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The Latest Dirt - Nov 2022

AAMG Wraps Up the 2022 Season and Looks at 2023!

By Laura Brainin-Rodriguez

The 2022 Ask A Master Gardener Season was outstanding! We straddle two fiscal years, so the numbers below represent our contacts from April-October 2022. This year we reached 10,508 Contra Costa County residents at the AAMG tables in 14 farmers markets, Our Garden, and at eleven single-day events! We want to thank Deb Cuevas, the AAMG Single Day Event Facilitator, who coordinates with community partners and recruits leads for the single day events.

Co-Leads Greg Doyle and Terri Takusagawa look on as CoCoMG Bob Archer talks with the public at the San Ramon Farmers Market. Photo by Harv Singh.
Co-Leads Greg Doyle and Terri Takusagawa look on as CoCoMG Bob Archer talks with the public at the San Ramon Farmers Market. Photo by Harv Singh.

Thanks to Our Talented Market Leads with their incredible commitment and contributions: These include (in alphabetical order by farmers market) Neal Hoellwarth (Brentwood), Greg Letts (new in 2022) and John Fike (Concord), Anne Diggins and Bob Archer (Danville), Anna Frankfurt (Kensington), Paul Borenstein (Martinez), Robert Nagel and Sue Andersen-Berger (Moraga), Brian Kerss and Dan Lent (Pinole), Stephanie Hargrave (Our Garden), Greg Doyle and Terri Takusagawa (San Ramon), Jon and Bonnie Dwyer (San Ramon), John Fike (Shadelands), and Keith Silva (Walnut Creek). Additional AAMG leads include Ken Schott (AAMG Co-coordinator emeritus) and Laurinda Ochoa (Danville AAMG lead emeritus).

We also added a new farmers market at San Ramon Dougherty Station, led by Jon and Bonnie Dwyer, John Fike and Terri and Greg Doyle.

Hooray to Our Class of 2022 Volunteers! We are especially thankful for the interest and participation of the UC Master Gardener volunteers from the 2022 class. Fifteen new MGs, 60% of the 2022 class, joined us at AAMG tables this season! These are, in alphabetical order: Dorothy Abeyta, Maureen Allyn, Gail Burt, Nathalie Cochrane, Karen Goodwin, Christina Kerekes, Whitney Kirkendall, Tery Lizarraga, Tim McClintick, Mark Mueller, Liana Ogden, Ali Pinar, Henry Shaw, Anna Shen and Nancy Ung.

All told 67 Contra Costa County UC Master Gardeners volunteered with AAMG in the 2022 season! This represents 25% of current CoCoMG Master Gardeners.

Seeking New Market Leads: We are looking forward to 2023 and know we are anticipating some changes. A few of our farmers markets are seeking new leads. Come help us out!

Kensington Farmers Market: We are incredibly grateful to Anna Frankfurt who has led the Kensington Farmers Market for eight years. She will be greatly missed. This small but vibrant market generates 75–100 contacts a month and is one of only two West County farmers markets.

Concord Farmers Market was enthusiastically led by Doug Freier for many years. He has moved to Tennessee, so Greg Letts and John Fike stepped up in 2022. Due to their other commitments, we are recruiting for either the Tuesday AM or the Thursday PM farmer market, which often features live music. This market has been very popular with the CoCoMG community in the past.

San Ramon Dougherty Station Farmers Market is also in search of a lead. This new market reaches many families and allows us to engage with a new part of our county.

If anyone is interested in getting more involved in AAMG, with the pluses of deepening your knowledge, learning from other UC Master Gardeners, spending time outdoors surrounded by beautiful produce, and engaging directly with incredibly appreciative Contra Costa County residents, contact Laura Brainin-Rodriguez at lbrnutr@gmail.com.