The Montgomery County Master Gardeners met Aug. 12 with 14 members in attendance.

President Susan Smith called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Jr. Leader’s Building at the 4-H fairgrounds.

A motion was made and carried to approve the minutes from the July meeting that had previously been sent to members via email by secretary Priscilla Zachary.

Treasurer Paula Furr reported on finances and let members know she will be adding the usual 25% of the profit earned from the April Lawn and Garden Show into the Future Fairgrounds Fund. It was suggested that maybe some of that funding could be used toward some of the needed improvement projects at the current fairgrounds. The discussion was tabled for lack of information.

Ashley Adair, coordinator, did say that members interested in pursuing some changes along with new ideas should attend the monthly fair board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3 to be held at the fairgrounds. Any additional information could then be brought to the group for discussion. Several members plan to attend.

Those members who represented the club at the state fair booth “Plant Info to Go” gave a brief report. More than 100 people participated asking gardening questions, sharing problems and successes. The booth was supplied with handout brochures and bags to the public. It was suggested that a couple of the pamphlets and maybe a similar bag be obtained for our 2020 Master Gardeners Lawn and Garden Show. A second group from our club will be attending the fair Aug. 16.

Susan Smith announced the July 4-H Fair attendance and participation was down for this year and thought it related to lack of things to do and minimal food vendors. The club would like to come up with some ideas to gain favor with the community in bringing the fair back to what it used to be.

The open class exhibits were more numerous this year and several of our members were recipients of ribbons for their entries. Congratulations to all who participated.

Anita Arnold reported that the Nicholson Garden project is seeing a lot of success as the harvesting continues. The big plus is the availability and access to water for the garden and electric in the greenhouse. The local FISH Food Pantry is recipient of the bounty. Harvest totes, bags, trellises and tomato stakes have been procured for next season through grant funding. The garden could still benefit from some fencing for the vining produce like cucumbers and peas, and also some additional tomato cages. The giant Zinnias and orange marigolds bordering the garden are outstanding.

Purdue Extension coordinator Ashley Adair addressed teachers at the “First day of School” with a presentation introducing the program ”Farm to School,” inviting teachers to participated in educating the students about the program. The subject of learning about the growing and maintenance of herbs is a topic for students this year. Kudos were given to our club for our support in the Nicholson Garden project’s success.

Marie Stocks brought to our attention an opportunity to help finish out the new location of our Youth Service Bureau (the former Mills grade school on west Pike Street) by doing some landscaping/gardening. Any time spent on this project could be listed as volunteer hours for members. We will be meeting at the new location for our September meeting.

Volunteer hours can also be gained with participation in getting the community ready for the “Walking Tour” project promoting local historic landmarks and pioneering citizens. This is the latest project of The Montgomery County Wellness Coalition. 

The date for the Master Gardeners Fall Plant Exchange is on the calendar for Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will be at the Pork Producers Building at the 4-H fairgrounds. The public is invited to attend.

Next meeting will be Sept. 9 at the Youth Services Bureau’s new location on west Pike Street.

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