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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

7th Annual CMGA Christmas Party

The 7th Annual CMGA Christmas Party is being held on Thursday, December 10th, at 630pm. It will be at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - 1601 N. San Francisco. See LINK for detail for the party which is a pot luck and white elephant gift exchange.

We have much to be thankful for this holiday season with a great gardening year and growth of our association. Come join us to celebrate!

Loni Shapiro
Education Chair, CMGA

Friday, November 13, 2015

November CMGA Lecture

Our November CMGA meeting provided some new learning for many of us lovers of seeds. Linda Guarino presented facts the many of the misconceptions about GMO foods. Below was the list she work from in her first slide. The talk was so well received that we are encouraging her to repeat it possibly for a lecture at the Flagstaff Home and Garden Show in April.
Common misconceptions 
    I try to avoid GMO foods because…..
      • I prefer to eat natural foods
      • I worry they aren’t safe for human consumption
      • I’ve heard they cause food allergies
      • I think they are bad for the environment
      • I’ve heard that they are responsible for declines in bee and butterfly populations
      • I don’t like the fact that seed companies use the terminator gene (sterile seed)  to
        prevent seed saving
Particularly interesting to me were the historical developments of corn and bananas through cross breeding (natural but not GMO). Check out how much they have changed over many hundreds of years.
There was also a handout provided by the Extension office from Penn State titled "The Science of GMOs" ( My only suggestion to all who have questions about this topic is to learn about it - not in magazines or on Twitter but look at science journals or research.

Linda's resume:
Linda got her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Colorado and did postdoctoral research at the U. of Wisconsin. Then she was a Professor at Texas A&M University for 25 years where she specialized in Virology and Biotechnology. She has been a Master Gardener since she retired and moved to Flagstaff in 2006. She helps coordinate the gardens at Olivia White Hospice, is a great cook and jewelry maker.

Loni Shapiro
Education Chair, CMGA

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grow Flagstaff

Check out the new Seed Library at the Coconino County Extension office.
The official opening was on Saturday, Nov. 7th at the extension. Thanks to Jackee Alston who headed up this big project. She has been working on it since last spring with the help of Hattie Braun, Nicole Gregory, and Regan Emmons. A crowd of interested gardeners, enjoyed lectures, food, and festivities. Come in and bring seeds, pick up some seeds, or just see what is available any time the extension is open.  Starting in January you can volunteer to help pack seeds, on the 4th Thursday of each month, from 10am-2pm.

Check out the AZ Daily Sun article on the seed library opening -

Friday, November 6, 2015

MG Meeting Agenda 11-12-15

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 11/12/15
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm – 6:40pm             Welcome – Jim Mast
Announcements             Meeting Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win

6:40pm – 6:45pm             Introduction of speaker Loni Shapiro

6:45pm- 7:45pm               EducationScience of GMO Food – Linda Guarino

15 minute break
7:45pm-8:00pm Raffle Prize Drawing

Refreshments provided by Christine Orr and Susan Thompson
8:00pm - 8:25pm              Business Meeting – Jim Mast