Master Gardener program to offer virtual basic training
The Purdue Extension Master Gardener Spring 2022 Basic Training Program will begin on February 1 as a series of live virtual webinars.
Go to bit.ly/2022PurdueEMGTraining and contact a Purdue Extension educator host to get an application. The deadline to apply is January 11. The training ends on May 3. An individual registration costs $ 180 and includes a printed version of the Purdue EMG manual. The fee for two people sharing a printed version of the manual is $ 280.
Specialists from Purdue Extension and educators across Indiana teach the course. Topics include soils, fertility, pest management, invasive species, safety and alternatives to pesticides, trees, vegetables, flowers, lawns and fruits.
“The primary goal of the Purdue Extension Master Gardener program is to train volunteers to help Purdue Extension educate consumers about horticulture in Indiana communities,” says John Orick, Purdue State EMG Coordinator (www. hort.purdue.edu/mg).
Extension Master Gardener volunteers are required to give back a minimum of 40 hours to the community after completing initial training and passing an exam. Volunteers worked 117,000 hours in 2021, says Orick.
To strengthen ties with Purdue County’s EMG programs, each host extension educator will hold a weekly one-hour meeting with attendees to delve deeper into how the topic of the week applies to local gardeners.
“Indiana is a long north-south state,” says Jeff Burbrink, an educator with Purdue Extension in Elkhart County who is part of the team that planned the spring program. “Our climate and soils vary a lot from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. We want to be sure that our master extension gardeners can see how these concepts work in their backyards.
Most of the master gardeners remain involved in the program for years.
“Our local master gardeners started the Michiana Master Gardener Association in 1996,” says Burbrink, “partly because they love to learn, and partly because they can work together on big projects, like our annual garden tour. and the exhibition of the gardens. They are a group of incredibly talented creative people.