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Darren's Digest – October 2021

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the RCMG Fall Celebration on Saturday, October 2nd.

Fall Celebration

During the last couple of years we've spent a lot of time interacting with each other virtually on Zoom. When possible we would like to provide more opportunities to meet and network with each other in person. At the celebration event Master Gardener volunteers were able to connect face to face as well as tour the demonstration gardens at the Barn and other spaces used at the Ramsey County Extension Office.

Snacks and open clinic room
Tour the Diagnostic Clinic with treats
656 Pumpkin Seeds

The RCMG Fall Celebration featured the unveiling of the new hoop house that was recently donated to the RCMG program from a local school.. Read more about the Hoop House.


Congratulations to Chris Strong for guessing the number of pumpkin seeds in the mason jar. The correct amount of seeds was 656 pumpkin seeds. She's got a clever method for figuring it out.


The End of a Season; The Start of a New Year

The month of October tends to be a busy time with my gardens. It is one of my favorite times in the garden as I reflect on the past gardening season and think ahead and plan for spring.


October is also a busy month for the Master Gardener program. October 1st was the deadline for applications to join the 2022 Master Gardener class. Once again we received high interest in the program.


The New Member Committee, lead by Chris Strong and Kay Wimer, is reading through the 66 applications that were received for Ramsey County. All applicants will be invited to interview in late October and early November. The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to learn more about the Master Gardener program and connect with RCMG volunteers. We also want to make sure the applicants understand and are able to complete the program expectations (e.g., completion of Core Course, 50 hours of volunteer service, 8 hours of continuing education.) in the first year.


Help us with the interviews and meet the Class of '22, you can find the link on SignUp Genius. Interviewing applicants counts as Volunteer Service Hours.



We are working with the State Master Gardener Leadership team to discuss options for training, supporting and accommodating the 2022 applicants.

Hours Reminder

As we ease into the last three months of the year we would like to remind you to stay current with entering your volunteer service and continuing education hours. All Intern, Active, Active-Emeritus volunteers are expected to be able to complete their volunteer requirements for 2021, however less than 60% of our active volunteers have met those requirements and entered them into the State database.


If you are concerned about completing your volunteer and/or continuing education hours for 2021 please contact me as soon as possible (dlochner@umn.edu). While there tends to be fewer volunteer opportunities in the fall and early winter, we are able to work with you.

Pictures Please

One last reminder - continue to take photos of the Master Gardener projects this fall and take photos of your gardens. We are often looking for more photos for our communications, social media and reports.


Thank you for all of your hard work. Enjoy the fall!



Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator

Sept 16, 2021



COVID Safety Note

All volunteers are encouraged to wear a face cover or mask, regardless of vaccinations status when participating in volunteer activities, especially indoor activities, including carpooling.

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