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Master Gardener Volunteer Program Offered

(8/10/12) Are you interested in growing your own food, or becoming more efficient in growing fresh produce for you and your family?

Do you enjoy gardening, volunteering in your community, and sharing gardening knowledge with others?  The Jackson County UW Extension office is hosting a General Master Gardener course for those interested in sharpening their gardening skills.

The 12-week course is open to the public, covering various topics for those who want to learn the basics or improve upon horticulture and gardening knowledge. The program will be broadcast live from the UW-Madison campus to the Jackson County UW-Extension office Tuesdays from 6-9 p.m. beginning September 4th.  During the 12-week course Master Gardeners will learn to:

· Understand proper use of conventional and organic approved pesticides, fertilizers, and soil amendments for garden plants;

· Correctly identify and manage problems in fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants;

· Increase your awareness of the value of the interior and exterior landscape to human health, well-being and quality of life;

· Use horticulture as a tool to increase  responsibility and leadership for youth and/or beginning gardeners;

Those successfully complete the course are also encouraged to go on to become certified Master Gardener Volunteers, putting them on the road to becoming qualified horticultural resources in the community; working as volunteers under the guidance of the local UW Extension office and its agents.

Serving as a certified Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) might include answering inquiries at extension-sponsored information booths.  In 2011, local certified and intern MGVs donated over 500 hours at information booths at the Jackson County Fair, Dairy Breakfast on the Farm, and the local farmer's market.

There are many other educational opportunities offered to MGVs to hone their skills and knowledge. An advanced class can be taken in the winter and spring, and certified volunteers can elect to take an on-line plant health class to become plant health advisors for the U.W.-Extension.

An abundance of workshops and conferences are available through local, state, and national MGV organizations.  Locally, the Jackson County office sponsored workshops on rain barrels, composting, food preservation, cooking with garden produce, and more.

For full details and specific course topics visit:  or contact the Jackson County UW Extension office at 715-284-4257. Sessions begin on Tuesday September 4th; registration is required by August 31st.





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