Spring Gardening Day Bios

Glenda Berman

Introduction to Gardening with Natives

Native plants are beautiful, more reliable and easy to maintain. Incorporating native plants into your landscape is a sure way to attract a greater diversity of birds, butterflies, and bees to your garden. This course will explore native plant selection and gardening practices with a particular emphasis on attracting and supporting birds, butterflies and bees.

Glenda Berman has been a Master Gardener Volunteer for 8 years and in 2013 started the Master Gardener Volunteer outreach initiative “Bee part of the solution, plant a pollinator Garden”. Glenda has also assisted with the Columbia County Land Conservancy’s native plant restoration project at Siegel Kline-Kill Park and was a Westchester County volunteer in the parks Nature Guide for 10 years.

Maureen Mooney

Creating a Cutting Garden

Having fantasies of colorful flower bouquets in every room of your home? You can create a low maintenance garden that will provide you with beautiful blooms from spring to the first frost. Come learn about some of the most popular annuals and perennials to grow. You will learn about growing requirements and resources.

Maureen is a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension. She has years of experience growing flowers, vegetables and crafting dried flower wreaths. She also has a special interest in organic gardening and horticulture therapy.

Sue Charbonneau

The Versatile Herb

Want to learn how to select, grow and use herbs that usually flourish in our area? Interested in cool plants that can spice up your meals, add fragrance to your garden, and lend distinction to your bouquets? Check out the versatile herb.

Sue Charbonneau's introduction to herbs started back when she began growing a few as foundation plants around her newly acquired old house. She was seeking a replacement for the clipped yews that were formerly there and for something that at least looked a bit more historically accurate. At her current old house, herbs are included in the garden beds throughout the property and are often included in the dinner plans or in pass along bouquets. Sue is a Master Gardener Volunteer for Cornell Cooperative Extension at Columbia Greene.

Teresa Golden, Jean Thomas

Defensive Gardening

Wildlife plays an essential role in balanced ecosystems. However, wildlife management may be necessary when too many of a particular species impact the landscape. This session will help you to learn how to mitigate the impact of deer, groundhogs, rabbits and other wildlife using fencing, repellents and wildlife resistant plants.

A Master Gardener volunteer since 2015, Teresa Golden raises both vegetables and flowers and is starting to expand her focus to include fruit trees. She tends to focus on deer and drought resistant plants as well as bird and pollinator friendly varieties. A resident of the Town of Catskill in Greene County, Teresa and her husband live on 150+ acres of mostly forested property. They are striving to be good stewards of the land maintaining a wildlife habitat that includes white-tailed deer, black bears, groundhogs, beavers, porcupines, fishers, coyotes and numerous bird species. In addition to the volunteer work she does for Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Columbia and Greene Counties, she also volunteers with Cultivate Catskill, a non-profit focused on planting pride in the local community. Currently serving on the Planning Board for the Town of Catskill, she has previously served as a trustee for the Wappinger Central School District Board of Education, and on the planning board for the Town of East Fishkill. Jean has been a MGV for five years in Greene County and in a former life was a MGV in Rensselaer for ten years. She holds an AAS in Floriculture from SUNY Cobleskill and a BA in Biology from SUNY @ Albany. Her gardens in Freehold are a gathering place for the many furry creatures discussed in today's talk.

Abbey Cash

Gardening Tips: Be in the Know!

What do I know about gardening that you don’t? What do YOU know that I don’t? Let’s begin the dialogue by exploring eclectic gardening tips provided by me and other Columbia Greene MG Volunteers. Diverse areas will be explored including roses, tick borne diseases, annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees, pests, invasives, and more! This interactive workshop will impose upon participants to divulge their insights, as well!

Abbey Block Cash has been a MGV associated with Cornell Cooperative Extension for 15 years, working in the Hudson New York office. She recently retired as an educator and Professor from the SUNY system. Although she loves annuals and perennials, trees and bushes, and has a variety of gardening interests, the specialty area where she has developed her strengths is roses. She has offered workshops on roses during yearly ColumbiaGreene Spring Gardening Day, given presentations to garden clubs and interested groups, and authored monthly articles on roses as part of the MGV Newsletter.

Mary Ann Iacinno

Sequence of Bloom

We will review of garden basics: planning; site preparation and “the bones of the garden”. We’ll discuss how and when to plant bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes, along with annuals, biennials, perennials and flowering shrubs to give a continuous display in the garden from spring through winter.

Growing up on a family owned and operated fruit farm, working side by side with her parents and family makes gardening ingrained in Mary Ann. She will never get tired of saying, “Yes, I grew that!” Gardening has always been something she loves to do and talk about. Mary Ann also enjoys gaining knowledge and making friends who share a passion for gardening. Before moving to Columbia County in 2005, she became a Master Gardener Volunteer in the 1990s when she lived in Dutchess County. Mary Ann received her instruction from Darryl David in Ulster County with the first MGV group established there. Mary Ann has a background in secondary science education and in business, is semi-retired, and only wishes there were two growing seasons here. Her favorite quote sums it up: “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” -Gandhi

Frieda Pearce and Tammy Russoff

Introduction to Composting

This class will review exactly what compost is, the science of how it's created and why it's worth your time and energy both for the beauty of your garden and the health of the earth. Practical information about how to make compost, what is compostable, types of composting and composting bins/containers will be provided.

Frieda Pearce is a Master Gardener through the Cornell Cooperative Extension. As her undergraduate minor was botany, she has always been interested in flora, however, her exposure centered around tropical and subtropical species. After many years of teaching chemistry, biochemistry and more recently continuing medical education, she has now reverted to discovering North American habitat its species and their maintenance. She has developed a passion for vegetable gardening, growing more varieties of vegetables and managing their viability without the use of pesticides and repellents. She divides her efforts between Columbia county and Queens County in New York.

Tammy Rusoff-Hoen was raised in Minnesota where she completed her Master’s Degree in social work and spent several years as a psychiatric social worker in Minneapolis’ county hospital. She is now living happily full time and in Ghent, NY. Tammy is entering her 5th year as a Master Gardener. Inspired by her husband Jonathan’s passion for gardening, she ultimately joined him as a Master Gardener. Conveniently, his interests focused on flowers, shrubs and trees while her interests-- health, nutrition and cooking -- were on growing edibles in their garden. Tammy’s other interests include composting, soils, and landscape design using native plants.

Joanne Concra

Vegetable Gardening 2020

Want to grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beans, lettuce, garlic, and much more but don’t know where to start? This class will give you the helpful information you need for a successful garden. Topics will include how to plan your site, how to select your plants, planting techniques, how to care for what you have planted including how to manage weeds, pests and diseases and much more.

JoAnn Concra is a Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener since 2005. She has lived in Columbia County all her life, been raised on a fruit farm overlooking the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. She enjoys growing vegetables, fruits and flowers which she shares with family and friends.

Kathy Schneider

Birding 101: Moving Beyond the Bird Feeder

This presentation covers the fundamentals of birding. Learn how to choose the right birding binoculars, discover how today’s birders use field guides and phone apps to home in on an ID, and see how computers have changed the way we bird. This talk will expand your birding horizons so you can see more birds, grow your skills, and connect to the birding community.

Kathryn Schneider is a Master Gardener and professional ornithologist. Her birding career has included teaching college biology courses, managing a biodiversity inventory program, consulting for government agencies, and writing a book on the birds of the Hudson Valley. A committed conservationist, she is past President of the New York State Ornithological Association, a former member of the Columbia County Environmental Management Council, and a Columbia Land Conservancy volunteer.

Linda Levitt

Container Gardens

Growing plants in pots offers all the enjoyment of the in-the-ground gardening, plus so much more! Indoors and out, containers give you the freedom to move plants around, creating a constantly changing display of foliage and flowers. It is important to understand plants and how they grow in order to provide the best possible conditions. This class will give you the insight as to the right container, adequate spacing, proper drainage and selecting a suitable container mix.

Linda Levitt has been a Master Gardener for five years. She has also earned an advanced certification in horticulture and landscape design from Berkshire Community College. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene counties. She sits on the Educational Committee and volunteers as a tour guide at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA.

Linda Aydlett

To Be a Bee

Presenting a stewardship perspective to the keeping of honey bees (Apis mellifera) that follows the rhythms of the four seasons from the honey bee’s point of view. Intended for new beekeepers, gardeners and anyone interested in learning more about these remarkable creatures, regardless of prior knowledge and experience

Linda is both a Master Gardener Volunteer and Cornell Certified Master Beekeeper and has mentored aspiring beekeepers in Columbia and Greene Counties for the past several years.

Tim Kennelty

Supporting Wildlife and Adding Beauty with Native Trees and Shrubs

Native trees and shrubs are the backbone of the landscape, not only adding structure and beauty, but also providing food sources for insects and animals. This course will cover the benefits of using native trees and shrubs as well as profiling top choices to make your landscape a beautiful haven for wildlife.

Tim Kennelty is a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist through Cornell Cooperative Extension and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Columbia Land Conservancy. He has gardened in Columbia County for more than 25 years and has developed a passion for preserving native species and combating exotic invasive plants. He has been involved in a multi-year habitat restoration project at the Siegel-Kline Kill public conservation area in Ghent, New York.

Randy Hinz

Shade Gardening

Discover the benefits of shade gardening, and design tips for gardening in the shade, as well as trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and bulbs that will make your shade garden beautiful and low maintenance.

Randy Hinz has owned and operated “The Sycamore” nursery for the past thirteen years where he concentrates on finding less common plants as well as old favorites suited to Zone 5 gardens. Randy majored in Landscape Development and Nursery Management and has been gardening and designing gardens for the past 35 years. He started his career at Panfield Nurseries on Long Island where he worked with noted landscape designer Tom Gaines. Panfield Nursery also specialized in native plants, especially native shade plants. As well as landscape design, Randy also has a flair for accessorizing outdoor spaces.

Robert Anderson

Naturalistic Planting on a Domestic Scale

This illustrated talk will focus on practical techniques for creating and managing naturalistic plantings at a size that’s feasible for the home gardener, in terms of both labor and expense. Using part of his own garden as the example, the presenter will share failures and successes in the development, over three seasons, of a wet meadow style planting. Topics addressed will include site selection and preparation, plant material sources, choices and acquisition, installation tips, and seasonal care.

Robert Clyde Anderson is a garden designer, consultant and writer who found his way to the Hudson Valley after a New York City career in illustration and book design. A native of Louisiana and a lifelong gardener, he has designed and maintained gardens in Columbia County as well as working in area nurseries, most recently at Pondside Nursery in Hudson, NY for five years, and before that at Loomis Creek Nursery in Claverack, NY for eight years. Robert makes his home in Stuyvesant, NY where he maintains a two acre “laboratory” garden that includes shrub borders, a sunny terraced xeric garden, a shady wooded streamside area, a moist meadow area, a kitchen garden and a small flock of chickens.

David Dew Bruner

Designing Your Front Yard

With the ever-changing residential landscape, how homeowners use their properties are also changing. The once green lawn of the front yard is going through a much-needed transformation. We will look at some trends but also look at your own front yard. This is a participatory class. Bring pictures of your own front yard and ideas and we will discuss the process, as a whole class, in which we will alter the front to suit your own lifestyle and design ideas. We may not get to every participant but everyone will go home with new ideas about how to deal with their own and clients' front yard.

David Dew Bruner has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Fine Arts from LSU and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is an award winning designer, having done many diverse projects such as historic restoration, park design and small scale residential work. He has shown his artwork nationally with commissioned work in many states. He has taught for the past 40 years at institutions such as Columbia University Graduate Program, New York Botanical Gardens and currently at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Steve McKay

Pruning to Produce

In this class you will learn the basics of why, when and how to prune fruit trees, canes and vines to boost fruit production, including the best time to prune, the difference between dwarfing and invigoration cuts, plant evaluation, proper techniques and much more.

Steven McKay graduated from the University of California -- Davis with a Bachelors in International Agriculture and Bee Biology. He did his graduate studies in Pomology (the science of growing fruit) and Horticulture Specialties. He taught high school vocational agriculture in Anderson Valley, CA during the 80s (during which time he was named State Ag Educator of the Year) before joining the United States Department of Agriculture. While working for USDA, he traveled to Micronesia to develop and implement an agriculture curriculum geared to that country’s landscape. He joined Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia County in 1996 as a fruit educator and worked for 18 years supporting local farmers by helping them choose new crops for various locales and improve production technique. He petitioned and reversed NY State law regarding the restriction of planting black currents. Since retiring from Cornell, he owns and operates Micosta Enterprises, Micosta Leisure Inn and Arturo’s Restaurant in Hudson along with selling infused syrups, chocolates and berry flavored ice cream.

Dave Chinery

Plants in Jeopardy!

Based on the long-running game show Jeopardy!, this class is all about the science of sick plants, a.k.a. plant pathology. We’ll discuss some historical references, what causes plant diseases, plant problems found in local gardens, and management options. Come prepared to provide questions to the answers!

David Chinery is a Cooperative Extension Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, where he serves as the horticulturist and Master Gardener coordinator. He earned a B.S. degree in Plant Science from Cook College, Rutgers University, and a M.S. degree in Landscape Horticulture from The Ohio State University. His research projects include work on overseeding turfgrass to reduce pesticide use, techniques to hasten grass seed germination and the use of iron as an herbicide.

Chris Ferrero

The Power of Purple in Garden and Landscape Design

Whether they're called mahogany, burgandy or chocolate, deep purple offer contrast and depth that make other plants look better throughout the seasons. Learn how your gardens and containers can POP with "purple" trees, shrubs and flowering plants.

A Cornell Master Gardener from Dutchess County, Chris has led demonstration garden teams and children’s workshops, and served on committees to lend expertise in shade perennials, flowering shrubs, and native plants. She speaks frequently to groups across the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, including repeat appearances at Berkshire Botanical Garden


Donna Peterson
Program Coordinator, Community Horticulture
518-828-3346 ext.106

Last updated February 5, 2020