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Book Club


Six times each year, Ramsey County Master Gardener volunteers have the opportunity to read and discuss books with connections to the priorities of the Master Gardener program: horticulture skills, pollinator health, plant biodiversity, nearby nature, clean water, climate responsiveness, and local food.

Book Club Format

Participants are asked to find a copy of the recommended book and finish reading before the Book Club discussion. Discussions are scheduled for the last Tuesdays of every-other month at 7:00-8:00 p.m. 

Before the discussion, book-related questions will be sent to participating volunteer to guide your reading and suggest directions the discussion might take. These are intended to make the reading and discussion relevant to Master Gardeners volunteers but are not to be considered exhaustive or limiting to the discussion.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own questions and observations to the discussions.

Summaries of each book and discussion are posted on The Garden Blog. This is how we can share our knowledge with the public and help other readers find great books to take their horticultural knowledge to the next level.

Book Selection

Books can be recommended between Book Club discussions. All books must provide education that is relevant to being a Master Gardener volunteer. Proposed books must also meet the following criteria.

  • Currently in-print

  • At least 2-copies available through the Ramsey County library system

  • Incudes educational and research-based information

  • Related to nature, gardens, or one of our MG Priorities

The books are selected by book club readers through a voting process every three months. Books that are not selected after 4 rounds are removed from the list of potential reads due to lack of interest.

Borrowing Books

While copies of selected books must be available through the Ramsey County Libraries and in Libby (for ebooks and audiobooks), two copies of each book are purchased for Master Gardener volunteers. These are available in the Lending Library at the Resource Center (previously the Diagnostic Clinic).

To borrow a book, remove the card from the sleeve inside the book cover and write YOUR NAME and the DATE that you are borrowing it. Put the card into the plastic holder on the desk. Don’t take books marked REFERENCE ONLY. These can be used while onsite at the Extension office or inside the Resource Center. They should not be removed.

If you borrow RCMG Lending Library books, please be respectful of other readers and return books when you’re finished, hopefully within 2-4 weeks.

Continuing Education Credit

The Book Club is a continuing education activity for RCMG volunteers. Volunteers earn 1-hour of Continuing Education per 100-pages in the recommended book. For example:

  • 1-100 pages = 1 hour of Continuing Education

  • 101-200 pages = 2 hours of Continuing Education

  • 201-300 pages = 3 hours of Continuing Education

Book Club Leadership

The Book Club is a volunteer-run activity.

  • The book club chair maintains a list of potential books, organizes the book votes and manages the sign-ups for each discussion.

  • The lending library chair maintains a list of books the RCMG owns, orders news books, and follows-up with volunteers who borrow books.

  • The discussion moderator helps to lead a book club discussion. The moderator varies by book and discussion.

Current Leadership (2024)

Brianna Gohde

Book Club Chair

Julie Reimer

Book Club Co-Chair

Kathy Vail

RCMG Library Chair


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