Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity - Maintain Informational Bulletin Board at Community Gardens

Part of this year's achievements is the new bulletin board at the Community Gardens that was built using funds donated by the Ekena Fund to the RPMGA for educational purposes.  This project was conceived, designed and implemented by MGV Deb Grams.

The bulletin board was built by RECAP volunteers and is complete but for a few minor touches.  It will be completely ready for use during the 2018 growing season.

We are looking for a volunteer or volunteers who would be willing to post plant health and disease information to the board weekly once the growing season begins.  One of the information sources will be the DATCP Wisconsin Pest Bulletin.  Others would be specific disease or insect information fact sheets published by the UWEX.  

DATCP Wisconsin Pest Bulletin

Samples of fact sheets for vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.

Late Blight

Powdery Mildew

Japanese Beetle

Vine Borer

All hours involved in keeping the bulletin board up to date will be Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - one (1) unit per hour.  Anyone interested in this volunteer opportunity please contact Deb Grams at 608-346-0595.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pot Luck Dinner, Thursday, Nov. 9

Remember, Thursday night, 5:30 pm in the Courthouse Conference Center on the second floor of the Rock County Courthouse we'll be having our annual pot luck and member recognition dinner.

RPMGA will provide pulled pork and sliced turkey, buns, coffee, bottled water, plates, napkins and silverware. 

Bring a dish to pass, family and friends. 

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Annual dinner, November 9

The year is winding down and soon it will be time for our annual potluck dinner.

This year's event will be held at the Courthouse Conference Center on the second floor of the Rock County Courthouse.  Dinner will be at 5:30 pm, but come a little early to schmooze.  We're hoping to have hours tallied in time for the event, but at present don't know if that will be available.  (Update:  The hours will be available in time for the dinner.)

Turkey Chili
Bring family and friends and a dish to pass. 

RPMGA will provide: Shredded Pork BBQ, buns, coffee, water, plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. 
Squash, pecans and cranberries
Please RSVP to Kim Mork at the office (608-757-5696) by November 6.  Let her know what kind of dish you'll be bringing and how many people will be coming with you so we can calculate the amount of meat we'll need to provide.  (Update: originally this post asked you to respond by email or phone.  Kim would rather you call and NOT contact her by email.  Sorry for any inconvenience.)

Important note:  There are individuals in our group who are gluten or lactose intolerant so if you will be bringing a hot dish please provide a recipe card or a note that lists all ingredients.
Gluten free cornmeal
Walnut quick bread
Orange cranberry Brussels
Turkey eggroll in a bowl

Gluten free veggie lasagna
Gluten free porcupines

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rain, rain, go away - Reschedule of Saturday's Program

Due to circumstances beyond our control - the forecast for Saturday is rain, rain and more rain - we are moving our program up to Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. 

Since this is an outdoor presentation we didn't feel it would be fair to have participants standing in the rain while we explained the four demonstration pollinator gardens we constructed this year.

Parsley plants are part of the herb pollinator garden at the
Rock County Fairgrounds. 

We're excited to be able to present our gardens: an herb pollinator garden at the Rock County Fairgrounds; two mixed floral pollinator gardens in the RECAP gardens at the Community Gardens; and a perennial garden on the grounds at Hedberg Public Library.  We were lucky to have dedicated teams of MGVs who were willing to give of their time and effort to create these gardens.  We hope you'll not only enjoy them but be inspired to begin pollinator gardens of your own.

Image result for Parsley blossoms
Parsley blossoms:  This is what we can expect from the parsley plants this
coming growing season.  Parsley is a biennial that blooms in its second year. 

If you have any questions about this event please contact the office at 608-757-5696 and leave a message for us.

Hope to see you Tuesday!!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pollinator Gardens Brainstorming Tour - Oct. 14

As part of the ongoing Pollinator Project, we installed three pollinator gardens around Janesville this summer: one at the Community Garden, one at the Fairgrounds, and—most recently—one at Hedberg Public Library. The idea was that we would offer and use them as demonstration gardens to help people learn about pollinators.

Newly planted pollinator garden, Hedberg Public Library.

Blooming basil in the herb pollinator
garden at the Rock County Fairgrounds.
Each of the gardens is unique, but they currently have little more than just plants. Come see and learn about each of them, but bring your thinking cap as well. Help take stock of where we are and how to make these gardens better. 

Are there particular plants we could add? 

Any features (such as particular types of bee or bird nesting sites, water features etc.) that would improve them? 

What kind of educational materials or signage would make each a better resource? And how can we use--and promote other people’s use--of these gardens? We’ll start at the library and end at the community garden.

Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Meet at Hedberg Public Library, downstairs entrance (near coffee shop)
Note: the Wisconsin/Purdue game begins at noon.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Field trip to West Ag a real treat

For those who didn't get a chance to join us for our trip to the University of Wisconsin West Agricultural Station - it was a real treat.  We received a guided tour, but you don't need to use a guide to tour the grounds. You can walk the gardens without a guide since all exhibits have signs telling what each plant is and in many cases when the plant was first included in the gardens.

A raised bed of ever-bearing strawberries.
I would highly encourage everyone interested in new plant varieties as well as old favorites to drive up and wander the test plots to see what is still available.  Many of the plots are currently in full bloom, apple trees are heavy with fruit, grapevines are filled with grapes.  The test gardens include annuals, perennials, landscaping trees and shrubs, fruit trees and grape vines, herbs and vegetables.  Many of them are AAS (All American Selection) winners - plants that are evaluated by a panel of 80 judges from around the country.  AAS is the oldest independent testing organization of flowers and edible varieties of plants in North America.

Mounds of New Guinea Impatiens.

The station is located at 8502 Mineral Point Road.  Office hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  The grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Whenever we have a field trip like this if you don't understand directions to the site, the time and place of the event or any other facts, please contact the UWEX office at 608-757-5696 for clarification.

Beds of petunias.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Still seeking volunteers for Beloit Farmer's Market

We've been lucky enough this year to be included as vendors at both the Janesville and Beloit Farmer's Markets.  Our final date for the year is in Beloit on Oct. 7.

We are still looking for volunteers to staff the booth.  Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. but in order to be set up and be ready we usually arrive at least a half hour early and many of the vendors arrive as early as 7:00 a.m.  We will probably put up our tent for this event this time so Mary Thompson will have the equipment there at 7:00 a.m.

Hours for volunteers will be either the entire time - 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 10:30 am
10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Ruth Flescher and Mary Thompson will set up and tear down.  They will be responsible for collecting the equipment to set up and will deliver it back to storage at the courthouse on the next workday after the event.

We've had deeply gratifying response at both the Beloit and Janesville Farmer's Markets.  Lots of folks took free seeds and we've had the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the Master Gardener program.  We've answered lots of questions, gotten our presence known, and made a lot of new friends.

It's a great experience!  This is an approved continuing education project.  Volunteers will receive one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for each hour of participation.

Contact either Ruth Flescher or Mary Thompson with questions about volunteering.  Call Kim Mork at the UWEX office.  She'll get your message to either Ruth or Mary and they'll call you back asap.

Hope to hear from you soon!