lily51
Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

master gardener course

I'm in the middle of the master gardener course our county is offering.
Has anyone else take this course or have it offered in their area?

The main goal of the program is education for us and then for us to use it in the community. Hence, it's part of our extension services.
It's 50 hours of class (actually 54) and 50 hours of volunteer work the first year. After that, the update hours and volunteer hours are greatly reduced.
We have 30+ people in the class and are enjoying interesting professional speakers on every topic from plant anatomy to herbs, veggies, itc. Some people are already gardeners, one is a naturalist, some are new to gardening, one is a certified herbalist, some work with community gardens, ...the list goes on.
It's a great group of people. I'm enjoying it immensely! :D

My daughter calls it my nerd class, but who is she to talk? She's all excited about adding two more raised beds to her garden! Guess she absorbed all my "nerdery" while growing up!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I've thought off and on about taking the master gardener class, but I have two concerns:

1) that they will be teaching about use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides etc, which I don't want to learn and which would just get me in arguments with the teacher

2) given twenty years gardening experience, lots of reading, and two years on this forum, do they really have much to say that I don't know already.

I'd love to hear your comments about the course, what was covered, from what view point (organic vs chemical gardening, etc) at what level of depth and technicality. It would help me decide whether or not to take the course.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

CowSlips 26
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:46 am
Location: North Cent WI

I am a Wisconsin Master Gardener and it has been a very rewarding time. Helped alot of nice people and have learned alot of helpful things.
You bury a lot of troubles, digging in the dirt.

lily51
Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

Glad to hear from you,Cowslips, a fellow master gardener. One of my long-time friends took it several years ago when she retired, and has done lots of good in her community. I hope to do the same.

As far as what can a person learn, just go in with an open mind and find out for yourself.

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

2) given twenty years gardening experience, lots of reading, and two years on this forum, do they really have much to say that I don't know already.
:wink: There's some tail feathers. :lol:

Eric

User avatar
farmerlon
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:42 am
Location: middle Tennessee

rainbowgardener wrote:I've thought off and on about taking the master gardener class, but I have two concerns:

1) that they will be teaching about use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides etc, which I don't want to learn and which would just get me in arguments with the teacher

2) given twenty years gardening experience, lots of reading, and two years on this forum, do they really have much to say that I don't know already.

I'd love to hear your comments about the course, what was covered, from what view point (organic vs chemical gardening, etc) at what level of depth and technicality. It would help me decide whether or not to take the course.
I am a Tennessee Master Gardener, and might be able to shed some light on your concerns. I'm sure the programs and organizations vary somewhat from state-to-state, and even county-to-county... but I imagine they also share many similarities.

#1. Yes, they will cover the use of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. But, that doesn't mean you have to follow those recommendations. Life is too short to argue with the "convential Ag" folks... so, I say just take the information that's good and useful for you, and leave the rest. :)

One of my best friends, who I met when I took the Master Gardener class, is giving a presentation to our current "Garden Basics" class (tomorrow); and his presentation is devoted entirely to organic gardening! :D

#2. There is always something new to learn.
But, above and beyond that, I think the Master Gardener program can be a perfect place for someone with your experience, to "pay it forward" by sharing your knowledge with others in your community.
Just as the HG Forum provides a great online community for folks to share gardening knowledge and fellowship; I find the Master Gardener organization to be a great place to have that same sharing experience on a local and state level.


I would encourage you to check into your local Master Gardener program; I bet you would make lots of new gardening friends there.
Also, Master Gardeners teach a lot of the classes. So, that can provide YOU with the opportunity to add more organics instruction to the program... thereby making a very positive impact on your Master Gardener group and your community.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I didn't mean to sound like I know everything already... I'm learning every day. But these days, I'm following my own interests/ heart in what I learn. I've spent way too many years in degree programs where I had to learn what someone else thought I needed to know. And my time is too precious, if they would just be doing basics.

But I'm still considering it...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

CowSlips 26
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:46 am
Location: North Cent WI

rainbowgardener wrote:I didn't mean to sound like I know everything already... I'm learning every day. But these days, I'm following my own interests/ heart in what I learn. I've spent way too many years in degree programs where I had to learn what someone else thought I needed to know. And my time is too precious, if they would just be doing basics.

But I'm still considering it...
:clap:
You bury a lot of troubles, digging in the dirt.

wordwiz
Green Thumb
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:44 pm
Location: Cincinnati

RGB,

I know MGs and even Extension Agents who about as useful as mammary glands on male hogs when it comes to asking some questions. I know others who take a special interest in a specific area and are very helpful.

IMHO, it's too bad there isn't a program for those who have "been there, done it, got the T-shirt" for years.

If I had the time, I wouldn't mind doing the course, and I have no doubt I would learn some things I don't know. But anything important enough to sacrifice hours that can be spent in the garden - not likely.

YMMV,

Mike

User avatar
farmerlon
Green Thumb
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:42 am
Location: middle Tennessee

rainbowgardener wrote:I didn't mean to sound like I know everything already...
No problem, I didn't take it that way. :D

I think the MG course covers are pretty broad spectrum, from "basic" to more "advanced" material.
That being said... for someone that already has a lot of experience, I think one of the primary benefits of the MG program is the opportunity to "fraternize" with other gardeners. If you would enjoy participating in projects/events, and sharing information with other gardeners in your community, then you would probably really enjoy the MG program.

Here's something else you might consider for starters. See if you can join your local Master Gardener Association, without taking the MG classes. (My local association allows that.) That might be a good way for you to "test the waters", and/or participate if you decide that the training course doesn't suit you.

All the best!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

good points and good suggestion... thanks!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28225
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Lily, so it sounds like you're enjoying the community of Gardeners. What are some of the things you've learned that were most revealing to you?

I met someone who is a Master Gardener. We hit it off right away and I'd like to think of her as a friend, though we have the worst luck finding time to get together. :roll: She was in the process of trying to talk me into attending meetings and taking classes when NJ underwent some budget changes and Master Gardeners program and activities were went though a review process or something. Anyway, she tells me she's back in action teaching a beekeeping class. I think it might be something I might want to try when I have more of free time I can spend on my own. Too many obligations right now to think of it.

lily51
Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

Applestar--Just the huge variety of specialties involved in gardening,and how what interests one person does not necessarily interest another, but all of it is needed to "make the gardening world go 'round". And it's my teaching spirit that says there's always something to learn. It's good to get out there and listen to other people.

I am enjoying hearing from the wide variety of people in the class. And now that I'm retired, I have time to do volunteer work. One thing we all agreed on is that in Ohio, winter is the perfect time to take this course, when we are all thinking of our gardens, but can't get out there yet.

We have two all-day Saturday classes at Kingwood Center, which is quite the place. :D Donated to the city decades ago, the gardens, greenhouses and grounds are amazing, as is the Manor. If any of you are in Richland County, Ohio, be sure to visit there...only costs $5.00 for a whole carload of people. I'm hoping to volunteer work in the greenhouses there once the course is over.



Return to “What Doesn't Fit Elsewhere”