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Early MG Conf Registration Ends March 15

March 12, 2019

With the rain and storms of the weekend, we all are ready for sunshine! Spring events are happening in the month of March to get us all ready for planting. Don’t miss out on these events happening all across the state. Events List

The 2019 Master Gardener Conference is filling nicely. Friday, March 15, is the last day to register for the early rate of $50.00. That’s a really good price for a conference. The conference is held this year in Hope, AR, April 29 – 30. May 1 is the day for post conference tours in the surrounding Hope area.

Friends gather at dinner during the 2018 MG Conference in Fort Smith.

We extend a special invitation to newly trained Master Gardeners in the state to attend the conference. This is a great event to learn more about the Arkansas Master Gardener Volunteer Program while meeting other gardeners across the state.

Check out are website for more conference information. We look forward to seeing you in Hope this April!

Pop Up Art – 2019 State MG Conference Activities

February 11, 2019

An evening filled with art demonstrations, education, and games will be the focus on Monday night at the 2019 MG State Conference Pop Up Art Event.  Monday Night has much much to offer than a catfish/chicken dinner.  Come out and enjoy a night of fun!  There will be a variety of art venues spread across the campus lawn and in Hempstead Hall.

Pop Up Art venues will give you an opportunity to make a small project to take home with you.  Choose from Flora Incognito, Garden Art with a Flair, and Don’t Throw Away that Bottle!  MGs will be on hand to demonstrate how to make the art.

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If playing games peeks your interest, there will be a Photo Scavenger Hunt where you will search for items, take a picture, and report back to see if you win a prize.  All items will be on the Hempstead campus.

Or you could join a team and play Garden Trivia with Janet.

Learn how to line dance with the Old Washington Vintage Dancers.  In period dress, dancers will perform dances and then teach MGs the steps.

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Are you interested in learning about honey bees?  Beekeepers will have information about the honey bee, equipment, hives, and much more – including a sample of honey.

Don’t forget that the Silent Auction and the Garden Market will be open in Hempstead Hall.

Join in and have fun at Pop Up Art on Monday night on the UA Hempstead Campus.

Welcome, Amanda!

February 8, 2019

Welcome Amanda Gonia (pronounced like gonia in begonia) to the horticulture department! We are so happy to have her on board. February 7 was her first day in her new position. Many of you may recognize Amanda as she was the front desk receptionist at the Little Rock State Office for the past several months. Holly has been training her the past few days so I’m sure Amanda will be up to speed on all our systems very soon.

A huge thank you goes to Holly Beason who has been our go-to person for over 10 years. She has been very helpful in the transition period, coming up to help us even as she was in her new position with extension. You are greatly appreciated, Holly!

Big thanks goes to Terilyn Maize who has helped in the interim between Holly taking her new position and Amanda being hired. We greatly appreciate your time, help and organization the past few months, Terilyn.

Thanks to you all for working together during our office transition.

Garden shows

February 6, 2019

With the temperature this week feeling like spring, it is making everyone ready to plant the Spring garden. The end of week weather forecast shows winter is not over. But you can keep warm and gain new landscaping ideas by attending the upcoming garden shows.

First up is the Jefferson County Home & Garden Show, February 8 -9, 2019 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Admission is free. Activities will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, February 8 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 9.

The home and garden show will feature guests from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff agriculture department, other presenters discussing backyard plants for birds and pollinators, landscaping with native plants for pollinators, and other garden related topics. (see link for more details)

Exhibitor Booths:  Live Plants, Interior, Mowers, Garden, Food, Jewelry, Children’s Activities, Stitching Togethers Quilt Show, The Plant Doctor, sick plant diagnosis.  Tablescapes, Raffles, Door Prizes.  Food Trucks open 11:00 – 3:00. For more information contact Jefferson County Extension Office, 870 534-1033.

The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show will be held March 1 – 3, 2019, at the State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. Lots of great vendors, gardens and seminars at this year’s show. Mark your calendar to attend!

Berni’s First Day

February 1, 2019

Today was Berni’s first day in his new job at the State Extension Office in Little Rock. It was a day of getting his office somewhat set up and adding dates to his calendar. Welcome, Berni!

In addition to a new job for Berni, he has a new car! And you won’t be able to miss him driving down the road in this sporty orange rig.

Today registration for 2019 Master Gardener State Conference opens for spouses, guests, sustainers and leave of absence Master Gardener Volunteers. Some tours and seminars are beginning to fill so be sure to send in your registration soon to save your spot. Early registration fee of $50.00 ends on March 1. After March 1, registration increases to $75.00.

We want to see you in Hope on April 30!

Optional Post Tours

January 30, 2019

The 2019 MG State Conference is a different format this year. Your registration fee of $50 includes events Monday night at UA Hope’s Hempstead Hall–fun activities with Pop-up Art, Gardeners Market and Silent Auction, along with an optional catfish/chicken dinner. Then you get to hear a great line-up of speakers on Tuesday, with lunch and dinner provided. The conference ends with the keynote speaker Tuesday night, but there are some wonderful optional tours on Wednesday.

Master Gardeners love landscape tours and the interest is high for the Miller County Garden Tour – Gardening on the Edge, May 1. We have already filled one bus and are part way full with a second bus. They have picked a diverse group of gardens to tour with some excellent ideas for your own garden. Our committee toured in December when plants were dormant and we were still quite impressed, so imagine what they will look like May 1!

Three other optional post tours are available as well. The highly successful advanced MG training which featured the Howard Co. Farmers Market and Nashville Demonstration Garden will be highlighted again. If you choose this tour you will see the volunteer built farmers market pavilion and what a small community can do when they band together to make things happen. It can give you great ideas of what you could do in your own county.

Another option is the Prairie Tour featuring Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center. We toured it on a cold, rainy day but May 1 wildflowers will be in bloom and it will be a sight to see. If you are interested in native plants and conservation, this is the tour for you.

And last, but definitely not least is the Southwest Research and Extension Center tour where you will have the opportunity to see fruit and vegetable trials, and high tunnel. There will also be two propagation workshops covering root cuttings, division of plants, seed saving with tomatoes and tomato grafting.

All of the post tours registration fees include lunch and all program materials. The 2019 State Conference registration fee is a bargain and loaded with education. There is still time to register and add an optional tour. Early priority registration for only Active MGs, Lifetime and County Agents ends Thursday, and Friday we continue early registration with the addition of sustainers, leave of absence members and guests. Space is limited on all tours, so register soon to get your picks!

Here is the link to register:

2019 State MG Conference in Hope

January 29, 2019

2019-mg-logo.Your state MG planning committee has been working hard to make sure this year’s state conference in Hope, Arkansas is going to be outstanding. Registration has been open for two weeks today and we already have almost 250 people registered. Optional tours are filling up quickly, so if you want to sign up for one of these I would do so soon. The link to sign up is:


This conference is for Master Gardeners and you must know the user name and password to the MG Only site to get in. 

Some of the tours you may be interested in include the Homesteading workshop on Monday, April 29.  You can learn about gardening with herbs, soap making, high tunnelsold washington may16 (10)

candle making, cheese making and more.  There are still a few spots left.  

If you can’t make the Homesteading Conference another optional workshop is papercrete from 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.  hypertufaPapercrete is a process where you can make containers or yard art with re-pulped paper fiber with Portland cement or clay and/or other soil added.  The process was first patented in 1928, it was revived during the 1980’s.  We have had an advanced training on this and it was quite popular.  You will get to create a container to take home with you.  

These are just two options of extra events for the conference.  We will share more information about the optional events for AFTER the conference on Wednesday, May 1 tomorrow.   Hope has plenty of learning opportunities, so sign up now!

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