Tulare and Kings Counties
Aliya Bayless is originally from Baku the capital city of Azerbaijan, located along the Caspian Sea, but has been a resident of Visalia, Calif. since 2006. Aliya grew up in the city, but learned to love plants (mostly house plants) from family members including her grandmother, father and aunt. When she was an adult, her dad finally bought a piece of land that he had dreamt of for many years. It was on this new property that he started his own garden with a lot of fruit trees and berries. Aliya helped him as much as she could, but like many gardeners, her main job was pulling weeds.
Aliya joined the UC Master Gardener Program in 2016 when she decided to start her own garden and, in her words, “didn't know anything about gardening.”
“Since then I've learned a lot of about gardening, met amazing people and enjoyed every minute of volunteering. I'm very excited to start my new journey as a program coordinator and hope that I will be able to help with the program and future projects,” says Aliya. Aliya will be located at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Tulare County, please join us in offering a huge warm welcome to Aliya!
Sutter and Yuba Counties
Julie Bowen was borne in Topeka, Kansas to a U.S. Air Force Serviceman, so she moved often and unfortunately did not garden until she was an adult. Julie fell in love with gardening when she purchased her first home with beautiful azaleas in Yuba City, Calif. She was able to make starts from the azaleas she loved and move them to her new property outside of Marysville. Julie now lives outside Marysville in an extremely small community of Hallwood.
“Once we moved to our five acres, from that moment, the love of gardening blossomed!” says Julie. On her property she has alpacas, a llama, miniature donkeys, her devote rottweiler, Ruger and a wonderful husband, Brock.
Julie retired from PG&E in 2015 after a 35-year career of educating customers on energy efficiency, agricultural pump-tester, senior customer outreach specialist and many other titles throughout the years. For the last six years of her career, she was on a special project for a new rate with developing communications, educating large commercial, industrial customers and PG&E account reps of a new electric rate. (Many customers were able to realize savings.)
In 2018, Julie's husband encouraged her to apply to be a UC Master Gardener in Sutter-Yuba after he saw an ad in their local newspaper. Julie was accepted to the UC Master Gardener Class of 2019. Julie accepted the Sutter-Yuba assistant program administrator role for 2019-20, and the program administrator role for 2020-21.
Julie is an eclectic gardener with azaleas, star magnolias, lilac, daffodils, tulips, iris and a family orchard with cherry trees, almond, peach, plum, fig, lemon, orange, apple and Fuyu persimmons. Last Spring, she built 11 raised beds with tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, loofah, Japanese eggplant, basil, melons and over-producing artichokes. Please join us in offering a huge warm welcome to Julie!