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San Juan County Master Gardeners' Annual Gardening Workshop
Friday Harbor Middle School
Friday Harbor, WA
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San Juan County Master Gardeners' Annual Gardening Workshop
Resilient Gardens in a Changing Climate
2017 San Juan County Annual Gardening Workshop

Presented by the Master Gardener Foundation of San Juan County in Cooperation with the  San Juan County Washington State University Extension

Keynote Presentation Resilient Gardens for a Changing Climate ~ Linda Gilkeson

Our regional climate is changing as the global climate changes--but what does this mean for our gardens and landscapes? Learn how to design resilient food and ornamental gardens, choose suitable varieties, how to help your plants survive 'weird weather', including unseasonal heat waves and cold spells, water shortages and extreme precipitation events, that will help you become an adaptable gardener.

Linda earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University in 1986, and then moved to British Columbia to work for a company that produces biological controls. From 1991 to 2002 she worked for the provincial government, promoting programs to reduce and eliminate pesticide use. She was head of the provincial State of Environment Reporting Unit for the next six years, then the Executive Director of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy until the end of 2011. Linda now devotes her time to writing, teaching and consulting.

Preliminary Schedule

9:00-10:00 Keynote Speaker ~ Linda Gilkeson ~ Resilient Gardening in a Changing Climate
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:45 Session 1
Bountiful Soil ~ Stephen Bramwell
Restoring Island Wildflowers ~ Eliza Habegger
Wireworm Saga ~ Brook Brouwer
11:45-1:15 Lunch- bring your own or walk to a nearby restaurant
1:15-2:45 Session 2
Everything Orchard ~ Deborah Mitchell
Planting for Pollinators ~ Linda Gilkeson
Berry-ed Treasure: Growing Berry Crops in Your Backyard ~ Lisa Devetter
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-4:30 Session 3
Growing Camellias in the PNW ~ Tricia Heimer
Grow the Most Food in the Smallest Space ~ Linda Gilkeson
Gardening with Children ~ Ashley Randall, Colleen Stewart, Mandy Randolph, Jennifer Pietsch, Caitie Blethen

Presentation Descriptions and Author Biographies

Bountiful Soil  How to Test and Amend your Soil - Stephen Bramwell Thurston County Extension Director
Growing plants of any kind requires fertile soil. Many plants deplete soi requiring the gardener to know how to determine what to do to replenish their soil. Soil scientist and avid gardener Stephen Bramwell will discuss the makeup of good soil and how to test your soil and amend it properly.

Soil scientist Stephen Bramwell is the Director of WSUs Thurston County Extension and has taught sustainable agriculture, horticulture and environmental science at The Evergreen State College, Centralia College and South Puget Sound Community College.  He has a MS in Soil Science from Washington State University and a BA in International Studies and Botany from the University of Washington.

Restoring Island Wildflowers ~ Eliza Habegger San Juan County Land Bank
The director of the Salish Seeds Project for the San Juan County Land Bank will introduce a special cast of characters: our local wildflowers and grasses. Prepare to be inspired to save a spot in your garden for one of these beauties! Native to our island grasslands, oak savannahs, and prairies, these plants tend to be showy, drought-tolerant, readily adaptable to garden settings, and attractive to native pollinators. Participants will learn how to obtain and grow them, including site selection, site preparation, routine care, and managing pests. This talk will also highlight the Salish Seeds Project, which produces native plants and seeds at a nursery located at Red Mill Farm in San Juan Valley.

Eliza Habegger manages the Salish Seeds Project, a local conservation nursery that produces wildflowers native to San Juan County. She holds a Bachelors degree in botany from Cornell University. Her work history has included the New York Botanical Garden, The Nature Conservancy, and, for the past 14 years, the San Juan County Land Bank. Eliza loves the discovery process of learning to propagate rarely grown species. She lives with her husband and son on San Juan Island, where she tends an ever-expanding vegetable garden, berry patch, and orchard.

Wireworm Saga: Wireworm Biology and Management in the San Juan Islands ~ Brook Brouwer SJC Extension Director
Wireworms, the larval form of click beetles, are an aggressive pest that can damage a wide range of garden crops. Brook will present on the basics of the wireworm lifecycle and review management strategies. He will also share results from a preliminary study aimed at determining the presence of two introduced species of wireworm in San Juan County.

Dr. Brook Brouwer is the director of WSU San Juan County Extension. He received his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences from WSU focusing on barley grown for the craft brewing industry, dry bean production, genetics and plant breeding for regional food systems, based at the WSU Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center. Brook has a B.A. in Biology from Colorado College and has worked on diverse livestock farms as well as conducting nutrient cycling and botany research in mountain, river and island ecosystems.

Everything Orchard ~ Deborah Mitchell Skagit County Master Gardener
Growing fruit trees is like playing chess; you have to think several moves ahead. This class will go over the basics ~ design and logic for choices, as well as growing and maintaining your trees.

Deb Mitchell is a past president of Island County Master Gardeners, and has a BS in Horticulture. She has lived on Whidbey for 17 years.

Planting for Pollinators ~ Linda Gilkeson
Linda will share her knowledge of insect pollinators including bees, butterflies, moth, beetles and flies and how to plant your garden to attract and sustain them throughout the year

Berry-ed Treasure: Growing Berry Crops in Your Backyard Lisa Devetter WSU Mt Vernon
The Pacific Northwest offers the ideal environment for most small fruits and berries. Some are easy going and require little help from the gardener. Others are fussy and require that the gardener know what to do and when to do it. Dr. Devetter will tell the story of our favorites, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries so that we may enjoy them from our own gardens..

Assistant Professor and Small Fruit Horticulturist Lisa Devetter is a scientist at WSU Northwest Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in Mt. Vernon. Originally from Iowa, DeVetter found her passion for fruit crops while completing her BS in biology and horticulture at Iowa State University (ISU). She continued studying at ISU and received her MS in both horticulture and soil science. She completed her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Growing Camellias in the PNW ~ Tricia Heimer Island County Master Gardener
Normally thought of as a Southern plant, Camellias are actually well suited for the Pacific NW. Come learn about growing and caring for these beautiful evergreen shrubs that have the added bonus of fall and winter flowering times.

Tricia Heimer has been a Master Gardener since 2011, in North Carolina from 2011 to 2015 and in Island County since 2016.

Grow the Most Food in the Smallest Space ~ Linda Gilkeson
On the West Coast, even the smallest gardens can produce a surprising amount of food 12 months of the year. Learn how to increase the harvest of organically grown fruit and vegetables from gardens of any size, using easy, low-maintenance methods that leave you lots of time to smell the roses.

Gardening with Children  Ashley Randall , Colleen Stewart, Mandy Randolph, Jennifer Pietsch, Orcas School Garden and Catie Blethen San Juan County Master Gardener Coordinator
Getting kids excited about eating vegetables starts in the garden. This panel discussion from school garden planners, garden-keepers and teachers describes how a school garden can energize children about gardening, eating, Native American history and science. Activities, lessons, tricks, and recipes for how to encourage kids to engage in gardening will be shared.

Ashley is the coordinator of the Farm to Cafeteria Program at Orcas Public School. She is active in fundraising, budgeting, community outreach, event oversight, and is the liaison between the district and San Juan County farmers. In the last 2 years, her goal has been to increase visibility and facilitate community engagement through partnerships in the garden, classroom, and cafeteria. Dedicated to encouraging the growth of the program, its participants, and herself, she is delighted to share the successes of this unique Island collective.
Colleen is a tree wannabe, afloat in the Salish sea. She keeps the garden at Orcas Public School and has, over the past 2 years, been infusing the garden with art, perennials, annuals, native plants, dye and textile plants, and medicinal herbs. Above all, she hopes to nurture affection and awe for plants and pollinators, in the garden. You'll find her guiding explorations in dandelion tea sipping, pinch pot making, calendula salve crafting, indigo shibori dyeing, water wellness, beet juice painting, compost critter exploration, sunflower planting, garden mapping, and beyond. Amongst her greatest teachers are plants and children, and she feels ever grateful to grow in the garden amongst them.
Mandy Randolph is the elementary school (Kinder-5th grade) teacher for Orcas Public School's Farm to Classroom. Once a week students gather in her classroom for a one-hour session. During fall and spring, classes are held in the garden where students can be found with their hands in the soil, feeding the compost bins, sorting and saving seeds, and eating freshly harvested greens, root veggies and berries. When the winter months arrive, students move indoors to practice culinary skills, herbal studies, and winter wellness practices for both the garden and themselves. Mandy has been with the Farm to Classroom program since its inception 7 years ago.
Jennifer Pietsch has been an educator for over fifteen years, starting in early childhood development, now working with children throughout Washington State and right here on Orcas in the Kindergarten to Eighth Grade levels. Jennifer works within our OASIS program, providing oversight and guidance to homeschooled children, as well as hands-on farm exploratories to our 7th and 8th graders. Jennifer
received her undergraduate education from Cornell University, Masters from the University of Hawaii, and teaching certificate from Western Governors University. She previously worked in the hospitality industry and as a college lecturer. Jennifer is an avid runner, sheep shearer, beekeeper, and lover of animals and animal fibers.
Caitlin Blethen has over 15 years of supporting school garden programs in WA and Oregon. For ten years, she directed the Youth Grow program at Growing Gardens in Portland Oregon. There she helped develop an after-school gardening program for elementary aged children, and a five-day professional development training program to share best practices for school garden coordinators and educators.
She is now the Master Gardener Program Coordinator for San Juan County.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact the San Juan County Extension at least two weeks prior to the event. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of non-compliance may be reported through your local Extension office or to the WSU Center for Human Rights.


Friday Harbor Middle School (View)
85 Blair Ave
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
United States


Education > Workshops

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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