Modesto Garden Club June'17 Newsletter


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June 2017 Vol. 2017, Issue 10 Member of CGCI A Publication of Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Valley Lode District – Pacific Region 2017/2018 Scholarship Awards By Judy Spencer The Garden Club is proud to award 7 scholarships, in the amount of $1500 each, to the following students. Only 3 of our recipients were able to attend the May General Meeting; commitments at school kept the others from attending the awards ceremony. All were grateful for receiving the awards. • Sydney Chiesa, currently at Turlock High School, will be going to California State University Stanislaus, majoring in ornamental horticulture and agricultural business. • Michael Mattos, currently at Central Catholic High School, will be going to University of California Davis, majoring in global disease biology. • Adriana Gudino, currently at Hughson High School, will be going to California State University Chico, majoring in agricultural education. • Carina Duran, currently at Modesto Junior College, will be going to Oregon State University, majoring in viticulture and enology. • Claire Bardsley, currently at Beyer High School, will be going to Modesto Junior College, majoring in environmental horticulture. • David Phillips, currently at Central Catholic High School, will be going to Cornell University, majoring in bioengineering. • Jonathan Moules, currently at Turlock High School, will be going to Modesto Junior College, majoring in agricultural education. Top photo is Beyer High student Claire Bardsley. Center photo is Adriana Gudino, currently at Hughson High. To the right, below, is Sydney Chiesa’s mother, acceping the scholarship for the Turlock High School student. Annual Summer Table Viewing – 2017 By Linda Pedego and Joyce Smith Another Spectacular Event Coming Up in June That You Don’t Want to Miss! Tickets for the Luncheon are sold out but you can still come for the Table Viewing, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Del Rio Country Club, Viewing tickets are $10 and available at the door. Come Hang Out & Keep Cool With Your Friends!


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Page 2 Over the Garden Gate President’s Message By Dan Yockey Well here we are, the last President’s Message for me as president of the Garden Club. It has been a pleasure being your president for the last five years. So much has happened and so many memories of past meetings, tours, luncheons, and just good times with so many friendly and talented people. Many people have commented that I must feel relieved that my term is over, but I can honestly say I am going to miss the involvement and the opportunity to be a part of and to sometimes guide our popular and friendly group. I wish to comment on our Presidents Thank You Lunch at Del Rio Country Club in May. I know that those of you who attended were treated to a spectacular lunch. The service was impeccable and the food and dessert over the top. I want to give five ***** stars to Amber and Rico and their staff for such an unmatched experience. I can’t thank everyone enough who have given me advice and help as well as encouragement over the last five years. I wish I could thank each of you personally but when you read this know that I am thinking of you. I want to wish our new President Mary McNicholas much appreciation for taking on this important job. I know she will be great. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Spring Luncheon, the men’s table I am sure will surprise you. Please stop by and say goodbye to me as your president. Yours in Gardening, Dan Calendar of Upcoming Events • June 2 – Private Garden Tour, 526 Myrtle, 9 a.m. to Noon. Cost $5. • June 5 to 11 – National Garden Week • June 7 – Summer Luncheon Table Viewing , Del Rio Country Club from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost $10. • June 8 – Summer Luncheon, Del Rio Country Club, Viewing: 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Luncheon: Noon to 2 p.m. • June 29 – MGCI Board Meeting, Club Office, from 9 a.m. to Noon. • July 1 – Don’t forget to pay your dues. Dues are delinquent July 1st. • August 31 – MGCI Board Meeting. • September 14 – Welcome Back! Modesto Garden Club General Meeting. Location: Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 1600 Carver Rd., Modesto. Have a Great Summer! We will welcome you back for the 2017-2018 Club Year in September for the start of great activities, fun events and travel opportunities for everyone. Dan Yockey, outgoing president of the Modesto Garden Club, hands the gavel to Mary McNicholas, incoming president. Dan has been president of MGC for the past five years and, as he comments in his message above, is going to “miss the involvement and the opportunity to be a part of and to sometimes guide our popular and friendly group.” After its traditional summer hiatus, the garden club’s first meeting of the 2017-2018 year will be September 14 at the usual meeting spot, Trinity United Presbyterian Church on Carver Road in Modesto.


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Over the Garden Gate Page 3 Garden of the Month A New Description: Bungalow Asian Fusion By Judy Spencer The garden of Stephanie and Ian Van Evera, 507 Sycamore Avenue, has been selected as the June Garden of the Month by the Modesto Garden Club. This bungalow style house, built in 1916, just had its 100th birthday. The owners have been working on this garden since 2008. They wanted a drought tolerant garden and have a selection of plants that includes kangaroo paw, phormium, bottle brush and succulents. The garden is a work in progress and the owners are still experimenting with plants. They have done very well with a giant bird of paradise plant. Maples are used to accent two planting islands. One maple is a soft green and another is a brilliant red. The islands are covered with water-conserving mulch. Paths are natural slate stepping stones and gravel, allowing water to percolate. Bold colors of orange and turquoise are used to accent the front yard. The door is orange, porch chairs are turquoise, and some of the brickwork of the house is painted to pick up theses colors. Ian designed and made the distinctive porch railing, which gives the bungalow an Asian fusion look. It’s really a creative way to update a bungalow. What really stands out about this yard is the creativity involved in the planting and colors. “Wow” colors just seem to work so well on an old bungalow. Private Garden Tour Friday, June 2, 9:00 to 12:00 526 Myrtle Avenue Cost $5 per person Come see the beautiful, eclectic garden of Gloria Bartel. The yard has many sculptures including works of different artists.  All the mosaic pieces were created by the homeowner.  As a special treat we will get to tour the home which was built in 1936. Gloria will have some of her art available to purchase. Light refreshments will be available.  Due to MJC parking restrictions please park in the driveway or if full, park on Coldwell or West Morris. Over the Garden Gate Published 10 times a year, September-June, by the Modesto Garden Club, Inc. President: Dan Yockey Contributing Writers this month: Lynn Brooks and Cheryl Smith, Pixie Kinser, Pat Logan, Mary Lou Rice, Joyce Smith, Judy Spencer, Edie Westerman, Dan Yockey, Gerry Yockey Copy/ Text Editor: Mary Lou Rice, Advertisements, Fliers and Photos: Mary Lou Rice (209) 869-3584 Website: Office: 622-14th Street Modesto, CA. 95354-2505 Email: 209 529-7360 (open Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon)


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Page 4 Over the Garden Gate It Must Have Been the Merry Month of May! Learn and Grow speaker Suzanne Breashears, above, has been a Modesto Garden Club member since 1971.


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Over the Garden Gate Page 5 It’s the Volunteers Who Make the Club Possible! Thanks!


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Page 6 Over the Garden Gate Modesto Garden Club School Gardens By Pat Logan School gardens really matter because they provide students with connections to where food comes from and handson experiential learning. Modesto Garden Club’s goal is to instill in students the knowledge and skill set to know how to grow their own food and make healthy food choices. Studies show that students who plant, tend, and harvest their own food make healthier food choices than their non-gardening counterparts. Students with school gardens grow all kinds of vegetables: tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, cucumbers, herbs, carrots, radishes, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, kale, spinach, onions, and collard greens. Some schools donate extra produce to parents, staff, food banks, and shelters. Many of the teachers who coordinate and supervise school gardens use a curriculum that mirrors the “California Common Core” state standards. Some of this curriculum is provided by University of California Cooperative Extension Stanislaus County. Many teachers blend school garden activities with science, health, social studies, math, art, and English subjects. Students participate in taste tests, cooking lessons, and demonstrations by local chefs and Master Food Preservers. Field trips to local farms enrich the school garden program and presentations by local growers are common among the schools with school gardens. Some teachers offer cross-age activities involving both students at primary and intermediate grades. Other teachers offer interdisciplinary activities involving regular education students working hand-in-hand with special education students and upper grade students acting as big brothers and sisters with primary and kindergarten students. Most of the school gardens are ADA compliant allowing students with special needs to access the garden. School district support is paramount to the success of a school garden program and custodians are vital to support the school garden during the months that school is not in session. Community support is necessary to sustain the school garden program over a period of years from big box stores to local nurseries. Twenty five percent of American children are overweight and 11 percent are obese. Overweight children are susceptible to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease and more likely to have low self esteem and depression. Students don’t know where their food comes from or what it means to eat healthy. In the age of fast food and highly processed, sugar laden-food and beverages, its time to teach our children about healthy eating habits through gardening and agriculture. We live here in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley where we can grow almost anything we put in the soil, yet our youth are not physically healthy. Grants such as the USDA Farm to School grant as well as local grants are great “seed money” to begin a school garden project. Students at schools with school gardens are more willing to try new foods, increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, and reduce their consumption of soda and junk food. Over twenty-five schools in the Modesto area are supported by Modesto Garden Club, ten of which receive a yearly grant of $200 to purchase gardening supplies (hoes, shovels, fertilizer, gloves, and other gardening needs). All twentyfive schools receive seeds and plant starts (usually vegetables) which are supplied by Colorama and the University of California Cooperative Extension Stanislaus County and delivered to the schools via Modesto Garden Club volunteers. Master Gardeners from San Joaquin and Merced County provide advice and assistance as well. Martone Elementary School students in Ms. Crane’s class use a lighted plant growth device called a Tower to grow vegetables hydroponically in the classroom. Students enjoy guest speakers who are local farmers, growers, and vermiculturists; and Ms. Crane conducts taste tests introducing new vegetables and fruits comparing different species grown in the school garden. Everett Elementary School students in Ms. Kucera’s classroom are enjoying winter vegetables that grow astonishing well in the small space provided for their raised beds. The gopher seems to have moved on to greener pastures this year and the vandalism that set the garden back last year has ceased. This year is starting out to be a great gardening year with winter vegetables being harvested and spring/summer vegetables being planted. Orville Wright Elementary School students in Ms. Pfaff’s class enjoy sharing their garden with students in other primary grades. Kindergarten students enjoy a kneeling bench at the edge of the raised beds so they can reach into the garden to plant, tend, and harvest their crops. Orville Wright students plant flowers between their vegetables to make the garden a veritable edible landscape. Elliott Alternative Education Center students in Ms. Kline’s Classroom plant vegetables in the raised beds built by their principal. Students conduct taste tests, make salads, and share their bounty with other Elliott students and staff. Mark Twain Junior High School students in Mary Christensen’s class plant vegetables in the eight raised beds built by American Lumber Company. The beds contain vegetables and flowers that provide an opportunity for Ms. Christensen’s students to also “blossom” in the garden.


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Over the Garden Gate Page 7 Keeping Young and Vital By Mary Lou Rice We have a few very important positions that need to be filled for the upcoming year. We need some vital volunteers to step up and get involved. All the positions involve getting together with friends and volunteers to further the purposes of the Modesto Garden Club. As we all know there are immense benefits from social interaction. Our social activity keeps us young and vital. • Director of Budding Gardeners (coordinates groups and adds new groups as needed). This is a satisfying position. Helping a group of 9 to 12 people establish a group of old and/or new friends. Bonding in the serenity of the garden is a joyful experience. • Director of Downtown Flower Clock (plants the clock twice yearly and maintains it as needed during the year). The Clock is a long-term commitment of the Modesto Garden Club. It is a featured item for MGC and the City of Modesto. This person needs to plan the flowers to be planted and to find the members capable of climbing the hill. There are people who have planted for several years and will continue to ‘climb the hill’. This person will see their vision of the clock realized, gaining personal satisfaction and garnering confidence. • Private Garden Tour Chairman (finds members who would like to share their garden with other members). This is a perfect position for someone who loves to entertain and, plan parties, but would like some help getting the garden spruced up! You set the date, food, drinks and invite members to come enjoy a morning, afternoon or evening in the garden. Try this position and watch your garden of friends flourish. What fun! The benefits to you of filling one of these positions are extending your network of friends and acquaintances, activating your memory skills, feeling good about yourself and keeping young and vital! The benefit to the Modesto Garden Club is a membership that is strong, not only in numbers but in commitment to our community. Which position would you like to take? Contact Mary McNicholas, 544-6549 or


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Page 8 622 14th Street Modesto, CA 95354-2505 Return Service Requested Over the Garden Gate Forget-Me-Not-Spot By Edie Westerman Summer is here! The heat is among us and that means more watering or being more efficient with our watering ways. I, for one, am very thankful for all the rain we had this winter and spring. Even though there is an abundance of water this year I will continue to conserve. I know my garden is so thankful for all the extra water it received this year and it’s blooming as if to say thank you! Enjoy your yard this summer with family and friends! Have a great summer! Happy birthday to all those born in May! Enjoy your birthday month! In May, 34 birthday cards were sent out along with get well/thinking of you cards.  Vendor thank you’s were sent out to all our generous businesses that donate to our raffatunity. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mary Jo Pinheiro who passed away on April 29, 2017.  She first joined MGC in 1998 and was a wonderful, active member for many years.  Also, we are thinking of our member, Lucille Lotko, as she mourns the passing of her son.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as well. Please call or text me (Edie) at (209) 204-8053 to let me know of members who may need cards sent to them.  You are also welcome to email me at ediejw@hotmail.  Please note in the subject line “Modesto Garden Club” so I won’t miss your email.   Until next time remember: “Money can’t buy happiness. Except at the garden center.” ~ The Garden Stud Hackers and Whackers By Pixie Kinser A BIG thank you to my team! We have been busy. Last month we spent time in the beds off the Modesto Senior Center parking lot. The weather was perfect to do some extra pruning and weeding. As expected this time of the year, lots of our plants are beginning to show their color. Pansies and geraniums are in full bloom with others to follow. We are still waiting for a start date regarding the outside grease trap upgrade. As mentioned in prior month report, several of the plants in the location will have to be moved to allow for the upgrade. The city has decided the cedar trees which were removed will not be replaced with any other trees because of plumbing in the area. The ivy will be encouraged to cover the area In closing, please join us the 2nd/4th Tuesdays, 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Modesto Senior Center, 211 Bodem St., Contact Pixie Kinser, 578-4338 for information.



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