The Master Gardener Program in Washburn County

The Master Gardener Program in Washburn County started in 1999. Over 150 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 13 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Agriculture Agent Kevin Schoessow.

Third Graders Learn About Gardening

The Spooner Elementary School Helping Hands Garden is maintained by third-grade   students with guidance from MGVs. They started peppers, tomatoes, and squash from seed beginning in April and later planted the garden. The flower beds were designed by the third-graders. New this year were a bean pole tepee, cucumber and squash trellis, recycled tin can chains, colored lathes and labels.

Mini MG Short Course Educates Youth, Families

Twenty-four youths and 16 adults participated in two sessions of our Mini Master Gardener Short Course held at a local greenhouse and the Spooner Ag Research Station. They explored the secrets of soil, incredible edibles, seeds, sprouts and shoots; paper pots; and tomato transplants. The second session introduced them to hot and healthy composting, weeds, waste free watering, going vertical with pole beans and cucumbers, and small space gardens.

Award-Winning Display Garden

The 3,000 square foot Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Garden is designed and maintained with the help of volunteers. During the growing season the garden hosts many training events and has visitors from schools, garden clubs, and residents of the area. Featured in the garden this year was organic vegetables, All American Selections annual flowers, and a perennial display. The garden won national first-place recognition for the “Down on the Farm” theme in 2014 from the All American Selections Landscape Garden Design Contest and in 2015 placed second with a geometric theme. Over 1000lbs of vegetables were donated to local food shelves and to school nutrition programs.

image of volunteers teaching kids

Volunteer Service in 2015

Youth education 121 hours
Adult education 55 hours
Support services 779 hours
Total 955 hours
Value* $21250

Since 2000: 17,056 hours at a value of over $306,456

* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.24 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.

Copy of Master Gardener Symbol - Full Color

Where you can find activities by MGVs in Washburn Co.

  • Spooner Agriculture Research Station Teaching and Display Garden
  • School Gardens in Spooner, Shell Lake
  • New Ventures Garden Seminar, Minong
  • Head Start, local schools, fairs
  • Meet Me in the Garden Seminar
  • Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary
  • North Country MGV Association Plant Sale