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Office then Crittenden County

June 13, 2017
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If you were outside today you got the first taste of summer.  We had warm and humid conditions this morning and it got up to 91 degrees.  I spent the morning and early afternoon at the office planning and preparing for Saturday MG training in Hope.  We are trying to nail down the final schedule and get that out. We have a good-sized class with folks from a bunch of different counties–some driving in from 3 hours or more away!  The first class starts July 8 when I am in Portland.  We are also trying to wrap up the registration information for PNG Leadership and hope to send out registration later this week.  And lastly I was trying to finalize the final budget numbers for the 2017 MG conference. I got close but ran out of time before I had to leave for Crittenden County.

Tonight I spoke to the Crittenden County Master Gardeners who were the host of our State Conference several years ago.  This is a small, but mighty group who hosted a fabulous container with a small contingent of volunteers and continue to do great things.  Tonight was their monthly meeting, Friday they are taking a bus trip to Wilson, and Saturday they are hosting their annual landscape tour of homes!  Tonight they brought a feast of food and they transformed the room with flowers. It was a whirlwind of activity.    I did a program on the past, present and future of Master Gardeners.  At the end they presented me with two beautiful stepping stones made by one of their highly talented members Melinda Atkins.   

It was so good seeing them all again.  That is one of my most favorite parts of the MG conference planning process.  I get to really know the volunteers who are hosting and develop relationships with them. It is like coming home and Crittenden County is always a gracious and welcoming host!

On the way up I did stop by the garden of Blann Britton, who was one of the speakers at our MG state conference this year.  This businessman is a retired Crittenden County farmer, and while he may not farm row crops any more, you can’t take the farmer out of his blood–he is still growing lots of things. Roses are one of his specialities, but he also has a fondness for coleus, zinnias and begonias, not to mention hydrangeas.  He also has a huge vegetable garden which is doing remarkably well. He is finishing up with the cool season crops with some spectacular red cabbage and purple cauliflower, and his tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplants are coming on strong.  He shared some with me and I can’t wait to try the purple cauliflower.

Even though it was 4:30 in the afternoon and the temperatures were up there, it did not feel hot as we walked the garden. There was a breeze and the humidity was low.  I was shocked that in his greenhouse (which is still loaded with plants) the temperature was only 82–and all he has is a fan and shade cloth!   Blann was a state winner of the Friends of Master Gardener several years ago  He just loves to grow plants and freely shares with the Master Gardeners which helps them in their projects and at their plant sale. We could have visited longer, but I needed to get to the meeting.

After a lively meeting with a bunch of good friends, I was back on the road home. Even though that stretch of the interstate is notorious for trucks and traffic, both were light all the way home and I saw a spectacular sunset.     And even though many parts of the state have been getting more than enough rainfall, now that the temps are heating up, irrigation is needed, for crops as well as gardens.   

It has been a productive but full day.  Now bed is calling!

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