Creating the Tropics at Home

Master Gardener Tom Brinkman

Master Gardener Tom Brinkman

We’re always so thrilled when our members are spotlighted for their achievements or creativity. Recently, our resident house plant expert, Tom Brinkman, and his wife Sue were spotlighted by the Post-Crescent newspaper in an article that invites us to enjoy the tropics. This is especially inviting given the fact that we’re in Wisconsin — in February — where it snows a lot. Tom and Sue not only have a beautiful outdoor garden in the summer, they also have a huge greenhouse where hundreds of plants enjoy tropical weather even in our cold winter climate. As one of the instructors of our annual Master Gardener classes, students love the week where they get to visit Tom’s home and learn about the care of his amazing array of plants (including an astonishing number of bromeliads).

To read about Tom’s garden, follow the link to the article in the Post-Crescent, which was written by another of our members — David Calle.


National Honor

As Master Gardeners, we work as volunteers to make our community a better place and pride ourselves on being educators. One of our members has taken this to a new level when, in November of 2015, he was one of six teachers in the country honored with the 2015 Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Paul and Fonda Larson are members of the Outagamie County Master Gardener Association (OCMGA) and are involved in community projects and, as this news article shows, Paul is also passionate about education of our young people.

As we think about how many of the “old ways” are dying out like basic farming, canning and preserving, beekeeping, and seed saving, it’s wonderful to know that there are people like Paul devoted to teaching our young people the skills that kept our grandparents alive.

Read more about Paul and his work with young people in the news article here: