Master Gardeners classes taking root at Parkersburg church
PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Extension Master Gardeners will hold its annual 10-week Training Course starting Sept. 3.
Classes are held 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1710 23rd St., Parkersburg.
The fee for the training course is $100, which covers the cost of speakers and includes a West Virginia Extension Master Gardener’s Manual. The course covers topics including botany, plant identification, plant nutrition, soil fertility and nutrient management, insect and plant disease management, weed control, horticultural practices, food crops and diagnosing plant health problems.
“The Master Gardener Program is a great way to enhance your gardening knowledge not only for personal use, but also to enable a person to assist their community through Master Gardener programs and efforts,” said Master Gardener Marty Seufer of Wood County.
Master Gardeners are volunteers who are trained in small-scale food production, horticulture and gardening. Volunteers share their knowledge with the community.
After completing the initial training course, participants must complete volunteer hours on community projects to become a certified Master Gardener.
Master Gardeners undertake community-based gardening projects and help the public find solutions to gardening and horticulture problems. Volunteers have been involved with the Wood County Library Arboretum, Armstrong Garden in Williamstown, Henderson Hall Kitchen Garden and community gardens, among others.
Master Gardeners is a way to connect members of the community as well as enhance and supplement consumer horticulture work of West Virginia University. Volunteers are trained in the latest university-researched gardening information in exchange for their efforts to share the valuable information they had learned with other gardeners in the community.
The program was developed initially by Washington State Extension as a means of assisting home gardeners with their questions, while freeing up university Extension agents to focus their efforts on commercial operations.
“The classes were fantastic and packed full of useful information about soils, composting and other topics with great speakers,” said Wood County Master Gardener Susan Dale.
She and her husband Larry are active in the group. They work on projects and teach Fridays at the Library in February.
“We learned so much and met great new gardener friends,” she said. “We both try to share what we have learned with others as certified Master Gardeners.”
To become a Master Gardener or to ask gardening and horticulture questions, contact J.J. Barrett, agriculture extension agent, at the Wood County WVU Extension Service Office at 304-424-1960 or firstname.lastname@example.org.