First Day of (Master Gardeners) School

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  The 1971 Chevy Impala has been replaced by a Toyota hybrid.)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.

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19 thoughts on “First Day of (Master Gardeners) School

  1. sounds like a wonderful course Tricia, Congratulations on your first day.. Loved the pics. I enjoy gardening & visiting gardens. The Spring Native Plants show at Cuyamacha College is very enjoyable. Now if I can only save my orange, lemon, & grapefruit tree. Maybe they dont like each other. The G Tree is the oldest at over 30yrs & looks like its on its last leg. Help!!

    • Thank you Scrooge…I mean, Jerry. (Readers: this is not a insult. Jerry is the fabulously talented actor that led the outstanding, local production of A Christmas Carol.) I’m excited to make it some of these local native plant shows and experiment in the garden. Maybe call the hort line with your citrus questions? (Number listed in one of my responses above.)

  2. Loved both your first day pictures! You looks as excited about learning today as you did in first grade. Can’t wait to read more updates on your Master Gardener program.

  3. Brilliant. Congratulations Tricia. Love gardening myself and I am thoroughly delighted for you. Grow green and reap all the colors of the rainbow!

  4. Love the photos and the nice explanation of the Master Gardener scene. I have interacted with a Master Gardener here and found the experience very enriching and educational. I am certain you will be a wonderful asset to the cohort.

    • Thanks Sheri! Sounds like you know this, but for everyone else: Master Gardeners run a FREE “hort-line” for all of your home gardening questions, M through F, 9-3 (this is San Diego, but I believe other counties have similar services). For SD County, the number is 858-694-2860.

  5. way to go Tricia! Keep us informed of what you learn. We continue to work on our meager backyard garden, learning things as we go. So much to learn! I put a patio in, and now am ready to plant our pinot noir grapevines along the side!

    • You are so supportive Anne! For those of you who don’t know, Sally is a local gardening and community rockstar, leading the longstanding effort to beautify our town with daffodils. She’s light years ahead of me, but I’m glad to be moving in the direction of her company.

  6. Everyone may see something a little different but………………

    What I see is a person…brief case in hand,bright smile,beautiful eyes,smart dresser,and a future master gardner. Dad

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