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March Monthly Meeting Recap

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

March 21, 2022

Recap provided by Mindy Johnson


Monthly Meeting Schedule

  • The March RCMG meeting was held on Zoom on Tuesday 3/15/22.

  • The April RCMG meeting (4/19) will concern annual awards and plant sale logistics/ Zoom.

  • There will be NO May RCMG meeting because of Plant Sale Prep but the Education Committee will share something special with everyone that month.

  • The June RCMG meeting (6/21) will be held in-person/Zoom hybrid meeting using the Rose Banquet Room at the Roseville Oval. You will need to sign up to meet in-person because there will be limited physical seats available. If you sign-up to attend, be sure to be there!

Volunteer Training

Brianna Gohde led a demonstration of SignUp Genius (This is the website where RCMG volunteer opportunities are posted.) and how we use it as a program. Next month the topic will be about logging volunteer hours. Brianna went over account settings, volunteer invitations, SignupGenius events (ie Train-the-Trainer), Sign Up template contents, Signing Up for volunteer opportunities, Changing Options, Deleting options, finding a substitute, and the Swap feature.


A recording of the training can be found on the RCMG website, https://www.ramseymastergardeners.org/train-the-trainers.


Project Updates (6:30pm-6:45pm)

There will be no Diagnostic Clinic in-person or online this year due to low participation. Other opportunities are being explored at this time. People can go online to ask gardening questions at https://extension.umn.edu/master-gardener/ask-master-gardener


Kay Wimer talked about the upcoming RCMG Volunteer Fair that will be held online March 22 at 6:30 pm. The Fair will include a short synopsis of RCMG projects that interns can take part in. Volunteers will go into breakout rooms to discuss projects of interest. The volunteer information is also on the RCMG website. Some projects include demonstration gardens, farmers markets, Blooming St. Paul, Garden Journalists, Communications Committee, Habit for Humanity, Youth Projects, and more.


Brianna Gohde stated that there is going to be Project Coordinator Training online April 2. See SignUpGenius.com for more information. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044caea62daa8-project1


Brianna also mentioned that there is currently voting for the May Book Club reading at:


Joe Baltrokunis and Jennifer Porwit are still giving out seeds for growing tomatoes. They will also provide labels and pots. They specialize in tomatoes but encourage all to grow plants for the plant sale. Joe and Jennifer are also giving tours of their tomato nursery for RCMG volunteers. See SignUpGenius for information. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044caea62daa8-rcmg51


Darren Lochner's Coordinator Updates (6:45pm-7pm)

During the coordinator update, Darren covered the following items:

  • Darren worked with Jamie Aussendorf for the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency Garden Mentor program at a hi-rise building. (She teaches classes about topics like seed germination and microgreens, etc.) About 15 public housing residents were in attendance.


  • The Meyers Education Center will begin breaking ground at the Arboretum spring 2022.


  • Volunteers needed for Lawns to Legumes and Metro Blooms is looking for coaches


  • RCMG program had Train the Trainers sessions in February. They are posted on the website under Continuing Education https://www.ramseymastergardeners.org/train-the-trainers


  • RCMG partnered with Hennepin County for a presentation Invincible Garden Ladies with guest Abra Lee. Video available online until April 7 https://youtu.be/UHfHcNSw1XQ


Key Dates

  • April 12 – next RCMG Master Gardener Board Meeting

  • May 21 – RCMG Plant Sale

  • June 3 & June 4 – Master Gardener Days at the Arboretum


Guest Lecture (7-7:45pm)

Sue Ellen Campbell from the Education Committee introduced Pete Boulay, a climatologist with Minnesota DNR. Boulay grew up in Maplewood, MN where he still resides. He was a Boy Scout, went to school at Century College and St. Cloud University, and began working with the DNR in 1998. He also wrote a book about the poor farm next to the RCMG barn, Ramsey County's Forgotten Cemetery.


Boulay’s presentation was about the weather, climate and drought changes we are experiencing, particularly in Minnesota. He provided data from NOAA’s Climate at a Glance and talked about the opportunity to volunteer as a Rainfall Monitor with the DNR. Boulay also shared the newsletter HydroClim Minnesota, which summarizes Minnesota’s climate conditions and the resulting impact on water sources.


Questions asked during the Guest Lecture

  • Is it time to change our USDA Growing zone from 4b to 5a?

  • Have we had excessive wind this year? And Is there any correlation to more wind and drought?

  • Daryl Ritchison in North Dakota has a Statewide network Ndawn for gathering weather data. Do we have anything like that in MN?

  • My problem is I plant peas, broccoli, and cauliflower and they havent been doing well because it’s 89 degrees for a few days, then drops to about 50 for a few days. How do you prevent plants from bolting early? Is there anything that can be done?

  • Do we need to be on the lookout for longer falls?

  • Do we have to worry about flooding in the spring when snow melts?

  • Will El Nino produce more wet years?

Other relevant links provided:

RCMG Business Meeting (7:45-8pm)

Education Committee Update

Sue Ellen Campbell mentioned that volunteers can sign up to be a host for the Garden Gate Tours on SignUp Genius starting in April. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044caea62daa8-garden11

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