What does it take to be a master gardener? | Detroit Lakes Tribune

A leading gardener is needed by a community volunteer with a basic knowledge of gardening. We need to continue volunteering and learning about gardening in our communities.

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program began in the first class of 1977 with 25 people. Since then, it has grown to include more than 2,300 active master gardeners throughout the state of Minnesota. The mission of the program is to use research-based horticultural knowledge and practices to provide access to education and project-based efforts to promote change and promote healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet.

Don’t worry if you feel you need to know more to participate. The University of Minnesota Extension has a course that gives you the knowledge to become a certified master gardener. The instruction is available as a combination of body parts, online lessons or online and in person. Baker County Masters Gardeners provide consultants to the new Master Gardeners.

Here in Baker County, our local top gardeners and their knowledge can be found on TV3 (Rambilin Rose Program), Extension Office (Plant and Pest Clinic to help people answer gardening questions), and the Detroit Lakes community. Garden (sponsored by the city), Baker County Exhibition (where we have annual walks), our annual Herbal Sale (where we enjoy talking about plants), bi-monthly in the Detroit Lakes Tribune and a variety of educational opportunities in the community.

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Our Baker County members have many reasons to participate in the MG program. Some want more information and knowledge to create a rich garden in the challenging MN climate, some have retired from their paid jobs and are looking for a way to volunteer / return to the community, and others truly love learning and helping others learn. Because learning about the myriad plants – and the reasons for growing them – seems to be the key to becoming a successful gardener. There is also the related aspects of soil health, environmental nutrition, pollen, sustainable landscaping, land and water management, and all of them as gardeners that connect us all as major gardeners. We also have a Facebook page at facebook.com/beckercountymastergardeners.

You can find more information about the Master Gardener program at the U of MN Extension website at https://sites.google.com/umn.edu/mgweb/home. There is an online application you can fill out and it will be sent directly to the state MG office. Applications close at midnight in October. Application review will begin on October 2 and applicants will be notified of their acceptance of the program by December 1. 218-846-7328, or stop at the Baker County Extension Office, 1120 8th St. S, Detroit Lakes.

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