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The Latest Dirt - July 2022

Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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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. During this past fiscal year, projects widened, project teams expanded, and our outreach into the community grew exponentially. Too many successes to include all in this article, so allow me to mention just two jaw-dropping ones:

Our Great Tomato and Plant Sale (GTPS) sold 25,265 edibles and raised an incredible $101,460, despite being exclusively online with pick-up at Our Garden in Walnut Creek. An amazing 125 volunteers (4,217 volunteer hours) helped make this happen.

Lori Palmquist’s webinar: “Water in Your Garden – Taking Control” had 735 live attendees on zoom & YouTube, and a mind-blowing 5,057 on-demand views!

This year’s success was all due to the exceptional dedication, relentless perseverance, and hard work accomplished by all of you. True teamwork! Thank you, UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County!

We celebrated several UC Master Gardener volunteers in leadership positions who successfully ended their term: Lori Palmquist and Holly Sauer from the Executive Leadership team (ELT), Joni Stickney as Finance co-chair, Monika Witte (Growing Gardeners Lead), Andrea Salzman (Speakers Bureau Lead), Kirsten Mollo (co-lead New Volunteer Training), and Doug Freier (General Equipment and Material). At the same time, we welcomed new volunteers stepping up to dedicate their precious time in leadership positions to help serve and follow UC’s mission statement in educating our community with science- based information. Finally, it was with a heavy heart having to wave goodbye to a few remarkable volunteers who have started their new beginnings elsewhere: Shawn Mc Andrew, Helen Erickson, and Doug Freier.

I am really looking forward to this new UC Master Gardener year’s beginning and I hope you do too. The wonderful and genuine camaraderie between CoCoMG volunteers truly inspires me. And the best of all is that every one of us seems to have such a good time when providing this great service to our Contra Costa community.

By Hedwig Van Den Broeck