Highlights from the 2015 Purdue Master Gardener State Conference

2015 MG State Conf Session

2015 MG State Conference Live Plant Auction, Paul Owen, Auctioneer

The 2015 Purdue Master Gardener State Conference was held June 4-6, 2015 in Evansville, IN! The Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association and Purdue Extension, Vanderburgh County, did an outstanding job hosting this year’s conference! Thank you to Tony Buccilli and Davie Sue Wallace, Conference Co-chairs, Larry Caplan, County MG Coordinator, and all of the SWIMGA Master Gardeners who helped host Purdue Master Gardeners from across Indiana!

Congratulations to the following Purdue Master Gardener Search for Excellence Award Winners who received recognition on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Demonstration Garden

1st Place: Master Gardener Association of Tippecanoe County

All America Selections Display and Idea Garden

These gardens display award winning new plant introductions of flowers and vegetables from All America Selections and specialty Idea Gardens in an area about one acre in size. With accessible gravel paths visitors can enjoy the outdoors and learn more about home horticulture in a friendly fun environment. A vegetable demo garden and approximately 150 community gardens are also located there. Visitors can stop by dawn until dusk any day to tour the gardens. The goal of the gardens is to show ways to use plants in home gardens and landscapes and educate the public about flower and vegetable varieties. The gardens are located at the Tippecanoe County Extension office in Lafayette, Indiana.

For more information visit: http://www.tippecanoemastergardener.org/display-garden/

All Tippecanoe Cty America Selections Display

2nd Place (tie): Hamilton County Master Gardener Association (HCMGA)

Educational Rose Garden

In 1986 President Ronald Reagan designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States of America.  The HCMGA Educational Rose Garden exists to provide a quality educational experience designed to encourage growing roses in Hamilton County and the surrounding area. They do this by actively demonstrating the variety of roses which can successfully be grown in our area, as well as by educating our members and the public on current information (available in several forums) regarding effective growing techniques and best practices for use in their own rose gardens. The HCMGA Educational Rose Garden is located at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville, IN.

For more information visit: http://hcmga.org/committees/display-beds-4-h-grounds/rose-garden/

Hendricks County MG education project

2nd Place (tie): Parke-Vermillion County Master Gardeners

Lusk Heritage Kitchen Demonstration Garden

Salmon Lusk, an early settler, fought in the War of 1812 and served under General William Henry Harrison in the Battle of Tippecanoe.  In 1841, Lusk built a brick home on Sugar Creek, now part of Turkey Run State Park.

The first records of the present Lusk Garden, located in Turkey Run State Park, are from the early 1990’s. During the next decade, Master Gardener interns would reopen the garden as a project to complete volunteer hours for Master Gardener certification. By 2000 the garden had passed through the hands of several volunteers when the Turkey Run State Park naturalist, working with the Friends of Turkey Run, requested Parke-Vermillion Master Gardeners take an active role in the garden. Their research involved historical documentation about specific plants that would have been available in the 1840’s.

The goal of this project is to have visitors at the Lusk Garden experience the history of gardening, to pique their interest in heirloom plants, then, to try these plants in their own garden.

For more information about the Lusk Home visit: http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/historic_sites/lusk_home.htm

Parke-Vermillion County MG education project

Educational Service Workshop

1st Place: LaPorte County Master Gardeners

Brown Bag Gardening Series 2014

The Brown Bag Gardening Series was first scheduled and presented in early 2014 to offer research-based gardening information to adults in the community. A series of short, comfortable, low-cost sessions were set, focusing on one specific topic at each session.  Experienced Master Gardeners were asked to present on one narrowly-defined topic that could be presented in one hour.  Public library meeting rooms in La Porte and Michigan City and the Extension office meeting rooms were used to keep the cost down and make it easier for anyone to find and attend at these familiar locations.  Many people could spare an hour to listen to a lecture or watch a demonstration, and some employed people even used their lunch breaks to attend. As suggested by the series title, many regulars brought their lunches with them and ate while listening.  Strangers became friends and lingered to talk after the sessions. Each Master Gardener speaker was an expert in the topic presented, was generous with practical knowledge and was happy to answer all of the questions asked during the sessions.

LaPorte County Brown Bag Gardening Series Display

2nd Place: Sunnyside Master Gardener Association, Floyd County

Blue Bird Trails

In 2012, the Sunnyside Master Gardeners created a group called the Blue Bird Trails Team. This team is dedicated to providing nesting boxes for small native cavity nesting birds. The Blue Bird Team recognizes the ecological impact of the decline in native song birds due to urban expansion and modern agricultural practices. With the decline of the natural habitat of the cavity nesting birds the Blue Bird Team is dedicated to promote, through educating the public, the importance of the native songbirds to the environment. One of the main outcomes of the group has been sharing the data collected from the monitoring of the boxes the team has placed at various locations in Southern Indiana. The purpose of the data is to educate the public with programs and presentations, given by members of the Blue Bird Team, and to promote the enhancement of songbird habitat.

Floyd County MG education project

Youth Program

1st Place: Morgan County Master Gardener Association

Dig In and Let’s Get Growing

This project was an indoor/outdoor garden experience for boys and girls ages 5 – 12 years.  It began with plans to do a one-day container garden project and blossomed into a 6-week summer “Garden Club”.

The Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Morgan County wanted the boys and girls to have a group garden that would be planted and maintained by the children.  The Master Gardener volunteers wanted the children to have a fun, roll-up-their-sleeves-and-dig-in-the-dirt gardening Experience!  Six Master Gardeners contributed their expertise to coordinate a garden grown outdoors in containers.  They utilized the indoor classroom to introduce the basics of gardening and continued their education outside to allow the children prepare containers and plant a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.

Morgon County Kids Garden Club

 

 

Congratulations to all of these hard working Purdue Master Gardeners!

See you at the 2016 Purdue Master Gardener State Conference, June 16-18 in West Lafayette!

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/mg/2016StateConf.html

 


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