The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 11, 2014

New Master Gardener class to start Jan. 28

Staff Reports
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Do you have a green thumb? Would you be interested in learning more about gardening or horticulture?

The Anderson County Extension Office will offer a new Master Gardener class starting on Tuesday, Jan. 28 for those interested in the volunteer development program.

The Master Gardener Program is designed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a part of Texas A&M University System.

This program is designed to increase the availability of horticultural information and improve the quality of life through horticultural projects. The program offers a minimum of 70 hours of instruction that covers topics including lawn care, ornamental trees and shrubs, insects, disease and weed management, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, home fruit production, garden flowers and water conservation and also will include field trips.

Program objectives are implemented through the training and “employing” local volunteers, known as Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners aid the extension office by conducting school garden projects, answering telephone requests for horticultural information, establishing and maintaining demonstration gardens, working with special audiences in the community, and designing and implementing community improvement projects as well as coordinating Master Gardener projects.

Those taking the training must devote a minimum of 50 hours of Master Gardener volunteer services in Anderson County, 20 of those hours have to be in the extension office answering horticulture questions. Some of these hours may be in the field of your choice, while some may be assigned according to the needs of the community and the extension horticulture program. Master Gardeners will have up to 12 months to complete the volunteer service.

Persons that are interested in the Master Gardener Program are ask to fill out an application. The registration fee for the Texas Master Gardener course is $140. This fee covers the Master Gardener Handbook and other reference materials.

The first class and orientation for Master Gardener trainees begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 at the Anderson County Extension Office.

All applicants should attend the meeting. After the first class and orientation, all other classes will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m. Some of the classes may last longer. Applications can be picked up at the County Extension Office, 101 E. Oak Street Palestine.

All applications must be returned to the Anderson County Extension Office not later than Tuesday, Jan. 21.