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The Latest Dirt - Nov 2023

Cheers to the Growing Gardeners for a Successful 2023!

By Steve Carter

UC Master Gardener Lori Palmquist discusses drip irrigation with students of the Vegetable Gardening for Beginners course.
UC Master Gardener Lori Palmquist discusses drip irrigation with students of the Vegetable Gardening for Beginners course.
The Growing Gardeners Team has recently concluded a successful 5th season of presenting the popular Vegetable Gardening for Beginners course to a host of budding members of our gardening community. This year, we had four courses and registered 224 students! A testament to the popularity of this course, openings for each were often filed within minutes after registration opened.

As the course covers the gardening fundamentals UC Master Gardeners have trained for, it can become a rewarding option for those of us who would like to try speaking before and or engaging with the most eager and attentive people imaginable! A case in point is our special in–person day held in collaboration with the wonderful Team at Our Garden. The morning’s agenda features talks and demonstrations on Composting, showcasing the Vegetable Bed a family might consider, Bed Planning, and Bed Irrigation.

New for this season was a Live Drip Irrigation Demonstration conceived by Lori Palmquist, Kathy Davis, and Steve Carter. The talk begins with Lori discussing drip being the most efficient, rain-like way of delivering water to the soil. Samples of drip tubing are shown to each student, and bed layout options are shown on the chalkboard. With the aid of a mock hose bib, Steve demonstrates the components used to control and make a simple connection to irrigate a veggie bed.

Students are then led to an area where three live mock beds are set up, each with a different tubing layout. The system is turned on while the pros and cons of each are discussed, all the while the look of amazement is clearly visible in the eyes of those looking on. (Dripping water, who’d of thunk!)

The content of our talks, the energy and enthusiasm of all staff and the capabilities of Our Garden to demonstrate and inspire have prompted many lively exchanges with our students and can be a truly rewarding part of participating in presenting this course!

If you are interested in joining this dynamic Team or would like to observe a team meeting or a class, we invite you to contact either of the Team Co-Leads: Ann Howard (annhoward184@gmail.com) or Ann Ramirez (annfr2@yahoo.com)

Many thanks to this year’s AWESOME Team!

The Team for the 2023 calendar year:

  • Co-Leads: “The Anns”—Ann Howard and Ann Ramirez
  • Host Coordinator: Vicki Lee
  • Instructor Coordinator: Gloria Choi
  • In-person Day Coordinator: Steve Carter
  • Communication Coordinators:
    • Web content: Lori Palmquist,
    • E-Blast content: Vicki Lee
    • Communication to the Students: Liz Whiteford
    • Student Registration and Survey Coordinators: Ann Howard and Liz Whiteford
  • Presenters and/or Hosts: Andrea Salzman, Annette Abbott, Ben McDonald, Billi Haug, Dennis Schusterman, Greg Letts, Hedwig Van Den Broek, Henry Shaw, Jan Manns, Kristen Mollo, Kurt Larson, Lori Palmquist, Marian Woodard, Molly Kretsch, Monika Witte, Rae Cecchettini, Shelley Christianson, Steve Carter, Suzanne Miller, Terry Lippert
  • Class Support: Ann Ramirez, Kathy Davis, Lawrence Moglia, Linda McChesney, Maggie Woo, Richard Schmidt, Stephen Guglielmana.