By John Lorusso
We have had a great year educating our new crop of Master Gardeners in Brooklyn this year. The group began classes in the dead of winter in January and have been diligently working on their plant identification and diagnostic abilities all summer. In addition to those actions, they have been very busy fulfilling the outreach requirements at incredibly worthwhile, important, and noteworthy projects in the community.
A partial listing of some of those community outreach projects: the Palmer Arboretum in Wood stock, People’s Harvest Sustainable Community Farm in Pomfret, Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Goodwin State Forest & Conservation Center in Hampton, Camp Quinebaug Rainbow Garden in Danielson, CT Children’s Hospital in Hartford, Dennison Pequot-Sepos Nature Center in Mystic, Camp Harkness in Waterford, the Belding Butterfly Garden in Tolland, the Emerald Ash Borer Surveillance Program of the CT. Ag Experiment Station, and Natchaug Hospital courtyard gardens. Over 2200 hours have been logged by our Master Gardeners and interns at these crucial programs in the community.
We have exhibited and engaged the public this year at The Woodstock Fair, Willimantic’s third Thursday street festivals, The Killingly Great Tomato Festival, Children’s programming at the Sterling Library, and Celebrating Agriculture.
Upcoming events this fall and winter to include Garden Master Classes on growing giant pumpkins, evergreen identification and wreath making, and beginning floral design and miniature boxwood tree holiday arrangement. We also hope to organize a few movie nights in partnership with the Connecticut Master Gardener Association. We are tentatively scheduled for late Octobe1 to show Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home, a 90-minute environmental, education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems.
Next year’s Master Gardener class will be held in Tolland county, with the class returning to Brooklyn in 2019.
If you or someone you know is interested in taking the class, or any of the other opportunities listed in this article, please feel free to contact John Lorusso at email@example.com.