Who and what is Master Gardener?

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 24, 2014

SALISBURY — Extension Master Gardeners is a great program where Cooperative Extension agents train volunteers to help educate gardeners using unbiased and research-based information.
Because the program is so successful we often receive calls about what the program is, what the requirements are and when someone can sign up.
Here are some common questions we receive about the program:
Question: What is Extension Master Gardener Volunteers?
Answer: It is a program developed by a Cooperative Extension Agent to train individuals in many aspects of gardening (pruning, small fruits, vegetables, etc.) by using research-based information provided by land-grant universities. In return for the training and educational opportunities, the students must volunteer 45 hours in the first year to become a certified Extension Master Gardener. After completing the first year, Extension Master Gardeners must volunteer at least 25 hours to remain active.
Question: How do the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers receive hours?
Answer: Every volunteer must follow the direction of the supervising Cooperative Extension agent to receive volunteer hours. All of the supervising agents have programs and projects that need to be completed throughout the year and often need assistance of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.
Question: What projects can the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers work on?
Answer: The supervising agent has many responsibilities and often needs help with a number of them. Some of the projects and responsibilities include:
• Community gardens
• School gardens
• Research projects (ex: plant variety trials, etc.)
• Demonstration gardens
• Articles for the newspaper
• Radio broadcasting
These are just a few projects an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer may work on.
Being an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer takes time and dedication but can be very rewarding. If you enjoy gardening and want to learn more and, in return, give back to the community then becoming an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer may be for you.

For more information on Extension Master Gardener Volunteers visit: http://www.ncstategardening.org/extension_master_gardener/statewide/about_the_program Or call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.