January 2014

Quote of the Month

Today is the first day of a 365-page book.

Write a good one.

 by Brad Paisley



Extension Express

From Joe Muellenberg
Dane County UWEX Horticulture Program Coordinator


Dane Co. UW Extension Horticulture Program

Greetings and Happy New Year!

The snow is falling as I write and beginning to test my arbor vitae’s strength outside the house. Lisa and I are looking forward to spring and busy with planning for the MGV Training and other various educational programs. I’d like to put in a plug for the Winter Seminar Series on January 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. Don’t miss extraordinary talks on topics ranging from climate change to popular new ornamentals (and their diseases) to climate change and coping with the new Dane County resident: the Emerald Ash Borer. Also, the famous UW-Madison entomologist Phil Pellitteri will be making one of his last public appearances as he plans to retire from his illustrious career this upcoming year. Register now as space is limited. You visit the Dane County UW-Extension’s website for more information including a brochure and fillable form:
I am happy to announce my first publication for the UW-Extension Learning Store! Working with Lesly Scott, our former 4-H youth development specialist, the 8-page publication provides information about youth gardening Youth Gardening as part of People + Plants, a multimedia series on how to build, maintain, and make the most of community gardens. It covers different aspects of gardening with youth such as:
  • the many benefits of youth gardens
  • how to start a youth garden
  • educational theory and garden design
  • safety and accessibility
  • tips for a low-maintenance youth garden
  • how to invite the community to participate in your garden
The publication is free to view online and to print.  You can access it here:

Board of Directors
Candidates Sought

from Mary Burke


MAMGA's Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for the Board of Directors, including several Director positions and one Alternate position.  Directors and the Alternate
will be elected at our Annual Meeting in March.
Directors generally serve two year terms, providing leadership for our organization.  The Board of Directors meets every other month and conducts other business through
its various committees.  Each Director works with one or more MAMGA committees or projects, serving as a liaison between that group and the Board of Directors.  Due
to a resignation, one Director will be elected at the Annual Meeting for one year to fill an uncompleted term on the Board.

The Alternate attends Board meetings and participates as possible.  If a vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors, the Alternate steps up to fill that vacancy.
Serving on the Board of Directors is an excellent way to meet other MAMGA members and contribute to evolution of our organization.  Directors bring different skills
and talents to the Board, such as financial oversight, project management, marketing, and public relations.

If you are interested in election to the Board of Directors, or would like more information, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee:  Cheri Schweitzer (Chairperson),; Paula Lenius,; or Dana Warren,

The Nominating Committee will propose a slate of candidates for consideration by members at the March 8 Annual Meeting.  Nominations from the floor also will
be accepted at the Annual Meeting.  For more information about the election process, please contact one of the Nominating Committee members.

Message from Shelley Ryan

The following memorandum was sent to MAMGA members from Lisa Johnson on December 19, 2013.  We are reprinting the memo for those who did not read it yet.


To:  MAMGA Members

From:  Lisa Johnson, Horticulture Educator, Dane Co., UW-Extension

Re:  News about Shelley Ryan, The Wisconsin Gardener

Date:  December 19, 2013

Earlier this month I received a message for MAMGA members from Shelley Ryan, former Wisconsin Gardener on public television, regarding her health condition.  That mesage follows below.  Today, I received information from Astrid Newenhouse regarding Meal Train Plus for Shelley Ryan.  That message follows Shelley's message.
I wanted to take this season (and a slower time of year for most gardeners) to express my thanks to Master Gardener Volunteers, Extension Horticulture folks and Public Garden staff throughout Wisconsin for all their support of myself and The Wisconsin Gardener television series over the past many years.
We are coming up on the Garden Expo season, when I look forward to seeing many of you in person, (it’s a gardening family reunion!) but I will not be there this year and will greatly miss laughing, brainstorming and sharing with you.
As many of you know, I was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.  I retired last January, 2013 when my cancer returned with a vengeance so that I could better focus on my health.  Friends and fellow gardeners say they see me on television on The Wisconsin Gardener and are happy to see how well I look.
Ahh, the illusion of television!  Sadly the shows you see on-air are repeats.  Production of new episodes of The Wisconsin Gardener ended with my retirement.
Physically I am struggling now, my cancer has spread and I have visited the inside of the hospital more times than I’d like since retirement.  I hope to be around for a while but we have discontinued chemo and I’m enjoying the rest from that treatment for the moment.
However, it gives me a wonderful opportunity to say thanks to all of you for generously sharing your time, your ideas, and your gardens with me for the past 22 years.  Thank you so very much, all of you, for a wonderful 22 years.  Literally I couldn’t have done it without you.
With love and friendship,
Shelley Ryan

Astrid Newenhouse has sent a message regarding the Meal Train Plus for Shelley Ryan. This message was sent to all participants associated with this Meal Train Plus.

Message: Dear Friends and Family of Shelley Ryan,

We are sorry to say that Shelley is in hospice care now and cannot receive visitors or calls, nor respond to email. However, you can send messages to her via the Caring Bridge site. Here is the link to cut and paste in your browser:

Shelley and family greatly appreciate all the support and caring. If you think of others who may wish to be included, please share the link to Shelley's Caring Bridge site. We will also continue the meal train as needed.

Sincerely, Lisa Johnson and Astrid Newenhouse

Astrid Newenhouse's email address is: To respond to Astrid Newenhouse, simply reply to this email.

Please use the following link to access the Meal Train Plus for Shelley Ryan.


Green Thumb Tuesday

(an informal get-together for MAMGA members)

Come enjoy an evening with other master gardeners (MGV).  This event provides an opportunity get together and get caught up with other MGVs in the Madison area.  Get-togethers will take place on the first Tuesday of the month.  The events will be known as Green Thumb Tuesday (catchy huh?).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
5;00 - 8:00 p.m.
Tamarack Clubhouse
110 Westfield Rd., Madison 53717
(just north of Gammon Road & Tree Lane)

This month's topic is "Humor in the Garden." Be prepared to describe your funniest plant or gardening experience.  Includes an "educational" presentation of garden-related cartoons. This event will be a potluck.  Bring a plate of your favorite finger foods or hors d'ouvres to share.  Beverages provided.

Look forward to seeing you there!  Need more information?  Call Dana at 608-833-5703.


Orchid Greenhouse &
Garden Centre Tour

Wednesday January 22nd, 1:30-3:00 pm
Escape the cold of winter and get lost among the orchids with us as we visit Waunakee’s Orchids Garden Centre & Nursery (formerly Orchids by the Ackers)!  We’ll get an inside look at what it takes to grow over 11 varieties of orchids and other plants and run a garden center. After our tour, we’ll have a chance to shop and bring home our own orchids to cheer up our homes in January!
Meet at
Orchids Garden Centre and Nursery
4823 County Road Q
Waunakee, WI 53597
(Please note that vehicle GPS units may be incorrect and will lead you into Waunakee near the high school.  The garden centre is located just north of the intersection of county roads Q and M, near the town of Middleton.)
Registration is required by January 19th.  Registrations will be confirmed by email. 
Contact Cheri  Schweitzer (Event Committee Chair),  There is no charge for this event.  This event is a MAMGA event for reporting purposes.


Mandated Child Abuse Reporting

from Lisa Johnson
Horticulture Educator, Dane Co. and UW-Extension

Executive Order #54, signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Dec. 19, 2011 requires that UW-Extension employees make a report of child abuse or neglect immediately if, in the course of employment, or volunteering, a UW-Extension employee or volunteer observes an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur.
This policy hereby establishes the requirements that volunteers and contractors performing services for UW-Extension abide by the same reporting obligations as employees. This includes master gardener volunteers, 4-H volunteers, Financial Education volunteers and any other persons volunteering under the auspices of UW-Extension and the UW System.  MGVs will need to take this training in order to keep certification and continuing to volunteer as master gardeners. You need to do this whether you work regularly with children or not. There is an online training that takes about an hour that is available at this link: If you don’t have internet access, you can make an appointment to use a computer here at the office—we’ll be happy to help you. Or, you can use one at your local library. If you want to schedule as a group, we can also do in the office—let me know if you’d like me to make that option available.  When you finish the training, there is a certificate you need to print off and we will keep on file here at the office. We will be contacting you if we do not receive the certificate by February 28, and we will send out an email  reminder on January 28th
You have recently received an email notification about this requirement from Mike Maddox at the State program office as part of his ‘Mike’s Musings’ e-publication. We are also sending this paper mailing with the brochure put together by UW. I am also sending this message by email and as part of the January MAMGA newsletter, so hopefully everyone will get notified.
The brochure and training detail is mandatory reporting info, but here is a quick overview. There should be no delay in making a report in order to gather evidence; the agency to whom you make the report will determine whether such an investigation is warranted. A report must be made personally or by telephone to the county department of social services or the county department of human services, or to law enforcement (county sheriff or the city, village, town, or university police department). These contacts are in the brochure. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER IN THE COURSE OF THIS REPORTING!

I know this may seem like one more thing to do, but it is the law, and if we can save one child from being abused it is absolutely worth it.
Here is more info:
Thanks for all you do as master gardener volunteers!

Bookmark the MAMGA website and
check it often to stay informed.


Thanks a Bunch!

Thank you to our December volunteers:  Cheri Schweitzer, Dana Warren, Bill Doubler, Barb Klasinski, Marilyn Sallee, Rosanne Horne, Jackie Winchester, Peg Schumann, Kristi Schoenhaar, Emily Embury, Mary Young, Nancy Gustaf, Barb Mullen, Kate Kemper, Rosanne Horne, Sandy Aebly, Betty Lou Knight, Ritchie Rheaume and B’Ann Gabelt.  

We couldn't do it without you!


Garden Reflections

by Joan Fitzgerald, MGV, PHA

Happy New Year 2014!  

I've been hearing a number of people expressing their gratitude that 2013 is coming to an end.  A new year provides each of us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean on the old year and make a fresh start in the new year.  Also, the quiet of the winter season gives us time to perhaps relax a bit, take a few steps back and look at what went well in the last year and what we will do differently in the new year.

As gardeners, we have the opportunity to look back and determine what were highlights of the gardening season as well as planning for the next growing season.  We may plan to add new plantings, new garden areas or figure out why you can't seem to get a good yield from your tomato plants. Perhaps you'd like to start a compost pile, or try your hand at tilling up a new garden space for something you have never planted in the past.

I know I'll be planting a different type of tomato plant in 2014 because those I planted last year bore very little fruit.  I'm also going to put some real time and effort into my lawn.  It has not fully recovered from the drought of 2012 and I have some serious weed killing and grass seeding to do to get the lawn back in shape.  My brother-in-law has the most beautiful green grass that feels like a carpet when you walk on it.  He does all the work himself and it is his pride and joy.  I'm going to tap into his expertise to revive my lawn.  That is, if he'll divulge his secrets to me!  I love lavender and may try to get a small patch of it started.  I've never had much luck with it in the past, but hey, it's a new year!

Spring countdown:  79 days until spring officially begins!

Happy Winter!!


From the Bookshelf

                 Gardening in Miniature,
Create Your Own Tiny Living World
By Janit Calvo

Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Living World
Author:  Janit Calvo

This book will take you though the makings and inspiration  that you will need to start you own magical miniature gardens.

Get ready to journey into the huge world of growing small!

The next garden trend combines the joy of gardening with the magic of miniatures. Gardening in Miniature is a complete guide to creating lush, living, small-scale gardens. It has everything you need to pick up this new hobby, including scaled down garden designs, techniques for creating tiny hardscapes, miniature garden care and maintenance, tips on choosing containers, how to buy the right plants, and where to find life-like accessories. Inspiring step-by-step projects feature basic skills that can be recreated in any number of designs, like a tiny patio, a trellis, a pond, and a secret garden.

Whether you want to build a miniature empire in your garden bed or design a private garden with a pebble patio for an indoor centerpiece, Gardening in Miniature is the primer for creating your own tiny, living world.

The book is a soft cover consisting of 255 colored pages.


Janit Calvo is an artist, miniaturist, gardener, and entrepreneur. Janit resides with her husband in a full-size house and garden in Seattle. Inspired by her first miniature garden's long life and easy maintenance, Janit started Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center in 2001. She has won many garden and miniature show awards, and her gardens have appeared in theSeattle Times, Dig Magazine, and Dollhouse Miniature Magazine.


Ask a Master Gardener

Rosanne Horne, MGV, Coordinator AAMG

Will return in the spring.


Are ou

Have you renewed your MAMGA & WIMGA memberships for 2014?  If not, do it today with forms you received in the mail.



Garden Journal Focus Group Report

from Mary Burke

After 17 years of publication in various formats, MAMGA ceased production of the Wisconsin Garden Journal in 2013 to allow thoughtful consideration of the Garden Journal's future in light of MAMGA's organizational objectives, resource constraints, and members' priorities.  Part of the review process included a focus group convened in October 2013 to consider certain questions pertaining to the Garden Journal.  Focus group participants included MAMGA members who had worked on many aspects of previous Garden Journals, or had served MAMGA in related roles.  Participants brought a wide range of experience and perspectives to the table.  The productive discussion that occurred has been distilled into the Garden Journal Focus Group Report.  The Report has been discussed by MAMGA's Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and will be discussed by the Executive Committee again on January 6.  The Report can be reviewed here:  Thoughts and comments regarding the future of the Garden Journal and/or other MAMGA projects are welcome.  Please send any thoughts or comments to, and they will be shared with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.


Food Policy Council
SEED Grants Announcement 

from Joe Muellenberg
The following is a letter that the Dane Co./UW-Extension office received from Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.  Give Joe (224-3709) or Lisa (224-3715) a call if you are interested in applying for a SEED grant.

Office of the Mayor
Paul R. Soglin, Mayor
City-County Building, Room 403
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-3345
Phone: (608) 266-4611
Fax: (608) 267-8671

December 19, 2013

Contact: Mark Woulf

Madison Food Policy Council
Launches 2014 SEED Grants

The City of Madison Food Policy Council announces the inaugural SEED Grant cycle to address food access issues in our community. SEED Grants are small grants designed to support new and recently emerging projects or programs that support access to healthy food in our community.

The City of Madison 2014 Budget includes $50,000 in grant funds to be given out by the Madison Food Policy Council. The Madison Food Policy Council is encouraging any organization, group, or agency to apply that are devoted to making food more accessible. Any proposal that improves the local food system will be considered. The maximum of any one grant will be limited to $10,000.

Earlier this year, the United Way of Dane County, the Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin, and the Goodman Foundation released a 10-year plan to increase access to fresh and healthy food for all children in Dane County. The Healthy Food for All Children 10-year Plan outlines many different strategies and objectives to accomplish this goal, including both short and long-term policies, programs, and actions. The Madison Food Policy Council is requesting that applications for the grant funding address one of the “short-term program programs/policies/actions” outlined in the plan that can be found on the United Way of Dane County website.

Those interested should go to the City of Madison website for the grant application guidelines and application form. Applications are due on Friday, February 7, 2014 by 1:00 p.m. and should be submitted to Food and Alcohol Policy Coordinator Mark Woulf at or mailed/hand-delivered to the Mayor’s Office at 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room 403, Madison, WI 53703.

The applications will be evaluated by a subcommittee of the Madison Food Policy Council in February 2014. Decisions will be announced in late February or early March. Additional questions can be directed to the Mayor’s Office, (608) 266-4611.


Southern Wisconsin Vegetable
Production Workshop Series

Registration Now Open!

The 2014 Southern Wisconsin Vegetable  Production Workshop series will be held on January 29 and February 13 from 1-5 pm at the Dane County UW-Extension office, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison.

This workshop series will provide detailed production information for four vegetable crops, from variety selection to postharvest handling.  Farmer presenters will represent a variety of scales and techniques and will focus on unique and successful aspects of their own operations. Extension specialists will share current research on the crops.

January 29th:
1-3 pm, Lettuce.   Presenters include Chris McGuire, Two Onion Farm, Mike Noltnerwyss, Crossroads Community Farm and Natalie Ortega, Natalie’s Garden and Greenhouse.
3-5 pm, Onions.  Presenters include Kristen Kordet, Blue Moon Community Farm, Natalie Ortega, Natalie’s Garden and Greenhouse and Steve Pincus, Tipi Produce

February 13th:
1-3 pm, Winter Squash.  Presenters include Chris Upper, The Tree Farm, Rufus Haucke, Keewaydin Farms and Scott Williams, Garden to Be. Amanda Geven, UW Vegetable Pathologist will also give an update on squash diseases.

3-5 pm, Peppers. Presenters include Chris Upper, The Tree Farm, Chris McGuire, Two Onion Farm and Steve Pincus, Tipi Produce.  Amanda Geven, UW Vegetable Pathologist will also give an update on pepper diseases.

Registration is just $40 for both days of the series or $25 to just attend one day.  FairShare members can attend both days for $30 or one day for $20. 

Visit our website for online registration and to access the registration form.:

This workshop is sponsored by Dane County UW Extension, FairShare CSA Coalition and the Dane County IFM Coalition.

For more information call Heidi Johnson  at the Dane County UW Extension office at 608-224-3716 or email at

Free Fertilizer

Dena Duncan, Executive Director of Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI, notified the Extension office that it has several horses and ends up with a fair amount of manure.  They pile it and have some that is quite old.  MAMGA members may contact Ms. Duncan if they are interested in horse manure for your gardens.  The manure is "plentiful, older and free".

Contact information:  Dena Duncan, Executive Director, Three Gaits, Inc., dena@3gaits.orgwww.3gaits.org

Understanding MAMGA, WIMGA
Certified Master Gardener Volunteers

MAMGA, the Madison Area Master Gardeners Association, is a local non-profit organization of persons who have completed the basic Master Gardener training course, or are current students. MAMGA members may or may not also be currently certified Master Gardener Volunteers. MAMGA exists to provide education, service, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Membership costs $15 per year. MAMGA members receive discounts at many local nurseries, participate in educational programs and garden tours throughout the year, and are invited to social events.

WIMGA, the Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association, is a state-wide non-profit organization of persons who have completed the basic Master Gardener course, or are current students. Most MAMGA members also choose to join WIMGA, but doing so is not required. WIMGA membership costs $5 per year. WIMGA members receive periodic newsletters and other informational communications from the state Master Gardener office. WIMGA also hosts a statewide Master Gardener conference each year.

Certified Master Gardener Volunteers have completed the basic Master Gardener training course and have satisfied annual volunteer service and continuing education requirements. Most Certified Master Gardener Volunteers choose to join MAMGA and/or WIMGA, but are not required to do so. There is no cost to be certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers assist gardeners through the local UW-Extension Office by serving as plant health advisors, answering hotline calls, tending the Teaching Garden, and performing various other activities that support the UW-Extension Horticulture Program and reach out into the community. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers also perform lots of other gardening outreach and service at places like University Display Gardens, Allen Centennial Garden, Olbrich Gardens, the UW Arboretum, churches, community gardens, and many other venues.

University of Wisconsin-Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA.
University of Wisconsin-Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA.


Dane Co. UW Extension Horticulture Program

What's Inside

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2014 MAMGA Membership Form
2013 MGV Hours Reporting Form
Volunteer Interest Form

Calendar of Events

For reporting purposes:

Items in green count as Continuing Education credits for re-certifying MGVs

Items in red count as MAMGA event


January 7
Green Thumb Tuesday
Tamerack Club House
5 - 8 p.m.

January 9, 16, 23, 30
Winter Seminar Series
(see The Extension Express article)
Extension Building
5201 Fen Oak

January 22
Orchid Greenhouse and Garden Centre tour
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. 

January 29, February 13
2014 Southern WI Vegetable Production Workshop Series
1 - 5 p.m.
Extension Bldg.

February 1, 2
Orchid Quest 2014
Alliant Energy Center, Madison

February 7, 8, 9
Garden Expo
Alliant Energy Center, Madison

March 8
MAMGA Annual Meeting

Details available in February newsletter

March 28-29
WIMGA Annual Conference

June 25-26
Midwest Regional MG Conference
Bettendorf, Iowa

Olbrich Gardens did not have its new calendar posted at press time.  Go to to find new events.

More Wisconsin Events
Contact Info


P.O. Box 259318
Madison, WI 53725-9318
Phone: 608-224-3721

Web site:

Dedicated gardeners promoting responsible gardening through education, volunteer service, and fellowship.


Catherine Murray, President
Cheri Schweitzer, President-elect
Mary Burke, Secretary
Cathy Cryor Burgweger, Treasurer
Aleta Murray, WIMGA Rep
Steve Hoffland
Paula Lenius
Kate Kemper
Jeannie Manis

Anne Rodgers-Rhyme
Dana Warren, Alternate
Lisa Johnson, Ex-officio Advisor

Joan Fitzgerald,  E-News Editor

Jeannie Manis, Webmaster

MAMGA is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization.



1 Fen Oak Court, Suite 138
Madison, WI 53718-8812
Phone: 608-224-3715
Web site:

Lisa Johnson, Dane Co. UWEX  Horticulture Educator
Phone: 608-224-3715 
FAX: 608-224-3727

Joe Muellenberg, Horticulture Program Coordinator
Youth Educator
GROW Leader
Phone: 608-224-3709
FAX: 608-224-3727

Dr. Susan E. Rice Mahr
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Phone: (608) 265-4504
(FAX: (608) 262-4743

Mike Maddox
MG Program Director
Phone: 608-265-4536

Visit the WI Master Gardener website at:

MG Program Office Blog


Please note that event cancellations or other inclement weather announcements for MAMGA events will be posted on our Facebook page.

Newsletter Submissions

Members of the Madison Area Master Gardeners Association are welcome to submit articles for publication in the newsletter. Time spent researching and writing articles counts toward volunteer service hours for MGV certification.

Contact if interested in submitting a newsletter article. MAMGA will consult with the author, but reserves the right to edit or reject articles. 

The deadline for newsletter articles is the 15th of the month prior to publication
ReminderIf your contact information changes, please let us know by email at
Copyright © 2014 Madison Area Master Gardeners Association, Inc. (MAMGA), All rights reserved.
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