Biweekly Update – April 14, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: REGISTRATION OPEN IMGC 2021 is now open for registration! The Virginia Extension Master Gardener program is hosting this year’s International Master Gardener Conference. We are excited to bring you more than 40 different VIRTUAL sessions, expert panels, and fun conference bonuses (like Virginia themed recipes and virtual tours). To learn more and register:

a.    View the full program here:

2.    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:

b.    May 20, 10:00 am | 4TheSoil: The Virginia Soil Health Coalition envisions a thriving and diverse agricultural landscape in Virginia that is profitable, sustainable and resilient now and for future generations. The Coalition facilitates communication and collaboration among a network of partners across the Commonwealth to support farmers, leverage resources, and advance strategies that improve soil health and understanding of the many benefits of healthy soils and landscapes. We are excited to discuss the Coalition and the 4TheSoil awareness campaign with Virginia Master Gardeners and explore opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

Register in advance for this meeting:

3.     Organic Methods to Control Pests and Weeds, 4/19/2021

a.     On April 19, 2021 at 7pm-8pm, the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners will provide a presentation on Nonchemical and Organic Methods to Control Pests and Weeds. Dave Lawson, Branch Manager, Landscape Supply of VA, will discuss alternatives to synthetic pesticides including nonchemical and organic controls. We will learn if nonchemical methods are organic, what “organic” actually means, and what products may be available and how those products work. This presentation is free and open to the public. Go to to join us at 7pm on April 19th.

4.     Understanding the Myths and Truths of Organic Pesticides. More info click here.

a.     On April 19, 2021 at 7pm-8pm, the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners will provide a presentation on Understanding the Myths and Truths of Organic Pesticides. Sherry Kern, Virginia Beach Master Gardener will discuss alternatives to synthetic pesticides including nonchemical and organic controls. This presentation is free and open to the public. Go to to join us at 7pm on April 19th.

5.     Come to the Table: A community, local, and regional food systems virtual potluck, Friday April 23, 1:00-2:15

a.     Please join us for a virtual potluck-style conversation about community, food, farming, and more with your fellow VCE faculty and staff. The Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Program Team will invite a few agents each month to bring a “main dish” of their experience, expertise, and story to share about Extension work in their community and region. We invite you to bring your own “dishes” and stories to share.

b.     Register at:

6.     Trees Make a Better World Webinar Series: A free five-part webinar series with James Downer, Ph.D. of University of California:

7.     Diseases in the Vegetable Garden, May 11, 6pm More info click here.

a.     Grow Your Own Food Series, produced by VMGA Ed. Comm.: 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 at:


Old Announcements

8.    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.

9.    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:

10. 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.

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

a.    More CE opportunities here:

12. 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 September Announcements:

1.     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