March 2018 Chapter Meeting

MCMG Chapter meeting
March 13, 2018

Strategies for Growing without Irrigation in Western Oregon-presented by Amy Garrett, Small Farms Programs, OSU Extension Service.
The talk was a mix of how to principles and discussing the crop trials. OSU is partnering with small gardeners to help with dry gardening techniques. The 2013 project began with trials and results. They were investigating cropping options on land without water.

Why? Climate change and water is expensive.
A key technique is utilizing residual moisture in the soil from the rainy season instead of irrigation during the active growing season. These techniques used in other parts of the world including Portugal, Chile and Lebanon are old, and not new, ways of farming.

Key considerations:

  • Soil with clay and organic material is needed
  • Deep soil (4’ to bedrock) is ideal
  • Soil prep-pressing soil around seed to draw water to it
  • Increased plant spacing (Stella Blue squash 3 plants/100 square feet)
  • Good seed/soil contact
  • Pre-soaking seed (Carol Deppe)
  • Special seeds have been selected for dry gardening. These drought variety seeds can
  • be purchased online at

Additional dry gardening resources:

Enlightenment Minutes: After the speaker, the Demonstration Garden gave a
presentation with a slide show and an update on the large annex that’s taking shape.
They asked all interested MG’s to stop by and investigate becoming a volunteer.

Jo Ann Klooz, Secretary

February 2018 Chapter Meeting

Multnomah County Master Gardeners, Chapter meeting, February 13, 2018
Attending: 50 Master Gardeners and 15 guests

* President Corinne Thomas-Kersting welcomed interns attending for the first time. She reminded vets that they can earn recertification hours by attending training classes and taking on-line classes.
* Gallon size plant pots (donated by a member) are available tonight.
*Refreshments--signup sheets for upcoming meetings are on the side table. There is also a link to SignUpGenius on our Website. 

"Food Forestry and Regenerative Gardening" by Teague Cullen, owner of Winslow Food Forest. Teague and his wife Melissa are permaculture farmers and certified designers of "food forests." He described his professional evolution, from appreciating the diversity he saw in a relative's cactus nursery, to growing food "politically" for friends, to an innovative CSA which offered plant starts, to their current life regenerating degraded land into a productive farm and ultimately into a climax forest (whereupon one should start a new garden, he said.) He would begin with 100-200 species per acre, mainly perennials and self-seeding annuals in a framework of fruit trees, other (nitrogen-fixing) trees, shrubs, and vines. He illustrated a possible design showing the layers of plants in overlays. He recommends that the potential permaculture gardener learn gardening basics of soil, etc. and find out about the plants he is starting with. He brought books and mentioned experts he had learned from. The benefits of gardening this way include obtaining a variety of food with little disease or pest problems, creating an instructive succession of harvests, and bringing life back to the land. 

Chapter business
Greenhouse--Pete Jacobsen said he is planning to move the donated greenhouse to the Demo garden Annex in April. The city requires this building meet the same standards for wind, snow load, etc as other structures. A structural engineer would be useful. Chapter member Justin Dune has this background and will be asked. 
* Raffle--Ginger Edwards said the raffle committee is gathering items and skills for the IE sale raffle. They plan to finalize donations by March 31. 

Mason bees--Stephanie Pringle presented a short program on mason bees and recommended the Seattle Web site

Adele Thompson (secretary substitute)
February 27, 2018

January 2018 Chapter Minutes

Multnomah County Master Gardeners, Chapter meeting
January 9, 2018
Attending, 50 members and 3 guests

"Gardening in the Pacific Northwest" by Paul Bonine, Xera Plants. Bonine’s time in the nursery industry led to Xera Plants. He wanted to focus on plants that can deal with a wet winter and a dry summer and looked for plants across the globe that were adapted to this environment as well as Oregon natives.

He organized his discussion of several plants and flowers by biomes and gave tips about where to place specific plants. He also challenged us to think differently. “Neglect is just as important as care in the garden”, he told us.

 Chapter business
Christine Semeniuk went over the MCMG 2018 budget summary, a copy of which was made available to all members. Corinne also had a slide presentation with some basic facts about the budget. A motion was made to approve the chapter budget and it passed with 37 ayes.

Jo Ann Klooz, secretary
anuary 29, 2018

November 2017 Chapter Minutes

Multnomah County Master Gardeners, Chapter meeting, November 14, 2017
Attending, 62 members and 8 guests

New feature

We will have an activity of some sort during the break (after the speaker.) Tonight fellow Master Gardener Evie Hausman will demonstrate creating a holiday flower arrangement.


*Signups are open for 2018 Master Gardener training.
*Members are encouraged to support the the Tabor Space (our meeting place host) fundraiser this Saturday, November 18.
*The December meeting is our annual "greens party." Musician-members Sally Campbell and Lynda Hess will perform.
*Snack signups are on a table in the back of the room.
*Reminder that Fred Meyer sponsors a rebate program, Community Rewards, which can be directed to the Chapter. Signups have to be redone annually.
*Membership renewal begins next month.
*A communications survey is coming up.
*Stephanie Pringle (and others) have suggested bringing mason bees to the Annex garden.


"Heavy Metals in Garden Soils" by Dr. Sam Angima, agronomist and OSU Assistant Dean for Agricultural Extension. Dr. Angima opened his talk with a slide showing the many hours that Metro Master Gardeners have given to the  community, accompanied by a hearty thank you.

He explained what the term heavy metal means, gave examples, described how they can get into the soil in levels above the normal background, and how they get into our bodies. Lead, one of the metals of concern, is held tightly in clay soils with ample amounts of organic material, and doe not accumulate readily in plants. If testing the soil, he advised sampling from the top 2-4 inches, tillage depth. Vegetables can be grown in soil containing up to 1200 ppm lead with some precautions, particularly careful washing to remove contaminated dust. It is also safest to keep the soil pH around 6.5. He showed tables compiled by DEQ with recently tested heavy metals levels.

 Chapter business

Awards, continued: John Jordan of the Awards Committee noted that some honorees were not present at earlier presentations. Tonight Kimberly Bown collected her award for special projects for her many roles in the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden, highlighted by her work on the Centennial celebrations this year. OMGA certificates were given to Claudia Groth (20 years) and Dorothy Drews (30 years.)

 Officer election results conducted tonight were announced:

President-Corinne Thomas-Kersting

Vice President-Jack Lazareck

Secretary-Jo Ann Klooz

Treasurer-Stevan Cohen

OMGA Representative-Lorna Schilling

OMGA alternate-Marilyn Frankel

Christine Semeniuk, Cathy Gibson, and Adele Thompson are leaving the Board. Stepping down from committees are Claudia Groth (e-news), Heidi Nichols (directory) and Pete Jacobsen (Demo garden) though Christine will become the bookkeeper and Heidi will continue her work with membership. Pete will become the new directory chair. Nancy Fine will chair the Demo garden. The editorship is still vacant.

 Door prizes were drawn, including the holiday arrangement Evie made this evening.

Adele Thompson, secretary
November 30, 2017


October 2017 Chapter Meeting Minutes

Multnomah County Master Gardeners, Chapter meeting, October 10, 2017
Attending--45 members and 2 guests

 Announcements and reminders

*Members are reminded to sign up to bring snacks to meetings using paper sign-up or Signup Genius.
*Ride-sharing--information about making ride-sharing arrangements is in the e-news.
*Re-certification day is October 28 at Clackamas Community College.
*Cane-berry pruning workshop is October 21 in the Demo garden. This workshop is approved for MG education credit.

 OMGA presentations

Outgoing OMGA president Seamus Ramirez and incoming president Sue Nesbitt presented certificates to members of our chapter who have been Master Gardeners for many years.

20 years:  Claudia Groth and Dorthea Petersen
30 years: Patrick Adams, Dorothy Drews, Linda Eggiman, and Lee Garfield
Claudia, Dorothy, and Lee were not at this meeting.

News of other awards was shared: the chapter won a $325 Extension Educator grant.

Carolyn Dixon was not present in June when the Hospitality Committee was given the Behind the Scenes Master Gardeners of the year award so she accepted her certificate today.

Reminder was made of the Extension Search for Excellence program which highlights chapter projects. Only one application was received this year. Many inspiring projects from other states were displayed at the convention this summer.


Norm Jacobs of Arbutus Garden Arts spoke on Color and Contrast in the Fall Garden. He showed many maples with colorful fall foliage or interesting bark as well as other trees and shrubs. Some tree color changes are triggered by falling temperatures and sunlight also can play a role. He mentioned outstanding Japanese gardens in Rockford, IL, St Louis, MO, San Mateo CA, and Vancouver, BC where visitors can see such plants. Norm and his wife now specialize in plants that are at home in woodland gardens; he brought a selection of plants grown at their SE Portland nursery to show and sell.

Door prize
Denny Willson won a package of row cover.

Adele Thompson, secretary
November 30, 2017


September, 2017 Chapter Meeting Minutes

Multnomah County Master Gardeners, Chapter meeting, September 12, 2017
Attending--52 members and 8 guests 

A slide show from the intern event held this summer at Eddie Rosen's garden was shown in the background.


Cooking Demonstration by Jordis Yost (Metro Master Gardener Program director) and her son, Chef Paul Moss. Paul attributes his interest in food to the excellent example, "healthy," adventurous, and diverse, set by Jordis. After distributing samples of zucchini fritters, falafel balls, and tomato salad, he offered cooking tips and answered questions, including the uses of  various vinegars, safe frying methods, and roasting chickens.

After program

Harvest Fest is Saturday September 16 in the Demo garden. RSVP's are due September 13. Loan of a portable sound system is sought for the Fest. Those attending can bring their records of required hours for Master Gardener recertification.

Plant Swap is October 7 at the Demo garden, chaired by Eddie Rosen and Peg O'Rourke.

Communication project: David Owen is heading this new committee to coordinate our diverse communication routes. He will send out a "broad" e-mail about this soon.

Elections: President Corinne Thomas-Kersting asked for nominations for 2018 officers.

Ride-sharing: Corinne will write an e-mail to help connect members.

Demo garden Annex: Work party September 23 to remove plastic from the solarized areas and work on the new paths. We will be seeking gifts or grants to help pay for the paths, which will meet ADA standards. Also, the committee is gathering people interested in planning the native plant area.

Raffle: One of the tote bags (designed by Karen Pyle) introduced at the Master Gardener Conference this summer, was raffled.

Adele Thompson, secretary
October 9, 2017