Gardening with Children: A Labor of Love
Nancy Denison

Engaging the senses with plants is a key element of public children's gardens.  Traverse City District Library's Main Branch has a Children's Garden for all ages.  Discover the gift of the garden here.


Fall 2013 Master Gardener Class is Underway
Whitney Miller

The class this fall is quite large.  We have just shy of 40 students from various aspects of our community, and with numerous interests.  Each class brings more camaraderie and excitement about beginning work on volunteer hours. 

All MGANM members would like to welcome our new students, and encourage them to try numerous volunteer activities to enhance their classroom learning. We look forward to meeting each and every one of you, and hope you will join us at the Volunteer Recognition Dinner on November 6. 


A Gardener's Gift
Nancy Denison

Need a gift for a gardner?  For yourself?  Nancy Denison has done the leg work for you by providing reviews on some popular gardening magazines.  She covers content, issues, cost, and how to subscribe or where to purchase. Don't miss it, click here to read all about it.

News & Events


Volunteer Recognition Dinner (November Meeting)

When: Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Gilbert Lodge, 6800 North Long Lake Road, Traverse City, MI 49684
Cost to attend: $14 for MGANM members, current MG students, & their guests; $18 for non-MGANM members and their guests
What: All Master Gardeners, Trainees, Spouses and Friends are invited to join in our Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner.  The Event includes a dinner of heavy hors d’oeuvres, socializing, Silent Auction to raise funds for scholarships, celebrating the accomplishments of 2013, Awarding hours and MG of the year,  Association Election, and more.  It is a warm and wonderful event and we are inspired by our Master Gardener Community.  Reservations are required, and invitations have been mailed.  Click here to register online.  Call Matthew Bertrand 231-256-9888 for a last minute seat.

September MG Meeting: Ciccone Vineyard and Winery
Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett

September’s regular meeting was a guided tour of Ciccone Vineyard and Winery.  The beauty of the weather was matched by the knowledge shared by Tony Ciccone.  To get a “taste” of the tour read further.

October MG Program: The Revolutionary Gardens Conference
Kristine Drake

The Revolutionary Gardens, Past, Present and Future Conference was held at the lovely and historic Fountain Point Resort on Lake Leelanau as a fundraiser for the Botanic Garden of Northwest Michigan on September 29 – October 2, 2013.  Read here for a nice synopsis of one of the events. 


Food of the Month - Apples
Michele Worden

Have you had your fill of apples yet this fall?  Keep looking for our wonderful varieties at your local markets.  Read here all about one of our favorite fall fruits!  “ an apple a day...”

A Children's Garden, a Gift For All Ages
Lillian Mahaney

Nestled behind the Traverse Area District Library’s Main Branch on Woodmere is a magical children’s garden.  The garden was established in 1999 and is an incredible place for both children and adults.  If you have never been to the garden, here for the rest of the article.


New MGANM Board Positions
Matthew Bertrand

In this link, I'm pleased to share the position descriptions developed by the MGANM board for new board positions for 2014.  In addition to the new positions, there are several open positions.  2014 should be an exciting year for gardening in our community.  Please let me know if you're interested in taking on a role in leading our association in the effort to "Help People Grow."  Board members must be active, certified Master Gardeners and MGANM members.

President -- Open
Vice-President -- Open
Secretary -- Misty Sheehan
Treasurer -- Open 
Education/Events Chairperson (voting position) -- New
Communications Chairperson (voting position) -- New
Development Chairperson (voting position) -- New
Environmental Stewardship (advisory position) -- New
Youth Gardening (advisory position) -- New
Food Security and Hunger (advisory position) -- New
Beautification/Social Benefit (advisory position) -- New


The Case for Michigan Native Plants
Cheryl Gross

The Michigan native plant movement helps birds.  REALLY.  Read about insect biomass and plants and birds here.

Exploring the "New" Boardman River
Whitney Miller

Traverse City's most visible river is the Boardman River, which runs right through downtown, and has recently undergone major changes.  The river had it's uppermost dam removed just one year ago.  Yet an unknowing passerby would never know from a visual perspective that the area around the former dam (Brown Bridge Dam) was underwater so recently.  Read here about an excursion down the "new" portion of the river, and what the Grand Traverse Conservation District had to do with it. 
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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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