Calumet County Master Gardeners

Calumet County Master Gardeners had about 33 members in 2014, with 23 recertified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 123 hours in youth education
570 hours in community education
923 hours in support service
and participated in 441 hours in continuing education

Our membership has declined as members get older and cannot do as much, and we have not attracted new, younger members. One of our founding members passed away this past year, which was difficult for the entire group. But 10 energetic people took Level 1 training this year and we hope to keep them involved, bringing new and different ideas to group. At our monthly meetings we try to have programs to keep our members interested and involved. We toured a new milking goat farm operation, sampled their different cheeses, and enjoyed dinner in their restaurant. One of our meetings was at a local apple orchard, learning about the year long day-to-day operations. We also took a bus tour to the Anderson Japanese Gardens and the Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, IL.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:calumet

  1. At our annual plant sale in May, which is our major fundraiser, we continue to offer all kinds of annuals, vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets and perennials. In the past, most of our perennials our were from MGV’s gardens, but this is no longer practical with so many older members, so we started buying in the perennials along with the annuals.
  2. We awarded a $500 scholarship to a young lady who is attending Fox Valley Technical College, with an educational focus on horticulture and business.
  3. We continue to plant and maintain numerous flower beds in the City of Chilton, Calumet Co. Courthouse, Calumet Co. Fairgrounds and the Optimist River Walk Beds in Chilton. We planted the City of Chilton bed in all marigolds, with a border of dusty miller. We also planted several vegetable beds in conjunction with the Salvation Army, providing fresh produce to needy families.
  1. Several MGVs continue to be involved with other local, state and national groups, like Tree Boards, WI and National Junior Horticulture Associations, 4-H, and Wisconsin Plant and Soil Science. Members also assist with judging days at the Calumet Co. Fair, working with the judges and youth.
  2. MGVs staffed the CCMGA Booth at the County Fair, answering horticulture questions, selling our annual cookbook and horticulture related books and pamphlets. We also handed out free garden and flower seeds, courtesy of Jung’s Seed Company. For our annual Fair Display, we showcased different kinds of squash that we raised in our new community garden.

Highlighted Project: Community Garden at Calumet Medical Center

This year several MGVs and our UWEX Ag Agent/MG Advisor were actively involved in creating a community garden with Calumet Medical Center, our local hospital in Chilton. MGVs planned and implemented the garden, which became a reality this spring and summer. The garden area is adjacent to the hospital, providing easy access for them and the general public. It was previously a farm field, so there were issues with soil quality and weeds.

We had a good response for the first year, renting out twelve 10’ x 15’ beds to members of the local community. The MGA had 2 beds where we planted the squash for our fair display. The hospital dietary department also had 2 beds where employees assisted with planting, caring for, and harvesting vegetables which were used in the cafeteria for employee and patient meals. The department plans to have 4 of the beds next year in order to expand the availability of fresh produce for patients and employees. There is sufficient land available that the garden could expand to around 100 beds. Local news media and the hospital administration have been very supportive of this new endeavor.