Michigan Master Gardener College

Michigan Master Gardener College headed west this year to West Michigan where the annual educational program – this year entitled “Dig It, Plant It, Grow It,” was based at the Prince Center on the Calvin College campus in Grand Rapids.

Friday offered Michigan Master Gardeners the option of an afternoon diagnostics workshop OR an afternoon spent on one of four tours through the rich agricultural and horticultural areas surrounding Grand Rapids.

Saturday dawned early with a series of educational workshops in the morning and an afternoon highlighted by a keynote address by Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, a Colorado State University Entomologist who talked on the interactions of the pollinator web in the garden and the various stages of beneficial insects.  

The sometimes challenging world of container design was made simpler by Paul Zammit of Toronto whose key points focused on making containers easier to design and raise successfully.  His advice touched on choosing the container – “You have to love it” – to design which included such tips as using parsley as a great filler (thriller, spiller, filler), winter containers and overwintering outdoor pots, including terra cotta pots.

In addition, master gardeners could “shop til they dropped” at booths featuring everything from rare plants to gardening equipment, gloves, garden art, soaps, books and master gardener logo wear.  MGs were also encouraged to stop at Genesee County Coordinator Abi Saaid’s table where she displayed – and encouraged us all to try – foods made from bugs; flavored mealworms, granola bars and flours made from insects.

MMGA was prominent with our booth featuring books and also our silent auction, both of which help raise money for MMGA’s operations.

Our annual meeting took place during the event and was led by Vice President Cathy Meyers with presentations by MMGA treasurer Colleen Petersen and MMGA secretary Ruth Steele Walker.

Hope to see you at Master Gardener College next year!