Meg Buerkel Hunn, Advisory Council Chair
Recognizing a look of confusion, a man in a purple vest popped up, seemingly out of nowhere, and pointed our family in the right direction to the group meeting place at the bustling and vast Heathrow Airport last July. Our gratitude (and relief) for his help were palpable. Glimpsing the embroidery on this retiree’s purple vest, we discovered our angel-in-disguise was an airport volunteer!
In the summer of 2019, my family’s first summer season here in New Mexico, the only tomato plant that survived our well-intentions was a volunteer that grew in our compost bin. That tomato plant gave us a handful of delicious red beauties – another volunteer who ‘popped up’ in an unexpected place with longed-for fruit!
I think it is interesting that we term both humans and plants ‘volunteers.’ Both the human and the plant varieties of volunteers often seem to ‘pop up’ in unexpected places and give wonderful gifts.
I am particularly aware in this season of our many SEMG volunteers working throughout our county, seeming to pop up in various places to nurture gardens for others’ enjoyment, education, and eating;
- to research and answer email and in-person queries;
- to put in hours of unseen labor, coding, posts, and articles to support SEMG;
- to contact and prepare and support our interns;
- to lead garden tours and educational activities in our communities;
- to do countless other small and large tasks!
Master Gardeners commit to volunteering at least 30 hours per year, and many of our volunteers go way above and beyond this requirement.
Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners, you all are angels-in-disguise, educating and helping our communities in sustainable high desert gardening. You ‘pop up’ all over the place, with wonderful gifts in hand. This is a BIG thank you from me, speaking for many, many others. Without you, SEMG would cease to exist, and our communities would be deprived of your time and talents and efforts and wisdom. I am (WE ARE!) grateful to and for you, Volunteers!