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The Latest Dirt

Volume 12, Issue 4 - July 2022

Editor's Note: Summer has found its way to Contra Costa County, and our UC Master Gardeners volunteers have been hard at work. In this issue, Soubarna Mishra describes the summer happenings with School Gardens and the needs for the upcoming school year. Jon Dwyer describes some of the functions of Membership while also highlighting its new name: Volunteer Support. Susan Heckly also shares a recent Help Desk query about cockroaches in the garden.
 
Karen Maggio talks about some of the 14 different Community Gardens and Urban Farms where CoCoMGs volunteer. Val Simonetti describes the sunflowers that reside in her 97-year-old mom's garden, and the joy they bring her. Speakers Bureau welcomes aboard Gail Burt, the new Co-Lead for Webinar Programming. She describes some of the great opportunities available. Bill Miller describes how much fun and hard work volunteers are having at the Ask A Master Gardener booths around the county.
 
Marilyn Saarni writes a new entry in her Wildfire series. This time she describes the perils of fireworks and some of the tasks that you could undertake. David George shares his interview with Bob Archer who talks about ways to control gophers. Terri Takusagawa lists the goals of the Continuing Education (CE) Team and describes the successful CE training webinars so far in 2022.
 
First, Executive Leadership Team Member Hedwig Van Den Broek celebrates the many successes of this year's projects, and she thanks the outgoing Executive Leadership Team and Project Leads.
 
Simone Adair, Editor
  • Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
    Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

    During our June business meeting, followed by a fantastic social gathering at Our Garden, we celebrated the end of a stellar year with remarkable achievements by so many of our hard-working UC Master Gardener volunteers of Contra Costa County.


  • School Garden Readiness for the New School Year
    School Garden Readiness for the New School Year

    While some schools have well-established systems in place to manage their gardens during school breaks, others struggle to keep their plants alive and weeds at bay. The children, teachers and parents who take on the responsibility of supporting school gardens during summer learn valuable lessons on gardening, especially on watering and pest deterrence.


  • Membership Project is Renamed Volunteer Support
    Membership Project is Renamed Volunteer Support

    We're changing the name of the Membership project to Volunteer Support. This recognizes the many functions of this CoCoMG project. Volunteer Support directly affects every CoCoMG.


  • An Infestation of Cockroaches in the Garden
    An Infestation of Cockroaches in the Garden

    Client’s question: We have an infestation of cockroaches in our garden. It started 3 or 4 years ago. We would see them on our neighbor’s sidewalk. Starting this year, they are making our garden their home. This is the worst we have seen in our garden. They hide between the crevices of the retaining wall blocks of the veggie garden.


  • Understanding Community
    Understanding Community

    The Contra Costa Community Garden team serves 14 very different community gardens and urban farms throughout the county. On any given day, UC Master Gardener volunteers are found in small private residential or treatment program gardens, larger public facing community gardens, or out in east county urban farms.


  • Sunflowers for Mom
    Sunflowers for Mom

    My mom says: "Optimism is hard work." In April I planted little plants that I thought would do well in her scorched-earth Inland Empire summer garden bed, which is only about 25 square feet. I'm happy to say that I've provided her with an ongoing source of interest and even joy.


  • Speakers Bureau's New Co-Lead Jumps Right In
    Speakers Bureau's New Co-Lead Jumps Right In

    I have so much to learn and contribute. Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” I decided to follow this sage advice and jump right in.


  • Ask A Master Gardener Summer News
    Ask A Master Gardener Summer News

    What Are People Asking Us? Apparently, this is the year of the earwig! We are inundated with inquiries about what to do about this rather daunting looking creature. Then, of course, there are numerous questions about rats, gophers, moles, mice and men.


  • Living in Wildfire Country: Summertime Fireworks
    Living in Wildfire Country: Summertime Fireworks

    At this time of the year, those of us living in Wildfire Country wake up at night and listen to booming fireworks and mentally check our evacuation preparations (“Go-bag ready? Should I update our property inventory with new video? All cats and dogs are inside and their crates and food by the door—check. Car tank full–check.”)


  • Interview with Mr. Gopher Bob Archer
    Interview with Mr. Gopher Bob Archer

    Even though Bob is relatively new to the program, he is an experienced gardener and successful gopher trapper. He worked with UCCE scientists to approve a new and effective device to remove destructive gophers from gardens. He shared with me both his background and trapping techniques for gophers and other rodents, and even demonstrated the new device and technique in a video.


  • Continuing Education: Science-based, UC-focused, Master Gardener-relevant
    Continuing Education: Science-based, UC-focused, Master Gardener-relevant

    The CE team provides learning opportunities for best practice of horticulturescience to help you carry out our mission. Our emphasis is on science-based education, preferably from UC or other cooperative extension sources, with relevance to UC Master Gardener volunteer roles.