Past Monthly Meeting

February 2, 2021 – Winter Sowing

The MGCA met at 12 noon via ZOOM for fellowship and education. An education program of videos produced by John Bowen, a Buncombe County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, focuses on “Winter Sowing”. John was available for questions following the video presentation. Links to John Bowen’s videos are:

Part 1 – Time 8:58
Part 2 – Time 36:35
Part 3 – Time 14:17

John Bowen is a Buncombe County Master Gardener.  We’re going to watch his video  about some methods for winter sowing, a fun way to plant seeds right now and alleviate those winter garden blues. At the end, we’ll have him here for some Q & A. He’s been planting seeds since shortly after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden.  He used to grow them all under lights indoors, and lately he’s been propagating and over-wintering so much that he’s run out of room for his seedlings.  So, he was happy to discover winter sowing a few years ago. John says it’s made his spring planting easier and a lot more interesting.  Let’s hear what he has to share about Winter Sowing….

January 5, 2021 – All About Weeds

Club members joined together to view an online video from the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. The video featured a presentation and discussion on weed identification and control.

December 8, 2020 – Gardening on a Slope

Nina Shippen, a local landscape designer, presented via ZOOM on Gardening on a Slope.

November 4, 2020 – Woodland Shade Gardening

MGCA member, James Wade, presented via ZOOM on “Woodland Shade Gardening”.

October 6, 2020 – “The Triumph of Seeds”

MGCA member, Phil Roudebush, presented via ZOOM on “The Triumph of Seeds”, based on a the book by Thor Hansen, “The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History”
The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by [Thor Hanson]

September 1, 2020 – Life Beneath Your Feet: Your Garden’s Friends and Foes

Madan Joshi presented via ZOOM.

August 11, 2020 – Soil Amendments

MGCA member, Phil Roudebush, presented via ZOOM on “Soil Amendments”.

Phil is a member of the MGCA as well as a Buncombe County Extension Master Gardener. He teaches regularly at the NC Arboretum and is completing the Arboretum’s Master Wildlife program. He is a retire veterinarian and was a Master Gardener in Kansas before retiring to Asheville area.

April, May, June, July, 2020 – No Club meeting due to member isolation because of the COVID-19 virus.

March 3, 2020

Philip Oglesby, Vineyard Manager, Biltmore Estate Wine Company, presented on the wine grape growing operations of the company.

Philip has worked in the horticulture and viticulture fields for over 25 years and began his tenure at Biltmore in 1998 as a vineyard crew member, planting, tending, and harvesting the vines on the property’s west side. Managing the vineyards since 2013, he continues to care for Biltmore’s 40+ acres of European varietals (vitis vinifera), one of the first successful blocks of significant size in North Carolina. Philip and his dedicated fellow crew strive to produce high quality fruit in our Southern Appalachian environment which offers unique challenges and often surprising results in wine characteristics. Over the last two decades, he has witnessed and been party to numerous changes and adjustments in grape growing practices in the southeast as this relatively recent trend in farming continues to gain interest. Philip will be among the first of our WNC vineyard managers to admit that grape growing continues to be an especially experimental area of agriculture today, but that much of the knowledge and experience gained in vineyard science and practice can be beneficial to the home-scale viticulturist.

February 4, 2020

The speaker was Club member and Horticulture Center Director Ray Geiser.  Ray joined the Club in 2017 and has been very active at the Horticulture Center.  He succeeded longtime Director Ted Faber in 2019.

Working at the Horticulture Center is the core activity involved in producing plants for the Club’s Plant Sales.  Ray has initiated many changes and upgrades that will improve the facility and provide additional capabilities.  He discussed his goals for 2020 and appreciates member feedback on these ideas.

January 7, 2020

Members and guests heard a presentation by local author Peter Loewer talking on wildlife that has visited his garden.

December 10, 2019

The Club enjoyed it annual awards program with the installation of officers. In addition, presentations were given by representatives of the two colleges receiving scholarship monies for the Club, Mayland Community College and Blue Ridge Community College.

November 5, 2019 – Conifers

Club meeting  featured Matt Timmer of Reems Creek Nursery speaking on ‘Conifers’.

Matt says, ” I moved here in 1995 to attend Warren Wilson College. After a brief stint I left to pursue a 2 yr degree in Horticulture from Haywood Community College. By 2000 I was working full time as a Landscape Foreman for a company in Waynesville, NC. As my interest in plants grew, I shifted my attention to the re-wholesale of the industry. My back and sore muscles thanked me for that move. I have now spent the last 9 years as the Tree and Shrub Buyer as well as Green Goods Manager at Reems Reek Nursery in Weaverville, NC. I have enjoyed sharing plant stories, triumphs, and losses, as well as my passion for native plants and conifer with so many fine people in the WNC Region.”

October 1, 2019

Gentling Garden

Men’s Garden Club meeting was a field trip to enjoy the famous Gentling Garden.

The gardens began in 1906 when Edwin Grove built his hilltop home and as well as Grove Park Inn. In 197l, Jasmin & Peter Gentling bought the abandoned 15 acre property, with hidden garden terraces discovered during 40 years of their reconstruction. This fabled mountainside oasis with stunning gardens contain stone retaining walls for the elevation changes.

September 10, 2019

Discover Life in America (DLIA.)

The speaker was Todd P. Wilcher, Executive Director of Discover Life in America (DLIA).

In 1998, Discover Life in America, was formed to carry out a special mission in the Great Smoky Mountains Park called an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI),
which is a concerted effort to discover and understand ALL the species
that inhabit this 522,000-acre habitat.

Todd Wilcher gave an overview of the mission in our beloved Smokies’. Before becoming the ED at DLIA, he taught at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville for 16 years . He grew up in Tennessee with three degrees were in biology, business and education.

August 8, 2019

The annual MGCA picnic was held at the Governor’s Western Residence, off Town Mountain Road starting about 5:30 pm. The gates opened at 4:30 pm. Food was from BBQ from Okie Dokie Smokehouse.

Jennifer Strules, a post-graduate student from North Carolina State University, associated with the Urban/Suburban Black Bear Study being conducted in collaboration with NC Wildlife made a presentation.