Today was the first day of my Master Gardeners program so I thought I’d recreate a classic family photo.
Me on my first day of first grade.
Me on my first day of Master Gardeners training (with all of my teeth and no knee socks. The 1971 Chevy Impala has been replaced by a Toyota hybrid.)
Master Gardeners is a University of California Cooperative Extension program that is offered every two years in San Diego County. A 50 hour program with 16 classes over a five-month period, the program provides expert training to volunteers in horticulture and pest management. Classes, taught by specialists, cover soils, irrigation, propagation, plant pathology, vegetables, sustainable practices, entomology, and much more . Once training is complete and an exam passed, a person is a certified master gardener, ready to devote 50 hours to public education (with additional service and continuing education to recertify every year thereafter.) One must apply with a written application and interview to be chosen to join the 56-person cohort.
When I went to the application orientation, I was encouraged not to be scared off by the term “master gardener,” instead viewing the experience as an opportunity to be involved in ongoing nonformal education and public service within a learning community. After 2 1/2 years with our school garden, I have plenty of ideas and plenty of questions so I am ready to go! I am looking forward to a two-way flow of information from the MG program to our school effort, and from our school project back into public education. (One MG committee to serve with is School Gardens—this naturally is where I’m headed.) In short, I feel privileged to be a part of the 2012 class and will be reporting regularly on what I’m learning.
For more information, visit http://www.mastergardenerssandiego.org