Opportunities From the Master Gardener Program

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By Julie Johansen

The Castle Country Master Gardener Program, coordinated by USU Extension in both Emery and Carbon counties, will begin classes on Jan. 21. The course will run through March 25. The Thursday evening classes will be virtual this year from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and consist of 10 lessons. The cost for the class is $50 for one year or $80 for both years.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting Steven Price at USU Extension in Carbon County or Rowe Zwahlen at USU Extension in Emery County. The Master Gardner Program is directed by Utah State University and was first developed by Dr. Dave Gibby and established in 1980. These programs are hosted in all 50 states as well as internationally. It is a volunteer training program that trains individuals to be Master Gardeners.

Carbon and Emery counties traditionally combine their training courses and you do not have to be an expert to participate; enthusiasm and desire to learn are the only prerequisites. Formal training consists of 40 or more hours of classroom training. This would necessitate two years of training to receive the Master Gardener Certification. Master Gardener Certification also requires 40 hours of volunteer service. Volunteers do things like guide garden tours, give garden talks, help with garden workshops, answer questions and help with plant pest control diagnostic clinics.

Certified Master Gardeners can also serve the community by helping with horticultural problems. Classes cover such subjects as basic botany, soils, fertilizers, vegetables, fruits, entomology, pathology, turfgrass, trees, shrubs, ornamental flowers, pesticide safety and pest management. These classes are a great opportunity to share knowledge and abilities.

For more information on the program, contact Zwahlen at (435) 381-3538 or Price at (435) 636-3235.

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