Ryan Pankau is back with tips on how you can become a Master Gardener.
2019 Master Gardener Training
Master Gardeners are volunteers who have a love of gardening and a passion to share it with others, but despite the title, don’t claim to know everything about gardening. The program focuses on learning for the love of learning. This stress-free approach, along with opportunity to connect with fellow gardeners is exactly what makes the Master Gardener program so popular.
During Master Gardener training, attendees have the opportunity to learn about gardening from University of Illinois educators, like me, and other Horticulture specialists in a way that is both interesting and practical. The classes are geared for all levels- from beginners to more experienced gardeners. Trainees attend class one day a week for ten weeks. Each session covers a different garden-related topic such as Small Fruits, Plant Diseases, Insects, Annual and Perennials, Vegetables, Trees, Shrubs and many others. Instructors focus on teaching trainees where to find the answer to gardening questions as opposed to memorization of facts.
One of the most rewarding parts about being a Master Gardeners comes from the friendships made with fellow gardeners and making a difference in your community. Master Gardeners volunteer at a variety of different community garden projects. They grow vegetables for the local food pantry and work with veterans, children and other diverse groups. They plant and care for the Idea Garden on campus, hold a Garden Day Workshop each March at Danville Area Community College, coordinate educational garden themed classes each month, organize an annual plant sale in May and Garden Walks in June. They also research and answer questions from the public through the Extension Office Horticulture Hotline. No matter where your talents lie there is truly something for everyone!
If you anticipate running out of gardening podcasts and houseplants to tend this winter, consider joining the Master Gardeners in January. Maybe you know a gardener that is already in serious need of some kind of winter plant connection? Master Gardener training can make a wonderful and uplifting Christmas gift.
University of Illinois Extension offers Master Gardener Training Classes at the end of January 2019 in the Champaign and Danville offices. Classes in Champaign will meet on Wednesdays, while Danville classes will meet on Tuesday, with a few Wednesday meeting times were the classes will merge in Champaign. Folks that live near our Onarga Extension Office can enroll in Champaign or Danville, in-person classes or attend live webinars in Onarga. We also offer a hybrid course in Onarga that consists of a mixture of live webinar and in-person classes at our other locations as they fit your schedule.
For additional information please contact:
• Champaign – Tabitha Elder at 217-333-7672
• Danville or Onarga – Jenney Hanrahan at 217-442-8615
• Online – Visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/.