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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 11/14/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 11/14/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Calendars are now available for sale at the Coconino County Extension office, Warner’s, Native Plant & Seed, Riordan Mansion, and the Allstate office on Cedar. Suggestions on other locations for selling the calendars were the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center and Chamber of Commerce. Sherline Alexander said she would check with some people who are exhibiting at local arts and crafts fairs to see if the calendars could be sold there.

Deb Noel – Historic Gardens and Gardeners

Deb Noel gave an overview of botany and botanists in the United States.  She talked about the importance John and William Bartram, their garden and seed and plant business. In addition, she spoke about how many of the founding fathers of the country were gardeners.  For more information on Bartram’s Garden and early gardeners in the United States, check out the following website and books.  The public library has copies of both of the books.

Bartram’s Garden

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, Andrea Wulf, 2011.

The Brother Gardeners: A Generation of Gentlemen Naturalists and the Birth of an Obsession, Andrea Wulf, 2010

Thanks to Susan Thompson and Sherline Alexander for the wonderful refreshments.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Decline of Pollinators

A friend sent this link to an article in the New York Times to me yesterday.  It will be of interest to all you native plant enthusiasts.  It is about the dramatic decline of insect populations and how this decline will impact native plant populations and even our food supply.

D. Lamm

Saturday, November 23, 2013

AZ Food and Farm Finance Forum

Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum, Jan 13-15: What’s in it for YOU?
If you are a social impact investor or venture capitalist: Come and hear Slow Money founder Woody Tasch tell how $30 million of local investing in 220 food and farm businesses since 2010 is creating viable options to placing all your money and trust in Wall Street.
If you are a beginning (or ramping-up) farmer: Come and hear Alex Young of Cornman Farm and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses talk about double their production and planting area each year, and how he finances it. Zingerman’s has grown seventeen for-profits and non-profits in Ann Arbor to create 650 new jobs and 50 million dollars of annual sales of products and services in its community.
If you want to jumpstart a local food restaurant, or cooperative local food distribution network to restaurants: Come and hear Derrick Widmark, co-founder of Diablo Burger in Flagstaff and Tucson tell how he brokered financial backing and local beef and vegetable sourcing to jumpstart these independently-owned businesses.
If you are a food bank staffer hoping to create new jobs for the poor: Come and hear Lisa Pino, Executive Director of United Food Bank in Chandler explain what USDA Strikeforce Programs and philanthropic initiatives can do to help you create live-able wage jobs in the food growing, processing and distribution sectors.
If you are a community development planner or credit union investment officer: Come and hear Michael Dimock of Roots of Change in the Bay area explain how rural and urban communities are coming together to plan the future of their food-based economies.
If you are an eater, a food justice activist, or student: Come and hear Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona offer a vision of living local economies that will help Arizona communities recover their health and well-being.
If you are a potential donor, angel investor, stakeholder or loan-giver to such initiatives: Learn from Elizabeth U, author of Raising Doughhow to avoid legal pitfalls and financial risks to match your financial resources to match your investing capacity with your values to do the greatest possible good for your family and community.
If you want to start a food microenterprise from a community kitchen using local ingredients for value-added products: Listen to Ernie Rivera, Kitchen Manager of Mixing Bowl, the Kitchen for Entrepreneurs in Albuquerque talking about helping sixty active food microenterprises each year and guiding another hundred prospective food businesses in product development and business planning.
Laurel Bellante
PhD Student
School of Geography and Development

Arizona Strawberry Day

Arizona Strawberry Day

*      Learn how to grow strawberry hydroponically in Arizona greenhouse
Saturday December 7th (10AM to 2PM)

*      For more information visit the strawberry information website

Go directly to the registration site

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lecture in Camp Verde

"Pre-Columbian Agaves in Southwestern United States: A New Way of Looking at Species and Their Cultural Landscapes"
Tues., November 19, 7pm
Camp Verde Community Center Rooms 206/207 (behind the Historical Society) by Wendy Hodgson, Research Botanist, Herbarium Curator, and Botanical Illustrator, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Wendy has been with the Desert Botanical Garden for nearly 40 years and has lived in the desert for 44 years.  Her areas of interest include southwest United States and northern Mexico floristics, rare and endemic plants, and taxonomy and systematics of Agave and Yucca, including the study of pre-Columbian agave cultivars. Other current projects include the study and documentation of the flora of the Grand Canyon region, including the evolution and distribution of certain plant groups as affected by the unique factors characteristic of this area. Ms. Hodgson is studying and documenting southwest United States cacti and is a co-coordinator for the Cactus Family of Arizona project by Desert Botanical Garden research staff and research associates. She was also the coordinator for the Cactus family treatment for the Intermountain Flora project, the preeminent botanical initiative documenting plant diversity between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, published in 2012 by the New York Botanical Garden Press. She is the author of numerous scientific papers and the illustrated book, Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert, published by the University of Arizona Press and winner of the 2002 Klinger Book Award by the Society for Economic Botany. She is an avid plant collector, particularly those pesky, difficult to press plants of the Agave and Cactus families.

From Linda Guarino

Friday, November 15, 2013

Water Conservation Fundraiser for Foodlink

Dear Garden Start CSA past and present members,

As you probably know, Flagstaff Foodlink, who brings you the garden starts CSA, also has 5 community gardens that we manage. Starting next spring, Flagstaff Foodlink is making a serious commitment to water conservation. We want our community and school gardens  to be shining examples of how to grow food, grow community AND conserve water, all at the same time!  
We have already received funding from the Flagstaff Community Foundation and private donations to start this project next spring, however, we need to raise $10,000 more to fully develop, demonstrate and integrate water conservation practices in our gardens, and to provide hands-on learning opportunities about water conservation to community gardeners, community members and school children. 
Dear Garden Start CSA past and present members,

We would like your help in reaching this goal by contributing to Flagstaff Foodlink starting next Monday, November 18 during our online fundraiser - the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge! 

To contribute to our goal, please go to: on November 18th at noon!
Please help spread the word!

In gratitude,
Regan Emmons

Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, President 
Flagstaff Foodlink, 501c3 - Growing food, growing community

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 11/14/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 11/14/2013
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
Distribute calendars to those whose photographs appear in it
Calendars for sale

6:40pm-6:45pm                  Introduction of speaker – Jim Mast                 

6:45pm-7:45pm                  Continuing Education
      Deb Noel – Historic Gardens and Gardeners

7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments –  Susan Thompson and Sherline Alexander

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

      Vote on officers
      Call for volunteers
      Holiday Party Dec. 12

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

                                              Home and Garden Show, Mar. 28-30, 2014 – Hattie Braun
                                                      Volunteers to plan and work the show
                  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:                    January, 9, 2014 Dave Brimhall –flower arranging

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Master Gardeners and friends –

Please join us for a special tour of Todd Cislo’s garden.
When: Saturday, November 9 at 10AM.
Where: The home of Todd Cislo. The address is 2645 E. Matterhorn Drive, in the Swiss Manor neighborhood.
Todd is an expert in 4-season gardening.  Folks who stop by will see first-hand some simple, inexpensive, usable techniques that can make year-round gardening possible.  Todd says his winter crop is just now up and running along and he has a few summer stragglers- still!  He has recently re-worked his long low hoop so it's now as state of the art as space permits.
Todd has been gardening in Flagstaff for more than 20 years and has dealt with all the challenges - extreme cold, high intensity sun, poor soil, lack of moisture, hail, and wind.  He has a greenhouse, but he mainly uses home-built hoop houses and raised beds to garden all year in Flagstaff. 
Hope to see you Saturday - Hattie

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fundraising for the Native Plant Society

Posted by
D. Lamm 
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:05:34 -0700
Subject: AZNPS Car Donation Program

We're up!  The car donation is now working.  The program was approved at the Sept 15, 2013 meeting with funds to be "distributed to the chapter to which the individual donor belonged unless they preferred to have the funds go to the State."

Here is the main website.  Drill down to get to us.

And this is the link that goes directly to our donation page.

We've been promised that we will receive some marketing ideas and when I know more I will let you know.

Diane Kelly

Interesting Christmas Gift Idea for Gardeners

Posted by 
D. Lamm 

Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:31:08 -0700
Subject: AZNPS T-shirts available from the Tucson Chapter

I am writing again, this time to tell all our chapters that the Tucson Chapter now ships our t-shirts.  Same great shirt - 100% organic cotton, made in the US.  Same price: $20.  And now, until year end, we ship free anywhere in the US.   Email our treasurer Diane for more information: