Remember when I talked about becoming a Master Gardener? Well, I did!
Technically my status became official in November, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend my graduation ceremony due to managing a newborn at the time. A few weeks ago I was finally able to attend a Master Gardener event (our annual volunteer meeting) and obtain my name badge and certificate.
In the fall of 2014 I completed an 11-week training program which constituted approximately 50 hours of education. It was basically a hands-on classroom experience. Topics we covered included:
- soils and fertilizers
- entomology, pesticides and integrated pest management
- plant pathology
- plant propagation
- herbaceous and woody ornamentals
Then in 2015 I completed 50 volunteer hours. One of my favorite experiences was working the Q&A booth at the Crocker Park Farmer’s Market in Westlake, Ohio. I hope to do this again this summer!
In order to maintain my status as a Master Gardener I will complete at least 20 more volunteer hours each calendar year, along with 10 hours of continuing education (basically more classroom experience). This allows me to give back to the community and continue to stay up-to-date on gardening best practices.
Becoming a Master Gardener was something I always wanted to do, but I never thought I would complete the program at such a young age. It really helped that in 2014 the program was reworked so that class was held in the evening, which was more accommodating for working adults. Having this certification not only helps satisfy my personal goals, but also allows me to keep learning about a topic I also write about professionally.
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener the best way to learn about how to apply is to “like” the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Cuyahoga County Facebook page, or sign up to receive email notification about future classes.
In the meantime, if you are an avid gardener who simply wants to learn more about your craft, mark your calendar for the following events:
- Vegetable Symposium: From Garden to Table: April 16, 2016
- “Plants in the Park” Plant Sale: June 4, 2016
- “Gardens Matter” – Zoar Garden Event, The Wilds, and Schnormeier Gardens: June 25-26, 2016
- “Native Plants: Rugged Easy-Care Survivors” Presentation: Click for dates and libraries
- Fall Seminar: Gardening Through the Seasons: November 5, 2016