Master gardener newsletter wins award

Special to The Log
Bob Bayer (from left), Dave Gordon, Karen Harper, Scott Berry, Editor Margaret Stewart, Ed Smith, Lee Vanderpool, and Alene Ogle received the award. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

Recently at the 35th Master Gardeners Continued Training Conference, the Okaloosa County master gardener publication The Compost Pile won the Award of Excellence for the best newsletter in the state.

The Compost Pile is a professional-looking, information-packed monthly newsletter intended to educate, inform, and, sometimes, provide a good laugh. The newsletter is available to Master Gardeners, residents, and anyone with an internet connection and an interest in horticulture. There are articles each month on what is happening in the garden that month, suggested gardening chores, wildlife happenings, and new features at the native plant trail at the Crestview Extension office, and feature articles about gardening tools and equipment.

Margaret Stewart of Crestview has been the editor of The Compost Pile for seven years. She typesets each edition, as well as proofreads, design the covers and graphics, and does the editing. She writes the column Last Word in each issue. Karen Harper of Shalimar is co-editor and she checks the links in each edition as well as provides a monthly detailed article on a topic — everything from what the term organic really means to how to choose a pair of garden gloves.

Bob Bayer of Crestview writes a monthly update for the native plant trail located at the County Extension Office in Crestview. Lee Vanderpool of Fort Walton Beach writes for the Master Gardener nursery in Fort Walton Beach, and Scott Berry of Niceville supplies the jokes, because every garden needs laughter. Dave Gordon and Ed Smith of Fort Walton Beach and Alene Ogle are all contributing columnists. All master gardeners were encouraged to submit material, a lot of which may be seen in the photographs featured in the “In Our Yards” section. There are even recipes included that were submitted by the club's members.

The public is welcome to read the newsletter electronically by going to www.ocmga.org and clicking on The Compost Pile.