing a flora of the area that is incorporated into the Tuzigoot plant list on Seinet. 

It will be hot so bring lots of water, a sunhat, and sunscreen, and be prepared to get your feet wet. Bring a lunch and snacks, too. Don't forget money for carpooling. 

Meet at 8:00 am, at the Arizona State Credit Union at the corner of Butler and South Beaver.  The drive to the Tavasci Marsh trailhead in Deadhorse State Park will take about 1 1/2 hours.  Each car will will be charged $7.00.  
Folks could also just meet at the trailhead at 9:30 am, if they prefer to drive alone or are coming from the Verde Valley area. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 7:00 pm at the Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church, 1601 N. San Francisco Street:
Sue Smith “A Celebration of Grapevine Botanical Area”
Sue Smith, a Budding Botanist and naturalist from Prescott, will talk about the Plant Atlas Project of Arizona (PAPAZ) project in the Grapevine Canyon near Poland Junction.
This area is a Prescott National Forest Botanical Protected Area. It lies on the eastern flank of lava capped Big Bug Mesa. The plant communities range from chaparral, oak woodlands to montane conifer forest. A perennial stream cascades down the canyon providing home to riparian species.
The Prescott Chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society started collecting for PAPAZ in this Botanical Area in September 2010. There will be a discussion of the project to date, different plant communities, and an overview of the species collected in the area. 
Posted by D. Lamm 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/9/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/9/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Grants for approved master gardener projects – Deadline May 31, application is available on the blog under Master Gardener Association Documents and Forms.

Submit your photographs for the 2014 Master Gardener Calendar!  Submit 4x6 inches prints. The theme for the calendar is Flagstaff- a horticultural perspective:  Garden-related photographs of things that grow in and around Flagstaff. Pictures may also include places and things that represent Flagstaff such as the mountains in the background or the trains, etc.  The deadline for receiving photos is May 15. As an incentive, those who submit a photograph that is used in the calendar will receive a free calendar.

Farming your Front Yard - Julie McDonald

Julie McDonald gave a lively talk about growing vegetables in your front yard.  She started thinking about growing vegetables in her front yard after a foreign visitor asked why people had so much grass in front of their house when they could be growing food.  Another trigger was watching a garden show that showed how to kill grass without chemicals.  The show used newspapers but Julie soon realized that newspapers easily blow away in Flagstaff’s winds so she tried cardboard boxes and found they worked much better so her front yard gardening began.  Her front yard is now full of vegetables like squash, chard, beans and asparagus mixed with flowers like daffodils and gladiolas.  It is quite beautiful and productive.  For more information, get her book, “Farm Your Front Yard”.

Many thanks to Irene Matthews for the wonderful refreshments.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 5/9/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 5/9/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:40pm                  Welcome – Agenda – Debi Stalvey
                                                      Brief review of agenda for the evening
                                                      Call for volunteers: MG Plant & Garden Sale – sign-up sheet on the sign-in table
                                                      Grants for MG Projects – Deadline May 31, application on blog
                                                      Calendar info: Photos 4x6 inches. Theme for calendar is Flagstaff- a horticultural perspective:  Wanting to encourage things that grow in and around Flagstaff. Pictures may also include places and things that represent Flagstaff such as the mountains in the background or the trains, etc.  The deadline for receiving photos is May 15. As an incentive, those who submit a photograph that is used in the calendar will receive a free calendar.

6:40pm-6:45pm                  Introduction of speaker – Jim Mast                 
                                             Julie McDonald - Farming your Front Yard

6:45pm-7:45pm                  Continuing Education

7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments – Irene Matthews

8:00pm - 8:25pm                  Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey

MGA Plant and Garden Related Items Sale, June 2, 10-3
                  Need volunteers
Arboretum and Plant Sale: July 13, 10-4
                  Need volunteers
T-shirts fundraiser – See Sherry Markel

                                         Financial report – Linda Guarino/Crys Wells
                                        MG Program Happenings (class) – Hattie Braun
               Committee Reports:

                                        Continuing Education – Jim Mast
                                        Community Markets – Sherline Alexander
MG Projects – Alison Coates/Loni Shapiro                                                     
Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
8:25pm – 8:30pm          Gardening Questions?

Next meeting:                June 13, 2013 Jan Busco - Growing Natives in Your Garden


Garden Club - Seedling Exchange



                   3389 S. CAROL DRIVE (UNIVERSITY HIGHLANDS)

WHEN:     SATURDAY – JUNE 1, 2013

TIME:       10 A.M.-12 NOON



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Garden Yard Sale at Linda Giesekes


Mark your calendar: Sat., May 11, 8 AM-2 PM, 420 W Havasupai Rd.(corner with Fort Valley Rd.)  Great bargains await you, your friends, and neighbors.  Please spread the word!!!  Thrivent will match $800 if we make $2400.

GARDENERS, plants, yard decorations, pots, many other gardening tools/supplies will be for sale.

Also, if you are Spring Cleaning, consider doing it with a purpose!!  ALL proceeds go to making Home Hospice Kits for terminal victims of AIDS in 3rd world countries and to buying breast cancer medications for indigent  women in Bolivia.

There is still time to get your cast-offs to 420 W Havasupai Rd.   Receipts for tax purposes are available.  Donations accepted until 3 PM May 10.

Call Linda at  928-853-3561 for:  P/U of donations  
                                                            to help with pricing (you get to buy early)
                                                            to help at sale on Sat., 5/11 - even 1hr is a blessing