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Why Master Gardener Programs are essential to Community GardenGrowth

  • Subject: [cg] Why Master Gardener Programs are essential to Community GardenGrowth
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 13:58:01 -0400

  Master Gardeners sprout area gardens
By Joel Gallob Of the News-Times
In the 26 years of the Master Gardener program run by the Oregon State University Extension Service in Lincoln County, more than 350 volunteers have been trained and graduated as Master Gardeners into the communities, gardens, fields and farms of the central coast.
Sally Noack, OSU Extension Service agent, recently presented information about the program to the Lincoln County Commissioners, who passed a proclamation making July 24-29 "Master Gardener Week" in the county.
Once completing their training, the Master Gardeners have helped sprout community gardens around the county. And there are currently more than 80 active Master Gardeners in this county, Noack said.
The training includes completion of a required course, passing a comprehensive examination, and providing a required number of hours of volunteer service. The Master Gardeners, the commissioners noted in their proclamation, "participate annually in educational outreach programs" across the county. The program, they stated, helps protect and beautify the environment as well as teach sustainable gardening practices.
"We trained 29 students last year," Noack said. Some are gardening at a Children's Garden organized in Newport; some at the Ridge Apartments in Lincoln City and others at another garden in that city; some worked on the demonstration garden at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds.
Some of the food these green-thumbed volunteers raise goes to Lincoln County Food Share.
The program, Noack added, is currently working with Lincoln County School District and with the Yaquina Lighthouse garden. And it has just recently started a Waldport Community Garden. "We're in the early stages; we have a few beds. We're working there with the Community Partnership program at the old middle school. The kids in the program there hope to sell the food at the Waldport Farmers' market," she reported.
Produce from gardens seeded by the Master Gardeners program is also sold at the Newport and Toledo Farmers' Markets, she said. "And this year, we're developing a garden for the Olalla Center, too."
People interested in joining the program can contact Noack at 574-6534.
Joel Gallob is a reporter for the News-Times. He can be reached at 265-8571, ext. 223 or joel.gallob@lee.net
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