Ozaukee Master Gardeners

In 2014 Ozaukee Master Gardeners had 139 members including 29 newly certified members, 43 people in the fall Level 1 training class, and 89 recertified for 2015.

In 2014 we volunteered 109 hours in youth education
329 hours in community education
5,375 hours in support service
and participated in 2,200 hours in continuing education

This year we highlighted each committee at our monthly meetings in order for every Ozaukee MGV to find their volunteer niche. Before we started our business meeting we would hear from two or three committees on the work they do and how members could get involved. We have an active Executive Board consisting of all the officers and three members-at-large. This year we initiated a new summer bus trip, visiting Chicago Botanic Gardens. In late summer we enjoyed a “Garden Crawl” touring one of our projects, Kuhefuss House gardens, before visiting a MGV’s garden and having supper.

Major Accomplishments or Projects:

  1. The Heirloom Plant and Herb Sale, held in May at a local university gymnasium, is our largest project and our biggest fundraiser, with almost all members involved. We grow our own heirloom tomatoes and vegetables from seed in a local greenhouse. Herb plants and roses are brought in to be sold. Members pot up plants from their own gardens to offer; we sell tools and garden related books and supplies; and the Yard and Garden Line staff answers gardening questions.
  2. This year we have a new Ozaukee Master Gardeners website, www.ozaukeemastergardeners. org, for both the public and our members to find out how to become a MGV, learn about our projects, ask gardening questions, download OMG-developed fact sheets, find out about volunteer opportunities, see a calendar of upcoming events, meetings, and project work dates. The newsletter, The Best Dirt, and meeting minutes are archived on the website.
  3. After a two-year hiatus while a new building was being constructed at the county fairgrounds, the OMGs once again had a booth at the Ozaukee Co. Fair with the theme Ask a Master Gardener. Each project had a visual representation through pictures on the walls of the booth. 38 MGVs staffed all four days of the fair. Over 200 visitors toured the booth, many enjoying playing a gardening quiz.
  4. Our Education Committee is responsible for all the educational opportunities for both MGVs and the public. They schedule lecturers for 8 meetings which are open to the public and announced in local newspapers. In February a winter breakfast seminar on landscape design was enjoyed by 90 MGVs and the public. The Committee also offers garden related displays to the county libraries and manages a Speaker’s Bureau of OMGs who can speak on a variety of gardening topics.

Highlighted Project: Webster School Garden Project

Webster Transitional School (grades 6-8) in Cedarburg has a vibrant gardening program, called The Webster Green Team, thanks to one OMG’s vision for this program and the help of several others. Activities included setting up a hydroponic system to grow fresh lettuce, successfully cloning African violets from leaf cuttings, visiting a local floral designer and making their own arrangements. In spring they planted seedlings, digitally planned out the school garden and planted it. They also organized a lunch-room taste-testing of parsnips and carrots from a local vegetable farm. Over the summer a garden shed was built with grants from school organizations and painted by The Green Team. Five Green Team members assisted MGVs in holding a two-week summer academy called Garden Sprouts for 25 kindergartners through third graders. In the fall they harvested produce and made pizzas using harvested produce at their recruitment meeting and celebrated Farm to School day with taste-testings of kohlrabi and apples in several classrooms.