Planting Seeds for our Future
Lillian Mahaney

Working with children and helping them explore gardening is the purpose of the Junior Master Gardener program. Well, that and having FUN. Class activity and creativity are featured. The next training session for the JR Master Gardener leaders will be March 24th. Click here to learn more and discover the Banana Slug String Band...

Botanical Garden Update
Terry Harding

Our new Botanical Garden project is movin' and shakin'! We have their official update posted on our site, with links to their web page as well as Facebook page. They have some neat projects in the works, and what's been done is already gorgeous! Check it out here. We also have more photos of many volunteers planting the bulb garden. You can see them on MGANM's official Flickr page here.


Creating A Masterpiece
Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett

Your landscaping adds to the curb appeal of your home.  Your landscaping can be artful and inspiring.  Your landscaping must live in the environment of your yard.   A new home provides an opportunity to work with a ‘blank canvas’.  An established landscaping can always use freshening and reworking.  Click here to follow the author as she shares her site study and soil testing prior to selecting plants.  Follow her lead to analyze your yard!

News & Events

March Meeting:  SPECIAL!
First Annual Spring Kick-Off

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Boardman River Nature Center (see map), 6pm-9pm 
Snacks and refreshments provided

No charge for MGANM members, a suggested donation of $10 for the public attendance.
Join the Master Gardener Association for four exciting talks, one for each of our focus areas. Get yourself pumped for an exciting season of hands in the soil, and connect yourself with an active, engaged community of gardeners.

Select from:
Growing Food
Improving Community
Environmental Stewardship
Youth Gardening

For details on each area, click here.

April Meeting
Composting for the Home Gardener

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Boardman River Nature Center (see map), 6pm-9pm 
Potluck dinner from 6pm-6:30pm

Presented by: Mike Davis, Certified Master Gardener

Open to the public! All are welcome.  While the program is part of current MGANM membership, a 5$ donation is appreciated to offset program expenses.  Non-MGANM attendees are asked to bring a suggested donation of $10 for this event.
Healthy plants start with healthy soil. This session will provide an overview of how enrich your garden soil with compost created from waste from your kitchen and yard. Learn about different techniques for composting, what to include, and how to use it in your garden. It is easy – compost happens!


Feed Me...Feed Me
Nancy Denison

House plants live in a different environment from our landscape plants.  Have you been giving them the food they need for healthy growth and vibrant flowering?  Read here to learn about the nutritional needs of your houseplants and how to improve your ‘green thumb’.  There are recipes for homemade fertilizers as well!

Food of the Month: Kale
Michele Worden

Kale, the SUPERFOOD!  This month you can read all about the hottest trend in healthy eating.  Easy to grow; it works in a wide range of preparations.  (It is suspected that Popeye really ate cans of Kale instead of spinach.)  Explore Kale, it’s origins, history, benefits, nutrition, and uses here.


Master Gardeners Visit American Waste
Nancy Denison

Who knew that Grand Traverse County is the home of a state-of-the-art single-stream recycling plant?  It is.  It is the largest facility of it’s kind in the midwest.  Time to be updated.  Recycle pizza boxes?  Yes.  Does plastic need a 1-7 recycling code?  No.  Do food containers need to be washed clean to be recycled?  No.  (rinse and recycle is good enough.  Click here to learn about MGANM’s February field trip.  
*Note: We took quite a few photos and videos, and have put them up for you to enjoy on our official MGANM Flickr page. You can see these and others through this link. Enjoy!

Effects of a Harsh Winter
Cheryl Gross

This winter’s weather has been all over the news and on our minds for a long time.  As we look towards spring and the gardening season, what can we expect to find?  Four regional professions have offered up their analysis of the effects of this winter’s weather.  From fruits to insects, Michigan native plants to groundwater read here for the latest thoughts.

Cheryl Gross and Gary Michalek

Ants have the reputation for being ‘hardworking’; did you know that worms are ‘big eaters’?  They are and eat their weight in food each day.  As one might guess, eating leads to pooping and worm poop is a fabulous fertilizer.  Click here to discover how simple it can be to turn many kitchen scraps and newspapers into fertilizer.  Worm composting is clean, quiet, and low effort.  Start your bin today!

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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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