The Texas Master Gardener program in cooperation with Texas A&M and Texas AgriLife Extension was designed to increase the availability of horticultural information to home gardeners. Being trained by experts in the university system on a variety of crucial topics such as:
A few key items we are held closely to is:
Outside of that, we have Master Gardeners who are better at some things than others. I immediately know who to go to if I have a question on herbs, for example. That person may not know much about perennials though. Its just how we all work together.
The Master Gardener program in our county (HUNT) is considered a smaller one compared to counties like Dallas. We still are able to donate around 5000 volunteer hours to our county per year. This is a HUGE savings to our community and state as a whole. We have volunteered by taking calls at our Extension office, made house calls to help diagnose problems and traveled to give presentations to groups. We also can be found teaching school children through JMG at several local schools, churches, and area groups. We also maintain a demonstration garden with plants that are recommended for our area. We are happy to answer questions to those who ask.
Its great fun and I am constantly learning something new from our group. We share plants and seeds among each other regularly which makes for a wide variety of plants for everyone. We do all of this as a not-for-profit organization that does all of their own fundraising to pay for many of the programs we offer.
I may not know everything about certain types of gardening, but I'm trained to know how to find it. If I don't know, then I pass along my questions to the experts who do. Gardening and everything that goes along with it a lifelong pursuit of learning. That's what keeps it interesting and keeps us growing!