Door County Master Gardeners

In 2014 Door County had 143 members including 21 students who completed level 1 training and 117 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 230 hours in youth education
221 hours in community education
9,190 hours in support service
and participated in 2,722 hours in continuing education

We took educational outings to Steep Creek Farm, Door County Coffee, Meissners Landscaping, and Solaris Farm. We communicate with members and the public through our frequently updated website, our newsletter published six times a year, and a radio show once a month in the summer.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. Open House. At this event we celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Garden Door with 289 visitors, not counting all the MGVs who took part. There were featured programs on birds in the garden, planting containers, and fairy gardens, as well as informal programs on straw bale gardening and pruning tomatoes, and tractor-pulled wagon tours of the Research Station.
  2. Taste of The Garden Door. The “Taste” brought 563 visitors to the garden during a three hour period. 76% of our members contributed to this event. Guests sampled locally grown vegetables in five venues: the Rabbit Patch, Salads and Sides, the Nibble Nook, Grains and Garlic, and the Pesto Festo contest. Area vendors featured growing your own garlic, new kitchen utensils, fairy gardens, herbs, mums, and coffee tasting.
  3. Youth Program. The Garden Door and adjoining vegetable garden were used for two youth programs. The first event, on June 1st, involved 60 third grade students. They planted six vegetable plots, toured The Garden Door, attended a potato class at the International Potato Gene Bank, and held worm races after learning about compost. On October 1st the same students, now in fourth grade, returned to harvest potatoes, beets, beans, squash, carrots, and sunflowers. They also created herb sachets, spun yarn, ground corn, made fresh apple juice, and toured the research station.
  4. Community Outreach. Projects included planting and maintaining flower gardens at the Government Center in Sturgeon Bay, the County Fairgrounds, the Noble House Garden, the Astronomy Center at Crossroads at Big Creek, and Ellison Bay planters. MGVs led children and parents in planting heirloom plants in the Victorian Era Garden at Crossroads at Big Creek. Others assisted the Ridges Sanctuary, the Door County Land Trust, and the Door County Fair.

Highlighted Project: The Garden Door

The Garden Door, a free, two-acre public garden located on the grounds of the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station, is the focus of much of our community education effort. We made major improvements to the garden this year. The first involved the installation of a new paved walkway to improve accessibility and make the garden more attractive. We made a concerted effort to label all of the perennials so the garden is more educational. Each portion of the garden is maintained by a MGV. The area supervisor for the grass garden put in 48 new labels for the different species and cultivars. The training class planted two annual beds and added a glass-covered dragonfly. The meditation tunnel saw the addition of 37 blue glass flowers, while new chimes tuned to Amazing Grace were installed in the memorial dome. In July we placed a people counter at the entrance to the garden and by October it registered 8,108 visitors – an average of 78 people a day. Major events include an annual plant sale, an open house in July, and a food celebration in September called the Taste of The Garden Door. In addition, in 2014 we offered 14 educational programs, ten of which were open to the public. Average attendance at the public programs was 85, and there were over 100 people at each of three programs: Choosing Plants Wisely, Landscape Design 101, and Butterfly Gardens.