Shared knowledge benefits community
January 03, 2016
By Linda Hartman/Victoria County Master Gardener, President
Edited by Charla Borchers Leon/Victoria County Master Gardener
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY BRENDA ANDERSON
Master Gardener Linda Hartman points out plants and leaves that are used in making pizzas at the Pasture to Plate demonstration for students during October's South Texas Farm and Ranch Show in Victoria.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY HENRY HARTMAN/CREATIVE IMAGES
Leadership in the Victoria County Master Gardener Association transitioned at the December holiday awards banquet. Shown, from left, are Victoria County Extension Agent/Master Gardener Coordinator Matt Bochat, outgoing President Brynn Lee, incoming President Linda Hartman and Treasurer/Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist Sandi Coleman.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY HENRY HARTMAN/CREATIVE IMAGES
Seventeen Master gardener Interns were recognized at the recent December holiday awards banquet for graduating from the fall training class. Pictured, front row, from left, are Eddy Faust, Yolanda Smith, Janet Marek and Michele Janca; back row, from left, are Joe Hanselka, Diane Glomb, Christina Ramirez, Jean McAskill, Gary Hayden, Macushla Hayden and Joe Moore. Not pictured are Mary Andrade, Debbe Busby, Karl Rosenboom, Iris Schuh, Marti Sterne and Rachelle Wagner.
As educators, parents, business owners and leaders, we stress the idea of goals. "Pass the test." "Do your best." "Reach your potential." "Make a difference."
As president of a volunteer organization, it is my goal to utilize the strength and knowledge of its members to meet the group's goals.
The Victoria County Master Gardener Association consists of amazing volunteers whose goals include education and support of the public in seven counties. To become a Master Gardener, one must complete the required training as directed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Certified Master Gardeners lead training classes and mentor the newest members, known as trainees. Upon completion of the class, these members are known as interns. After completing 50 hours of requirements in a one-year time period, an intern receives the certification of Master Gardener.
Never stop learning
The term "master gardener" does not mean one knows everything about gardening. Everyone continues to learn, and our Master Gardeners join with others in taking advantage of local Lunch and Learn programs that are open to the public, symposiums, statewide workshops and Dig in Deeper presentations at our monthly meetings.
Not everyone is an expert, but we do have specialists in various subjects. These specialists are available to speak to groups, such as garden clubs, professional organizations, retirement groups and schools.
Tours for all ages
One goal is to educate as many school children as possible to learn about vegetables, herbs, wildflowers, butterflies and numerous other plants.
Victoria Educational Gardens provide the perfect location, and the tours of our gardens are led by experienced Master Gardeners. We have reached more than 1,200 children a year from local schools and those in neighboring counties. Our young visitors receive an in-depth tour of the gardens and participate in hands-on activities.
Adult tour groups from Houston, Corpus Christi and other communities have also experienced the beautiful gardens and are informed of the military history of Foster Field. Our patriotic pavers honor those who have served their country, and we proudly share the memories of those brave Americans. If one wishes to honor a family member with a military paver, please contact the Victoria County Master Gardeners Association.
Sharing the love of gardening
The Gardeners' Dirt is a weekly column that appears in the Victoria Advocate and is written by a Master Gardener. Topics, such as new plants to add to the landscape, living with good and harmful insects, invasive plants or animals, container gardening, Texas wildflowers, and many more, have been published every week for more than 12 years.
Visit vcmga.org for past articles that might provide information needed by those seeking ideas and solutions to gardening questions. There are 625 articles at your disposal.
Lunch and Learn with the Masters
The popular program Lunch and Learn with the Masters will begin its ninth year of providing informative presentations to the public this month. Master Gardeners have shared about 80 programs with the public since 2008. All programs are at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center in Victoria. The new year will begin with Victoria County Extension Agent Matt Bochat on Jan. 11.
Awards for education
Each year, the Victoria County Master Gardeners Association awards a local teacher the opportunity to share the concept of growing one's own food with students. In November, Bloomington Elementary School teacher Kathy Westerman received a check for $500 to purchase supplies for a garden to be built and maintained by fifth-graders and supporters. Congratulations to the educator with a vision.
Scholarships are awarded yearly to higher-level students in the field of horticulture. Students are required to have 60 hours of university credit in order to apply for the $2,000 scholarship. Since the inception of this new program, we have awarded three scholarships to students from DeWitt and Jackson counties.
In 2015, Victoria County Master Gardeners teamed up with Victoria County 4-H members. We established a joint program to maintain and beautify the gardens around the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Building and to plant the first tree near the 4-H building. Other activities will continue in the future.
Master Gardeners have also joined in the effort to bring gardening and other beautification projects to two local apartment complexes.
Growing vegetables in small areas is easy with a little support from knowledgeable gardeners.
Fun while learning
The Master Gardeners will offer a summer camp in June for children ages 6-12. Kids will have the opportunity to plant seeds, learn about propagation, build bird feeders, study insects and butterflies and other educational activities. The half-day camp will be led by Master Gardeners, have a minimum fee and will have the assistance of local 4-H members. Further information will be available in the spring.
As the 19th president of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, my goal is to share the talents, knowledge and achievements of an amazing group of volunteers.
We are an active and involved collection of talented individuals with a desire to serve our communities.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Advocate link to article.
• Tours at VEG
• The Gardeners' Dirt column
• Lunch and Learn with the Masters
• Area symposiums/statewide workshops
• Dig in Deeper at membership meetings
• Community speakers
• Training class
• Victoria Garden Tour
• Collaborative gardening/beautification projects
• Butterfly Haven at Victoria Educational Gardens - new
• Summer Camp for Children - new
• Award to educators for project on growing food
• Scholarship to students majoring in horticulture
• V - Valued member of a community
• O - One person makes a difference
• L - Love of plants and the beauty of nature
• U - United in a goal or purpose
• N - Nature needs our help
• T - Time to give to others
• E - Education of children and adults
• E - Enjoyment of activity with those with similar interests
• R - Respect for others