Oregon-based gardening writer and broadcaster Mike Darcy, who writes a bimonthly column in Digger, has been inducted into the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Diamond Pioneer Registry.
The registry honors living people over the age of 74 who have made significant lifetime contributions to agriculture, natural resources, and either the people of Oregon, or Oregon State University. It is intended for “individuals who have pioneered in some area of Oregon’s agriculture and natural resources, or have made innovative changes or performed public service that has helped make Oregon a better place to live,” according to OSU.
In addition to his Digger column, Darcy broadcast his radio show, “In the Garden with Mike Darcy,” for 35 years on KXL FM radio in Portland, from 1981–2016. In 1999, he started a TV show, “In the Garden,” on KATU-2 Portland. It ran until 2006. Mike also has organized the annual Plant Nerd Night consumer gardening event, which kicks off the season and recently celebrated its 20th year.
Darcy was nominated by Kym Pokorny, the longtime garden writer for The Oregonian newspaper and longtime Digger contributor, who now works at Oregon State University in Extension communications.
“Mike has exposed Oregonians to an unending train of horticulture information going back more than 40 years, often calling on the help of OSU faculty,” Pokorny stated in her letter of nomination. “Over the years he’s been responsible for much innovation, including his pioneering TV and radio shows, Plant Nerd Night and his work on the Farwest show. Mike is an Oregon treasure and deserves to be recognized.”
Prior to his writing and broadcasting career, Mike worked for Ortho for 25 years. He earned a degree in horticulture from the University of Arizona.
Other nursery industry figures who have been inducted into the Diamond Pioneer Registry include Verl Holden (2021), Jack E. Long (2018), Sandra Powell (2013), Wilbur Bluhm (2012), Donald Powell (2010), and prior to 2010, Bill Curtis and J. Frank Schmidt. The program was established in 1983, and the full list of inductees can be viewed at https://agsci.oregonstate.edu/our-best/diamond-pioneer-award/diamond-pioneer-registry.