Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Becoming a Permian Basin Master Gardener can be a great use of your time if you love or are interested in horticulture. The 2020 Trainee Class begins on January 11,2020 at the Midland County Extension Office, located at 2445 E Highway 80. The first class is an orientation which will walk you through what will be expected of you and what you will learn. At the end of the orientation you can decide if it is something you want to devote your time and energy to.
In a nutshell, it is a volunteer program of individuals trained in the science and art of gardening. The Master Gardeners who receive certification then pass on the information they learned to others through classes, booths at Farmers Markets, County Fairs, newspaper articles, etc. You will need dedication, willingness and availability to attend classes and perform the volunteer hours.
All Master Gardener programs are affiliated with a land grant university, Texas A&M in our case, as well as an extension service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. We operate under their guidelines, have access to and benefit from their instructors, educational facilities and publications.
You will attend twelve Saturday classes during which time you will receive the sixty classroom hours required to obtain a Master Gardener certification in our area. Also required are sixty volunteer hours. It sounds like a lot but there are many opportunities to get those hours through work at County Fairs, Kids, Kows & More, Plant Sale, helping man a booth at various Farmers Markets, working in several gardens that are maintained by local Master Gardeners and other opportunities that present themselves throughout the year. The fee for the class is $250.00 which covers the cost of books and speakers.
This year we have a new Master Gardener Coordinator, Jeanette Castanon, who is one of the extension agents working in the Midland office of AgriLife. I think everyone who signs up will like her just as current Master Gardeners do. She will be happy to answer any questions you have or quell any fears that might pop up. That atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed and provides a great place to make new like-minded friends and give back to the community.
If someone you love has always wanted to be a Master Gardener, this class would be a great gift.
Merry Christmas from Permian Basin Master Gardeners!
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.