Even though most people have reduced their activities during quarantine due to the pandemic, Judy VonFeldt is still one busy woman — particularly with the Strafford County Master Gardener Association (SCMGA). Although the SCMGA group hasn’t been able to physically meet in 2020, their accomplishments included giving two school grants, holding a successful online plant sale, and working with a young Explorer Scout candidate who designed and constructed an information kiosk and a container for a Little Free Library. Both these were installed at the Garden of Native NH Plants in Lee. The kiosk has information about UNH Cooperative Extension and SCMGA. The library, listed on the library’s world map, is stocked with gardening books.
Judy has worked with several different SCMGA boards. She held a three-year term as secretary, and twice filled terms for officers who dropped out. She has been membership chair for two years keeping up to date records of Strafford County MGs. Since 2016 has done a fabulous job of managing the group’s website, blog, and Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Judy and her husband Dennis moved to Dover 16 years ago to be closer to their daughter and family. Born in Littleton, Judy lived more than 30 years in Kansas City and worked as a human resources executive vice president for an international firm. She worked in the same field as a director in Cheshire County and a year later, again in human resources, for Dover’s McIntosh College.
Judy has been a MG 13 years. She entered the program because, she says, “I enjoy flower and vegetable gardening and wanted to become involved in the Strafford County community.” She spent childhood summers at her grandparents’ farm in Landaff, N.H. “I picked up a passion [for gardening] from my grandparents,” she says, adding she grows vegetables, perennials, raspberries and blueberries. She is also a quilt member of the Cocheco Quilters Guild. In non-virus times, she spends winter months in S.C. where she takes gardening classes.
The 59 MGs in the SCMGA are involved with community projects including Hyder Family Hospice House, Riverside Nursing Home, Woodman Museum, Joe B. Parks Riverwalk Garden, Garden of Native NH Plants, Bedrock Gardens, Milne Nature Sanctuary, and Wagon Hill Community Gardens.
“One of the ladies who started SCMGA was Carolyn Bassage. “I was lucky enough to work alongside her for a few years,” says Judy. “She was an inspiration, and I think that is a big part of why I’m still working so hard.” Carolyn also began the SCMGA’s plant sale that benefits K-12 School Gardening Grants, the Master Gardener Free Seeds Project and other community projects. “Even during Covid-19, we figured out a way to stay active online to connect with our gardening community. We all worked hard on our plant sale and are thrilled to give back to the community.”
UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers share information about home, yard, and garden topics with the people of New Hampshire. Got questions? Master Gardeners provide practical help finding answers to your questions through the Ask UNH Extension Infoline. Call toll free at 1-877-398-4769, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or e-mail us at email@example.com.