What is the Master Gardener Program?
The Master Gardener Program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to extend information throughout their communities. The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington State in 1972.
Who becomes a Master Gardener? Master Gardeners are people who have some horticultural experience and a sincere desire to share that experience with others. Master Gardeners come from all walks of life, and are united by their enthusiasm for plants and people.
How Do I Become a Master Gardener? To become a Master Gardener, send your name, address and phone number to: Nancy Anderson at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Your information will be placed in a file and you will be notified several months in advance of the next training.
The next Master Gardener Training will possibly be in the fall of 2017.
Letters will be sent in July to all people that have expressed an interest in the Master Gardener Training. All applicants will have an in-office interview in August. Selection of new Master Gardener trainees will be made and training will begin in September and continue until November.
Training is held one day a week from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm for a 10-12 week period.
Trainees will receive 40 to 60 hours of course instruction on topics such as: plant nutrition, soils, fruit and vegetable culture, care and maintenance of lawns and landscape plants, garden insects and diseases and much more.
Is there any cost?
Yes, there is a one time fee that covers the cost of training materials, speaker fees, refreshments, etc. Limited scholarships are available for those who show financial need. Contact our office at (585) 394-3977 x 427 or email Nancy Anderson to request a scholarship form.
What Does A Master Gardener Do?
Master Gardeners are expected to share their horticultural training with the community in the form of 100 hours of volunteer work with Cooperative Extension over a two year period. Volunteer activities are somewhat flexible. After your initial 100 hours over a two year period you may continue as a Master Gardener by signing a statement that you will give a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer time over the coming year back to Cornell Cooperative Extension. This pledge becomes an annual event.
Some activities include:
• Put together exhibits and displays
• Give gardening lectures/demonstrations to outside groups and organizations
• Teach horticultural classes that are open to the general public
• Attend semi-monthly Master Gardener organizational meetings
• Participate in the annual plant sale
• Work with 4-H youth and school projects related to horticulture
• Organize spring garden symposiums
• Answer questions and give horticultural advice to clients
• Host a tour of your garden
• Attend inservice opportunities on a county, state and regional level
How Does the Master Gardener Program Benefit Me? Through the Master Gardener training sessions and workshops, you will become a more knowledgeable gardener. You will have access to numerous Cooperative Extension gardening materials. You will be able to attend Master Gardener workshops and participate in field trips with other Master Gardeners from around the state. Finally, you will have a chance to meet other people who share your interest in gardening.