Garden Views: What is an Extension Master Gardener?

Every Extension Master Gardener has been asked the same questions time after time.  What do Master Gardeners do?  How can you get to be a Master Gardener?  So, it is time to answer those questions.

The process of becoming an Extension Master Gardener begins with an application to your local Extension office.  There is a selection process and then candidates complete course work through the University of Minnesota Extension.  Volunteer time and additional continuing education is done each year.

Who are we?  We are your neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives.  We are a true cross section of the community.  We are volunteers who enjoy gardening or landscaping, have a desire for life-long learning and have a strong interest in sharing what we learn with others.

What do we do?  Extension Master Gardeners educate, educate, educate.  We do that by answering your questions and explaining how to achieve the results you need.  The pest and disease recommendations are based on University of Minnesota’s best practices in care and management of plants and promote a healthier environment. You will find Ask a Master Gardener booths at garden centers, civic celebrations, farmers markets and the County Fair.  We are in schools working with young people, in churches and retirement communities. At times we offer classes.  For example the April 12th Home and Landscape Fair at Bunker Activity Center offers 21 concurrent sessions on perennials, vegetables, landscaping, habitat, etc. (Further information at the web site http://anokamastergardeners.org).

We work with Habitat for Humanity providing landscape design and instruction and also design beautiful demonstration gardens for non-formal and formal learning experiences.  We answer horticulture questions via the Arboretum Yard and Garden line and Extension’s Ask A Master Gardener web site.  We provide outreach services through a therapeutic horticulture program.

Extension Master Gardeners in Anoka County also help residents identify plants and diagnose common insect and disease problems at Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinics at Bunker every Wednesday mid-May through August.

We also support organizations such as Great River Greening, local watershed districts and Anoka County Parks and Recreation and conduct research for University of Minnesota Extension.

The Anoka County Master Gardeners invite you to visit our web page http://anokamastergardeners.org/    Have a wonderful spring and summer. You will be seeing us and we will be there for you.

Barbara Harlan is an Anoka County Master Gardener.

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