The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 14, 2012

Carthage gardening organization also raises funds

CARTHAGE, Mo. — What a good feeling to report on a local fundraising event that has done well.

The Ozark Gateway Master Gardeners plant sale on May 1 fits into that category. The group raised $4,500 at its 14th annual sale by selling a plethora of perennials, annuals, bulbs, vegetables, herbs and trees raised by the members.

The day of the sale turned out to be a warm spring morning. Running into friends and acquaintances, and talking about plants was a great way to enjoy it. I took a few herbs and left with a couple of new plants that I haven’t tried before.

Ozark Gateway’s roster continues to grow each year as a new graduating class completes the training course. Since its beginning in 1992, a total of 431 have participated in the program, which is run by Ed Browning and Janet LaFon of the University of Missouri Extension Center.

What do a retired school librarian, an emergency room nurse, an information technologist, a part-time Realtor, a retired trucker, a dairy farmer and a high school student have in common? They are all members of this year’s master gardener class, comprising 15 trainees from Carthage, Joplin, Carl Junction, Diamond, Cossvillestet, Carterville, Webb City, Oronogo and Racine.

A recent project undertaken by Ozark Gateway is the installation of a greenhouse at the Crosslines community garden, 131 S. High Ave., Joplin. The greenhouse was donated by master gardeners Gary and Judy Davis. The garden is supervised by Lou Anne Herron and Debbie Fedie.

Through mid-August, master gardener volunteers will answer a gardening help line from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. People may call the extension center’s number, 417-358-2158, for information on any gardening topic. In addition, the group maintains public gardens at the Carthage Public Library and the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center.


Five feathery baby bluebirds fledged successfully from the nesting box behind our home on April 26. The next day, we tore the old nest out, and seven days later, a new nest was ready to go again. On May 6, I found the first egg of the second clutch of the season.

Like clockwork, a single egg was added each day after that until last Thursday, when the fifth egg was laid — turning out to be a beautiful birthday gift for me. I have promised Mama Bluebird to not bother her again until around May 18-20, when the birds are due to hatch. Then I’ll have to take a peek.

This is the second year we’ve had at least two broods from the same nest, and they have started so early, we may even get a third.

If you are interested in “raising” bluebirds, there is an excellent booklet, written and illustrated by Julie Zickefoose, that covers all aspects of attracting and keeping a healthy bluebird population. “Enjoying Bluebirds More (the Bluebird Landlord’s Handbook)” is available by calling the Bird Watcher’s Digest, 800-879-2473, or by writing to P.O. Box 110, Marietta, OH 45750.

Address correspondence to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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