Coconino Master Gardener Association

From Cindy Murray a male robin bathing in a bird bath surrounded by Sunflowers. A perfect August photo.

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 Viola's Flower Garden (610 S. 89A (site of the old Jackson's Grill)). 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!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Master Gardener Recognition Picnic


Master Gardener Recognition Picnic

  • Host:
    Hattie Braun
  • 928-774-1868
  • Sunday, October 1 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
  • Viola's Flower Garden 610 Arizona 89A Flagstaff, AZ

    Preceding the picnic there is a walk:

    Pre-Picnic Native Plant Walk at Griffin Springs

    • Host:
      Susan Holiday & Melissa Amberson
    • Sunday, October 1 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
    • Griffith Springs Trail Head 89A 2 miles south of Fort Tuthill
      Contact Hattie Braun at the extension office for more info.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

AZ Native Plant Society - Flagstaff Chapter

Monthly Meetings
Third Tuesdays at 7pm

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church

 September 19: "The Ancient, the Ugly, and the Nearly Invisible" Dr. Paul Minnis 
The long history of the complex relationships between people and plants in U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico is more than fascinating; it also can be useful! Plant remains recovered from archaeological sites help piece together this story, despite the fact that the remains are often exceptionally small and sometimes seem just plain ugly. Dr. Paul Minnis, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, University of Oklahoma. Paul Minnis' research focuses on archaeology, prehistoric ethnobotany, cultural ecology and sociocultural evolution, and the prehistoric biodiversity of the southwest US and northern Mexico. 

October 17: "The Plant Communities of Springs" Lawrence E. Stevens, Ph.D.
Larry Stevens is an evolutionary ecologist and the Coordinator of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Springs Stewardship Institute, which is dedicated to improving understanding and stewardship of springs ecosystems. He also serves MNA as the Curator of Ecology, and is the Senior Ecologist for Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, a conservation organization in Flagstaff. He is a long-time Colorado River whitewater guide, and served as Ecologist for Grand Canyon National Park (1988-1994). He has conducted extensive research on southwestern biogeography, conservation ecology, endangered and non-native species biology, as well as springs, riverine, wetlands, and dam ecology and management. 

Saturday, October 21: Larry Stevens will lead a field trip to Montezuma Well, to explore the great contrasts between vegetation types as we move from springs, to riparian, and then into xeric ecosystems.
To carpool, meet at the OneAZ Credit Union at the corner of Beaver and Butler at 8:30 am. Bring the usual sun protection, water, and your lunch.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LEAF Conference on Edible AZ Trees

Please join us September 22 - 24 for a lively conference highlighting how to bring edible trees to Arizona's urban areas – edible trees are those that produce fruits, seeds, nuts and pods that suit people's tastes.

The LEAF Network is partnering with the Tucson City of Gastronomy to present information for public, private and NGO planners (Friday) and community members (Saturday), and to provide tours of edible tree sites (Sunday). We are holding the conference at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 West River Road.

We are providing free tables for nonprofit, school and government organizations in the lobby to display information. We also have sponsorship and tabling opportunities for businesses. If you would like to reserve a table, please contact me,

For more information, go to
Please forward this message widely to all who might be interested.

I hope you can join us!

Ann Audrey, LEAF Network

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Willow Bend Gardens
Volunteer Plan
August - September, 2017

Please join us in preparing the gardens for this year's programs at the Willow Bend
Environmental Education Center, 703 E. Sawmill Road.

Kathleen Satterfield:
If you’re interested but unavailable on these dates, email Kathleen and she’ll keep you posted
on future opportunities.
Schedule: 9 am - 12 noon (day's work is finished and area is cleaned up by noon).

August 28 Monday
September 1 Friday
September 5 Tuesday
September 7 Thursday
September 11 Monday
September 13 Wednesday
September 15 Friday
September 18 Monday
September 19 Tuesday
Gloves and tools are provided, or bring your favorite tools if you’d like.

Pollinator Garden: finish south section - groom and plant
Arch Garden: remove stone chips, weed, tidy up
East Slope (below fence): weed
Meadow Garden: weed and re-seed; keep moist
Entrance Garden: pull and snip Woods' rose and locust, remove any weeds
Peripheral areas: pull and snip invasive ramets, weed
Between garden perimeters and flagstones: weed and/or apply weed cloth
Move cold-frame somewhere out of sight

A post from Susan Lamb Bean

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens

Thanks to Colleen Tucker and Jennifer Quarterman for another successful Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens. Money raised from this project will help support CMGA Garden Grants for 2018.

I was able to tour 6 of the 7 gardens and with only a few drops of rain. They were all very beautiful and yet different in size and focus. We had a wonderful selection of plants and styles, from the more formal Japanese "strolling garden" at the Babbit house on Leroux to the Farm Your Front Yard at Julie McDonald's home. Below are some photos of the gardens, in addition to the one opening this blog.

Ben Bethel and Uri Morales residents at the Babbit House.
Back of house with pathway to a seating area.
Detail of pathway includes many patches of thyme.

Tina Ayres and Randy Scott
Greenhouse and water collection in front of the home

Raised vegetable beds in back.

Rock garden for shade and sun.
 I will add some more photos next week.

Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Willow Bend Gardens
Help restore the gardens at Willow Bend! Tasks include weeding, pulling and snipping willow suckers, removing shrubs, and clearing away rocks and debris.
Gloves and tools are provided, or bring your favorite tools if you’d like. Our first volunteer day will be July 25, 7:30-10:30 am. Contact Kathleen Satterfield:
If you’re interested but unavailable on this date, email Kathleen and she’ll keep you posted on future opportunities.

2017 Master Gardener Class


Flagstaff Family Resource Center
4000 E. Cumming St.
Flagstaff AZ
Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2017 Coconino County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training Course. This course is part of a nation-wide certification program that provides horticulture training to volunteers for the purpose of enabling them to help their communities through horticulture education. This course is designed for those who are interested in learning more about high elevation gardening and who are willing to share this knowledge with others. Participants will learn the keys to successful gardening in high elevation environments. The course covers basic botany, soils, plant propagation, plant problem diagnosis, insect management, pruning, fruit tree care, vegetable gardening, Xeriscape, irrigation, ornamental plants, composting, and urban forestry. Class runs for 15 weeks.
08/29/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
09/05/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
09/12/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
09/19/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
09/26/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
10/03/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
10/10/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
10/17/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
10/24/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
10/31/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
11/07/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
11/14/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
11/21/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
11/28/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
12/05/2017 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Cost: $215
Registration Required: Yes
Instructor / Presenter: Hattie Braun
Offers CEUs: No

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Heirloom Seed Expo

Heriloom-Expo-The National Heirloom Expo features three full days of nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers that include Vandana Shiva, Ronnie Cummins, Jeffrey Smith, Robert Kennedy, Jr., along with many more.  More than 4000 varieties of local produce will by displayed.  Purchase gardening supplies, seeds, sustainable living goods, and so much more from 300 vendors.  The exhibit hall will be home to more than 150 heirloom related exhibits.

Follow this posting for further details -

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Seed to Table

Our Seed to Table program is back and looks to be better than ever!

AmeriCorps member Emily Melhorn has been working on recipes, Derek Bowerman is back to assist, Rebekah Glassy is our extern for the summer, and Brian Moody is on hand to make sure we take care of the Bus Stop Garden. Liz George and Lynn Schiek have helped with the planning and planting. Loren and Joyce Cunningham will join us in August for more salsa making and tasting. Trish and I are just sitting back and relaxing!

The first Seed to Table is Tuesday, June 13th from 5-7pm at the Coconino County Extension (2304 North Third Street). 
We’ll cover growing greens, composting, kale smoothie tasting, washing of greens and a micro-perforated bags demo.

June 27: Radishes and Onions and Rainwater Harvesting
July 11: Pesto and Herbs and Growing Herbs and Produce in Containers
July 25: Green Beans, Soil Amendments and Planting for Fall Crops

I’ve attached the flyer for the 1st four classes.

The final four dates are:
August 8: Cucumbers
August 15: Berries
August 22: Tomatoes and tomatillos
September 26: Harvest Party!


Hattie Braun
County Director/Horticulture, Coconino County
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004
Phone: 928-773-6118
FAX: 928-774-1860

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity

Request for Master Gardener Volunteers from Laura Davis

The Michael Moore Medicinal Plant Garden needs two or three volunteers to help move the plants from the Olivia White Hospice Home (OWHH) garden to its new home at the Willow Bend Environmental Center (WB).

-          the project will be ongoing throughout the summer
-          we will need to amend the soil at Willow Bend
-          do some design work
-          help with native medicinal plant guide for garden
-          move plants from OWHH to WB
-          plant new plants grown out at the NAU greenhouse
-          tidy up the gardens space at OWHH
-          may involve some native plant propagation, seed collection

Please email if you are interested.

Friday, July 14, 2017

LEAF (Linking Edible Arizona Forests)

A new site has been added to Pages  on this blog under References & Resources. It provides the site for the organization LEAF (Linking Edible Arizona Forests). The site offers educational information about what trees are seen in AZ, where (what altitude), and how much water is required in addition to detailed planting info. Check it out!

The LEAF Network’s Growing Edible Arizona Forests, An Illustrated Guide, helps you LEARN, CHOOSE, PLANT, CARE for, and HARVEST edible trees. We use the term edible trees to describe trees that produce fruits, nuts, seeds and pods that suit human tastes. Trees in people’s yards, communities, orchards and open spaces create Arizona’s Edible Forests. ​
You can download the entire Edible Tree Guide or go to sections of the Guide at this website to see more explanations, photos, illustrations, and resources to help you get started enjoying edible trees. At the top of each Guide section is a link that allows you to print that section. ​

Friday, June 30, 2017

Celtic Festival

If you are looking for volunteer hours there is an on line sign up with Vicky Neary to work in the Plant and Geology tent. Working in the tent will allow you free entrance.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Prescott Garden Tour

Garden Tour in Prescott
Presented by The Native Garden
What: Self-guided driving tour of 5 local garde
When: Saturday, July 8th 8:00AM –4:00PM
Where: Prescott, AZ (maps available day of the tour)
Tickets: $10.00, cash only
Purchase tickets at The Native Garden,
602 S. Montezuma St. Prescott, AZ

These gardens feature native/drought tolerant plants. Some also have vegetable gardens or fruit orchards and some have
a mixture of all of the above.

Garden owners will be in the gardens to answer questions. Get ideas for your own garden or just enjoy the day outdoors in the gardens.

Proceeds from the tour will be donated to The Hungry Kids Project. Ask for a brochure when you come to purchase your ticket.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Gardening Class at the SSLUG Garden

SSlug Banner Upward Bound
We are offering a one unit course June 23-25 at SSLUG Garden.   It is called Want to Grow a Better World:  Agrarian Skills for Positive Change.  We will review basic botanical and horticultural skills and knowledge and envision the many ways to use these skills to make positive changes our community and environment, while reinforcing knowledge with hands on projects in the garden and nearby sites at NAU.

I will be teaching.  Class is SUS 599 (Graduate level) and is suitable for anyone in the community. It is also offered as a workshop for $150. Times are Fri. 3-6pm, and Sat. & Sun. from 9am-4pm.

Jan Busco ( 

Plant and Garden Sale

Volunteers are needed on June 24 to help with setup, vendors, the Master Gardener Table, and children’s activities.

We will collect garden related items to sell for the CMGA on June 23. You can drop items off at the extension office on the 23rd. Please do not drop them off earlier as we don’t have storage. We are looking for gently used garden books, tools, pots, and plants. Please – no irrigation equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, or items that are in bad shape. We need help to price items.

Several local growers, non-profits (including the CMGA) and businesses will be selling perennials, vegetable plants, herbs, houseplants, seeds, pots, books, bird feeders, garden tools, garden decor/art and more!
*Free Admission and Parking
*Master Gardener Education Table
*Kids' activities
*Proceeds to benefit the CMGA and local non-profits

For more information please contact:
Laura Davis at or Judy Springer at 928-699-1027 or

Thursday, May 4, 2017

CMGA Agenda

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, May 11 – 6:30pm
Viola’s Flower Garden
7085 S. State Route 89A

6:30pm – 6:40pm     Welcome – Sherline Alexander
6:40pm – 6:45pm      Introduction of Speaker – Gilli Thomas
6:45pm – 7:45pm     Education: Richard Hofstetter on “How to Attract Beneficial Insects
                                      and Deter Unwanted Insects in Your Garden”
15 minute break (refreshments)
7:45pm – 8:00pm     Raffle Prize Drawing – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win
8:00pm – 8:25pm     Business Meeting – Sherline Alexander
     MG Coordinator Happenings - Hattie Braun
     Financial report – Molly Larsen
     Committee Reports:
     Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
     Fundraising – Cindy Krznarich
     Continuing Education – Gilli Thomas
     ·       July – Stephen Scott, Terroir Seeds – Using Cover Crops Including Raised Beds     
     ·        August – Cindy Krznarich – Preserving Your Harvest
     MG Projects – Jackee Alston
     Historian – Tammy Valdovino
     Community Markets – Andrea Guerrette
8:25pm – 8:30pm     Gardening Questions?         

Next meeting: June 8:  Judy Springer – Unique and Unusual Herbs to Grow at High Elevation

Monday, May 1, 2017

Gardening Ninjas Tour

Gardening Ninjas Tour!
Saturday May 13th
Do you feel like you're battling the elements when gardening in Flagstaff? Join Flagstaff Foodlink on a Garden Ninja Tour and discover the practical and innovative methods community members developed for successful food production and preservation.

9 - 11 a.m. 
Flagstaff EcoRanch - With a focus on education, water conservation, and community, Flagstaff EcoRanch is experimenting in sustainable living and gardening. Join founder Jeff Meilander for a farm tour and learn about growing under hoop houses, new water conservation techniques, and preserving food in a root cellar. Please park and carpool from the parking lot at the bottom of Snowbowl Road. Carpools running at 9 am and 10 am to Ecoranch.

Noon - 1 p.m. Forestdale Farm (455 Beech Dr.) - Tour Forestdale Farm's growing operation and see the innovative containers and systems in place that have led owners and Farm Stewards Rylan and Jamie to run a successful CSA and make value-added home- and health-care products. There will be plants, starts, and Farmacy products available for sale.

2 - 4 p.m. Elden Trails Bed and Breakfast (6073 N. Snowflake Dr.) - Join community leader and bed-and-breakfast owner Marnie Vail on a tour of her small, highly-efficient residential lot that maximizes 4-season growing. You'll see multiple rain water collection systems including 3 cattle tanks and 3 smaller tanks, efficient watering in 2 wicking garden beds, and 1 greenhouse. Take a peek in the carport and learn successful food storage and preserving options. (Additional directions: North on 89 past mall; turn left after light at Smokerise onto Winter (can only turn left); 2 blocks turn right onto Snowflake Drive; we are halfway up hill on left (you will see Elden Trails B&B sign).)

Fruit Tree Care in Edible Urban Landscapes

Arizona Community Tree Council Presents
Fruit Tree Care in Edible Urban Landscapes
Friday, June 9, 2017
Location:  Flagstaff Hirsch Center on 3350 Old Munds Hwy.
Time:  8:30am - 4:00pm

Deadline to Register May 26, 2017

8:30am – 9:00am registration

9:00 – 10:00 Selection of fruit trees for edible landscaping. 
Species and varieties that are suited for the various Arizona zones, including needed chill hours, water needs, pollination, tree size, tree lifespans, and microclimate considerations. Fruit trees come in four different sizes: Standard, semi-dwarf, dwarf, and less commonly, super-dwarf. How to choose a tree that will fit your space perfectly including when to consider growing urban fruit trees in containers. Successive ripening considerations.

10:00 – 11:30 Water harvesting to sustain fruit trees 
How to identify and harvest alternative sources of water to support edible trees including rainwater harvesting. Site designing with water harvesting in mind. Understand the watering needs of fruit trees and the surrounding landscape for best production results.

11:00 – 12:00 Propagation methods for fruit trees 
Exploring the various methods for propagating fruit trees including grafting, clonal propagation, cuttings, seeds and bare root.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Beekeeping Class

Master Gardeners – Are you interested in beekeeping? There are only 5 slots left for this introduction to beekeeping class being held Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Hattie

Thinking about starting your own beehive, but don’t know where to begin? This two-day workshop will show you how to get started as a successful beekeeper, here in Flagstaff, and beyond.

Topics covered include:
• Essential tools and equipment
• Where to get the bees
• Biology and ecology of honeybees and flowering plants
• Best beekeeping practices

Cost: $150.00 (partial scholarships available)

This event is co-sponsored by Honeybeeteacher LLC and City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Agriculture to Appetites: Sustaining working Landscapes in a Changing Arizona

Master Gardeners: You are invited to the next Agriculture to Appetites to be held on April 18 at 6:30pm at NAU’s Ashurst Auditorium. Please see the attached flier for more information.

Agriculture to Appetites: Sustaining Working Landscapes in a Changing Arizona
Spring Presentation/Community Roundtable Series to focus on preserving agriculture

Agriculture is important to Northern Arizona, where long--‐standing traditions of farming and ranching provide good food, good jobs, and valuable open space. Yet these traditions are under fire due to a growing population, rising land prices, changing markets, threatened water supplies, and a warming climate.

Agriculture to Appetites: Sustaining Working Landscapes in a Changing Arizona is an interactive series of three evening events that will take a close look at how agriculture is dealing with these threats, and what might be done in the future. The sessions, to be held on three separate evenings in Clarkdale, Tuba City, and Flagstaff, will feature short presentations by regional experts and roundtable discussions among interested community members. Anyone interested in food is invited to attend—growers, marketers, chefs, hunters, elected officials, eaters. Participants will hear details about the challenges growers face, and about opportunities for helping regional agriculture grow and thrive—and they will be given the opportunity to share experiences and insights of their own. The topics addressed will include preserving agricultural open space, the safeguarding of water supplies and ecological integrity, and the development of local markets for locally produced foods. The discussions will particularly focus on establishing and nourishing mutually beneficial relationships between rural food producers and urban food consumers.
Contact: Peter Friederici, Director, 928-523-6378;

Hattie Braun
County Director/Horticulture, Coconino County
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004
FAX: 928-774-1860

Compost Source at NAU

Here is the message I received  from a friend at NAU regarding compost. Please contact Cat if you are interested.

Howard is looking forward to distribute some more blue ribbon compost! We have a few interested folks this Friday from 8am-10am. If anyone is available and interested in compost please let me know! Hoping to see you all and please let friends know too! We can also plan other dates too. Howard’s schedule for pick-ups is Monday-Friday 6am-10am.
Thank you and happy composting!
 Catherine Sullivan
Sustainability Specialist NAU Campus Dining
928-523-5620 Office
Campus Dining Sustainability
NAU Compost Program