Extension offers Master Gardener certification

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Orientation meeting to be held Sept. 28

The Barry County University of Missouri Extension office is now accepting applications for its Master Gardener courses.

The courses, which include 10 sessions, are designed to help people become certified as Master Gardeners, who advise and educate the public on gardening and horticulture.

An orientation meeting will be held Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. to gauge public interest, and sessions will begin on Sept. 30.

Becky Wogoman, administrative assistant for the extension office, advised anyone who is interested to get registered and secure a place.

"We've had a lot of interest and people have seen the master gardeners out working," Wogoman said. "We'll see if we have enough participation [at the orientation meeting] to go forward with the class."

"This orientation will serve as a helpful resource to provide you with a general overview of the Master Gardening program objectives," said Reagan Bluel, Barry County Program Director. "I'm confident we'll have a great time learning while participating in an engaging discussion about gardening content that you'll all enjoy."

The classes run from Sept. 30 through Nov. 2 and will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cassville Branch Library. Cost is $170 per person and $260 per couple, which includes 10 teaching sessions and materials. Payment must be made prior to the registration deadline of Sept. 15.

Different extension speakers will be featured each week, and courses will cover the following topics: annual and perennial flowers, plant growth, home fruit production, soil nutrition composting, insect/pest management, woody species, plant pathology, landscape trees, vegetable production and pollinators.

"After you take the class you are certified to become a master gardener," Wogoman said. "There is no exam. You get a certificate after completion of the course."

Wogoman said after becoming certified, master gardeners must complete 30 volunteer hours their first year, and 20 volunteer hours each year thereafter.

"And, you're strongly encouraged to join an established club, like the Barry County Master Gardeners," she said. "They've done a lot of work in the community, including work on the landscaping at the Bayless House and local Senior Centers."

To register for the course, people may call the Barry County Extension office at 417-847-3161.

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