Cottage Craft Works, LLC

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Master Gardeners, who are they and how to become one yourself. No degree required!


In return for their training and certification. Master Gardeners volunteer time back to the community to help others.

If you live close to a large university or county extension office with an active Master Gardener program, have time to volunteer, and want to meet new people, this might be a great educational program for you.
Through local county extension offices affiliated with state universities local community people who love to grow flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, and gardening, and who are willing to volunteer to help others can receive extensive training to achieve the certification of a Master Gardener.
It’s a perfect opportunity to learn a new chapter or life journey while meeting new people without having to enroll into expensive college level courses.
People of all ages and walks of life join these county extension programs to learn about the culture and maintenance of plants that work best in their zones.
It’s a perfect opportunity for the retired or for the youth committed to learning new back to basic skills while giving time to others.
There’s hardly any college level programs available for free or such low cost that gives so much to an individual and to a community.
Some Master Gardener programs may require a token fee of around $50 to cover the cost of books and supplies.
Some programs will also require a small annual fee under $20.
Becoming a Master Gardener, might just give a person a good second career or supplemental income.
Many garden centers and nurseries seek out and hire Master Gardeners to assist and advise customers on plant questions.
As people are becoming more concerned about the safety and increasing cost of vegetables, they are returning back to old fashion gardening skills.
A Master Gardener program helps people get back-to-basics of growing things themselves.
Others are interested in maintaining the perfect yard and balance of seasonal colors through healthy plantings.
From a beginner to a long time gardener it’s at best difficult to keep up with new growing techniques, more tolerable varieties and control of plant diseases.
Master Gardener students receive a university designed curriculum training on all types of plant diseases, beneficial and non-beneficial bugs, planting and plant care.
Classes are usually held on campus or at the extension office. Students might attend class one night per week for up to three months, and then have additional training in the extension office greenhouse and gardens.
They are then required to maintain a certain number of continuing education to maintain their Master Gardener Certification. Depending on the state requirements continuing education hours should be around 10 hours per year.
In return for the training Master Gardeners agree to volunteer a minimum number of hours per year working in the extension office gardens, greenhouse or in the office helping the public with gardening and plant questions. Most states only require as little as 50 hours per year.
People also meet many new lifelong friends who share in similar interest. Besides the extension office experience, they help in the green houses and manicured gardens that greet new visitors seeking information about plantings.
Master Gardeners also participate in annual plant sells, conferences and public events to educate the general public about all aspects of growing.
If you enjoy plants, the outdoors, live close to an active Master Gardener program, and have time to train and then volunteer. You might want to contact your local Master Gardener Coordinator, just Google Search County Extension Office or Master Gardner programs for your area.
You can find all types of old fashioned garden tools, hand push cultivators, carts and wagons at www.cottagecraftworks.com

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