I couldn’t agree more. When I wanted to know about foraging they suggested that I take the MasterGardener’s class and maybe they could offer something like that. I am a current member of the master gardener program in a west tn city. buy extra seeds while you can–there will be shortages this season, hello again and thanks for this timely critique on the MG program. I did learn a lot in the 14 weeks, but it would be naive to think you learn it all in such a short time. Did You Know? I did ,however, take another class, given by the county extension service, which was very helpful and enjoyable. Not all states are equal in what they ask of volunteers so I’m not saying your experience couldn’t have happened. I enjoyed having a lot of the info from UF at my fingertips in three big bound volumes (though much of the data related to various toxins and inedible plants, plus bugs and how to make them dead.). That is my area of focus, by the way. If anything I would say that the composting component of the training was the side that was truly stressed; and covered hot and cold composting and worm bin composting and the optimum uses of different types of mulch. Master garden training is a lengthy process with annually required retraining hours. If you want to announce that you’re a Master Gardener in something that you’ve written, they want to control that narrative by editing your work first so it reflects the message they want given. In the first year, UC Master Gardeners are required to complete 50 volunteer service hours, 24.5 of which are shifts working at the Master Gardener Helpline. These courses are taken online and all materials are available online. You’re generally better off joining a gardening Meetup group or hitting the forums at permies.com. As an 88 year old who just got two acres to play with, I am now using my college training in botany! I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness in 2005. I’ve been asked many times “should I become a Master Gardener?” or “is the Master Gardener program worth it?”. If you’ve ever criticized toxic farming techniques and don’t like big companies poisoning the environment with various nasty pesticides and herbicides, you’ll be angry in a Master Gardener program. Never mind the fact that my popular composting book was titled Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, and that the section that gave poor Mr. Larson the vapors is in a section dealing with a grid-down survival gardening and sewage disposal situation. How To Grow Tobacco and Why You Should... Five Easy To ID Florida Edible Wild Mushrooms. “Oh wow” I thought! Another path towards certification as a Master Gardener in Ontario is to complete the 4 courses in the Master Gardener Program from Dalhousie University. That’s hilarious. Sometimes people feel there aren’t any volunteer opportunities in their community but if you see a need in your community, you can fill it through your community service based internship. I am a MGV in NYS and although I do agree with some of the comments in the article I also think thst the strength of the program relies a lot on what you bring to it. I’m so glad that I did not proceed. We learn, to teach other home owners with questions they have regarding their trees or irrigation problems. For the most part what I learned is: If someone asks you a question regarding a plant or gardening in general you cannot identify yourself as an MG unless you only give a preapproved MG answer. After moving to a new home, I paid a visit to my extension office to help me identify some of my weeds and plants for edibles. The cost to attend the classes is $200 per person. Cannabis has worked better for me than anything else to regulate my blood sugar levels and improve the effectiveness of my rapid insulin, by up the five fold. For working organizations, not with “an ominous government” but with local communities and neighbors – to promote respect for the soil and care for our priceless resources, such as water. Thank you for all you do, David! Also, you can’t say you are a MG for the purposes of promoting a business. What type of course instruction counts? In Garden Fundamentals, we examine soil samples from across the province! A good NGV coordinator can make a huge difference in the quality of the program and like anything else they are not all equal. As a new mom with future entrepreneurship on the horizon volunteering doesn’t jive with my schedule, at least right now. The U of S Master Gardener Program is open to everyone age 16 and older. I don’t have the total intetest in all shrubs, trees, bushes, and flowers. Many Master Gardeners don’t know any more than you do and may know a lot less if you’ve been reading good gardening books and growing your own food. The program was such as success that it grew and spread across the country, becoming active in most states. However, on both counts I was generally disappointed. I had it. We do.a lot of education and outreach and having that MGV title does give you a little more clout when you want to do something. I began to read all the stringent requirements. You just can’t use the Master Gardener title to promote your business. The total cost of the program including registration fee, all 7 core workshops (6.5 days of class time), examination and certification is under $800. The process of obtaining various degrees with the titles that go with them are more about the ego process than the actual knowledge or lack of it that getting those degrees supply. Turns out, it would have had the opposite effect! I wondered about a few things that I might not like about the program, and after reading your article and learning more about the program, I know it’s definitely not for me – I would not be able to tolerate some of the things you mentioned. The processing is to make the cannabis into hashish, as it works better for me than dried flower for controlling my diabetes. Note: We strongly recommend that you complete the Basic Training classes in the same county in which you reside. You can be a Master Gardener and own a nursery. Other people’s mileage may vary and that is why findings based on researched studies following scientific methodology are more reliable for establishing guidelines. The prgram where we live sounds like what you’ve described. First, we’ll look at motivations for becoming a Master Gardener. It confirms my suspicions. How do you become a Master Gardener? Great article! The Master Gardener title isn’t like getting an RN degree, where it’s granted and then you can go on and use that title to find work. As part of an international, non-profit organization, all Master Gardeners are volunteers and participate in many … It was a very broad education, and ours relied a lot more on Integrative Pest Managenent, composting and organic methods than chemicals. Hang out here. Becoming a master gardener can make your love of gardening a marketable skill in other horticultural careers. Some Master Gardeners answer telephone requests for information related to gardening. But given the many topics in agriculture and horticulture, it is naive to expect the focus of training to be entirely on edibles. So in my state of Washington that’s 50 hours in a 6-7 month period. I am sad of the experience you had in your Master Gardener program. I’m sure many people enjoy being in the programs or they wouldn’t exist. Master Gardener Certification - Salary - Get a free salary comparison based on job title, skills, experience and education. At first I went, “whoa, that’s harsh!” – then I thought – hey, that harsh review could inspire a good blog post. Many get their 100-hour pin in the first year and many have served 5, 10, 20. and 30 years (taking a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education each year). University of California Master Gardener. Use your county agents because they know the answers to your questions. She said “I love what you’ve done to the place” and I know she was lying through her teeth because she looked like I was clubbing a baby seal! If you’re an ornamental gardener who enjoys volunteering for the government, spending more time socializing and going to meetings than growing food, wants to tell people that you’re a Master Gardener but doesn’t want to actually make money off your writing, plant nursery, etc., likes being muzzled by big agricultural companies, plus enjoys learning about 1.5 zillion ways to keep your grass perfect through modern chemistry, go – sign up. Each course is $360. For many years I have been thinking of becoming a master gardener and until now it didn’t occur to me to Google the advantages and disadvantages. For the small cost of entering the program, getting the books was a good trade. If you really want to compost everything and explore permaculture possibilities, like I do, expect to get shot down by Master Gardeners. Everyone belongs to both! Without going back to school for a full botany/horticulture degree, can you suggest any other means of gaining that can of education? Otherwise, stick around here and spend more time in your backyard producing food for your family… because becoming a Master Gardener probably isn’t for you. I did like the fact that he’s going to compost my book, though JUST BE SURE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT’S HOLY TO REMOVE THE GLOSSY COVER FIRST OR WE’LL ALL DIE!!111!1!1!!!!!!! I can read all the books in the world, but nothing compares to a hands-on “classroom” setting where not only are you learning but you are held accountable for regurgitating the information and applying it. Respect an opinion even if it does not agree with yours. Others staff plant clinics or displays in shopping malls or community centers. Thank you for the post because it did point out a lot of the limits of the program. It costs a lot of money to travel around speaking until you can get the organizations to pay all your expenses. You pay for the education with your volunteer hours after graduation. Garden Fundamentals and Botanical Latin are also available through distance education. I enjoyed reading about your experience and would like to tell you in spite of all the red tape I really love the people I work with. The real estate agent we used when we bought our first house this past year is a MG. She is a sweet old lady and very good at her job. However, I would love to expand my gardening knowledge and take hands-on courses and have long thought that the MG program was just that…education and a great addition to a resume. I am self-taught and have learned lots just through reading and testing in my own home garden. I made some very good friendships while I was there; yet most of the Master Gardeners really weren’t interested in edible or useful species. Wilson’s nursery, Rock Hill, SC and Wilson’s wholesale Nursery Columbia, SC. I aspired for many years to ‘someday’ take the classes. I guess that is why at our local Yard and Garden show most (if not all) of the MGs were of retirement age and mostly female. Victoria. In addition to finding your own opportunity, you can, Garden Fundamentals: Learn the science of gardening! I’m a very avid gardener for almost 40 years. Can tell you, we are a group of volunteers who enjoy volunteering and learning to organically prepare our own lawns and gardens where we have attracted wildlife and our hummers. If you want to continue your gardening education, particularly in the realm of growing food, skip the Master Gardener program and find good gardening books to read instead. How long does it take to become certified as a U of S Master Gardener? Also I am just across the river from Michigan; so would I be able to take the course there or online from an American institution. I think there are three main reasons people decide to become Master Gardeners. check out our volunteer opportunities page. anything outside the box of palm trees, fertilizing citrus trees (with chemicals of course), or grass. If your interest is in becoming a Master Gardener, please consider waiting until our regular WSU Master Gardener Basic Training which will take place winter 2022. Determine when the Master Gardener Basic Training will be held in your county/city by visiting our Local Programs webpage.Basic Training classes are typically offered once a year at each county or city office. I have been watching her all my life. Some people finish the core courses of the program during Hort Week, others attend workshops or take distance education courses as their schedules allow and may take several years to complete the core courses. Instructors are trained professionals who specialize in their teaching area. I had a feeling it was too good to be true. Legal cannabis in Canada, for anyone with deep enough pockets, but I hope once I complete a business plan I will be able to obtain crowd funding to make this a reality. Thank You very much for writing this article!!! Master Gardener students who took the course during the July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 fiscal year will have until June 30, 2021 to complete their initial 40 hours of educational service to obtain initial certification. Because of toe-stepping, I hesitated to publish this post since I do have some close Master Gardener friends and really did enjoy some aspects of the program; yet overall, it’s really not suited for our kind of gardening… so what the heck – why not save folks some trouble? But most of the licenses required a Master Grower to be hired and staffed. Hash can be eaten or smoked (yeah, yeah, I know “smoking bad” – well…..checkout The Science of Cannabis on YT and it sites a number of studies show zero chance of getting lung cancer from smoking cannabis) and can be stored much longer than the dried flower without a loss in potency. May not sound like a lot but believe me when you try to fit that around work schedules, husband, kids and aging parents it is a huge block of time. How much a gardener should cost. Then join some gardening Meetup groups and hang out at permies.com. The volunteer component is at the the level you mention only for the first year and then it diminishes. Once you become a certified University of Saskatchewan Master Gardener, you are required to put in a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service annually and attend a minimum of six hours of course instruction every two years to keep your certification current. I loathe invasive species UNLESS I can turn them into food or medicine. 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