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Become a Master Gardener with OSU Extension Service

Application deadline extended to Jan. 11

Would you like to learn more about gardening, plants and insects? Do you like to work with people? Do you want to improve your gardening skills? Do you like to share your gardening experiences? Then the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener program might be right for you.

The training is open to everyone in the Mid-Columbia area with an interest in gardening. OSU Master Gardener training is offered one time each year from mid-January to the end of March in Hood River County.

The cost of the 11-week Master Gardener training in Hood River County is $150 and includes the cost of Sustainable Gardening Reference Handbook (a 500-page resource manual) and all classroom materials.

Classes are held on consecutive Wednesday evenings and every other Saturday beginning Jan. 23 and ending on April 3. Evening classes are from 6-9 p.m.; Saturday classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. with an hour lunch break.

The program consists of two parts: Part one is classroom training; part two is continuing education volunteering in plant clinics and extending home gardening information to others in the community. Both parts must be completed to become a certified OSU Master Gardener.

Becoming a Master Gardener requires a time commitment to attend training and to volunteer extending home gardening information to others in the community.

Part One: Classroom training consists of 63 hours of training. A sample of gardening topics to be covered during the training are: basic botany, entomology, pruning, vegetable gardening, plant pathology, plant problem diagnosis, integrated pest management and pesticide safety, as well as other gardening topics.

Part two: Learning and volunteer hours. As with any other learning process, hands-on experience is always beneficial and quite fun.

In addition to the 63 hours of training, 55 hours of volunteer time extending home gardening information to others in the community is required. This involves volunteering to work in plant clinics at the Extension Office in Hood River, Gorge Grown and Saturday Market or other plant clinic locations during the summer. Gardening questions from the local community are researched and answered at plant clinics.

You can volunteer at other projects such as the Learning Garden demonstration area at the OSU Extension Office in Hood River, the Naturescape garden at Hood River Care Center, the Xeriscape Garden at Hood River Library, La Clinica Community Garden, the annual garden tour and teaching gardening workshops and classes to the community.

As a Master Gardener, you will work and play with some of the most talented and interesting gardeners in the community.

If you would like to apply to take the OSU Master Gardener training program in Hood River County, call 541-386-3343 or stop by the OSU Extension Office at 2990 Experiment Station Road. You can also download application forms at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/hoodriver/MG/mastergardeners.php Applications are available until Jan. 11.

For more information contact Elizabeth Daniel, Master Gardener program assistant, at 541-386-3343, ext. 257, or elizabeth.daniel@oregonsta-te.edu.

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