Apply Now to be a Master Gardener
By Vincent Lazaneo
For the first time in two years, the County’s Master Gardener Program is seeking new recruits.
Dedicated gardeners, who are willing to volunteer in exchange for expert training, can apply for a series of classes that will meet weekly on Tuesdays from Jan. 3 to June 19, 2012. The deadline to apply is Oct.13.
To receive an application and an invitation to an orientation meeting in Balboa Park on Oct. 6, visit www.mastergardenersd.org and click on the “go green” button in the upper left corner to sign up on the e-mail list. You will receive a confirmation e-mail that allows you to create an interests profile. Be sure to include “MG training class 2012” in your profile.
Those already on the e-mail list with a profile that includes the 2012 class will be emailed the application and invitation automatically.
If you love to grow plants, want to learn more about horticulture and have a desire to volunteer and share your knowledge with others, you may have what it takes to be a Master Gardener.
Don’t be put off by the title. Master Gardener doesn’t mean genius gardener. MGs are equal parts experienced gardener, generous volunteer and lifelong learner. Membership introduces you to some 200 folks with a passion for plants for sure but not every plant. What you don’t know about succulents for example, another knowledgeable member of the group will and will be glad to share.
Through the training course, monthly meetings and volunteer activities, you get to rub shoulders with friends in San Diego’s enthusiastic and growing gardening community. You become part of the local MG Association, now 28 years old, and in the process you will have a lot of fun.
Interested? You need to submit an application that details your gardening and volunteer experience. A group of current Master Gardeners then interviews candidates to select those invited to join. If you are invited and accept, you will begin a training program on Jan. 3. Classes meet from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday through June 19 at the San Diego County Operations Center.
Topics range from basic botany to citrus culture and pest control. UC instructors do not charge for their lectures but there is a $180 materials fee.
In case you are wondering, no, you don’t have to know plant Latin and yes, there is a take home exam that you must pass. When you do, you will be certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer by the University of California Cooperative Extension.
In your first year after graduation, you are asked to donate at least 50 volunteer hours, participating in various MG public education activities including staffing the popular MG hotline. There you will field phone and email gardening questions from the public, which is both a teaching and learning experience.
Whether answering a hotline inquiry or staffing an MG booth at various events or mentoring a school gardening program, you will be sharing your love of home gardening and helping others.
- 2017 - Master Gardener Association of San Diego County
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