West Virginia University Master Gardener – become one now!
Becoming a Master Gardener is something that anyone can do.
What is a Master Gardener?
The American Horticultural Society describes it this way:
The Master Gardener program, typically offered through universities in the United States and Canada, provides intensive horticultural training to individuals who then volunteer as Master Gardeners in their communities by giving lectures, creating gardens, conducting research, and many other projects. For some of the best, regionally specific advice you can get on home gardening.
The Master Gardener programs are provided by Cooperative Extension, a program of land-grant universities.
Marie Iannotti, Garden Expert at About.com explains what Cooperative Extension is:
The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide educational network that is a collaboration of federal, state and local governments and a state land-grant university (A land-grant university means, among other things, that they research and teach practical agriculture). The mission of the Cooperative Extension System is to disseminate research-based information on topics as varied as nutrition, child rearing, agriculture, horticulture, husbandry, small business and personal finance. Every U.S. state and territory has a central state Extension office at its land-grant university. Each state Extension serves its residents through a network of local or regional offices staffed by professionals in their field.
These professionals are called Agents. There is an agent in each county, or they may be over two or more counties. They are considered faculty members of their respective university.
West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia is our land-grant University and provides Master Gardener Education.
Who are Master Gardeners? They are just every day people from all professions and walks of life, or may be retired, who share the love of gardening and probably have a backyard garden where they grow flowers and/or vegetables. They love to share their hard-earned knowledge of growing things throughout the years - or maybe they’re kind of new at it. But they know they love gardening.
They may especially love teaching children how to garden, or would like to share plants with the elderly at an assisted living facility.
Master Gardeners love to share and learn more. If this describes you, and you are in or near the West Virginia Northern Panhandle call Hancock County Cooperative Extension Agent Carol Scheerbaum at 304-564-3805. Classes will be starting soon!
If you live in another state and would like to look into becoming a Master Gardener check out The American Horticultural Society's page to find a program near you. Let me know if you are interested!