Biweekly Update – March 30, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: Program released! The program for IMGC 2021, hosted by the Virginia EMG program, is now available:

a.    Web version:

b.    PDF version:

2.    REGISTRATION FOR IMGC 2021 OPENS IN LESS THAN ONE WEEK, on Monday April 5! We do expect registration for this event to fill, so register early to reserve your spot. Registration is capped at 2,500. Monitor your email for an email with the registration link.

3.    State Office Webinar series

a.    April 15, 10:00 am | Virtual EMG Training with Canvas: Join Fairfax EMGs as they discuss their switch to online training for new EMGs, what lessons they’ve learned, and share recommendations for other units taking on virtual training. This session will focus on the use of Canvas.

Register in advance for this meeting:

4.     UVA Lecture: SEEDING RESISTANCE, Friday April 2

a.     UVA Lecture: SEEDING RESISTANCE: FEATURING FUTUREFARMERS, ELIZABETH HOOVER, KRISTYN LEACH, AND IRA WALLACE “Seed saving is intimate, a reciprocal act between human and plant and an expression of obligations to past and future generations, as well as non-human communities. We hope this conversation reveals the myriad networks we engage when we design with plants and to inspire latent opportunities for designing, stewarding, and living with plants.”

5.     MGACRA Spring Symposium, April 10, 2021 9a.m. To 3 p.m.

a.     The public is invited to register for our April 10, 2021 Spring Symposium event (via Zoom). To register and pay on-line or by mail go to The fee is $20 (or $15 for VMGA and MGACRA members). We hope you will join us from the comfort of your own home. We have four great speakers scheduled.

6.    Grow Your Own Food Series, produced by VMGA Ed. Comm.

a.    Diseases in the Vegetable Garden, Tuesday, May 11, 6pm: Common diseases and their biological and sustainable management. Dr. Timothy Durham Associate Professor at Ferrum College VA. Doctorate in Plant Medicine from University of Florida Registration.

b.    Insect Pests, Tuesday, June 29, 6pm: Identify and sustainably control insect pests in the vegetable garden. Jon Traunfeld from the University of Maryland. M.S. Agricultural Extension Education, University of Tennessee. An expert on home gardening and pest management, he has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Associated Press, The New York Times, and on The Martha Stewart Show. In his current position, he focuses on small-scale food production through the Grow It Eat It program.

c.     Preserving Your Bounty, Tuesday, September 21, 6pm: An overview of food preservation methods, from drying to pressure cooking, including the plusses and minuses of each. Becky Gartner B.S. Home Economics Education/ Extension, Virginia Tech; M.S. Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech.

d.    Link will be posted at:

Old Announcements

7.    Better Impact: Important information for you to know as we launch BI: 

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:

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.

8.    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.

d.    More info and register:

9.    NEW publication: The Right Answer: How to Find Unbiased, Research-Based Answers to Horticultural Questions

10. Hours requirements have been updated for 2021, view here

11.  Garden Expo

e.    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 (, 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. 

12. Call for recipes for a Virginia IMGC Cookbook (email recipes to Wanda Gerard Wanda Recipes should feature Virginia agricultural products or have some historical/cultural significance to the commonwealth.

13. Continuing education reading list: Reading a book from this list counts for up to 3 CE hours:

a.    More CE opportunities here:

14. 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 to participate

Old April Announcements:

15. 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, to register for this event.

Old September Announcements:

16.  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” style=”color:blue”> with your specific area of interest.” More info here.


Other Announcements:

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.

2.    Follow the State Office on social media: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

3.    Subscribe to In Season, our quarterly newsletter

4.    View our most recent webinar

a.    View a recording of our most recent state office webinar – Jamie King on urban forestry


5.     Resources for fertilization of lawns and for those involved with Healthy Virginia Lawns programming  

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

Posted in biweekly update.

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