1. We are getting ready to switch over to our new volunteer management system, Better Impact. Here's some important information for you to know as we launch this new system:
a. We’ve created a helpful video to walk you through the basic use of the system. It’s only 30 minutes long, so please watch it before you use the new system: https://video.vt.edu/media/Better+Impact+Volunteer+Management+System+training+video+for+Virginia+Cooperative+Extension+Master+Volunteers/1_nv1o3maq
b. Between the training document here and the video linked above, you should have the information you need to get started in Better Impact! Your unit may have additional instructions and training for you, so please watch for communications from your program leads. They have been hard at work behind the scenes getting things ready to go!
c. If you have questions as you navigate this new system, please contact your local volunteer coordinator or Extension Agent.
1. VCE’s popular Home Food Preservation Virtual Program is back! Learn how to preserve your own fresh foods at home safely using several different techniques including dehydration, canning and fermentation. You'll also learn about the science behind each of these methods. This course is online and self-paced, so once you sign up, you'll have until December 31 to complete it in your own time.
a. More info and register: http://tinyurl.com/VCE-HomeFoodPreservation
2. Home Gardening Series March 15, 4-6 pm
a. Hanover Master Gardeners are offering weekly presentations of our Home Gardening Series by ZOOM that are free and open to the public. They are on Saturday morning starting at 10:30 am. Topics for March include: “Introducing Native Shrubs and Groundcovers to the Home Landscape”, “Monarchs”, and “Water Quality in Your Backyard”. You must pre-register before 4:30 pm on Friday to receive a link to the next session. Recordings from sessions will be posted as soon as available. To pre-register, see dates for March, and links to previous sessions go to: https://hanovermastergardeners.org/schedules-for-public-events/
b. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwscO-urTgoHNfFEq_zzwbNPiBrBb2RXkZm After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
3. NEW publication: The Right Answer: How to Find Unbiased, Research-Based Answers to Horticultural Questions https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=2580
4. Urban Vegetable Gardening, March 22,2021 7PM- 8PM
a. The Virginia Beach Master Gardeners are hosting a one-hour presentation on Urban Vegetable Gardening. The days may be cold and dreary, those seed catalogs are piling up and you long to have really fresh vegetables, but you think that you can’t grow fresh vegetables because you don’t have enough garden space. Urban Vegetable Gardening is the answer for you. John Wilson, owner of John Capstone Creations in Virginia Beach, will discuss the importance of urban agriculture, how to stretch the period of time you can harvest vegetables and ways to improve your garden fertility. This informative presentation is available at the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners website VBMG.org This one-hour presentation is free and open to the public so invite all of your friends and family.
5. Garden Expo http://www.vafgs.org/
a. Each year the Virginia Flower and Garden Expo (VB Master Gardener and Steering Committee member of the Expo) is usually held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center toward the end of January. Due to the current pandemic, the Expo could not be held in-person but will be held throughout 2021 in a virtual format. Using their website (www.vafgs.org), the Steering Committee for the Expo has planned a year-long educational event with the theme, “Celebrating Gardens Across Virginia.” The content of the website will change at the beginning of each new month and will include a broad range of topics.
6. 5th Annual Seed Swap Rescheduled! March 20, 2021
a. The Central Rappahannock Area Master Gardeners will hold their annual seed swap on March 20, 2021, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (weather permitting), outside of the King George Citizens Center. Bring your seeds if you got ‘em, come anyway if you don’t! The event is FREE and open to all. (Link to flyer). Please check the MGACRA Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MGACRA/ if weather looks questionable.
7. Hours requirements have been updated for 2021, view here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DuoxFD9cUooLYrizDsGtI79nxhTy0PGK/view?usp=sharing
8. IMGC Search For Excellence – Deadline May 1. The David Gibby Search for Excellence (SFE) Awards recognize the outstanding volunteer work of Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) & Volunteer Coordinators. Please submit your projects! It would be great to see lots of VA entries/awards! Apply here: https://www.imgcsfe.com/
9. Call for recipes for a Virginia IMGC Cookbook (email recipes to Wanda Gerard Wanda firstname.lastname@example.org). Recipes should feature Virginia agricultural products or have some historical/cultural significance to the commonwealth.
10. Continuing education reading list: Reading a book from this list counts for up to 3 CE hours: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11GcvQr_wm_oH2BaNCLZuXzY6POD2f0FXD0TgY5DlBs8/edit?usp=sharing
a. More CE opportunities here: https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/ce/
11. IMGC: Virtual Tours
b. With the switch to a virtual platform for IMGC 2021, we have had to reimagine how we will offer tours to participants. We are asking EMGs from across Virginia to submit links to virtual tours that have taken part in, seen, or created. From these submissions, our IMGC Tours Team will put together a Virginia Tours page for conference goers.
c. Additional details and virtual tours submission can be found here: https://forms.gle/NnSjPskPhGuXXhL49
12. Tree Classes and Walks– Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards is a series of 6 free classes and walks in the first half of 2021 either on weekday evenings or weekends so that all can enjoy them. Please follow the link below for more details and registration information.
13. AmpleHarvest 2021 Survey: AmpleHarvest surveys America’s gardeners to learn how much more they grow than they can use (i.e. what was being lost to waste) and the desire of gardeners to donate that if they had the opportunity. Please visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/survey to participate
Old March Announcements:
14. Plant Virginia Natives 2021 Spring and Fall Landscaping with Natives Webinar Series
a. The Plant Hampton Roads Natives campaign is pleased to be collaborating with other campaigns across the state to offer a series of 12 webinars – 6 this spring and 6 this fall. The webinars will guide you through the why and how to turn your home garden into a beautiful retreat for your family and a native habitat for birds and other wildlife. The series kick-off is on Friday, March 5 at 6:30 pm with an engaging presentation by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, renowned author of Bringing Nature Home and of Nature's Best Hope.Sign-up for all 12 webinars for just $10! More details on the series and registration is available at www.PlantVirginiaNatives.org
15. Gardening in the Valley Symposium, March 6: Northern Shenandoah Valey EMGs present a VIRTUAL Gardening in the Valley Symposium, featuring “Urban Bee Keeping,” “Herbs for Health and Healing,” “Raised Beds vs Traditional Beds” and more. More info: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L2cEsUAZA4rdESKvKgyh97ER_EMY4cSb/view?usp=sharing
16. Piedmont Master Gardeners Schedule Spring Lecture Series, Thursdays in March: The Piedmont Master Gardeners have lined up an outstanding slate of speakers for their 2021 Spring Lecture Series and will present them online from 7 to 8:15 p.m. over four Thursday evenings in March.
b. Online registration starts February 1 on PMG’s Events webpage (piedmontmastergardeners.org/events/) and is required to receive an invitation to the Zoom sessions. Schedule here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sD-RAwdSTiGEw7koZyrgzYjhgMgxoEdZ/view?usp=sharing
17. Plant, Nurture, Grow: Gardening In Rhythm with Nature March 20, 2021: The Loudoun County Extension Master Gardeners are proud to present our 11th Annual Garden Symposium, Plant, Grow, Nurture: Gardening in Rhythm with Nature, on March 20, 2021. This year we are virtual, so attendees can enjoy the speakers from the comfort of their own home. Registrants not available on the 20th can watch a recording of the speakers at any time until the end of March. Event information can also be found at https://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/events/annual-symposium/ Registration is limited and opens on February 1, 2021. We hope to see you at the Symposium!
Old April Announcements:
18. Invitation to the Central Rappahannock Virtual Garden, April l 10 via Zoom:
a. CALLING ALL GARDENERS…Please join us in our Virtual Garden for the 8th Annual Garden Symposium, presented by the Master Gardeners of the Central Rappahannock Area. Our lively cast of 4 professional gardeners will provide 5 exciting hours of perspectives on “Gardening for Your Lifestyle”, and be available for discussion with symposium participants. Registration is now open for the symposium on April 10, 2021. Please visit our website, https://www.mgacra.org/2021-symposium.html to register for this event.
Old September Announcements:
19. American Community Garden Association conference, Hampton September 23-26, 2021. Virtual and in person.
a. If you’re interested in volunteering: “Volunteer opportunities include conducting tours, facilitating workshops and/or demonstrations, hospitality, registration, directing attendees and vendors, conference set up, sponsorship opportunities, silent auction and many other options. If you are interested, please email email@example.com” style=”color:blue”>firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific area of interest.” More info here.
1. Send us your announcements! Have you converted educational programs to an online format? You can still submit those announcements for the biweekly email! Submit an item for the biweekly update here.
4. View our most recent webinar
a. View a recording of our most recent state office webinar – Jamie King on urban forestry
6. Do you have questions coming in to your Extension Master Gardener program and need to find some answers? Extension Search Resources for EMG Questions