Become a Master Gardener Article__36565b62.jpg

A tomato ripens on the vine.

Have you ever wondered more about the science behind gardening? Have you wanted to find a group that can talk about gardening interests with you? Or maybe you have the desire to get out in the community and make a difference? Consider the WVU Extension Master Gardener Class. The Master Gardener Class is a multi-week class that covers every aspect of gardening. Classes are extremely hands on, and covers topics such as soil health, botany, pest identification and management, weeds, trees, and of course, fruits and vegetables. The class runs on Monday afternoons from 12 PM to 4 PM, beginning August 9 until November 8 at the WVU Tree Fruit Research and Education Center in Kearneysville.

The Master Gardener Program is run by WVU Extension Service. The goal of the program is to educate the community on gardening. By attending the class, you receive 40 hours of education. Following the completion of the class in November, you have one year to obtain 40 hours of service. Service is easy to come by, with several annual events held by the Berkeley-Jefferson Master Gardener Association and more than one community garden in the area that is always in need of volunteers. Every year after requires 10 hours of continuing education and 20 hours of volunteer hours to keep certification.

In addition to all the knowledge obtained by the class, this organization offers the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals on gardening, and share your knowledge with the community. Even the most skilled gardeners will tell you there are aspects to gardening they are still learning. The program will not turn you into a walking encyclopedia, but give you the resources, tools, and people to fill in the gaps.

Interested in an application? Call either the Berkeley County Extension Office at 304-263-1936 or the Jefferson office at 304-728-7413. The fee for the course is $100 and includes a hefty notebook filled with gardening knowledge.

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