What is a Master Gardener? We hear this question often.
The short answer is that we are volunteers trained by the Clemson University Extension Office to provide horticultural information to the public using non-biased, research-based information. That is a mouthful!
You might be surprised to learn that some of our training classes are Plant Pathology, Soil Components/Plant Nutrition, Integrated Pest Management, Irrigation, Turfgrass, and Basic Weed Ecology, just to name a few. There are many more subjects involved in our education than I have room to list here. In truth, any list that attempts to cover our training, both classroom and continuing education is pretty long and impressive.
Following our classroom or online training, we begin work to become Certified Master Gardeners. An internship of one year consisting of a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work in a variety of required and elective choices gives us the Certified Master Gardener level and completes our initial education. We continue our education each year through a variety of interesting program opportunities, all designed to keep our knowledge base current.
The members of Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Association are Certified Master Gardeners who volunteer to educate the public in our county. The GGMG promotes and fosters many public education opportunities through our Speakers Bureau and annual Symposium. We assist the Greenville County Extension Office by answering phones and fielding questions from the public. Additionally, our Ask-A-Master-Gardener booth travels to many locations around the county throughout the year.
MGs teach children and adults the joy and science of gardening through several garden programs. These operate in association with the Roper Mountain Science Center and Linky Stone Garden in downtown Greenville. We mentor Community Gardens and each year the GGMG awards monetary grants to organizations that actively support horticultural activities in our area.
We are justifiably proud of all that the GGMG has accomplished in Greenville County over our history. We are likewise very pleased that members of our community want to become Master Gardeners every year.
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please visit www.clemson.edu/extension/mg/counties/greenville for more information about 2014 classes.
Teresa White, President
Greater Greenville Master Gardener Association