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The CSU Extension in Gilpin County helps mountain residents improve their quality of life by offering a website, classes and programs that provide unbiased, research-based information on forestry, wildfire, wildlife, mountain gardening, noxious weeds and many other issues. Through our 4-H programs, we help youth develop life skills and to become more interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.

Gilpin Extension Master Gardeners   arrow

Meet our Gilpin Master Gardeners!

Written by Master Gardener Sandy Hollingsworth

Those of us who have completed the CSU Master Gardener training for our county Extension know it is an exciting time spent wondering if we can retain much of the information. We learn from CSU Professors, Adjunct faculty and Extension Agents who are experts in the fields of horticulture, entomology and forestry. We learn to be good attentive listeners, ask clarifying questions and use materials and CSU Fact Sheets and Garden Notes as references. After months of classes and clinics we are ready to teach and guide the public and our neighbors through their plant selection, garden preparations, soil amendments, fire-wise planting, home fire mitigation, pest identification, rain barrels, noxious weed eradication and encourage planting low water or native trees, shrubs and flowers suitable for Colorado.

Here are our current Master Gardeners and a bit about each of us.

Ginger Baer:

What you like most about being a Mountain Master Gardener: I really appreciate the knowledge I have gained in order to be able to grow in the mountains. I have gardened for over 60 years, but mostly in gentler environments. It is a challenge to grow up here, and every year is different. It is nice to know that I have many others joining in the struggle, it helps!

How long you have volunteered for Extension: 4 years

Your favorite vegetable to grow: Summer Squash – I get so many so it makes me feel successful!

Your favorite native to grow: Monarda – I love the spicy smell and it attracts so many pollinators

Sandy Hollingsworth:

What do you like most about being a Mountain Master Gardener: Educating and discussing with the public about land stewardship, fire mitigation, plant selection for the mountains, and tricks for a more successful garden. I enjoy listening to stories about others’ gardens and using information when volunteering for the Food Bank garden. I also enjoyed being on the first Advisory Committee to discuss Gilpin County Extension programs more broadly.

How long have you volunteered for Extension: 21 years, since 1998

Your favorite vegetable to grow: small turnips, tender and yummy! Spinach is always easy, fast and tasty.

Your favorite native to grow: Showy fleabane – it is so cheery, grown in a big bunch, and butterflies like its landing pad when in bloom.

Quote: To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn

Christy Hoyl:

What do you like most about being a Mountain Master Gardener: meeting new people in the community and sharing my passion for all things green.  It’s super fun working alongside other MG’s and hearing their stories too.  I love the opportunities for continuing education, conferences and workshops.  Especially wonderful is getting your hands in the dirt and seeing the plants grow!

How long have you volunteered for Extension: since 2001 so 18 years.

Your favorite vegetables to grow: salad greens (many varieties) and carrots. The grandkids love to go pick the carrots and eat them right there in the garden.

Your favorite Native to grow: Blue Flax linum lewsii – love the color. My favorite native but I don’t grow – is the Alpine Forget-me-not and Rosa woodsii.

Here is an Edwardian poem:
Tis like the birthday of the world,
When Earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes
The air is all perfume.

Christy Swarts:

How long have you volunteered for Extension: 3 years.

What do you like most about being a MG: Meeting new people who share the same passion for gardening.  The knowledge network is tremendous.

What are your favorite vegetables to grow: all cucumber varieties. Not so easy though up here in the high country.

What is your favorite Native to grow: Columbine

2019 Gilpin County Extension Master Gardeners with former Extension Agent Irene Shonle

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