President’s Message 05/12

Every year I look forward to the plant sale, as do many of us on the board and the plant sale committee.

As the chair of ornamentals, I arrive at CUH Friday morning, usually after Steve Layman, Bill Kubick, Horst Momber, and a few regular others. I typically drop off a truck load of stuff and then go pick up another truck load of bushes and vines to sell throughout the weekend. By the time I return to CUH around lunch time, my shopping cohort, Nancy Simsons and Jean Colley, and I, are always surprised to see how much has happened.  Dozens of volunteers will be working busily, bringing out perennials and tomatoes potted in March at the potting party.  Tables and tents will have appeared in our absence.  Other MGs will be organizing donations, consignments, vendors, compost, the cashiers, tally, and holding areas, the preview party.  Oh, and all the while, volunteers are keeping coffee pouring, snacks waiting, and a warm break and a smile…you get the idea, the sale springs to life in one day through the efforts of a whole lot of us.  By 5:30 we’re ready to host the public, and to enjoy food, drinks, and plant chatter with interested, interesting people, MGs and the public alike.  Saturday and Sunday are sheer joy, talking with curious people at every level of interest, experience, and expertise about plants.  What more could a Master Gardener want?


The plant sale wants you.  We enjoy the experience of many long-term volunteers, people like Marjorie Godfrey and Debbie O’Neal, who so expertly coordinate the vendors, or Darryl Schlesser and Donna Thomas, who coordinate the tallying volunteers (guess how many times they run around looking for the price of a plant during the weekend?).  Or Shannon Bergstedt, the glove queen, Jim Gaskill in his orange traffic vest, who served on the board when I joined 5 years ago, or Lori Herman and Valerie Garza, in holding.  Fritz Tarrach, Steve Layman, Bill Kubik, Kathy Lapham, Barb Ragee, and Cecilia McGowan (and Vito), all of whom come back with smiles every year.  It’s such a pleasure to work with these folks.  Colleen Battaglia, cashier chair, Kristi Vellema and Andrea Furedy, who bank it all, and account for every dollar.  CJ Nielsen and Suzanne Broback in veggies, Dick Decker and Terry Roche and the natives crew, there are so many.  This year, though, I want to say a special thank you to Joyce Harms and Steve Scott, the Foundation’s state sanctioned gambling manager (really… really) for breathing new life into a simplified, more exciting raffle (Who doesn’t want the $1000 prize for a $2 ticket?!).  Steve Layman, thank you for your humor, diligence, and for planting thousands of tomatoes.  I want to thank Valentina Barei, who stepped so beautifully and creatively into hospitality leadership (and who carpools with me), as well as Penny Kriese and David Stasny.  I want to thank Pete Macias, for being everyone’s favorite addition to the MG corps.  I want to welcome back Portia Wilcock.  I want to get everyone to help me thank Tabitha Borchardt for her expert design work on behalf of MGs, and often at the last minute.  And, almost every day of the year, but especially during the plant sale, I want to thank Horst Momber, our incredibly kind, inspiring chair.  It’s a pleasure to work on such a crazy, chaotic, fun project every year with such a crew of committed MGs, and it’s Horst’s generosity that sets the tone and makes it all so much fun.  But, we need you.  It’s the fresh ideas brought by new volunteers that keep our sale changing, growing, and relevant.  Please join us for the sale, and please join me in thanking these folks, and all the MG volunteers throughout the weekend.

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