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After 60 years of collaboration with Washington State University Extension and research professors on this publication, Good Fruit Grower is launching a new magazine title with even closer ties to the university. On January 18, MasterGardener magazine will be mailed to both graduates of the WSU Master Gardener Program and others who share a passion for gardening. Our mission is to produce a science-based publication with the same attention to detail, accuracy, and design as has been achieved with Good Fruit Grower. Ownership of the new title will, like Good Fruit Grower, remain with the Washington State Fruit Commission, but the editorial leadership and business mission will be shared with university professionals.

National impact

The WSU Master Gardener Program began over 30 years ago in Pierce County as part of Cooperative Extension’s effort to reach a greater number of urban gardeners than their limited staff and budget could accomplish. Volunteers were taught proper sustainable gardening techniques and, as payment for their education, were to give back service by teaching in public workshops, by giving demonstrations, and by working in plant problem diagnostic clinics. Today, the program has spread across the United States and has made inroads in foreign countries as well. Best of all for our business, the WSU Master Gardener Program mission and passion for quality education parallels that of Good Fruit Grower, making the project a great fit.

Our initial reason for expanding into new territory was to spread our business risk to help us through months and even years when the tree fruit industry may not be robust enough to bring in the revenues we need to produce a magazine of the quality standards we’ve set for ourselves. It was this same concern that encouraged us to include the wine and juice grape industries in our Good Fruit Grower coverage.

Unlike the grape coverage, however, MasterGardener will not automatically be included in your subscription. However, all Good Fruit Grower subscribers are eligible for a half-priced 2007 subscription. Simply go to our Web site, www.goodfruit.com, and first select the button “Books and Subs,” then select “MasterGardener,” and finally “MG 2007 Sub.” Although MasterGardener is designed for Washington State gardeners, much of the content will be applicable to regions that support a tree fruit and grape industry.

We’re excited about this new venture and look forward to hearing what you think.