Green County Master Gardeners

There are 50 members in the Green Co. Master Gardener Association (GCMGA), with 40 certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 76 hours in youth education
265 hours in community education
1,856 hours in support service
and participated in 705 hours in continuing education

During the summer the association plans tours to various locations instead of monthly meetings. This year tours included a woods/prairie/terrace garden tour at a local MGV’s, Snug Haven Farm, The Flower Factory Nursery, and Blue Skies Berry Farm. We also had guest speakers at meeting: Mary Alice Hart, on Magnificent Gardens of Europe; Deb Pendry, Growing & Cooking with Scented Geraniums; Mike Maddox, State Master Gardener Program, and Lisa Johnson, Houseplants.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. The 7th Annual Gardening Symposium Gardening Inspirations for All Seasons—Heirloom Gardening: Yesterday’s Plants for Today’s Gardener! was held on Saturday, March 8, 2014, with presentations a variety of heirloom ornamentals, apples, and vegetables for more than 85 people.
  2. This year the GCMGA participated in two different Seed Saving Library Programs. The libraries in New Glarus and Monroe set up seed saving areas for participants to use. MGVs gave presentations at each of the libraries for people to learn more about seed saving techniques and procedures.
  3. The Albany Sustainable Food Education Center was expanded by adding a native prairie to increase pollination in the gardens. Over 300lbs of produce was harvested and donated to the local food pantries. Students also made salsa, pickles, and sauerkraut from plants in the gardens. An apple tree was planted as the start of an orchard area and a decorative bed of natural stone was created by elementary students along the river and garden edge.
  4. Planting beds at the Monroe Public Library, Green Co. Justice Center, Montesian Gardens, Monroe Arts Center, Historical Museums, Green County Welcome Center, Nursing Homes, and Senior Centers, all receive volunteer help, and advice from MGVs. In addition, we continue to assist the UW-Extension Office with answering horticulture calls from homeowners.
  5. The New Glarus School Garden coordinates with elementary summer school classes. Students help care for the garden and sample vegetables as school snacks. Five MGVs helped plan the garden and provided support for the teachers during selected summer school classes. New additions this year are an indoor composter which uses school lunch food waste as part of a demonstration for students, and a 3 bin compost system. Produce from the gardens was donated to the Green Co. Food Pantry or the school lunch program.

Highlighted Project: “Farmin on the Square”

A collaborative effort between MGVs, Monroe Main Street Committee, and the UW-Extension office, this project is in its second year. The “Farmin on the Square” idea was implemented to beautify an abandoned corner lot on the historical square located in Monroe, WI. It also serves as an educational demonstration plot for gardening ideas and types of flowers and vegetables. Among the improvements implemented this year were labeling plants displayed in the various beds and containers, and redesigning the vertical growing wall on the east side of the site. Some of the beds displayed the “Square-Foot Gardening” concept. Corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa, a “pizza” garden, a pole bean tower, a “touchy- feely” bed, and several beds of different flower varieties were all included in the display. Thousands of people viewed the gardens when attending Green County’s Cheese Days Festival as it celebrated its 100th anniversary with events held on the Monroe Square over one weekend in September.