Master Gardener

Seeds of an Agricultural Legacy

Marilyn Kline, Pinal County Master Gardener

Your SaddleBrooke/SaddleBrooke Ranch Master Gardeners are pleased to invite you to attend an online program presented by Jesús García, Director of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m. Join us for “Tasting History: The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project and Mission Garden.” Curious about Kino heritage fruit trees from the Spanish Mission Era? This program will give you an update and current events of this roughly 15-year-old project and a brief history of Mission Garden. The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project (, based at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, aims to research, locate, propagate, and re-establish historically accurate fruit cultivars (fruit tree stocks) from the mission era. The establishment of European-style orchards and fields by Spanish missionaries catalyzed a process of agricultural transformation for native Tohono O’odham and Mexican farmers. These trees represented a critical part of the fusion of cultures that took place on mission lands around the Southwest. Visit the website and join us to learn more.

Jesús García was born and raised in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, México. Since 1991 he has been associated with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where he is a conservation research associate, teaching natural history and cultural programs throughout southern Arizona and northern Sonora. He holds a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. He has been Director of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project for more than 15 years. He is also a co-chair, board member and collaborator of Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace and the Mission Garden for more than a decade.

Register at, then click on “events.” Questions about registration? Email [email protected].

How to Become a Master Gardener

Laurie Foster

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension trains gardening enthusiasts of Pinal County as master gardener volunteers who help their fellow citizens grow better gardens and more sustainable landscapes.

Class Dates: Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 2021, through Feb. 16, 2022, from 9 a.m. to noon

Tuition: $150 per individual and $225 per couple, which includes books and materials. Payment in full and a completed application is due by Sept. 27, 2021.

Course location: Anywhere with a computer and Internet connection.

Who should apply: Anyone with an interest in environmentally responsible landscaping and gardening in the low desert and a desire to teach those principles and skills in their community from research-based materials is a candidate for the master gardener program.

Acceptance into the course: Selection is based on a demonstrated willingness to volunteer in the community and to uphold the program mission and policies of the University of Arizona’s Designated Campus Colleague system.

Course and weekly time requirements: Three hours of weekly lecture as well as study time for required reading between classes.

Course overview: Master gardener training classes are taught by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, industry professionals and other horticulture experts. Students will learn the fundamentals of selecting, installing, and maintaining healthy, appropriate landscapes and gardens for the Arizona low desert.

Class topics delivered weekly:

botany; soil, water, and plant relations; orientation; irrigation; xeriscape; native plants; entomology; cacti and succulents; arboriculture; weeds and integrated pest management; citrus; vegetable gardening; plant pathology; plant diagnosis; and two electives to be determined

Completion of the training program and receipt of the title Certified Master Gardener: participants must attend all classes, with up to three missed and made-up classes. An additional 50 hours of volunteer service must be earned within one year. A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are made available.

To maintain certified master gardener status, a minimum of 25 volunteer hours and six continuing education hours are required per calendar year.

To apply for this course or for more information, contact Laurie Foster at [email protected].