Biweekly Update –May 26, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: REGISTRATION OPEN IMGC 2021 is now open for registration! Since we are hosting IMGC, there will be no state Master Gardener College for 2021—register for IMGC instead! 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: https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/register

a.    View the full program here: https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/schedule/

b.    If you plan to attend IMGC, please register as early as possible! Registration will open to the public next week!

2.    State Office Webinar series

3.    VMGA Scholarships for International Master Gardener Conference: Interested in IMGC 2021 but need help with the registration fee? VMGA is offering Diane Relf scholarships, deadline to apply is June 5. https://vmga.net/wordpress/vmga-diane-relf-scholarship-guidelines/

4.    Webinar with Author Douglas Tallamy on “The Nature of Oaks” June 3, 2021

a.    The Piedmont Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension will host an online presentation by author Douglas Tallamy on “The Nature of Oaks” at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 3. Admission is $15. Register by June 1 at https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/events/ to reserve a spot in the program. A longtime professor at the University of Delaware and author of widely acclaimed books such as Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, Tallamy has shown how we can help save nature’s ecological riches in our own backyards. In his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, he

5.    Cape Charles Garden Tour, June 6, 2021, Cape Charles, VA

a.    Join us for a tour of several home gardens by members of the Eastern Shore Master Gardeners. The tour begins at the New Roots Youth Garden, on the corner of Randolph Ave. and Fig. St. where children, families and the community experience a connection with food from seed to table. Master Gardeners will be available to answer your questions. https://visitesva.com/events/listings/cape-charles-garden-tour-2021/

6.    Community Forestry Webinars: Urban Tree Pest Update – Insects that Harm Trees, June 15, 2021

a.    The trees that line our streets and roads, shade our yards, beautify our parks and playgrounds, and protect our streams are all part of the community forest that provides a wealth of benefits to each of us. Over the years, the number of trees (or tree cover) in our communities have been declining for various reasons including attack from invasive pests, injury from construction activities or deicing salts, improper tree care practices, unwarranted removals by some and lack of funding for replacement of declining trees. Each month the Community Forestry Webinars will explore topics related to the planting, care, and management of our community trees. From Penn State Extension. Registration required by June 15: https://web.cvent.com/event/77597569-e355-4956-8892-47d0fcba1a8e/summary  

7.    Insect Pests in the Vegetable Garden – Grow Your Own Food Series, June 29, 2021

a.    Jon Traunfeld from the University of Maryland, will discuss the organic control of the most common pests. He has more than 30 years of horticultural experience and frequently featured as an expert on home gardening, growing fruits and vegetables. His articles have appeared in area newspapers, Associated Press, The New York Times and he made an appearance on the Martha Stewart Show. Free Zoom program – Register at: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAkf-GtrzwvEtHRlaUr8uu86tYslQC9jIqd

8.    The New River Valley Garden Tour – July 10, 9-5 NRV Garden Tour showcases beautiful private gardens in the New River Valley each July. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library with the cooperation of the New River Valley Master Gardeners. Tour date is Saturday July 10, 9 am until 5 pm., rain or shine. All gardens are in the Blacksburg Virginia town limits.

a.    Tickets $15 available June 1 and include a program and map.Purchase tickets at public libraries in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Floyd, Radford, Salem, and Shawsville, and online here: http://www.mfrlfriends.org/wp/garden-tour/

 

 

Old Announcements

1.    Support IMGC 2021: There are many ways you can show support for Virginia’s International Master Gardener Conference and help it be successful:

a.    Registering for the conference! Come join us in September, we look forward to seeing many familiar faces, even in this virtual setting

b.    Sharing the IMGC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IMGC2021) with your network

c.     Telling other interested gardeners about the event! Our conference is open to members of the public as well as Extension Master Gardeners. IMGC is great way to expose gardeners to the Master Gardener Program!

 

2.    Help scientists! Monitor for disease in your vegetable garden: Do you have a vegetable garden?! Scientists NEED your help to accurately predict the spread of downy mildew. By contributing to this project, you can help Extension researchers advise farmers so that they do not experience crop losses, and so they know when fungicide applications are warranted. Monitoring the spread of plant disease takes all of us working together!!

a.    Downy mildew of cucumber and other cucurbits (cucumber is the most important crop to monitor!) https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/gardens-and-cdm/

b.    Downy mildew of basil https://basil.agpestmonitor.org/

3.    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:   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.

4.    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: http://tinyurl.com/VCE-HomeFoodPreservation

5.    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/

6.    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 September Announcements:

7.     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 wendy.iles@hampton.gov” style=”color:blue”>wendy.iles@hampton.gov 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

                                               i.     https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/webinar-archive/

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

house in colonial williamsburg with trees

Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum Educational Tree Project

Colonial Williamsburg (CW) has within its boundaries a unique collection of trees and woody plants.  The majority of them are native to the Mid-Atlantic region, and those that are not, were introduced into the Virginia Colony prior to 1800.  Although these plants were familiar to Virginia colonists, many of today’s visitors do not recognize them because they are not readily available in commercial nurseries. 

In 2018, six James City County/Williamsburg Master Gardener Tree Steward volunteers recognized the importance of this collection of trees and woody shrubs. After conversations with the CW Landscape Management Team and certified arborist, they proposed establishment of an arboretum in Colonial Williamsburg. Their work was instrumental in developing a plan in consultation with the arborist to apply for national arboretum status with the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program (ArbNet.org) maintained by the Morton Arboretum Registry.

Their work began by assembling historic records of the landscape plants by Arthur A. Shurcliff. Mr Shurcliff was the first Landscape Architect employed by John F. Rockefeller, Jr. in the 1930’s to oversee the planning layout of gardens and plantings during restoration. His plans and plats, and those developed by his successors, were obtained from the CW archives and reviewed by our teams. Next came the lengthy process of locating and inventorying the thousands of  trees and woody shrubs in the 300+ acre Historic Area of the Colonial Capitol. The Tree Stewards were divided into two-person teams and the Historic Area was divided into sections to be visited and inventoried. These inventories were recorded on spreadsheets with identifying information to form the base for later inclusion in an international Botanical Gardens Conservational Information [BGCI] plant search database. Then selections from each species were made and specimens were tagged with metal signs with QR codes that linked to an accessible data base containing information about that plant that is available to the public using a code reader on their smart phones and tablets.

On September 28, 2018, their application for Level I Status (25 trees and/or woody shrubs tagged) was approved as a fully accredited national arboretum. Work was completed on July 22, 2019 that elevated the arboretum to Level II status (100 trees and/or woody shrubs tagged). CW is now the only Level II arboretum in the Commonwealth. The eventual, long-term goal is for the arboretum to become a fully accredited Level III (500 trees and/or woody shrubs tagged) national arboretum and work is on-going to achieve that goal. Currently the only Level III arboretum in the Commonwealth is Arlington National Cemetery. Colonial Williamsburg has created a webpage for the public to learn about the Arboretum with informational links and an interactive map of the Arboretum with links to the Virginia Tech dendrology website can be found at: https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/explore/arboretum-gardens/

screen shot of arboretum map showing colonial Williamsburg satellite view with arrows for trees
Interactive online arboretum map

As a natural educational component of that project, the James City County/Williamsburg Tree Steward Volunteers took advantage of the educational possibilities that logically flow from the creation of the CW Arboretum. JCC/W Master Gardeners have long enjoyed a working relationship with Colonial Williamsburg. Over 20 years ago the unit developed the Learning Garden Project, that maintains two  demonstration gardens growing period flowers and vegetables in the Historic area. Master Gardener volunteers conduct weekly public tours through the gardens explaining sustainable gardening techniques and practices. Because of the success of that project, the Tree Stewards developed another joint project with CW that uses the Arboretum as a resource to educate the public on the value of trees and woody shrubs in our ecosystem. Trained volunteer Tree Stewards provide guided tours of the Arboretum on a regularly-scheduled, weekly basis under the guidance of the CW Landscape Management Team. Prior to Covid restrictions, the public, CW visitors, school groups, youth organizations and nature-based interest groups took advantage of this project. These tours involve plant identification and ​​cultural requirements, responsible landscape management, and natural resource conservation, ecological and/or environmental concerns, and the challenges involved in maintaining an urban forest.

This program provides a high level of visibility and exposure for the JCC/W Master Gardener unit, the Peninsula Tree Stewards and the Virginia Cooperative Extension educational programs and supports the overall mission of Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: “to better utilize our resources, we form collaborations with hundreds of public and private partners and volunteers, who help us reach larger and more diverse audiences and also leverage the impact of our work …to serve communities throughout the Commonwealth… by providing communities with locally identified programs, including answers to individual questions via …educational programs to meet targeted needs; education for the preservation of historic landscapes; urban tree planting programs; and guidance in making the natural environment accessible to all residents regardless of disabilities, incomes, or where they live.”


Resources for the avid tree-hugger


This project has continued for the past 2 years and is on-going. Obviously, there is a great deal of detail and work that has been expended that cannot be explained in sufficient detail for this short summary. However, our Tree Stewards would be glad to share their experience and resources with anyone who  contemplates undertaking a similar project or any portion of it.

Biweekly Update – May 5, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: REGISTRATION OPEN IMGC 2021 is now open for registration! Since we are hosting IMGC, there will be no state Master Gardener College for 2021—register for IMGC instead! 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: https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/register

a.    View the full program here: https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/schedule/

b.    If you plan to attend IMGC, please register as early as possible! Workshops are filling fast!

2.    Support IMGC 2021: There are many ways you can show support for Virginia’s International Master Gardener Conference and help it be successful:

a.    Registering for the conference! Come join us in September, we look forward to seeing many familiar faces, even in this virtual setting

b.    Sharing the IMGC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IMGC2021) with your network

c.     Telling other interested gardeners about the event! Our conference is open to members of the public as well as Extension Master Gardeners. IMGC is great way to expose gardeners to the Master Gardener Program!

3.    State Office Webinar series

a.    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: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-igqj4pGNeSKq43cu1eog5PMuzicGQs?_x_zm_rtaid=PINWIh2mR0einC52W10fqw.1618422491560.252b6e548f4b6e97456e8bb15ac39b06&_x_zm_rhtaid=658

4.    Tech-Savvy Gardening, May 17: On May 17, 2021 (7pm – 8pm) learn about Tech-savvy gardening. Gardeners use all kinds of tools and our digital world regularly offers new tools to acquire gardening information. There are many apps and online resources, but which ones are best? Learn more about reliable online gardening resources from Andrea Davis, VB VCE Extension Agent. This presentation is being provided by the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners and is free and open to the public. Ask all your gardening friends and family to join us on Zoom on May 17th. https://www.vbmg.org/detail-description-of-gardening-talks.html

5.    Help scientists! Monitor for disease in your vegetable garden: Do you have a vegetable garden?! Scientists NEED your help to accurately predict the spread of downy mildew. By contributing to this project, you can help Extension researchers advise farmers so that they do not experience crop losses, and so they know when fungicide applications are warranted. Monitoring the spread of plant disease takes all of us working together!!

a.    Downy mildew of cucumber and other cucurbits (cucumber is the most important crop to monitor!) https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/gardens-and-cdm/

b.    Downy mildew of basil https://basil.agpestmonitor.org/

Old Announcements

6.    Trees Make a Better World Webinar Series: A free five-part webinar series with James Downer, Ph.D. of University of California: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=33331

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:   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.

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: http://tinyurl.com/VCE-HomeFoodPreservation

9.    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/

10. 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 May Announcements:

11. 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: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrcOuprj0sGNGo0p2XUlNyiiSnxHnGtoxd

 

Old September Announcements:

12.  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 wendy.iles@hampton.gov” style=”color:blue”>wendy.iles@hampton.gov 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

                                               i.     https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/webinar-archive/

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