The Leaflet

~ September 2023 ~

Now that we have entered fall, our typical September weather pattern has everything drying up. Some of my flowers are doing well with the reduction in rain, but others are crying for help. I’m trying to collect all the seeds I can, but the birds have beat me to all my coneflowers. That’s okay, because the seeds are really for the birds anyway. I can buy some more or divide the plants I have.

Thanks to everyone who came out for Autumn in the Brier. We had pumpkins, and Ms. Dorothy brought some plants form her yard that went quickly. The surprise of the event was how quickly the luffa squash -- or is it a pumpkin, or would you call it a gourd -- went. We had to go back to the garden for a second harvest. Whatever you call it, they went fast. Hopefully everyone is able to use them as a sponge.

The Robertson County Fair was last week, and we received a first place ribbon for our booth. Go, RCMGA! Thanks to everyone who helped design, build, and take part in the display prep. If you weren’t able to attend or submit something in the fair this year, you can start planning for next year.  

There is always thyme for gardening!

Shawn Herman, President



Members met early this month to design and install the County Fair booth.


 The Robertson County Master Gardener Association meets the fourth Thursday of every month

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

by Barbara Kingsolver & Family

A Book Review

by Kathy Doss

The industrialized food production system in the United States generates substantial quantities of food rapidly. This approach leads to reduced costs for consumers and enhances food accessibility for everyone. Additionally, it spurs innovation by introducing better methods for food transportation, storage, and processing. Nonetheless, this system is not without drawbacks.


Animals are often confined to cramped spaces, sometimes even deprived of the ability to move. They are fed large doses of vitamins and minerals to expedite their growth. These stressful conditions result in compromised food quality, with animal waste frequently contaminating nearby bodies of water. To prevent rampant diseases within these confined environments, animals are frequently administered antibiotics. However, the excessive use of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Pesticides and herbicides, known to be linked to human illnesses, are commonly employed on food crops. Due to lengthy transportation distances, produce is often harvested before reaching full ripeness, leading to subpar food quality. Furthermore, the fuel consumption associated with transportation contributes to climate change.


Industrialized farms are primarily owned by large corporations that possess the financial resources to invest in state-of-the-art equipment, expansive facilities, and costly additives. Their efficiency allows them to generate substantial food quantities, making it difficult for smaller farms to compete on price, often forcing them out of business.


In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Kingsolver presents these issues in food production as motivations behind her family's year-long endeavor to exclusively consume locally sourced food. The outcome of their experiment is a captivating memoir teeming with accounts of gardening, poultry care, mushroom foraging, cooking, and fruit/vegetable preservation. The narrative brims with delectable meal descriptions, amusing anecdotes, and an array of recipes.


Not everyone possesses the time, opportunity or desire to undertake such an experiment. Yet, individuals who enjoy cultivating and/or preparing their own food will appreciate the Kingsolver family's journey.


It is worth noting that this book has the potential to impact your behavior. As for me, I'm excited to explore the Robertson County Farmer's Market and, also, to expand my existing vegetable garden with new and diverse crops. Perhaps I will grow some asparagus.


For the book's recipes, you can refer to:

Fall Into Fun...

at the RobCo Fair!

Congratulations to the team of volunteers who designed, installed, and removed our booth at the fair. It looked wonderful and earned a blue ribbon! The riddles and jokes (and free seeds!) were a big hit. Many of our members also took home ribbons for their beautiful entries. Thank you to all who participated. Here are some memories of the 156th annual Robertson County Fair...

Upcoming Events

October 5: Western Region Conference

Jackson, TN

October 28: Companion Planting

Goodlettsville Public Library


Contact Us



Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


Vice President:

Nola Hastings

(714) 296-2740

[email protected]



Holly Brooks

(760) 861-4833

[email protected]



Sandy Williams

(615) 969-7656

[email protected]


Master Gardener Coordinator:

Bob Ary

(615) 384-7936

[email protected]

Instagram Administrator:

Kathy Doss

(615) 636-5410

[email protected]



Julee Orr

(615) 838-5772

[email protected]


Facebook Administrator:

Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


The Leaflet Editor:

Stacey Haag

(615) 389-4663

[email protected]

Robertson County Master Gardener Association
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