Hello MG's!

mamabirrd(z5/6 PA)August 27, 2004

How great to have a forum just for the Master Gardeners. A great way to swap ideas for events, speaking engagements, etc. Our local MG program does great things for the area and the things you learn are so very valuable. So as the first "MG poster", a big thanks to Spike!

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kareen(z5 NY Renss.Co.)

Thanks Spike and hello everyone. I begin MG class in the fall so this couldn't be timed better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our pond and gardens

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 2:20PM
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agnellok(Z9 So. Calif)

Greetings all !!
Good choice Spike !!
I will also be taking a MG class this fall........

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 3:00PM
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Darrols(z8 sNM)

Great timing for me also - begining MG classes next week - NMSU Extension in Dona Ana County, NM.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 3:40PM
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pawleyscruser(z8 SC)

The MG program here in Coastal SC is "alive" and "thriving", thanks to the guidance we receive from our sponsor, Clemson University and their Cooperative Extension Service. We have operated "Plant Problem Clinics" in local shopping centers for several years, and if any of you new to the MG program have an opportunity to do so, I encourage you to participate in one of these events. You will learn FAR more than you ever did while sitting in a classroom, pouring over the text.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 3:52PM
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janet_la(z8b Louisiana)

I agree! Other than our annual plant sale, the Plant Health Clinics are where I put in most of my volunteer hours. I learn something new every time I work at one. They try to plan it where less experienced MGs work with more experienced MGs, and if possible, those with different areas of interest work together.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 10:15PM
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Hello from Pennsylvania! Have been a MG since 1992, the first year for classes in our area. We have been very active but are dismayed by our state's decision to not provide classes the fall. We have always enjoyed recruiting and are concerned that we will dwindle in membership and be gone in a few years. Have any of your groups continued to exist without the backing of your state university? Would love to know how. Am excited to find this new forum and will enjoy reading about programs from all over.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 11:04PM
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Sowth Efrikan

A plant health clinic? That sounds like a great idea, to the best of my knowledge there isn't one in this county. My class has just started and so far I think a couple of the extension agents are absolutely appalling - thank goodness they are not from my county. I would be out of the program already.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:25AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I'm a MG with the Aransas/San Patricio County Master Gardener Association in Rockport, Texas. I'm glad that we finally got a MG Forum. And the MG program is really great for any gardener regardless of whether one is a seasoned gardener or not.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:42AM
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marifl(10B Fl)

We have a very active MG program here in Collier County FL but we can't seem to get together for meetings. We have tried food and speakers but still very few come. MGs work in the gardens, the plant clinics etc. but never get together. It would be nice to meet some of the others.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:48AM
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There are several MG in our local garden club but many do not keep up their recertification.There have been major changes in requirements the last several yrs. and I think that is why many don't take the class at all or don't recertify. This is all new to me since I just completed classes in the spring and have most of my volunteer hrs.completed for this year. Now I just need to fill them in on the log sheet and send them in. I have talked about doing this for years and finally I can say "I DID IT"

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 4:25PM
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epiphany(z5b PA)

I read this with interest: I just applied for the Master Gardeners program here in Butler County, PA. I understand that they will review the application and then I need to go for an interview before finding out if I'll be accepted.

Can anyone add to that?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 4:45PM
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I am signed up for a MG program in Taylor County, Texas which starts Sept. 7. Am looking forward to learning what they have to offer, sure am glad we did not have an interview for acceptance... I guess we are just proud to be here! HA I am excited about this forum as I go through the progam.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 5:30PM
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janet_la(z8b Louisiana)

Epiphany, that's similar to how our program works (or at least used to work). When I first inquired about it in 2002, I was told that the applications would be reviewed, and I think an interview was involved (apparently, more people wanted to take the course than they had room for). However, I got in without an interview when they decided at the last minute to offer a night class for the first time. They had to fill the class in a very short time, or it would be cancelled. I guess I just got lucky :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 8:58PM
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The interview I had was very informal and took less than 10 minutes. It was basically to just go over what I already knew. And that was when the class would meet, days, time, and the volunteer hrs. involved, etc. Not a big deal at all. I almost felt like this could have been done over the phone instead of traveling 40 miles to where the class was offered. But it was nice to meet the instructor ahead of time and it put me at ease. She touched on a couple things on the application. Thinking about it now I know I was really nervous at the thought of an interview and I need not have been.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 9:31PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there: I got my certification at an agricultural research station, helped get a new program off the ground in dairy cattle and 4H country and I'm now in the program at the Indiana Purdue campus. Each area has it's own priorities but is coordinated at a central location. At the ag station I helped show other interns basic skills and plant and care for trial plots to compare new varieties. Now I give talks, classes and seminars, help in the display gardens and answer a hotline for the public one afternoon a week. Last month we answered 1800 inquiries. Other people with other talents work with organizational details, contact speakers and organize educational programs or run a youth program. This year we have had guests from the Habitat for Humanity program who have been learning how to care for their new yards. I have been working on a GreenRoof project which is a totally new idea for this area. I have put in a small pond, developed (with others)the Hydrangea Garden and painted a mural on the shed. There are so many options for master gardeners that if you are willing to be involved it will never be boring. We have workdays for the gardens and have a lunch and talk session 3 or 4 times a summer. Bus tours to botanical gardens and nurseries are arranged every year. It is never hard to complete volunteer hours or educational hours. Enjoy, Sandy

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:11PM
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little_dani(9, S. Tex Coast)

Goodness! I feel like an old lady, in here with all these 'whippersnappers' just in the new class! Welcome to all to the wonderful world of Master Gardeners!

And, actually, I AM an old lady- well, not REAL old! LOL

I am a 5 year veteran of the Texas Master Gardener program, being a member in both Jackson County and Victoria County. I took my classes in Victoria County in 1999, and Jackson County started a group in 2002. So far, I have no problem keeping hours for recertification, just have to keep good records of what I do, when I do it. Last year, I took the Plant Propagation Specialist training with Montgomery County MG (TX), and was certified last May at Conference in Corpus Christi. I love propagation. That is my thing.

I am so glad that Spike set this forum up! Thanks, Spike!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:26PM
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epiphany(z5b PA)

Thank you Janet!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 9:22AM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Hi, Carol,

I was also concerned that they weren't having a MG class this year. And we've heard that they are going to charge for the course from now on. When I took the course (2001), it only cost $45.00 for the manual. I was surprised that some states charge over $200.00! I guess that's why PA is now charging.

I hope the program doesn't die off. I've enjoyed it so much.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 8:42PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there, Blueheron. You can count yourself lucky to have had the classes and certification early enough to miss the extra charges. From what I have seen and heard the financial squeeze is going to get worse. Extension Offices have had to reduce hours for office staff or let them go and project money is nonexistant except where the program supports itself with plant sales and seminars, etc. I have wondered of late how well the system could function if there were no volunteers willing to put in the extra effort just for the pleasure of it. I don't think as much of our tax money is going to the extension service as used to but the demand for services is certainly up. I don't know how thick your notebooks are but I know mine are pretty heavy and the materials certainly cost to put them together. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 4:00AM
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Hi, Blueheron,
Just received an e-mail from our extension office. I stand corrected. It is just our corner of the state that no longer can have Master Gardener classes. We so often turn out to be everyone's poor cousin. The three counties here have had a program for many years and we are out in the cold. Now I am upset! We are classified as "Appalachia" and needy when it is to someone's advantage. Otherwise, we can just go jump! Am glad for other PA residents who can continue to participate in the classes. They are well worth the expense, effort and volunteer hours.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 9:59AM
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Chris_MI(z5 MI)

In 1979 I took the class, $40 and 20 hours Now it is over $200 and 50 volunteer hours. You do get a more professional and more through binder with current info. I took the class in Washtenaw county because of the class time and available babysiter, even though I live in Wayne county, not a problem. So as I became an ulumni, I went to the Wayne county meetings and did my yearly recertification there. Then the the people at MSU extension in Lansing decided to make the volunteer hours very difficult, and I thought, hey, I'm doing these 20 hours yearly (versus 10 hours in Washtenaw county) for free and they are complaining, so forget it, I have better things to do with my time. Well, a gal called and we talked and I continued for a 5 more years as a volunteer. With the info on the garden web and being able to access the MG newsletter on line, I decided 2 years ago to drop out of being a Master Gardener--(although I still call myelf one). They are a great group of people, until power and politics get in the way of gardening.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 1:32PM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

Hi y'all. Just found out about this new forum on the Texas Gardening forum & it's been interesting reading about the different fees & hours requirements. I pid $75.00 for the program which covered the manual & 72 hours of classroom time. Intern year is 72 hours of volunteer time & after that it's 12 hours of volunteer time & 12 CE's to maintain certification.

Mostly I learned all that I did not know going through the program, plus meeting a lot of great & generous folks.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 11:27PM
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gardenmaker79(zone 4/5)

thanks for starting thif forum. I am a new master gardener that graduated on Jan 3,2005. I just found these forums and loving it. Thanks for starting them
from Michigan zone4/5

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:40PM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

So glad this forum was started so we can talk with other MG's.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 2:07PM
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