Master Gardener Program in Forest County

The Master Gardener Program in Forest County started in 1996. Over 30 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 4 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educators facilitating the MG Program are Nutrition Educator Mary Stys and Community Development Educator Steve Nelson.


Volunteer Service in 2016

Youth Education 13 hours
Adult Education 288 hours
Support 144 hours
Total 446 hours

Since 2000:  7428 hours at a value of over $129,895

* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.48 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.

mg-footer-logoWhere you can find activities by MGVs

  • Crandon Community Garden
  • Plant Fair, held annually in May at the Hair-I-Tage, Crandon
  • Crandon Police Department
  • Food pantry garden, Crandon
  • Forest County Fair

New Community Garden Created

The Crandon Community Garden   was created this year in collaboration the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program, county Health Department, and county Office on Aging to provide healthy eating choices for residents who participate in the Meal Site provided by Forest County. A grant provided for building materials, garden supplies and produce preparation costs, while MGVs and other volunteers helped construct raised beds, plant and maintain the vegetables, and harvest the produce. Vegetable starts were raised and sold at the MGV Plant Fair to provide additional funds. There has been an increase in the number of people utilizing the Meal Site and participants in the garden.

Crandon Community Gardens Preserves Garlic

The late Victor Sampon, a MGV from Argonne who was originally from France, enjoyed cooking utilizing the harvest from his garden and missed his homeland’s delicious French garlic. Unable to bring any bulbs to the US due to import restrictions, his only option was to bring back seeds. Garlic from seed produces very small bulbs, so over 30 years Victor annually selected the largest bulbs to propagate until he ended up with a French garlic bulb that was rich in flavor, medium size, and adapted to the climate of Northern Wisconsin. A couple of years before his passing Steve Nelson got some of Victor’s variety and also annually selected the best to replant in his garden. Now this heirloom garlic has been provided to the Crandon Community garden to be grown in memory of Victor and be more widely shared with community residents.

woman working in the garden