Master Gardeners : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I saw in the "potatoe" thread that is going, - where Grant signed as a Master Gardener.

I used to wonder what that meant, when an article in a magazine was written by a "Master Gardener". I wondered, "what is that" MG business, - are they ordained, or what?"

Maybe the forum participants don't all know what that means. I stumbled onto an article that explained that they are people who take courses through their state university and with their local extension office and then log the hours necessary to get their certificate as a Master Gardener.

Some counties have very active Master Gardeners organizations and do a lot through the schools with gardening education and many community projects and community plots or with their local farmer's market.

I am a Master Gardener here in Ohio and would be interested in knowing who of the forum participants are MG's and how long.


-- homestead2 (, May 01, 2001


I got certified here in Wyoming 4 years ago. Classes were interesting. The new agent we got in two years ago had a bunch to learn about people. I think he's done a good job of adapting. He had a degree and experience in large commercial greenhouses. A far cry from the wind and elements in Wyoming. I still remember the first night when there was open discussion about how best to protect plants in the spring. One older gardener mentioned using tires for potatoes....this young man just stared at him and then moved on. LOL But, he is learning.

-- Deborah (, May 01, 2001.

Havent done the course yet, but went to college and recieved a certificate in landscape mant and general hort. We had great feild trips and I got to take my dog with me on them to.

-- kathy h (, May 01, 2001.

Got my Master Gardener's cert about 5 years ago through Purdue Extension here in IN. I still make lots of mistakes, I mean "experiments". I like to try wierd plants, push limits. We've gone gagga over assorted odd fruits and nuts the last few years, still waiting for bearing age on most -- either the deer thought the whole plant was delicious, the drought of 99 got it or somebody mowed over it. 8-(

Lots of good basic info and a binder full of extension leaflets, contact with other plant fanatics in your area. You might run into a fellow traveler in your specific area of interest, whether bonsai conifers, heirloom tomatoes, fragrant plants or ancient grains.

Sara in IN

-- Sara in IN (, May 01, 2001.

Became a Master Gardener in upstate New York (Cornell Coop. Ext.) 18 years ago- worked for 5 years as a volunteer, then the county gov. decided they couldn't afford our program and so cancelled its' funding. It was a fine training program, and the MG's from other states I have since met are also fine gardeners and very knowledgeable. If you can take the training you will learn a lot.

-- seraphima (, May 01, 2001.

I have been a MG for two years. I don't know All the answers but I know where to look Grant Master Gardener from Petersburg IN. I too went through the Purdue MG class

-- grant (, May 01, 2001.

The wife and I took the courses about six years ago. Learned a lot and really enjoyed most of it. The program is still going strong here in North Alabama. If you get a chance to take advantage of the program do so. You will really gain from the experence. We even had one of the classes here at our farm. We practice organic gardening and the courses are not based on organic but were very informative even though we had been homesteading for years.

-- David (, May 01, 2001.

I became a certified master gardener in 96 in Missoula, Montana. I walked into the class thinking that I knoew 90% of what there was to know about gardening and walked out thinking I knew about 5%. It was a very humbling experience. The class was hard and I studied like a maniac. I barely passed the exam. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

-- Paul Wheaton (, May 02, 2001.

I just finished up the Indiana Master Gardener course and was very disappointed with it. The instructor had a real attitude. He claimed that organic gardening, companion planting, etc. were just a bunch of folklore and superstition. He also said that heirloom varieties were vastly inferior to hybrids and GE crops, and that seed saving was a waste of time. I really didn't feel like I learned much of anything. I"d love it if there was such a thing as an Organic Master Gardener certification, but since the MG program is run by the state agricultural universities which get a lot of their funding by the big agrochemical companies I'm not holding my breath.

-- Sherri C (, May 02, 2001.

Sherri. I took the class in Indiana and I thought they would not touch on organic and companion but my instructors did a lot I was of our instructors was a butt, but the rest were fine Grant

-- grant (, May 02, 2001.

And then there is my brother-in-law who fishes all day, had to have taken a few classes to learn how to bait them hooks, so he surely is a Master Baiter? I know............Ken is going to delete me :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, May 02, 2001.

It took me a second to get that one vicky.

-- kathy h (, May 02, 2001.

My CMG instructor runs one of the biggest organic farms in the area. But she taught all aspects of agriculture. Including the usefulness of pesticides and the toxicity. I will never use a pesticide again. I would rather have the pests than have the toxin.

As master gardeners, we are forbidden from advocating organic techniques over chemical techniques. We are to present all sides as equal and allow the consumer to make their own decision.

-- Paul Wheaton (, May 02, 2001.

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