Who you gonna’ call? SaddleBrooke Master Gardeners

Patti R. Albaugh

Louise Grabell, coordinator for the SaddleBrooke Master Gardener program, recently spoke to SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary about the background, vision and services of Master Gardeners. Louise was formerly a high school science teacher but even as a child she was interested in gardening. “I have my mother to thank for that,” she said with fondness.

Louise helped start the program here in SaddleBrooke in 2005 as a group specifically geared for the SaddleBrooke community. In the beginning they had three goals: 1. Organize plant classes, 2. Deliver fliers and 3. Meet monthly with the Pinal County Master Gardener Program agents, administered through University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension, Pinal County, Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Now the Master Gardener Program in SaddleBrooke has a long list of activities including numerous newspaper articles, Ask Your Master Gardener Helpline (407-6459), mini and short courses, helping with Mountain Vista Elementary School garden, plant sales and, yes, house calls!

Volunteering is the keystone to being a Master Gardener, but there are specific steps to earning that title. You have to attend a 12-week course, volunteer 50 hours the first year and take continuing education credits. If you are interested email Louise Grabell at peridot13@centurylink.net. Not only will you learn about plants for Southwest gardens but you will also be a critical resource for others. Visit the SaddleBrooke Master Gardeners website at https://sbmastergardeners.wordpress.com.

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary meets 8:00 a.m. Thursday mornings at the MountainView Country Club. For more information, contact President Tim Johnston at 520-219-1290.