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!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Seed Library

Gardening Etcetera: Growing a Seed Lending Library for Flagstaff

AZ Daily Sun July 03, 2015 12:24 am  •  JACKEE ALSTON

When I walked into the small, public library in Brandon, VT, it only took me a moment to notice the quaint, 15-drawer card catalog with a hand-painted sign over it, “Seed Lending Library”. I fell in love with the idea as soon as I opened a drawer. A place for the community to borrow flower and vegetable seeds, grow them, and then return the seeds from that year’s harvest? Sold. In a town of 1,500 people, I knew if Brandon could support a seed library, so could Flagstaff and Coconino County. Today there are over 400 seed lending libraries cropping up all over the United States. These libraries offer seeds not only encapsulating the potential for families to feed themselves, but locally-proven seeds with a history of success—some as ancient as the first people to inhabit the area. This summer a seed library will open to the public at the University of Arizona Coconino County Cooperative Extension Office located on 2304 North 3rd Street. Dubbed Grow Flagstaff! Seed Lending Library, seeds will include flower and vegetable varieties adapted to grow in our climate conditions, as well as native seeds attractive to local gardeners.
What is a seed library and how does it work? A seed library is a storehouse of open-pollinated or heirloom seeds available to the community as a free - though priceless - service much like a book lending library. It is based on an easy membership form and relies on the return of next generation seeds from its patrons as well as donations from local gardeners and seed companies. By collecting and providing a pure source of seeds optimal for our local conditions and the knowledge on how to grow them, a seed library promises that people will have a better chance of becoming successful gardeners each year.
A seed library fosters a self-sufficient philosophy where seeds will be provided in order of difficulty level for growing and saving (easy, medium, and hard). Information about how to grow, harvest, and return the next generation of seeds to the seed library will be provided in pamphlets, through Coconino Master Gardener Association (CMGA) presentations, and a display next to the seed library. As we construct the library, anyone can offer help, but we are fortunate as a community to have a ready source of volunteers through the CMGA, the Flagstaff chapter of The Arizona Native Plant Society, the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program, and Flagstaff Foodlink. To increase public outreach, we also intend to host a kick-off party for the community where anyone can learn about the seed library. Watch for this event towards the end of the summer.
It is our hope that this program will enhance community interest in gardening, healthy produce, and seed saving. Our excitement over this opportunity for our community hasn’t lessened since the first glimpse of a seed library in Brandon, VT. It’s something valuable not just to us, but for many generations to come. We know the gift encapsulated in a pure, tiny seed and can’t wait to share it with others.

For more information regarding the seed library, please contact Jackee Alston, Master Gardener (; (928) 814-2280) or Hattie Braun, Master Gardener Program Coordinator (; (928) 774-1868x170)

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