Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Master Gardener Wannabe

When my mom became a Master Gardener several years ago, I had no idea what a Master Gardener was, nor why she wanted to be one. Of course, I wasn't a gardener then either. Now I am and I want to be a Master Gardener, too.

People have various reasons why they want to become a Master Gardener. For me personally, it's because I want to learn more about various aspects of gardening and to help others do so. I love learning! I have a feeling that I'll find even more reasons once I'm involved with the training required.

So what is a Master Gardener anyway?

A Master Gardener is one who has been trained by a cooperative extension service employee affiliated with a university.  Students are educated in many areas pertaining to horticulture, including:

  • Botany
  • Soil Science
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Diagnostics
  • Herbs
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Trees and Shrubs
  • Entomology
  • Lawns
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Plant Pathology
  • Pesticide Safety & Use
  • Seed & Propagation

Following over 50 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction, students are tested and certified upon passing as a Master Gardener. They are then required to maintain their certification yearly by providing a specified number of hours of volunteer services to meet the horticultural needs of the community and attending continuing education classes.

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) maintains a list of the Master Gardener programs in The United States and Canada on their web site.

Master Gardener classes in our area begin February 16th and continue through April 8, 2010. I just wrote my check for the fee and will mail it off tomorrow with my application. I'm excited to get started, though I don't expect it to be easy. I remember how much my mom had to study when she was taking the classes.

Anyone in the Van Wert area that would like to take the classes with me can find the application form available for download here. (.pdf file)  The deadline for signing up for the classes is January 22, 2010.

Come on! Let's learn together!


Anonymous said...

I hope you get someone nearby to sign up with you. But even if you don' my own class I made some very good friends that I'd never have met otherwise. Master Gardeners are a wonderful bunch. Good luck with your classes!

Christine B. said...

I really enjoyed the MG class and all the new gardening acquaintances and friends I made. The MG summer garden tours are good fun, too.

MG in Alaska,


Lisa at Greenbow said...

You will enjoy the classes Kylee. There will be so many like-minded people there. I was surprised that the subject I didn't think I would enjoy was the most interesting. Soil. Who would have thought soil could be so interesting.

Gail said...

Make your dream come true

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I have learned so much over the years since becoming a Master Gardener. It is one thing to sit in the classes and take it all in (which is wonderful!!) but then to go out and teach others -- you really need to know your stuff! Our unit is a cooperative group who look to each other for their strengths and continue to learn from each other.
You will enjoy this a lot!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I wish I can attend similar course... and be a better gardener.. ~bangchik

Nutty Gnome said...

That sounds like a great course to do. I'm sure you'll really enjoy doing it and meeting like minded people - good luck!
I wonder if we do anything similar over here....?

Anonymous said...

This seems like a very worthy goal, Kylee, and one you'll be well suited for. Good luck with the program!

Unknown said...

I'm so jealous! I've been wanting to become a master gardener for a few years but they keep cancelling it here in Sacramento. Good luck with the classes- can't wait to hear about everything you learn!

Muum said...

I took master gardening a few years ago. It was a flood of information. I learned a LOT (and I thought I already knew a lot!) The most important thing I learned was that fact: I know far less than I think I do, and it's good to check in with more knowledgeable people! Getting in is tough in my home county, the first year I got to the extension office 10 minutes early, to 'beat the crowd' and the class was full, and people were leaving. I started crying. My little daughter (she was about 10 , then, I think) started patting me and saying, 'it'll be ok, Mommy'. Next year, I got there an hour ahead of time, and got in.
You are already so knowledgeable, I am sure you will LOVE it!

Louise Hartwig said...

It will lead you in ways that you would never imagine.

Rose said...

I signed up for the Master Gardener's class in December; our session starts in two weeks. We'll have to compare notes, Kylee!

Unknown said...

I hope you enjoy the course, Kylie! I haven't taken the program here at the Ag College mostly because I'm always too busy with other things, and I kinda got schooled out with all the university I did do. I'd like to hear how it goes for you.

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