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Learn to grow veggies from a UCCE Master Gardener

Exploring an Oakhurst Community Garden With UCCE Master Gardener Randy Thompson

Picture of broccoliOAKHURST — Randy Thompson, an active University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener and Oakhurst resident, wants to start a community garden and perhaps recruit more master gardener candidates.

“The process to become a Master Gardener is more involved and we will address that in future meetings,” he said. UCCE has maintained the Master Gardener Program in California since 1980, sharing the best practices vetted through UC research to residential gardeners.

His presentation, scheduled January 11th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Oakhurst Branch Library will be held in the Library Community Room at 49044 Civic Circle Drive.

“I am seeking to meet-and-greet actual local gardeners interested in taking a six-week, beginning gardener workshop to be held at the library with the hope of starting a conversation that might lead to establishing either a garden club with regular meetings or an Oakhurst community garden, if the interest is truly there,” he stated.

Picture of a wheelbarrow filled with dirtUCCE Master Gardeners in Madera County maintain a demonstration garden called the Three Sisters Garden at the Madera Community College on Avenue 12, about a 44-mile drive from Oakhurst. Randy’s proposal to build a local program and still be part of the county and state programs would provide a more convenient location for establishing a community garden.

Randy is a retired graphic designer, architecture buff, and retired Director of Publications from California State University Northridge. “How we live our daily lives is important to the sustainability of mankind, especially as growing populations put pressure on resources and special uses, in particular, waste management starts with our individual choices. As a result of changed thinking I have become knowledgeable in educating about composting and worms, or vermiculture,” he said. As a Master Gardener his belief is “if you take care of the soil, the plants will take care of themselves” and that if we were more conscious of our waste stream we could reduce it, reuse it, recycle it. Just one revelation that gardening illuminates.

Picture of UCCE Master Gardener Randy

UCCE Master Gardener Randy Thompson

Randy has been an Oakhurst resident for almost two years and has been very familiar with the Mariposa/Oakhurst area while attending “The 49er Rally” – a BMW motorcycle sponsored event held at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. He also climbed Half Dome and explored other areas where he might relocate one day.

The Master Gardener Handbook, authored by Dennis Pittenger, is available to the public at the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources Bookstore. It can also be found on Amazon.

The free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. For more information, please call 559-683-4838.


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