Fertilize Your Mind

Come join OSU Extension and the Coos County Master Gardener Association for an all-day learning experience on the campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. Listen to the keynote speaker and attend your choice of classes in three different sessions. This is a first-come, first served registration, so get your registration form HERE and return it, with payment, to the Coos County Extension Service office as soon as possible to complete your registration. Registration forms may also be picked up there - 631 Alder St., Myrtle Point. Walk-ins on the morning of the event are also accepted, but some classes may be full. So don't miss this experience - get your registration form in now.

Below is the agenda for the day with the topic of the keynote address as well as the descriptions of the classes being offered.

KEYNOTE: SEARCHING THE WORLD FOR FRUIT; FINDING NEW VARIETIES FOR OREGON with Jim Gilbert, Founder of One Green World Nursery. The horticultural word is wide, diverse and fascinating. Since 1990, Jim Gilbert has explored the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Korea and the US searching for new and neglected fruit varieties that will grow well in the Pacific Northwest. Among the fruits he has introduced through One Green World nursery are Sea Berry, Honeyberry, Cornelian Cherry, Persimmon, Pawpaw, Hardy Kiwi, Goji Berry and many more. Jim will talk about his journeys and some of the unique varieties he has discovered, and the remarkable growers and researchers he has met.

THE ECOLOGICAL GARDENER'S COVER CROP WORKSHOP with John Luna, writer, gardener and former research professor of sustainable agriculture at Oregon State University. Why grow cover crops? What are the best cover crops to plant? Why grow mixtures instead of single species? When's the best time to plant? In this class, participants will leap right into those nuts-and-bolts questions as well as explore the ecology underlying decision-making in the garden. 

GROWING UNIQUE AND DELICIOUS FRUIT – TECHNIQUES AND VARIETIES FOR GOOD CROPS with Jim Gilbert. This class will help gardeners improve their success with fruit growing. Proper methods of planting and varieties well adapted to Pacific Northwest growing conditions will be covered. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions to this interactive workshop and discussion. Jim will share his knowledge and experience growing apples, pears, figs, kiwis, Sea Berry, Honeyberry and many more unique varieties.

SEED SAVING TECHNIQUES with Tal Blankenship, Jackson County Master Gardener. Learn the importance of saving seeds from your garden. Take home techniques for proper collecting, drying and storing vegetable seed through a demonstration and list of common, inexpensive seed saving tools.

PERFECT FOR EVERY GARDEN: HIGH IMPACT, LOW MAINTENANCE PLANTS with Kym Pokorny, writer for OSU's Extension Service and former garden writer for The Oregonian. Learn about perennials and shrubs that offer a big bang for the buck but require very little care. Kym will show slides and talk about some of her favorite plants with multi-season interest, plus share how little care it takes to get those beautiful plants to thrive.

SEED STARTING with Jennifer Ewing, gardening expert from Port Orford. Participants will learn how to successfully start plants from seeds. Jennifer will cover what “soil” to use and how to prepare it, the best seed starting pots, proper light control and temperature, and much more.

A LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE PRIMER with Liza Ehle of By the Sea Gardens Landscaping. This class will provide an overview of coordinated care in the landscape, including seasonal tasks, ergonomics for the landscape worker, fertilizer dates and amounts, learning to read product labels and a discussion on how to manage anything from a residential city lot up to a large rural property. Participants will learn when to get help and what they can do themselves...and have fun doing it!

THE GOPHER CHRONICLES: MOLES, VOLES, GOPHERS AND MORAL DILEMMAS with John Luna. John uses humor and photographs, from his homestead in the Coast Range Mountains, to illustrate his four-year battle against moles, voles and gophers. John will share his experiences using old and new technologies in his struggle to defend his garden and vineyard from these cute, but pesky little animals.

TREE CARE – THE NECESSARY SKILLS with Tal Blankenship. Learn the necessary skills to properly select, plant and care for young trees. Tal will also cover the fundamentals of ensuring longevity of older, established trees on your property, including what common, everyday practices might harm and shorten the life of trees.

PUTTING UP THE HARVEST with Coos County Master Food Preservers. This class will cover the best preservation options for retaining quality and nutrients in the produce you’ve grown or purchased from the local market or produce stand. Freezing, canning (boiling water & pressure), dehydration and pickling methods will be explained, as will the associated equipment. Participants will gain confidence in preserving their harvest to enjoy delicious and nutritious produce year-round.

TOMATOES 101: GROWING ON THE OREGON COAST with Renee Blom, Coos County Master Gardener. Class participants will learn how to grow healthy, happy tomatoes on the coast of Oregon. Renee will discuss proper pruning methods, varieties, diseases and how to extend the tomato season.

PRUNING FRUIT-BEARING AND LANDSCAPE PLANTS with Liza Ehle. This class will cover pruning tools and their correct use, good pruning practices, including sanitation, disbudding, and other tricks of the trade. Participants will learn to prune for fruit and flower production, how to shape and shear plants, how to get plants to rebloom, and how plants respond to pruning.

RAISED BED GARDENING with Jennifer Ewing. Whether you’re already a raised bed gardener or this concept is new to you, you’ll learn much in this class. Jennifer will cover the benefits of raised beds and how they lend themselves to the use of deer/bird netting, plastic protection and warmth, row covers, shade cloth and trellising. She’ll share her life-size example of a raised bed frame with plans and an explanation of how to build and use it.