If you love gardening and sharing your knowledge with others, consider becoming a North Dakota Master Gardener volunteer in collaboration with the North Dakota State University Extension Service.
This year’s Master Gardener training program will run for 10 weeks beginning Sept. 9 and ending Dec. 2 with breaks for holidays.
The course will be offered online and in classroom, training will be held every Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Classes will not be held on Oct. 21, Veterans Day or the Friday after Thanksgiving. “We do offer the course online but we encourage people to take the class in the Burleigh County NDSU Extension Service office” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and North Dakota Master Gardener director. “We find that people learn more if they interact with their Extension agent and other students.”
Training will be held in the Burleigh County NDSU Extension office at 3715 East Bismarck Expressway, along the frontage road by Buckstop Junction. The classroom will be connected by webinar technology to NDSU in Fargo which will enable participants to ask questions of the instructors.
Course topics include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, plant diseases and pests, and vegetable and fruit production. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.
Once participants complete the training, they are known as Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in their home counties. After that, they will earn a Master Gardener certificate.
Projects include answering questions at county fairs, organizing horticultural workshops, and managing school and community gardens.
Tuition for the 2016 class is $150 for those wishing to become a certified Master Gardener or $400 for those just interested in taking the class. Computer knowledge, internet access and an email account are required.
Class size is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is Aug. 12.
A registration form is available at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener/. For more information, contact your Burleigh County Extension Service office at 701-221-6865.