Texas Master Gardener Association in cooperation with The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and The Texas A&M University System recognizes and presents awards for exemplary achievement in the following award categories:
- Youth/County Master Gardener JMG Program
- Education Program
- Written Education
- JMG Marva Beck Leader Award
- Individual Master Gardener
- Outstanding Master Gardener Association
Entries are judged by a committee of Master Gardeners from throughout the state. Kaufman County competes in the Medium Association category for organizations with 25 to 49 dues-paying members
The 2022 Texas Master Gardener Association virtual conference, Community Connections, was held May 10-12, 2022. Kaufman County Master Gardeners compete in the Medium category for associations with 25 to 49 members. We won second place awards in two categories: Youth-Other for the Children’s Legacy Garden and Written Education for a series of horticultural articles for the Kaufman Herald.
Children's Legacy Garden in Forney
Beginning in March of 2021, Kaufman County Master Gardeners cooperated with the Sharing the Love Foundation and a number of other businesses and organizations in Forney to renovate an old 3/4 acre home site that had been donated for a garden space. Marian Stewart, founder of Share the Love Foundation, envisioned a garden everyone could enjoy and a place where senior and youth could learn from each other. The result was the Children’s Legacy Garden in Forney.
Volunteers to help with the project were recruited by forming a youth garden club, which grew to 19 members during the project, and overall volunteers from the community increased by 50%. Master Gardeners helped with planning the project and with plant selection. Plans were made for a walkway and a butterfly garden. Emphasis was placed on recycling and pallets were used throughout the garden as art projects and storage areas.
In 9 months, 23 raised beds were built, a butterfly garden was established with a granite walkway from the front gate. Seven picnic benches, a gazebo and library box were added. Over 200 pounds of fresh produce was distributed to senior residents in Forney in 2021.
Horticultural Series in Kaufman Herald
In 2021, Kaufman County Master Gardeners realized a long-held dream: a monthly gardening column in the local newspaper, The Kaufman Herald. While we had made previous attempts, they had stalled because we lacked a writer who could write copy for a newspaper. When Karel Holloway joined us, she brought years of newspaper experience from her previous career.
Holloway submitted two seasonally-appropriate article to the newspaper, and two were printed in February. Articles for the remainder of the year were planned and have been printed.
An article called “Plants that Really Grow in Kaufman County” was included in the Spring Home Improvement Supplement. Plants suggested by Master Gardeners were described, with accompanying pictures. This information was recreated for our website, kcmga.org, where the link to “What Grows Here” can be found.
The annual Texas Master Gardener Association virtual conference, A Walk Through Texas Gardens, was held from May 18-19, 2021.
Kaufman County Master Gardeners won a 2020 first place award in the Medium County (25-49 members) Youth-Other category for “The Science of Gardening.” The program was produced in cooperation with Poetry Community Christian School and was directed at students in Kindergarten through the eighth grade.
Master Gardeners worked 48.75 hours helping students work with a partner on a 12” X 12” area in a raised bed and in the science lab on their journals for researching, planning, and collecting data. Then COVID forced school closures.
Master Gardeners developed “Ready. Set. Go Garden,” so students and parents could continue working from home on their journals. Available on our website, it could be utilized by any student at any time. Fifty-nine hours were spent on developing hands-on and on-line curriculum.
The annual Texas Master Gardener Association awards were announced today in an online meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our Spring Seminar, Peggy Martin Presents Old Garden and Antique Roses, won second place in the Educational Program category. This category recognizes a program presented by Master Gardeners that provides an opportunity to learn about a horticultural topic.
The first place Outstanding Individual Master Gardener award for medium counties went to KC Master Gardener Rebecca Morrow. This category recognizes a Master Gardener whose involvement and contributions during the award year are of primary importance, although prior year contributions or involvement may also be considered.
At the 2019 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County Master Gardener Association, which is in the Medium Association category for organizations with 25 to 49 members, received three second place awards.
Beverly Curtis was recognized for contributions as Individual Master Gardener. This category recognizes a Master Gardener whose involvement and contributions during the award year are of primary importance, although prior year contributions or involvement may also be considered.
The Poor Farm Vegetable Demonstration Garden was recognized in the Project category, and the 2018 Horticultural Calendar was recognized in the Written Education category.
At the 2018 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County won two awards. Our two-year-old program, Kaufman County Master Gardener Training, was awarded First Place in the Educational Program category.
Master Gardener Dianne Kaufman was awarded Outstanding Individual Master Gardener. This category recognizes a Master Gardener whose involvement and contributions during the award year are of primary importance, although prior year contributions or involvement may also be considered.
At the 2017 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County Master Gardeners, who are in the medium association category (25 to 49 members), won a second-place award for their 2016 Spring Seminar, “No Dig Gardening: The Easier, Lazier Way to Grow Food.”
Master Gardener Rebecca Morrow spoke about no-dig gardening techniques that were also physically easier to manage, including raised-bed gardening, vertical gardening, and container gardening. Master Gardener Duddly Hargrove discusses the principles and methods of the popular square-foot gardening system promoted by Mel Bartholomew. The program ended with a demonstration of ways to recycle common items for use in the garden by Master Gardener Rebecca Morrow.
At the 2016 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County Master Gardener Association, which is in the Medium Association category for organizations with 25 to 49 members, won three first-place awards.
We won first place in the Medium Association category, first place for in the Educational Program category for our Fall Seminar. “Gardening in Fall and Winter” featured programs on soil preparation, when and what to plant in winter, and extending the growing season to have fresh produce in winter. Our 2015 Horticultural Calendar also placed first in the Written Education category.
At the 2015 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County won awards in both of the categories to which submissions were made. The 2014 Spring Seminar “Farming by the Yard,” which featured programs on backyard chickens, stone fruits and nuts and edible landscapes, won first place in the Educational Program category.
The group also received a second place award in the Project category for the new Monarch Butterfly Garden, which was installed in the spring of 2014. The project was partially funded by a grant from Monarch Watch and the Native Plant Society of Texas.
At the 2014 Texas Master Gardener Association convention, hosted by the Permian Basin Master Gardeners and held in Midland-Odessa, Kaufman County was selected as the Outstanding Medium Association, winning first place in that category.
The 2013 Fall Vegetable Program, which featured information about the best varieties of vegetables and planting times for the local area, as well as programs on canning, vermicomposting and Mediterranean herbs, won third place in the Educational Program category
2012 and Before
In late 2012, the Texas Master Gardener Association revised their award categories and criteria to those listed above. Prior to that time, there were nine award categories:
- Educational Program
- Exhibit/Poster Showcase
- Graphic Presentation
- Mass Media
- Individual Master Gardener
- Outstanding Association
Kaufman County competed in the Small Association category for organizations with less than 50 dues-paying members.