Iowa County Master Gardeners

The Iowa County MGA is a small group, with 10 of 13 members certified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 2 hours in youth education
36 hours in community education
431 hours in support service
and participated in 243 hours in continuing education

Our group formally meets 3-4 times a year for business meetings and planned activities. It has become a tradition to include a garden-related movie at our fall meeting. This past year we watched The Real Dirt on Farmer John as we munched on a member’s home grown popcorn. Other movies we enjoyed in the past were A Man Named Pearl and Ruth Stout’s Garden. Our July meeting included a field trip to a private garden and compound of restored old farm buildings, a large pond, numerous original metal sculptures and an array of gardens. Members also take turns hosting our annual ICMG picnic at their homes. This past August, we went on a guided walking tour of a member’s beautiful prairie before our potluck dinner and meeting.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. About 13 years ago local citizens, led by Marcia Geer, Iowa County Master Gardener’s founder, planted local prairie grasses and forbs in a long demonstration garden along the south side of the Iowa County Courthouse. We keep the garden trimmed, weeded and well mulched to highlight the individual plants, and add or replace plants as needed. The garden looks different each year with different plants highlighting themselves. The iron weed was spectacular this year!
  2. With the goal of getting the attention of children as they enter the Mineral Point Library, a member created an all-edible planter for that purpose. The children were encouraged to pinch off and taste the plants to demonstrate that they are not only pretty to look at, but tasty, too. The planter contains trailing nasturtiums, kale, chard, basil and twining Malabar spinach.
  3. Our small group of MGVs also volunteered on the restoration and maintenance of a number of public areas including the Welcome Sign as you enter the village of Hollandale, the perennial border at the Community Connections Free Clinic, Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point and prairie at Gov. Dodge State Park.

Highlighted Project: Dodgeville Public Library

The Iowa County Master Gardeners spruced up the Dodgeville Public Library signage at the corner of the garden last fall. Members removed overgrown woody plants and perennials. The former plants concealed the library sign and were unsightly. They were replaced with ornamental rocks which also stopped erosion on the slope. Smaller plantings are now in the bed. Funding for the rocks and their installation came from the City Of Dodgeville, Uplands Garden Club, Dodgeville Public Library and Iowa County Master Gardeners Association.