Master Gardeners plotting a new program 

Colusa County Master Gardeners are doing what they do best: getting their hands into some soil in order to launch new educational programs. 

The tree and garden experts, who are trained in science-based research from the University of California Cooperative Extension Service, cleared a number of garden plots at the Colusa Visitors Center off Highway 20, on Friday, in order to create a demonstration garden that will be used to teach others how to properly grow and care for herbs and ornamental plants. 

The demonstration garden is located in the community garden area adjacent the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce office. 

“The whole place is not ours,” said Gerry Hernandez, coordinator of the Colusa County Master Gardeners program. “We are starting with just three plots. We are going to plant herbs and flowers and give them away at the Colusa Farmers Market, just as long as they are not something that people are selling.” 

The Master Gardeners have been cleaning the area and preparing their plots for a few weeks, and plan to begin planting herbs like dill and basil this week, said Carolyn Froelich, demonstration garden project leader.

“If we are successful at the Colusa Farmers Market, we can also do this at the Arbuckle Farmers Market,” Froelich said. “We don’t want to compete with any of our vendors, but we want something to have as a give-away.” 

One plot at the Visitors Center will be dedicated to growing milkweed, an essential habitat for the endangered Monarch butterfly. 

The Master Gardeners plan to also make cuttings and milkweed seed available to those who want to help the Monarch population.

Volunteers are invited to help out at the demonstration garden or come and ask questions about gardening. The group plans to be at Visitor’s Center, 2963 Davison Court, from 10 AM to noon each Friday. 

“Our goal is to use all the tested and improved methods that the UCCE have developed,” Froelich said.

Froelich thanked Colusa Industrial Properties for letting the Master Gardeners launch the program, and thanked everyone that is supporting the group so far. 

The group is in need of monetary donations to purchase seed, plants, and eventually some drip irrigation. 

“This is our first demonstration garden,” Hernandez said. “We plan to host workshops out here. We have a nice covered area for sitting. We will be able to have classes.”

Donations can be mailed to the UCCE office at 100 Sunrise Blvd., Colusa, CA 95932. For more information cotact Hernandez at 458-0570 or glhernandez@ucanr.edu. ■