This weekend, Krista was like “What the heck! You haven’t blogged about the Master Gardener program yet?” Well, I have been holding out on you because clearly I prefer to talk about Levi, our pets and our house to discussing my own personal triumphs. So, here’s the overdue blog entry.
A few months back I applied for the local Master Gardener program through the county’s extension office and Washington State University. The MG program is a combination of training and service. You spend months learning tons of stuff about botany, integrated pest management, soil science, plant identification, pest and disease diagnosis. Then you do a lot of volunteer work, mostly in demonstration gardens, clinics, outreach programs, etc. The program is great for developing your personal knowledge about gardening, but better than that, it’s a rare and wonderful opportunity to become a trained education and help deliver messages related to water-wise gardening, composting, and low-impact landscaping. In case you don’t know me very well, I majored in environmental science & minored in botany, and I’ve been experiencing minor “career conflict” lately as I feel pulled to spend time planting and growing things. The obligations of being a new homeowner encourage me to maintain regular employment, however.
The Master Gardener program only accepts 50 people a year. Gardening is increasingly popular as the green/environmental movement picks up speed & the economy pushes people to reconnect with the concept of victory gardens. I was nervous about whether I’d get in or not, so I didn’t tell many people about it. For whatever reasons, they accepted me! Classes start the first week of February. I’ll spend about 4 months in training, and then a year completing the Apprentice (volunteer hours) portion of the program. I’m super excited about the whole thing, but I couldn’t have done it on my own. My co-worker Kate got me excited about it, Krista urged me to apply, and my boss agreed to be flexible with my hours during the training period. Many thanks to all of them for being the support I clearly desperately need!
Yes, I am happy to help you with whatever you need in your garden. I’m going to be way overbooked for awhile, since I’ll be working full time, doing the MG training, and renovating our own garden. Have I mentioned lately how excited I am to start work on our yard?!? Krista & I already started a spreadsheet of our 2010 garden plans. And yes, somehow I still plan to start a bee hive & a flock of chickens. 2010 is going to be a “hold onto your hats” kind of year.