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Re: Master Gardener

  • Subject: Re: Master Gardener
  • From: Louanna Simmons <grnstuff@kc.rr.com>
  • Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 10:27:24 -0600

Glen:  I've been an Extension Master Gardener here in Johnson County KS for 15 years, the past 5 of them as emerita mainly because of non-gardening family obligations.  I cannot express too strongly my great enthusiasm for the EMG program, for what it does for our greater-Kansas City metro area through volunteer activities and for what I have gained from it!  I joined thinking I'd get some tips and learn some basic rules along the way (already an "experienced" gardener or so I thought) but what I got was Fourth-of-July fireworks with Roman candles.  Wow!
     You're in the dull-but-necessary part just now, and while asking questions would be nice (my classes were live, so I can't really compare notes with your experience), you'll no doubt have access to the info, and the people who have the answers, when classes are over and your volunteer service begins.
     I could write a book, but will try to be brief: the EMG program in my county, which started in 1980, now has well over 200 active members, is unlike any "garden club" around in that there are no cliques--we're just all involved in learning that never ends, committees and areas of service that meet our present interests and are broad enough, open and inclusive enough, to draw us into new areas that broaden our scope of knowledge, and add new friendships.  There is truly something for any and everyone--herbs, perennials, woodies, annuals, bulbs, butterfly gardening, speakers bureau, planting at a nursing home, learning plant photography, answering the thousands of questions that come in to gardeners' hotline, a biennial garden tour, sick plant clinics, etc.etc.....It's almost a way of life!
     On my side of the state line alone, at least 25 Master Gardeners are also members of our 200-plus member Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society, to the benefit and betterment of both groups.  Stick with it, it'll "grow" on you!
     HOSTAlly,  Louanna Simmons 

At 09:43 AM 4/4/02 , you wrote:
Would be interested in other peoples' experiences in the Master Gardener
Program. Am about 1/2 through. I know the programs vary from region to
region and zone to zone. I am taking the program in an interactive TV set
up at a local school. There are 10 different sites and most of our teachers
are involved with our state university. Live questions are possible, but
difficult because of the 230 different students.But of course questions can
be called or, or e-mail is an easy possibility.  I certainly have no
complaints about most of the material we are covering, but find myself
wishing more time were spent on the material. I am adjusting slowly to the
live TV aspect, but reading some of the overhead projections on the screens
is difficult....and live microphones always make life interesting. Actually
I was thinking of the time that Henry Kissinger  was heard on a "dead"
michrophone  refering to President Nixon as oue meatball president...of
course G. Bush had his problems too.  But back to the point....if there was

I am bothered by one cosmetic thing. The "MASTER" Gardner is a some what
pompous title. I expect that there might be one or two true master
gardeners in my course, but if one has the illusion that this course is
going to turn someone into a MASTER GARDENER then it's time for them to put
the airplane glue away. The course here in Vermont has a lot of laudable
volunteer stuff going on, and in some ways this seems to be its major goal.
I am benefiting, happy, and may need new glasses, but I would like to know
how this course functions elsewhere.

P.S. Strangely enough I have been the only one to mention hostas.

CHOWRIE: n.: a fly-swatter fashioned from a yak's tail.
Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839

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