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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
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Become a Master Gardener- more than pulling weeds


Fri, Sep 30th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Master Gardeners do love digging in the soil. But you may not realize the scope of their involvement in the community. Minnesota Master Gardeners assist University of Minnesota faculty with research projects and varietal trials, advice city officials on how to create community gardens, partner with schools to teach students about composting, empower people to grow their own food, work with foresters to help limit the spread of emerald ash borer, teach homeowners sustainable ways to manage yard waste, improve the state's water quality with shoreline plantings and rain gardens, and much more.

Master Gardeners are paraprofessionals that are vital to Extension's goal of getting research-based information to Minnesotans. If you'd like to give back to your community through projects like these, contact the Fillmore County Extension Office 507-765-3896, the Houston County Extension Office 507-725-5807, or the Master Gardener state program office at http://www1.extension.umn.edu/master-gardener/ for application information and class times.

And don't worry - you'll probably get to pull some weeds, too.

The steps to becoming a Master Gardener:

1. Be accepted by your local program-Contact the County Extension Office and request an application packet. You'll need to complete the application, have an interview, and pass a background check.

2. Complete the Core Course training-The Master Gardener Core Course, designated HORT 1003 through the University of Minnesota, gives you 48 class hours horticulture training. It's taught by Extension educators and faculty, and is available in the Twin Cities area and online. Topics include soils, entomology, gardening resources, diagnostics, trees, herbaceous plants, lawn care, plant pathology, and more.

3. Complete you're internship-After completing HORT 1003, your internship will continue with 50 hours of volunteer time to be completed within the first year of participation.

4. Celebrate!-When your internship is done, you'll start the next calendar year as an active Master Gardener in your community.

5. Stay involved-To maintain your active Master Gardener status, you will complete at least 25 hours of volunteer time and required continuing education per year.

The 2012 Master Gardener Core Course will be offered at the U of M St. Paul Campus, January 14- February 9, Saturdays 9 am to 4 pm, Tues/Thurs evenings 5:30 to 8:30. Or Online (new topic weekly) January 9 -May 4. Cost for 2012 Core Course will be $275.

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