• West HI 2
  • West HI 03
  • West HI 08
  • West HI 04
  • West HI 09
  • West HI 05
  • West HI 10
  • West HI 06
  • West HI 11
  • West HI 07
  • West HI 12
  • West HI 13
  • West HI 14
  • West HI 15
  • West HI 1

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Coordinator

Ty McDonald

Ty McDonald

Kona CES Office
79-7381 Hawaii Belt Road
Kealakekua, HI 96750-7911
Phone: (808) 322-4884
Fax: (808) 322-4895
Email: tym@hawaii.edu

Facebook logo

West Hawai'i Master Gardener Links

Volunteer Management System logo


West Hawaii Events

«September 2019»


Our Mission

To provide information to the public about home gardening using science-based research and to offer continuous educational opportunities for University of Hawaiʻi trained Master Gardeners

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Projects

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners Greenhouse and Demonstration Garden and Orchard

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are continuing to develop our Demonstration Garden and Demonstration Orchards. We are beginning preparations for an open house for area home gardeners in Spring 2018. Open house planning is being led by Kathy F.

Led by Master Gardener Ed, the team is continues to plant the Demonstration Garden to showcase plants grown from University of Hawaiʻi (UH) seeds. Future plans include developing labels for plants grown in the garden and trees grown in the orchard.

Greenhouse activities include planting the UH seeds for the Demonstration Garden and propagating vanilla orchid plants. An automatic solar-powered watering system has been installed. Led by MG Bob S., MG and MG Trainee volunteers, along with MG Coordinator Ty McDonald, replaced cloudy sections of the greenhouse roof to optimize sunlight for seedlings.

Plans are in place to involve the 2018 MG Trainees in the Demonstration Garden & Orchard and with the 2018 Master Gardener Open House. Plans are being developed for teams of 2018 MG Trainees to create additional theme-based demonstration garden plots.

Our class devoted to Master Gardeners teaching the Trainees about our Surinam Cherry Orchard, Demonstration Garden and Orchard was a big hit with the 2017 MG Training Program group, so we plan to continue that with our 2018 class.

Collaboration with Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners attended the workshop training presented by BIISC and Plant Pono and are participating in local nursery surveys.  The purpose of the surveys is to recognize exemplary nurseries who voluntarily act to protect their nursery and their community from the threat of invasive species. We are utilizing a notebook with illustrations and information about highly invasive plants on the Big Island for teaching during our outreaches and Helpline.  We are also reaching out to the public about highly invasive plants through our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Hawaii-Master-Gardeners/114131682009468

Surinam Cherry Research Project

Data analysis of our collected data identified best and worst performers in the Surinam Cherry Orchard. Flowering and fruiting patterns of the various trees were also identified. Meanwhile, we continue our orchard maintenance and fruit collection for this research project. We utilized the Surinam Cherry orchard during our 2018 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program for our specialized pruning workshop.

Vanilla Orchid Project

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are growing vanilla orchids in our greenhouse. The Vanilla Orchid Team pollinate the orchids as they bloom, fertilize the plants, harvest and process the vanilla beans, and divide the plants as necessary. We sell some of the vanilla orchid plants at our outreach events.

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Field Trips

West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners regularly participate in tours of areas of interest to home gardeners. On our most recent field trip, we toured La'i'Opua Preserve in Kailua-Kona.  There we had an incredible learning experience seeing native Hawaiian plants in their natural setting with native plant expert Jill Wagner. Some of our experiences are chronicled on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/West-Hawaii-Master-Gardeners-114131682009468/.

Interested in Becoming a Master Gardener?

Each person enrolling in the Master Gardener Program commits to completing 39 hours of instruction plus 9 field trip hours, an open-book Midterm and Final Exam, plus 40 hours of volunteer service within 12 months of completing the Master Gardener instruction. To continue being Certified as a Master Gardener, on-going service of 30 hours of volunteer time is required every year.

Classes are held at The Kona Cooperative Extension Service office in Kainaliu, with field trips and workshops in the area. The application period for the 2018 Program is now closed.  The next Program will be held January – April 2019.

Community Outreach

In addition to being available in person, by phone and via email, Master Gardeners are available to home gardeners at various community outreach events. We not only give free home gardening advice at these outreaches, we have available for sale UH seeds, fruit fly traps, lures & bait, and Master Gardener grown plants. Stop by and see us at the following events: