Membership Meetings

MGFTC has several membership meetings throughout the year where we invite guest speakers to present on topics of interest to local gardeners. Free admission is generally included as one of the benefits of membership.

Non-members are welcome. A $5 admission fee will be charged with the option to join the Foundation for an additional $5. Anyone from the community is welcome to join! You don’t have to be a Master Gardener.

Upcoming Meeting

Annual Picnic
August 17 (Thurs)- 5:00 pm
Tumwater Historical Park


(This will help up with planning.)

Join us as we get-together to catch up and make new friends.
All Interns, MGs, MRCs, Foundation Members and their families are welcome!

WHAT TO BRING: Your own table service and a dish to pass.
WHAT WILL BE PROVIDED: Tables to eat at and drinks (water and a variety of soft

2023 Meeting Dates

Soil in farmers hands. Free public domain CC0 photo.

February 16 (Thurs) – via Zoom
6:30pm – Membership Meeting
7pm – Guest Speaker: Tina Wagner, WSU Master Gardener, Certified 2013

Topic – Healthy Soil in a Changing Climate: Have a Happier Garden

Bio: A western Washington native, Tina went to North Carolina to attend Duke University and stayed six more years as an Air Force Intelligence Officer. She then moved to Abilene, TX, with her husband and son. In 2000, she brought her family, including another son, home to Olympia. Tina spent the next twenty years volunteering in many capacities in the Olympia School District, with the Thurston County Master Gardeners, with the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and other organizations. Along the way, she spent six years as a preschool teacher and as an educational consultant. When her two sons were fully launched as fabulous adults, she returned to the classroom to pursue new horizons in the Evergreen State College Master of Environmental Studies Program. The pandemic validated Tina’s belief that farmers are essential and deserving of all the support they can get.

Her connection with Thurston Conservation District (TCD) began in 2022 as the Soil Health Intern and continues as a Veterans Conservation Corps Education & Outreach Intern. In her limited spare time, Tina continues to volunteer as a Master Gardener, Washington Center usher, Duke Admissions interviewer, to read, travel with her husband and play with her Golden Retriever, Mazey.

Tina is focusing a lot of her internship time on supporting TCD’s South Sound FarmLink Program.

April 18 (Tues) – via Zoom
6:30pm – Membership Meeting
7pm – Guest Speaker: Robert Bode Ph.D., on staff at St. Martin’s
Topic: Scotch Broom – Favored Flower to Invincible Invader

Summary: Scotch broom represents not only a devastating threat to native plant communities and the timber industry, but a fascinating example of ecological principles in action. In this talk, Dr. Bode will explain what allows broom to be such an efficient invader, what interactions it has with native and non-native organisms and the status of biocontrol species introduced to control it. The future of Scotch broom depends on how we approach it today, with many ways to make things worse and few to make things better.

Bio: Robert received his B.S. in Biology from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He subsequently took a job as a teaching post-doc at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After two years of teaching and research he took a one-year sabbatical replacement position at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. In 2014 he accepted his current position at Saint Martin’s.

June 15 (Thurs) – via Zoom
6:30pm – Membership Meeting
7pm – Guest Speaker: Kathy Aust
Topic – Microgreens: what are they?

Description: Kathy Aust will explain what microgreens actually are, describe the nutritional value of microgreens and how to eat them (meal options beyond salads). She will also touch on how to grow them in your own home.

Bio: Kathy has been gardening all of her life in one aspect or another. The garden is her personal journey and her happy place where she finds peace, tranquility and therapeutic relief from the day’s struggles. Her goal is to teach and help others create a sustainable, enjoyable and healthy lifestyle through their own garden creations and experiences.

She decided to add microgreens to her gardening journey after watching a video on how to grow them. Following lots of research and continued determination, she started her first tray of microgreens in January 2022, which subsequently led to her forming her business, Natural Beginnings Gardens.

September 27–30 (Wed-Sat)
MG 50th Anniversary Advanced Education Conference
Marriott Tacoma Downtown
1538 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA

October 24 (Tues) – via Zoom
6:30pm – Membership Meeting
7pm – Guest Speakers

November 14 (Tues) – Annual Awards Dinner
Time and Location TBD

December 9 (Sat) – Annual Meeting via Zoom
12pm (noon)