A. Maybe your first question should be, "Why would I want to become a Master Gardener?" The process of becoming a Master Gardener is interesting, informative, and for me was quite enjoyable. As someone new to the county, becoming a Purdue Master Gardener was a great way for me to meet members of the community and to do useful volunteer work that connected me to the county and to the community.
The two basic requirements to become a Master Gardener are successful completion of a series of classes and completion of volunteer hours. The required classes are based on a curriculum developed by Purdue University. The classes are low pressure, informative and taught by knowledgeable people. You will learn a lot about how plants grow, how plants reproduce, what makes soil healthy and a variety of other plant related information.
Successful completion of the classes makes you a Master Gardener Intern. To transition to a Master Gardener, the Intern must accumulate 35 volunteer hours working on one or more of the many projects Greene County Master Gardeners complete every year. To remain an Active Master Gardener requires annual educational and volunteer hours.
Current Master Gardener projects include the installation of a Native Plant Medicinal Garden and a Demonstration Vegetable Garden at the 4-H Fairgrounds. The Vegetable Garden project illustrates the variety of volunteer experiences available to prospective and active members. Creating the Vegetable Garden will require design and layout, selection of plant types, construction of raised beds and the construction of other garden structures (compost bins, a garden shed, hoop and trellis structures, etc.) and most important, growing vegetables!
Other activities/projects Greene County Master Gardeners conduct or participate in include the Festival of Trees, our annual Flower and Patio Show, providing planters for the 4-H Fair and at the Shawnee Theater, providing informational booths at the 4-H County Fair, Elnora Antique Show and AG Day. Other interesting projects are being planned.
If you are interested in joining the 2016 Master Gardener classes beginning this month, please call Sadie Davis, Purdue Extension Educator at the Greene County Extension Office at 812-659-2122.
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This month's question is answered by David B. Hughes, Vice-President, Greene County Master Gardeners.
This is one in a series of question-and-answer columns from the Greene County Master Gardeners. Send your garden-related questions directly to the Master Gardeners for consideration to be answered here each month. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them by mail to "Ask a Greene Gardener," c/o Greene County Extension, 4513 W St Rd 54, Bloomfield IN 47424.