Applications for the 2013 fall Elkhart County Master Gardener program are now available. The deadline for submitting an application is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31. More than 400 people have participated in the popular Master Gardener program in Elkhart County since its inception in 1996. The Purdue University Extension Service of Elkhart County sponsors the program.
Master Gardeners is much more than a series of classes. The program is a volunteer training program. Participants receive training on many gardening and horticulture subjects, and then use that training for various community service projects. Master Gardeners participated in numerous activities in the community, including helping with local quilt gardens, offering winter gardening classes, speaking to a number of community groups, teaching at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair and assisting with community garden projects.
The people who are the best candidates for Master Gardeners are those who like to help other people as well as learn about gardening. Those who are simply interested in taking a gardening class would probably be best served by attending classes or seminars sponsored and taught by the Master Gardeners.
Candidates for the Master Gardener program must complete an application. The first class of the series will begin Aug. 21, with the final class wrapping up in December. Most of the 18 classes will be held on Wednesday afternoons. The cost of the program is $175 per person. Classes are taught by Purdue University Extension professionals, local experts or certified Master Gardeners, and are held at the fairgrounds in Goshen. More details about the program are included with the application.
Applications are available in person at the Purdue Extension Office in Elkhart County, located on the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, 17746 C.R. 34, east of Goshen. The application is also posted on the Internet at ces.purdue.edu/elkhart or at www.michianamastergardeners.com.
Jeff Burbrink is an Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. Write to him at 17746 E. C.R. 34, Goshen, IN 46528; call 533-0554; or fax 533-0254.