Strafford County, NH, 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 and Strafford.
Strafford County Master Gardener Association is one of the ten Master Gardener groups in the State of New Hampshire. working under the auspices of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. We have over 60 members who work on a variety of Strafford County gardening projects.
Under the guidance of our own Strafford County Cooperative Extension Staff, we strive to assist our neighbors by providing education and support for a variety of gardening topics. This blog is intended as another means to enhance our communication with our fellow gardeners.
If you are a New Hampshire resident, there is a link on the blog’s front page to contact the UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center and Information Line for all of your gardening questions.
If you are outside of the state and have a gardening question, feel free to contact us and we will attempt to assist you as well. In the process, we will probably all learn something new, and that is always a good thing.
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 among the first 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!
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