There's a Master Gardener on Your Block
Matthew Bertrand

Master Gardener on your Block is a new way for us as Master Gardeners to help people in our community. Click here to read vital information on the program.

For the official webpage for MG on Your Block click here.

Small tip; BIG impact (Smart Plants, Smart Lawns, Smart Soils)
Cheryl Gross

Master Gardener Association has developed small tips on three areas of gardening that should be adopted by ALL who garden in Michigan. Following these bits of wisdom will have a profound impact on our environment and added success as gardeners.

Chickens at the Opera House

When: Sunday, October 19th 2014, 3:00pm
Where: City Opera House, 106 East Front Street, Traverse City
Who: This will be a ticketed event, and is open to the public. Ticket prices are listed on our website and are available through the Opera House or an MGANM member.

Chicken Yolks (Jokes): Discounted tickets are available for children (ages 6-17) who submit original chicken jokes, as well as their families. Prizes will be awarded for the top 10, so make sure you are creative! Use this link to submit your child's. (One yolk per child please)

What: The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan (MGANM) is thrilled to invite your participation in our 2014 major event: Chickens at the Opera House! “Chickens at the Opera House!” is a fun, educational celebration of chickens in the home garden. We are working to begin the afternoon with winning “chicken joke” entries from local school children, and a performance by Leelanau 4-H’s “Synchronized Chickens.” Jen Strauss of Story Be Told Productions will follow with chicken stories like “An Appalachian Tale of Two Chickens” and “The Chicken Who Thought She Was an Eagle.”

Our featured speaker for the evening will be Jessi Bloom, author of “Free-Range Chicken Gardens” published by Timber Press. Bloom is an award-winning landscape designer whose work emphasizes ecological systems, sustainability, and self-sufficiency. She is a certified professional horticulturalist and certified arborist, as well as a long-time chicken owner with a free-ranging flock in her home garden.

For updated information, please check our website at


September Meeting: Hands on Pruning Workshop

When: Tuesday, September 2nd 2014, 6pm-9pm
Where:  Four Season Nursery, 7557 Harry's Road, Traverse City, MI (see map)
Who:  Free for MGANM members, $10 suggested donation for the public
Presented by:  Brian Zimmerman of Brian Zimmerman & Associates Landscapes
What: Join us at this hands on workshop to learn or sharpen your shrub pruning techniques. Brian will give a brief discussion and demonstration, then allow us to break into smaller groups for hands on experience. Bring your pruners!!

*If you plan to attend, please RSVP using THIS form*

October Meeting: Roofs Alive! Green (Vegetated) Rooftops for Northwest Michigan

When:  Tuesday, October 7th 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)6pm
Where:  Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City, MI (see map)
Who:  Free for MGANM members, $10 suggested donation for the public
What:  Nathan Griswold, ASLA, GRP the President of Inhabitect, LLC has played a role in the design and development of nearly 1,000 green roofs across North America. He will walk attendees through what a green roof is, why they are beneficial and how they are utilized. He will also provide examples of what to consider when designing or building a green roof of your own.

Click here for further information

Plant it Wild Educational Programming

When: September 24, Wednesday 6:30 pm. Celebrate the Season with a potluck dinner and brief annual meeting. Bring a dish to share, place settings, family and friends.

7:15pm Topic: “Wild Food Foraging”. Kirk Waterstripe, NMC Science Lab Manager and Plant Biology adjunct professor, will explain that there really IS such a thing as a “free lunch.  Learn to identify edible wild plants and how to forage like our ancestors.  Foraged foods will be available for tasting.

For more specific information, please check the Plant It Wild website.


Nancy Denison

Herbs flavor our food, enhance our nutrition, have medicinal uses, and delight our senses. Are you growing herbs indoors or out? Click here to explore some of the most popular and useful herbs, how to grow and how to use them.

Leafy Green Tart Recipe
Cheryl Gross

Kale, the new super food and all the rest of those leafy greens being touted for nutritional value beg the question: How do we prepare them? Try this Leafy Green Tart recipe and discover the deliciousness of healthy, leafy greens.

Preserving the Harvest: Tomatoes
Cheryl Gross

In September we are greeted by an abundance of Tomatoes. Before you turn red eating tomatoes three times a day, read here to discover canning, freeing, roasting, and drying options to preserve your harvest.

August MGANM Meeting Notes: Beans, Tomatoes, Pickles, Oh My!
Nancy Denison

Sep Link

Jennifer Berkey from MSU-E came, fully armed, with pressure canner, jars, guides and methods to guide us as we begin to reap the harvests of our gardens. Read about the most up-to-date methods here. Thanks so much, Jennifer for sharing your expertise with us!


MGANM Staff Change

Our August meeting was Matthew’s last meeting as our MG leader...We wish him well on his new adventures and thank him for his energy and fresh ideas to help the MGANM program grow!

Save the Date: Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner

When: SUNDAY, November 9th 2014, 1:00pm
Where: Gilbert Lodge, 6800 North Long Lake Road, Traverse City, MI 49684
Who:  All are welcome!
What: Join us in recognizing our hard working volunteers! This event is a catered event. All Master Gardeners are welcome to attend, and are encouraged to bring friends and family members. Awards are given for outstanding service for Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties, as well as other special awards. Newly certified Master Gardeners are recognized, as well as those who have achieved Advanced Master Gardener status. Additionally, a silent auction is held every year with the proceeds going toward the Master Gardener student certification Scholarship Fund. The fund is available to assist selected students with covering the financial cost of the Master Gardener course. If you would like to assist with the organization of this event, please contact our Board here.


Water Quality and Master Gardeners
Cheryl Gross

Water quality is a complex topic and mired in rights and responsibilities. The study of water quality is a chapter in the Master Gardener curriculum. Are Master Gardeners adequately informed to consult with neighbors and advise others on the importance of protecting ground and surface water? Read here to ponder the quality of our life sustaining water and the behaviors which threaten its safety. Learn what YOU can do to protect our waters.

Friday Night Live
Whitney Miller

MGANM was lucky enough to secure a table at the Friday Night Live events in downtown Traverse City this August. We presented a different topic each night: favorite flowers, the water cycle, and favorite vegetables. We also offered an activity for kids (big and little) each night. These events were such a hit that all the volunteers who helped agreed that it would be fun to do it again next year! Click here for some photos from each of the nights.
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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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