Biweekly Update – October 13, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    Tree Steward Manual released! Thanks to the dedication of a group of EMG volunteers, we now have a NEW, rewritten Tree Steward manual! View it online here or find a downloadable PDF here

2.    Sex and the Single Flower October 18 at 7 pm – Have you seen a fig’s flowers? How can you tell the sex of a plant? How many trees are needed for red oaks to reproduce? Answers to these questions and more can be found as Sherry Kern, VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener, takes a look at both familiar and unfamiliar ways and interesting and weird ways that plants propagate their species. This free one-hour program will be offered, at 7PM, on October 18th via Zoom. To access the Zoom link go to VBMG.org  

3.     63rd Annual Garden Club of Virginia Conservation Forum, Birds: Feathers, Fields, Forests, and Flowers, Monday, October 25, from 9 a.m noon – Can you imagine a world without birds? In the past 30 years in North America, 3 billion breeding birds have been lost, that is one in four birds!  The avian and human environments are entwined in so many ways, we need each other!  Birds provide beauty, food, wonder and joy.  Join us to learn how we can help protect them.

a.     The 2021 Conservation Forum will be a Live Zoom webinar, Monday, October 25, from 9 a.m. until noon and is open to the public.  Registration is easy! Register online here or on the Garden Club of Virginia website at gcvirginia.org.  The fee is $15 and students are admitted free.

4.     Congratulations to the Northern Shenandoah Valley EMGs for winning a $15,000 grant from the GIANT Company. Read more here

 

Old Announcements

1.    ALERT: Laurel wilt found in Virginia! In June, laurel wilt was discovered in Scott County. Laurel wilt is caused by the fungal pathogen Raffaelea lauricola, which is carried by the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). All species in the laurel family (Lauraceae) native to North America are susceptible to laurel wilt. In Virginia, these are primarily redbay (Persea borbonia), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

a.    Fact sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MOC02aGJKRn4omB6PL_484U7LpMgHpD2/view?usp=sharing

2.    Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis – The Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis beginning Oct. 1, 2021. The attached memo provides an overview of the process. This memo provides more information. A few important notes on the memo:

a.    In the table on p. 2 there are links to some downloadable relevant resources, such as a public relations flyer, to help VCE offices and their clients transition to this fee. We hope you will post the public relations flyer in your offices and/or share it with your clientele, so they will have some fore-knowledge of the fee. There are also links for downloadable electronic and hardcopy handouts to provide to clients to help them navigate payment via Destiny One.

3.    Fall armyworm update: Fall armyworms are a statewide/regional problem on lawns in 2021. A new publication with information on management was just released: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=3267

4.    Piedmont Master Gardeners Launch “Share Your Harvest” – To help combat food insecurity in their community, the Piedmont Master Gardeners have launched Share Your Harvest, a campaign to encourage gardeners in the Charlottesville-Albemarle County area to donate their extra produce to emergency food providers. Their website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/share-your-harvest/, offers a listing of food banks and food pantries that accept homegrown fruits and vegetables, and includes details about when and where fresh produce can be delivered. The site also includes an interactive map to help locate donation sites and a form for reporting donations.

5.    UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE – Effective August 10, 2021, all individuals at all Virginia Tech and VCE associated facilities located in areas of substantial or high transmission are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.  These areas include lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators accessible to the general public.  This mask requirement does not apply to private work spaces, such as an office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business. Please review the new COVID-19 Guidance and 4-H In-person Guidance.

6.    Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you've ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

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.

 

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

                                               i.     View a recording of our most recent state office webinar: 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

Biweekly Update – September 15, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    ALERT: Laurel wilt found in Virginia! In June, laurel wilt was discovered in Scott County. Laurel wilt is caused by the fungal pathogen Raffaelea lauricola, which is carried by the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). All species in the laurel family (Lauraceae) native to North America are susceptible to laurel wilt. In Virginia, these are primarily redbay (Persea borbonia), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

a.    Fact sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MOC02aGJKRn4omB6PL_484U7LpMgHpD2/view?usp=sharing

2.    Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis – The Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis beginning Oct. 1, 2021. This memo provides an overview of the process. A few important notes on the memo:

a.     In the table on p. 2 there are links to some downloadable relevant resources, such as a public relations flyer, to help VCE offices and their clients transition to this fee. We hope you will post the public relations flyer in your offices and/or share it with your clientele, so they will have some fore-knowledge of the fee. There are also links for downloadable electronic and hardcopy handouts to provide to clients to help them navigate payment via Destiny One.

b.    Please note that Traci McCoy is currently in the process of setting up a Destiny One website for payment to the Plant Clinic for all offices that have submitted a sample to the Plant Clinic since Jan. 1, 2019 (refer to the memo for further info). We will send a list of links to the County Destiny One websites as soon as they have all been set up, and certainly before Oct. 1, 2021.

3.    Fall armyworm update: Fall armyworms are a statewide/regional problem on lawns in 2021. A new publication with information on management was just released: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=3267

4.    Virginia Beach “Gifts from the Garden” Fall Gardening Festival Oct. 2, 2021; 10am – 3pm – Hampton Roads AREC, 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, Virginia Beach

a.    Join the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners in our celebration of all the good things that come from gardening. Festival features demonstrations and garden-themed make & take projects, a garden yard sale, botanically-inspired arts & crafts, a large children’s activity area, plant sale, vendors & garden society information tables, a seed library, garden tours, and bake sale. Free admission & parking. Family & pet friendly. Rain Date – Oct. 9. More information can be found at https://www.vbmg.org/fall-gardening-festival-2021.html

5.    Fall Lawn Care and Great Lawn Alternatives –2 p.m. Saturday, September 18, Zoom

b.    Piedmont Master Gardeners will offer a free online Garden Basics presentation on “Fall Lawn Care and Great Lawn Alternatives.” Participants will learn how to shape up a lawn using environmentally friendly practices; manage weeds and pests while doing no harm to pollinators, birds, and other wildlife; and reduce a lawn with groundcovers and low-maintenance native plant beds. To reserve a spot in the program, register by September 13 at https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/events/. An invitation to the Zoom session will be sent the morning before the program.

6.    Piedmont Master Gardeners Launch “Share Your Harvest” – To help combat food insecurity in their community, the Piedmont Master Gardeners have launched Share Your Harvest, a campaign to encourage gardeners in the Charlottesville-Albemarle County area to donate their extra produce to emergency food providers. Their website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/share-your-harvest/, offers a listing of food banks and food pantries that accept homegrown fruits and vegetables, and includes details about when and where fresh produce can be delivered. The site also includes an interactive map to help locate donation sites and a form for reporting donations.

7.    UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE – Effective August 10, 2021, all individuals at all Virginia Tech and VCE associated facilities located in areas of substantial or high transmission are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.  These areas include lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators accessible to the general public.  This mask requirement does not apply to private work spaces, such as an office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business. Please review the new COVID-19 Guidance and 4-H In-person Guidance.

 

Old September Announcements

1.    CE opportunity for Tree Stewards: Community Forestry Webinars: The Role of Climate Change on Forest Trees, Including Fall Coloration, in the Eastern U.S. – Wed., Sep. 15, 2021, 12:00 PM: Join Marc Abrams, Ph.D. Steimer Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University! The eastern US is unique in that climate change (warming) has been mainly limited to the northern tier. This has been coupled with an increase in precipitation, which has mitigated most of the negative impacts seen in the western US and many other locations worldwide. Learn more

2.    Rapidan River Master Gardeners Yard & Garden Sale – September 18 & 19 10a-4p each day:  Lots of plants, seeds and garden accessories from our personal gardens will be sold.  Our Carver Demonstration Garden will be open and host Master Gardeners will interpret and answer questions.  Held in conjunction with Culpeper Harvest Days http://culpeperfarmtour.com/ with open houses at 15 county farms, plantations, wineries, bison farms (!) and more.

3.    Preserving Your Bounty – Growing Your Own Food Series – Zoom, September 21, 6 pm: Becky Gartner, B.S. Home Economics Education, Virginia Tech; M.S. Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech. Register: at: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsc-ugpzIiHtHbfV7KmORE0xCrMuaCpLAb The final session, in the series, will cover the preservation of the bounty from your garden. An overview of food preservation methods, from drying to pressure cooking, including the plusses and minuses of each. Becky will also cover the different equipment used for each method, and the trusted sources for the equipment. Food safety protocols and standards are emphasized to assure the enjoyment of the food. More info.

4.    A Gardener’s & Farmer’s Best Friend – September 28, 1 pm, Washington VA Vol. Fire Dept. Meeting Hall, 10 Firehouse Ln.: Join the EMGs of Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties, and the public, for this enlightening program by Master Naturalist Bonnie Miles. Bonnie was a licensed bat rehabilitator, and is a life-long advocate of bats. So, if you are not fond of cucumber beetles, June beetles, grasshoppers, green stink bugs, corn earworms, grey or brown moth larvae that ruin your broccoli, or would like to eliminate 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, we look forward to seeing you on Sep. 28. More info

 

Old October Announcements

5.    Registration open for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit – October 12-14, 2021

a.    On behalf of the planning committee for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit (formerly known as the Virginia Ag Summit), I’d like to invite you to attend the summit that will be held virtually on October 12-14, 2021. Registration is now open. Please see the link: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/midatlantic-uas We’re currently accepting abstracts for poster, oral and panel presentations, as well, so if you you’d like to participate, you can submit the abstract here: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/mauas-abstracts. Finally, we’d appreciate helping to spread the word about this opportunity.

 

Old Announcements

 

6.    Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you’ve ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

7.    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/

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:   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.

 

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

                                               i.     View a recording of our most recent state office webinar: 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

Biweekly Update – September 9, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis – The Plant Disease Clinic will begin charging for sample diagnosis beginning Oct. 1, 2021. The attached memo provides an overview of the process. A few important notes on the memo:

a.     In the table on p. 2 there are links to some downloadable relevant resources, such as a public relations flyer, to help VCE offices and their clients transition to this fee. We hope you will post the public relations flyer in your offices and/or share it with your clientele, so they will have some fore-knowledge of the fee. There are also links for downloadable electronic and hardcopy handouts to provide to clients to help them navigate payment via Destiny One.

b.    Please note that Traci McCoy is currently in the process of setting up a Destiny One website for payment to the Plant Clinic for all offices that have submitted a sample to the Plant Clinic since Jan. 1, 2019 (refer to the memo for further info). We will send a list of links to the County Destiny One websites as soon as they have all been set up, and certainly before Oct. 1, 2021.

2.    Fall armyworm update: Fall armyworms are a statewide/regional problem on lawns in 2021. A new publication with information on management was just released: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=3267

3.    Virginia Beach “Gifts from the Garden” Fall Gardening Festival Oct. 2, 2021; 10am – 3pm – Hampton Roads AREC, 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, Virginia Beach

a.    Join the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners in our celebration of all the good things that come from gardening. Festival features demonstrations and garden-themed make & take projects, a garden yard sale, botanically-inspired arts & crafts, a large children's activity area, plant sale, vendors & garden society information tables, a seed library, garden tours, and bake sale. Free admission & parking. Family & pet friendly. Rain Date – Oct. 9. More information can be found at https://www.vbmg.org/fall-gardening-festival-2021.html

4.    Fall Lawn Care and Great Lawn Alternatives –2 p.m. Saturday, September 18, Zoom

b.    Piedmont Master Gardeners will offer a free online Garden Basics presentation on “Fall Lawn Care and Great Lawn Alternatives.” Participants will learn how to shape up a lawn using environmentally friendly practices; manage weeds and pests while doing no harm to pollinators, birds, and other wildlife; and reduce a lawn with groundcovers and low-maintenance native plant beds. To reserve a spot in the program, register by September 13 at https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/events/. An invitation to the Zoom session will be sent the morning before the program.

5.    Piedmont Master Gardeners Launch “Share Your Harvest” – To help combat food insecurity in their community, the Piedmont Master Gardeners have launched Share Your Harvest, a campaign to encourage gardeners in the Charlottesville-Albemarle County area to donate their extra produce to emergency food providers. Their website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/share-your-harvest/, offers a listing of food banks and food pantries that accept homegrown fruits and vegetables, and includes details about when and where fresh produce can be delivered. The site also includes an interactive map to help locate donation sites and a form for reporting donations.

6.    UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE – Effective August 10, 2021, all individuals at all Virginia Tech and VCE associated facilities located in areas of substantial or high transmission are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.  These areas include lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators accessible to the general public.  This mask requirement does not apply to private work spaces, such as an office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business. Please review the new COVID-19 Guidance and 4-H In-person Guidance.

 

Old September Announcements

1.    CE opportunity for Tree Stewards: Community Forestry Webinars: The Role of Climate Change on Forest Trees, Including Fall Coloration, in the Eastern U.S. – Wed., Sep. 15, 2021, 12:00 PM: Join Marc Abrams, Ph.D. Steimer Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University! The eastern US is unique in that climate change (warming) has been mainly limited to the northern tier. This has been coupled with an increase in precipitation, which has mitigated most of the negative impacts seen in the western US and many other locations worldwide. Learn more

2.    Rapidan River Master Gardeners Yard & Garden Sale – September 18 & 19 10a-4p each day:  Lots of plants, seeds and garden accessories from our personal gardens will be sold.  Our Carver Demonstration Garden will be open and host Master Gardeners will interpret and answer questions.  Held in conjunction with Culpeper Harvest Days http://culpeperfarmtour.com/ with open houses at 15 county farms, plantations, wineries, bison farms (!) and more.

3.    Preserving Your Bounty – Growing Your Own Food Series – Zoom, September 21, 6 pm: Becky Gartner, B.S. Home Economics Education, Virginia Tech; M.S. Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech. Register: at: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsc-ugpzIiHtHbfV7KmORE0xCrMuaCpLAb The final session, in the series, will cover the preservation of the bounty from your garden. An overview of food preservation methods, from drying to pressure cooking, including the plusses and minuses of each. Becky will also cover the different equipment used for each method, and the trusted sources for the equipment. Food safety protocols and standards are emphasized to assure the enjoyment of the food. More info.

4.    A Gardener's & Farmer's Best Friend – September 28, 1 pm, Washington VA Vol. Fire Dept. Meeting Hall, 10 Firehouse Ln.: Join the EMGs of Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties, and the public, for this enlightening program by Master Naturalist Bonnie Miles. Bonnie was a licensed bat rehabilitator, and is a life-long advocate of bats. So, if you are not fond of cucumber beetles, June beetles, grasshoppers, green stink bugs, corn earworms, grey or brown moth larvae that ruin your broccoli, or would like to eliminate 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, we look forward to seeing you on Sep. 28. More info

 

Old October Announcements

5.    Registration open for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit – October 12-14, 2021

a.    On behalf of the planning committee for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit (formerly known as the Virginia Ag Summit), I’d like to invite you to attend the summit that will be held virtually on October 12-14, 2021. Registration is now open. Please see the link: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/midatlantic-uas We’re currently accepting abstracts for poster, oral and panel presentations, as well, so if you you’d like to participate, you can submit the abstract here: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/mauas-abstracts. Finally, we’d appreciate helping to spread the word about this opportunity.

 

Old Announcements

 

6.    Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you've ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

7.    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/

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:   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.

 

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

                                               i.     View a recording of our most recent state office webinar: 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

Biweekly Update – August 25, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    Registration for IMGC 2021 is now closed ­– Thank you to everyone who registered! If you didn’t register for IMGC 2021, you can plan to join us for regular Master Gardener College 2022, June 22-26 in Blacksburg. Registration will open in the Spring.

2.    CE opportunity for Tree Stewards: Community Forestry Webinars: The Role of Climate Change on Forest Trees, Including Fall Coloration, in the Eastern U.S. – Wed., Sep. 15, 2021, 12:00 PM: Join Marc Abrams, Ph.D. Steimer Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University! The eastern US is unique in that climate change (warming) has been mainly limited to the northern tier. This has been coupled with an increase in precipitation, which has mitigated most of the negative impacts seen in the western US and many other locations worldwide. Learn more

3.    Rapidan River Master Gardeners Yard & Garden Sale – September 18 & 19 10a-4p each day:  Lots of plants, seeds and garden accessories from our personal gardens will be sold.  Our Carver Demonstration Garden will be open and host Master Gardeners will interpret and answer questions.  Held in conjunction with Culpeper Harvest Days http://culpeperfarmtour.com/ with open houses at 15 county farms, plantations, wineries, bison farms (!) and more.

4.    A Gardener's & Farmer's Best Friend – September 28, 1 pm, Washington VA Vol. Fire Dept. Meeting Hall, 10 Firehouse Ln.: Join the EMGs of Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties, and the public, for this enlightening program by Master Naturalist Bonnie Miles. Bonnie was a licensed bat rehabilitator, and is a life-long advocate of bats. So, if you are not fond of cucumber beetles, June beetles, grasshoppers, green stink bugs, corn earworms, grey or brown moth larvae that ruin your broccoli, or would like to eliminate 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, we look forward to seeing you on Sep. 28. More info

5.    UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE – Effective August 10, 2021, all individuals at all Virginia Tech and VCE associated facilities located in areas of substantial or high transmission are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.  These areas include lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators accessible to the general public.  This mask requirement does not apply to private work spaces, such as an office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business. Please review the new COVID-19 Guidance and 4-H In-person Guidance.

 

Old September Announcements

1.    Native Plant Program and Sale – September 4, 2021 – Farmstead Pavilion, Northern Fauquier Community Park, 4155 Monroe Parkway, Marshall, VA: Join the Master Gardener Association of Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties for our Fall 2021 Native Plant Program and Sale. This sale will focus primarily on woody plants, but also include some perennials.   More info here.

a.    September 4 10-12noon Email your RSVP to:  helpdesk@fc-mg.org.

b.    10:00 am Speaker: Dr. Iara Lacher holds degrees in Botany, Environmental Science and Management, and Ecology. Advocating for native plants for nearly twenty years, she is also established in conservation and planning circles. 11:00 am Plant Sale – Browse plants provided by Piedmont Nursery and Seven Bends Nursery. Delivery of pre-orders.

2.    Preserving Your Bounty – Growing Your Own Food Series – Zoom, September 21, 6 pm: Becky Gartner, B.S. Home Economics Education, Virginia Tech; M.S. Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech. Register: at: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsc-ugpzIiHtHbfV7KmORE0xCrMuaCpLAb The final session, in the series, will cover the preservation of the bounty from your garden. An overview of food preservation methods, from drying to pressure cooking, including the plusses and minuses of each. Becky will also cover the different equipment used for each method, and the trusted sources for the equipment. Food safety protocols and standards are emphasized to assure the enjoyment of the food. More info.

 

Old October Announcements

3.    Registration open for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit – October 12-14, 2021

a.    On behalf of the planning committee for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit (formerly known as the Virginia Ag Summit), I’d like to invite you to attend the summit that will be held virtually on October 12-14, 2021. Registration is now open. Please see the link: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/midatlantic-uas We’re currently accepting abstracts for poster, oral and panel presentations, as well, so if you you’d like to participate, you can submit the abstract here: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/mauas-abstracts. Finally, we’d appreciate helping to spread the word about this opportunity.

 

Old Announcements

 

4.    Recording Available of Douglas Tallamy Presentationhttps://piedmontmastergardeners.org If you missed the Piedmont Master Gardeners' June 3 presentation by Professor Douglas Tallamy on the subject of his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, a recording is now available on PMG’s website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org. For the ticket price of $15, purchasers will receive an email message with a link to the recording and the password for viewing it. With his previous books, Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, Prof. Tallamy has made home gardeners aware of the importance of native plants in sustaining wildlife and healthy ecosystems. In his latest work, and in this presentation, Tallamy explains that oak trees stand out among native flora as keystone plants and support more forms of life than any other tree genus in North America.

5.    Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you've ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

6.    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/

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.

 

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

                                               i.     View a recording of our most recent state office webinar: 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

Biweekly Update – August 10, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    Registration deadline August 20 – International Master Gardener Conference, 2021 (REGISTRATION WILL NOT REOPEN FOR RECORDINGS)

a.    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

2.    UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE – Effective August 10, 2021, all individuals at all Virginia Tech and VCE associated facilities located in areas of substantial or high transmission are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.  These areas include lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators accessible to the general public.  This mask requirement does not apply to private work spaces, such as an office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business. Please review the new COVID-19 Guidance and 4-H In-person Guidance.

3.    EMG Webinar Series: Virginia Natural Heritage Program with Tyler Urgo – Aug 19, 2021 10:00 am

a.    Join Tyler Urgo, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Steward for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program for our upcoming August EMG Webinar. He will share how this program is conserving Virginia's biodiversity through inventory, protection, and stewardship.

b.    Register in advance for this meeting: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsdOigrDgtH9PPzGhLdcd_1nSgdjkSBKvG  

4.    2021 Greater Tomato Contest – August 14, 2021 Prince George Farmers Market: Join the Prince George Master Gardeners for our annual Greater Tomato Contest. More info

5.    Birds in Your Virginia Landscape – August 17, Farmstead Pavilion Northern Fauquier Community Park, Marshall, VA: Join Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger to enhance your Virginia bird watching! Robyn will introduce a number of species you can expect to see in a Virginia suburban landscape and cover topics including population variation based on migration patterns. She will also give you ways to welcome birds safely to your space. Master Gardener Assoc. of Fauquier & Rappahannock Counties. More info.

6.    Native Plant Program and Sale – September 4, 2021 – Farmstead Pavilion, Northern Fauquier Community Park, 4155 Monroe Parkway, Marshall, VA: Join the Master Gardener Association of Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties for our Fall 2021 Native Plant Program and Sale. This sale will focus primarily on woody plants, but also include some perennials.   More info here.

a.    September 4 10-12noon Email your RSVP to:  helpdesk@fc-mg.org.

b.    10:00 am Speaker: Dr. Iara Lacher holds degrees in Botany, Environmental Science and Management, and Ecology. Advocating for native plants for nearly twenty years, she is also established in conservation and planning circles. 11:00 am Plant Sale – Browse plants provided by Piedmont Nursery and Seven Bends Nursery. Delivery of pre-orders.

7.    Preserving Your Bounty – Growing Your Own Food Series – Zoom, September 21, 6 pm: Becky Gartner, B.S. Home Economics Education, Virginia Tech; M.S. Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech. Register: at: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsc-ugpzIiHtHbfV7KmORE0xCrMuaCpLAb The final session, in the series, will cover the preservation of the bounty from your garden. An overview of food preservation methods, from drying to pressure cooking, including the plusses and minuses of each. Becky will also cover the different equipment used for each method, and the trusted sources for the equipment. Food safety protocols and standards are emphasized to assure the enjoyment of the food. More info.

8.    Registration open for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit – October 12-14, 2021

a.    On behalf of the planning committee for the Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit (formerly known as the Virginia Ag Summit), I’d like to invite you to attend the summit that will be held virtually on October 12-14, 2021. Registration is now open. Please see the link: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/midatlantic-uas We’re currently accepting abstracts for poster, oral and panel presentations, as well, so if you you’d like to participate, you can submit the abstract here: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/mauas-abstracts. Finally, we’d appreciate helping to spread the word about this opportunity.

Old August Announcements

9.    Gardening Ergonomic – a Zoom presentation – August 16th 7PM

a.    Dr. Natalie Foret, PT, DPT, MTC, CMTPT Join Dr. Natalie Foret, for an educational seminar about gardening ergonomics. For all scenarios in the garden, she will discuss proper form and proper use of body mechanics to protect back, knees, hips, shoulders. In addition, she will review considerations on how to modify to improve ease with gardening and techniques for those who already have an issue or pain. Lastly Dr. Foret will make exercise recommendations for building a stronger core and stretches to improve mobility. To access the Zoom link go to https://www.vbmg.org/

10. Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant – The Virginia Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant RFP has recently been released. This grant is designed to encourage projects that promote the protection and enhancement of urban and community forestry ecosystems, tree planting, tree care, and education on tree issues. It is open to municipalities, state agencies, approved non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, civic groups, public educational institutions, or community tree volunteer groups. Please note that there are two new categories this year: Storm Readiness, Response, and Recovery Program Development, and Outdoor Classrooms. Applications are being accepted through 4:30PM on Friday, August 20, 2021. RFP, application, and budget worksheet on website here: https://dof.virginia.gov/urban-community-forestry/urban-forestry-community-assistance/urban-and-community-forestry-grant-program/

11. Recording Available of Douglas Tallamy Presentationhttps://piedmontmastergardeners.org If you missed the Piedmont Master Gardeners' June 3 presentation by Professor Douglas Tallamy on the subject of his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, a recording is now available on PMG’s website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org. For the ticket price of $15, purchasers will receive an email message with a link to the recording and the password for viewing it. With his previous books, Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, Prof. Tallamy has made home gardeners aware of the importance of native plants in sustaining wildlife and healthy ecosystems. In his latest work, and in this presentation, Tallamy explains that oak trees stand out among native flora as keystone plants and support more forms of life than any other tree genus in North America.

12. Lawn and Garden Q & A, July 16, August 20, 10am-11am 2021, Zoom

a.    Join VCE Horticulture Agent Guy Mussey for an informal Lawn and Garden Question and Answer session live via Zoom. Bring your lawn woes, problem plants, and pests to an expert every third Friday, May thru August. Register here: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tfuGrqT4iGNxBeEujJnRfV_L0tSc7gVmh

b.    https://drive.google.com/file/d/126Fbyr-CS533Ehj2h_Jb3UQO3mlamJ4u/view?usp=sharing

 

Old Announcements

 

13. The Extension Master Gardener State Office is conducting a research study to identify factors that characterize successful EMG groups. This study will allow us to better understand EMG priorities, recommend best practices, and potentially increase long-term volunteer retention. We expect to share the information gathered across Virginia and with other EMG programs throughout the country. Your thoughtful responses and input are valuable and we hope you personally will participate in this survey. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Closes August 13. Take the survey here  https://vce.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Q79mQMdY9mHSUS

14. Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you've ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

15. 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!

16. 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!!

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

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

17. 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.

 

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

Biweekly Update – July 15, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    The Extension Master Gardener State Office is conducting a research study to identify factors that characterize successful EMG groups. This study will allow us to better understand EMG priorities, recommend best practices, and potentially increase long-term volunteer retention. We expect to share the information gathered across Virginia and with other EMG programs throughout the country. Your thoughtful responses and input are valuable and we hope you personally will participate in this survey. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Closes August 13. Take the survey here  https://vce.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Q79mQMdY9mHSUS

2.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: REGISTRATION OPEN NOW, (REGISTRATION WILL NOT REOPEN FOR RECORDINGS) 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 is now open to the public.

c.    Be aware that IMGC registration will NOT REOPEN for access to recordings only. If you want access to conference recordings, REGISTER NOW.

3.    Gardening Ergonomic – a Zoom presentation – August 16th 7PM

a.    Dr. Natalie Foret, PT, DPT, MTC, CMTPT Join Dr. Natalie Foret, for an educational seminar about gardening ergonomics. For all scenarios in the garden, she will discuss proper form and proper use of body mechanics to protect back, knees, hips, shoulders. In addition, she will review considerations on how to modify to improve ease with gardening and techniques for those who already have an issue or pain. Lastly Dr. Foret will make exercise recommendations for building a stronger core and stretches to improve mobility. To access the Zoom link go to https://www.vbmg.org/

4.    Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant – The Virginia Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant RFP has recently been released. This grant is designed to encourage projects that promote the protection and enhancement of urban and community forestry ecosystems, tree planting, tree care, and education on tree issues. It is open to municipalities, state agencies, approved non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, civic groups, public educational institutions, or community tree volunteer groups. Please note that there are two new categories this year: Storm Readiness, Response, and Recovery Program Development, and Outdoor Classrooms. Applications are being accepted through 4:30PM on Friday, August 20, 2021. RFP, application, and budget worksheet on website here: https://dof.virginia.gov/urban-community-forestry/urban-forestry-community-assistance/urban-and-community-forestry-grant-program/

5.    Recording Available of Douglas Tallamy Presentationhttps://piedmontmastergardeners.org If you missed the Piedmont Master Gardeners' June 3 presentation by Professor Douglas Tallamy on the subject of his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, a recording is now available on PMG’s website, https://piedmontmastergardeners.org. For the ticket price of $15, purchasers will receive an email message with a link to the recording and the password for viewing it. With his previous books, Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, Prof. Tallamy has made home gardeners aware of the importance of native plants in sustaining wildlife and healthy ecosystems. In his latest work, and in this presentation, Tallamy explains that oak trees stand out among native flora as keystone plants and support more forms of life than any other tree genus in North America.

6.    Have you ever found a typo in the training handbook? – We are embarking on a handbook update process and need help identifying existing errors in the handbook! If you've ever noticed a typo, error, or other mistake in the training handbook, please let us know! Submit your typos, errors, or other corrections here: https://forms.gle/JN5QAe3dwA8SmX8p7

 

Old July Announcements

7.    Lawn and Garden Q & A, July 16, August 20, 10am-11am 2021, Zoom

a.    Join VCE Horticulture Agent Guy Mussey for an informal Lawn and Garden Question and Answer session live via Zoom. Bring your lawn woes, problem plants, and pests to an expert every third Friday, May thru August. Register here: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tfuGrqT4iGNxBeEujJnRfV_L0tSc7gVmh

b.    https://drive.google.com/file/d/126Fbyr-CS533Ehj2h_Jb3UQO3mlamJ4u/view?usp=sharing

 

Old Announcements

 

8.    Updated COVID restrictions – The State Office has received questions recently about changes to COVID policies for programming. VCE has updated their guidelines and has posted them to the VCE COVID-19 updates page under 'policies and guidelines' https://ext.vt.edu/covid-19updates.html

9.    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!

10. 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!!

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

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

11. 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.

 

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

Master gardeners stand around cart and clap

Virginia Beach seed library cart enters fourth season

By Debi Edwards, Virginia Beach Master Gardener

The Virginia Beach Seed Library was created as a joint project of the Meyera E Obendorf (MEO) Central  Library and Virginia Beach Master Gardeners (VBMG) to entice the general public to start planting home gardens.  Since the grand opening in 2018, we have distributed 23,287 seed packets (over 232,000 seeds!) to 719 participants.

Continue reading

Biweekly Update – June 16

New Announcements:

1.    International Master Gardener Conference, 2021: REGISTRATION OPEN NOW, (REGISTRATION WILL NOT REOPEN FOR RECORDINGS) 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 is now open to the public.

c.    Be aware that IMGC registration will NOT REOPEN for access to recordings only. If you want access to conference recordings, REGISTER NOW.

2.    Updated COVID restrictions – The State Office has received questions recently about changes to COVID policies for programming. VCE has updated their guidelines and has posted them to the VCE COVID-19 updates page under 'policies and guidelines' https://ext.vt.edu/covid-19updates.html

3.    Bumblebee Jamboree 2021: Pollinator Path, June 21-27, Maymont Children's Farm

a.    Chesterfield County Master Gardeners are celebrating National Pollinator Week with the Pollinator Path at Maymont. Follow the signage along the self-guided stroll as you learn about the role pollinators play and what each of us can do in our own backyard to protect natural resources. Whether you’re enjoying the outdoors at Maymont or staying at home, you can access enhanced content about birds, butterflies, bees, beetles, and bats from your phone or computer. When: June 21–27, 2021, 10 am until 7 pm daily Information: Free admission. This event is hosted by the Chesterfield County Master Gardeners and the Chesterfield County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Contact: For more information, call (804) 751-4401 or visit https://linktr.ee/BBJ2021

b.    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JvNypdzqNbd14ztImhgzXrx7FqyOsVRP/view?usp=sharing

4.    Gardening in the Valley Tour, June 26, 2021, Shenandoah County, VA

a.    Join us for the Gardening in the Valley Tour supported by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association. The tour features five gardens in Shenandoah County, including the Edinburg Mill Biofiltration Garden, a pesticide-free farm, habitat-friendly suburban garden, in-town yard, and Veatch's Gleann Arboretum. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions at each garden. The in-town yard will have a Spotted Lanternfly exhibit to increase awareness about this invasive pest. Tickets are $10 purchased online in advance at nsvmga.org/events/garden-tour/. On the day of the tour tickets are $12, available from 9 am to 2 pm at Edinburg Mill (214 S. Main St., Edinburg) and Pot Town Organics (181 W. King St., Strasburg).

5.    Lawn and Garden Q & A, June 18, July 16, August 20, 10am-11am 2021, Zoom

a.    Join VCE Horticulture Agent Guy Mussey for an informal Lawn and Garden Question and Answer session live via Zoom. Bring your lawn woes, problem plants, and pests to an expert every third Friday, May thru August. Register here: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tfuGrqT4iGNxBeEujJnRfV_L0tSc7gVmh

b.    https://drive.google.com/file/d/126Fbyr-CS533Ehj2h_Jb3UQO3mlamJ4u/view?usp=sharing

 

Old June Announcements

6.    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

Old July Announcements

7.    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

8.    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!

 

9.    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!!

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

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

10. 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.

11. 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

12. 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/

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 September Announcements:

14.  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

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.