Washington County Master Gardeners

Washington County had 29 certified MGVs, with 4 friends in 2014, and 26 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 145 hours in youth education
162 hours in community education
1,652 hours in support service
and participated in 442 hours in continuing education

washingtonWe meet on the second Thursday of each month at the County Extension office or at different greenhouse/gardens within our county. Our meeting begins with a short business meeting and then has one hour of education. Speakers this year focused on using herbs in cooking, designing planters for the different seasons, pruning trees, lasagna gardening, and houseplant care.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. Adaptive Gardening. This year we began with a visit to Threshold, a local facility that mentors those with mental/physical challenges. Our group worked once a week to help promote gardening within the facility. By May first, with the help of an Eagle Scout, we had several raised beds that the clients planted and were tending their new gardens.
  2. Adopt A Plot. This is our 5th year working on this flower garden located in West Bend, just behind an elementary school. When we took over this completely abandoned garden, weeds were growing over 5 feet high. Because of its location, this plot needs to have kid-friendly plant selections. We continue planting day lilies, and various native plants.
  3. Farmers Market. This year WCMGVs had a booth at the West Bend’s Farmers Market on 6 Saturdays during the summer and fall months. This market has over 3,000 visitors each week. We answered questions about gardening, weed indication, adaptive gardening, fruit production, and what bug is eating my plants, and also passed out UW-Extension bulletins on gardening.
  4. Washington Co. Fair Booth. This year over 10,000 families went through our booth at the county fair. WCMGA works with Ag Adventure land to promote farming and gardening. The MGVs answered questions, handed out UW-Extension bulletins, and maintained 6 different flower and vegetable gardens at the fair. This year we had a sensory garden with plants that moved and made sounds, or with different textures to feel. We also sponsor a planter contest for local 4-H clubs, judging based on plant selection and health of the plants.
  5. Fundraising. We began the year selling garden pruners, Good Weed Bad Weed book, and Good Bug, Bad Bug book. During 2014 we continued making garden stepping stones which were sold at West Bend’s Farmers Market and Washington County Fair.

Highlighted Project: Community Gardens

We are involved with two different community gardens in our county. This is the first year our MGA had a plot in the West Bend Community Garden, located on Main Street. Our 15 x 20 foot plot was a display garden to show various techniques including vertical gardening, square foot gardening, and Florida weave for the tomatoes. We used many types of heirloom plants in this garden. All of the produce was donated to the West Bend food pantry.

The Germantown Community Garden, located on the Thiensville Historical Society property, began in 2012 with 10 garden plots. This year there were 24 plots, two of which were maintained by WCMGVs as a project to get more fresh produce to seniors in the area. Over 500 pounds of produce from these plots was donated to the Germantown Senior Center. Three MGVs were involved in overall management of the Community Gardens, and MGVs also provided horticulture information, answering email questions from the community.