Jasper County University of Missouri Extension will be sponsoring a Missouri Master Gardener training program, beginning in February.
The program is designed to train volunteers in various aspects of horticulture. The Master Gardeners participate in a wide variety of community service projects and assist University of Missouri Extension in providing unbiased educational information to the public.
A person who wishes to become a Master Gardener is required to attend 30 hours of training, and agree to return 30 hours of volunteer service during the following year.
Classes will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting in February. The deadline for submitting an application for the classes is Feb. 5.
“We have several instructors,” said Janet LaFon, with the Jasper County Extension office. “They are University of Missouri Extension faculty, Missouri Department of Conservation agents and a person from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”
The fee is $150, but thanks to the support of the Ozark Gateway Master Gardener organization, scholarships are available to reduce this fee for those participating in the training.
Topics covered include such things as an orientation to the Master Gardener program, home lawn and turf, plant growth and development, soils and plant nutrition, woody ornamentals – establishment and care, plant diseases, home fruit production, insects, vegetables, and herbaceous perennial flowers.
Here’s a sampling of some of the recent volunteer projects conducted by our local Master Gardeners:
• Community beautification projects at the Carthage Library Gardens (the fountain area), the Carthage Can-Do Center, the Ronald McDonald House in Joplin, the Joplin Library, churches, parks and schools in the area.
• Demonstration garden at the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center.
• Crosslines Garden in Joplin. (they raise produce that is donated to the Crosslines’ clients)
• Planted trees in Joplin as a part of the tornado recovery efforts. (worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation)
• Provide educational programs and workshops for community groups.
• Judged horticulture exhibits at the Jasper County Youth Fair.
• Raised extra produce in their own gardens and donated to Joplin Crosslines, the Carthage Salvation Army, Watered Gardens in Joplin and the Senior Center in Sarcoxie.
To apply for the program or to obtain further information, contact Janet LaFon, Courthouse Basement, Carthage, MO 64836, 417-358-2158, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.