Joys of Gardening with Children: School-Farm
Michele Worden

Gardening with children expands their horizons in the kitchen and at the dining table as well as out of doors.  Appetites for healthy foods are insatiable in the garden as kids explore the world with their mouths. Farm-to-school is one program.  Click here to learn about and be inspired about many way to garden with youth.


Part Two: Planning a Masterpiece
Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett

Sue introduced us to her design planning process in the March 2014 issue of the Real Dirt.  Check in here to unfold the next steps she has taken to create her Masterpiece.  Cooks need to taste, knitters need to swatch, and gardeners need to graph!

Nancy Denison

Bring the summer sun indoors with a cutting garden.  Any flower blooming can be staged and arranged for a informal or formal display.  Follow these helpful tips for successful flower arranging.

Viburnum Shrubs in the Landscape
Cheryl Gross

Viburnums are a favorite of many landscape designers, nurserymen and gardeners.  There are an abundance of species and one for each location...sun, shade, wet, dry, and the like.  Read here to learn more about this versatile shrub. 

News & Events

July Monthly Meeting:
Garden Walk with the Friendly Garden Club of TC

When: THURSDAY, July 17th 2014, all day
Where: In and around Traverse City
Who: Open to the public!
Presented by: The Friendly Garden Club of Traverese City
What: Click here to read the details.

August Monthly Meeting
Canning/Food Preservation

When: Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:30pm (Master Gardeners will hold a potluck at 6pm with a chance to meet and discuss their projects with one another prior to the program)
Where: Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City, MI (see map)
Who: Free for MGANM members, $10 suggested donation for the public 
Presented by: Jennifer Berkey, Extension Educator with Michigan State University Extension 
What: Click here to read the details.


Upcoming Educational Hour Opportunities

Calling all programs!

Looking for Education Hours for your recertification?  We are too.  Do you know of a Conference or a speaker coming to a garden club?  Let us know so we can share the opportunity with the readers of Real Dirt.
Check out the opportunities with Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park & Plant It Wild HERE!





Rhubarb and Raspberries...mmmm
Nancy Denison

Rhubarb is an easy plant to grow.  It greets us in the spring with the arrival of asparagus and can be harvested throughout the season.  Check here for yummy recipes for:  Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb Bars, Frozen Rhubarb Yogurt, and Easy Fruit Pie.



Attention all Master Gardeners: Letter to all Master Gardeners from Our Coordinator

Matthew Bertrand addresses the changes to the Master Gardener Program and fee structure. Read all about it here.


The Work Behind a Beautiful Lawn
Cheryl Gross

A beautiful lawn requires a considerable amount of knowledge of turf grasses, their growing cycle, water needs and fertilizer/herbicide/pesticide needs, practices, and amounts.  A casual approach can weaken the lawn and pollute the surface and ground water.  Click here for some tips and considerations to grow a beautiful and environmentally healthy lawn.

May MG Meeting Notes
Nancy Denison

What a relief to have Duke Elsner’s presentation rescheduled from the snowy January date.  Always entertaining and enlightening, Duke presented “What a Way to Go” in May to help us understand the dynamics and the beauty of the natural world of insect predators and prey. 
Green plants are the producers and insect consumers are the recyclers.  Herbivores can be introduced to help control unwanted plant species.  Predators are found everywhere and can be mammals, reptiles, fish or the most effective; arthropods.  These arthropods are usually larger than their prey and kill quickly.  They can be generalists, such as praying mantis, earwigs, ladybird beetles, who will eat just about anything they can capture. Specialists (Parasitoids) attack only a certain type of prey and/or a particular life stage.  These, such as certain flies or wasps, are smaller than their prey and slowly kill.
Duke’s photos and videos were informative and a bit gruesome…So glad he is our local expert, ever ready to share his “love” of entomology in every form.

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The Real Dirt is brought to you by: Sonia Clem, Nancy Denison, Cheryl Gross (committee chair), Whitney Miller, and Sue Sensenbaugh.  If you have further questions about The Real Dirt, please contact Cheryl at
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