The beginning of SCMGA…

In affiliation with The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, The New Hampshire Master Gardener Association (NHMGA) was formed just two months after 9/11 and became a reality on Nov. 10, 2001.

Plans were made to visit each of the ten counties in the state to encourage their Master Gardeners to form county associations in 2002.

Strafford County was founded in 1771, covers approximately 384 miles, and has a 2013 population of 124,593. It includes the cities and towns of: Barrington, Dover (County Seat), Durham, Farmington, Lee, Madbury, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Rochester, Rollinsford, Somersworth.

Strafford was among the first counties to form SCMGA on Feb. 12, 2002, and it became and has since remained, one of the most active in the state!

The first SCMGA plant sale was held on June 9 of that same year and with a “treasury” we were off and running!   We started immediately to assist in the choice of MG interns and keep track of MG projects.  Noreen G. has certainly done her share of encouraging these volunteers over the years with the help of other MG’s.  The mentoring program emerged in a few years as well as the highly acclaimed Kids Can Grow program for our youth.  Volunteers did a great job putting up the shed that we bought on sale from Home Depot and several MG “husbands” shingled the roof and painted…thanks, guys!

My memories over the years are a happy blur of lots of great food at our meetings (I am still using some of the recipes I got from fellow MG’s), working on a variety of community projects, and enjoying times orienting new Cooperative Extension Educator, Geoffrey Njue, when he first came on the scene.  (He had transferred to NH from Florida).  Establishing the Garden of Native New Hampshire Plants in Lee with Gael Grant was a challenge.  I recall us spreading compost in a cold November drizzle, again with some MG “husbands” and local Lee residents.

As new leadership assumed responsibility for SCMGA, it never lost a beat even in the year when no funding was available for the Strafford County Extension Office…we just kept going!

06/18/1931- 01/08/2017

06/18/1931- 01/08/2017

Despite the move to Colorado to be near family, I cherish the great friendships, common bonds and the hundreds and hundreds of community residents, adults and children, who have become part of who I am today. Thanks you for keeping in touch!

Submitted by: Carolyn Bassage, SCMG for Life


5 Responses to About

  1. Oddment says:

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and giving me the opportunity to learn about yours. What lovely images here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gretchenwing says:

    I love folks like you guys! Thanks for being there. I always have gardening questions and my friends are getting tired of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to laugh a bit when I saw that you liked my Dry Dock Garden blog but found it was great that you visited. I live in The Netherlands and often do blogs over the flower fields here. Thanks for stopping and glad you enjoyed my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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