The Spring 2022 Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Basic Training Program will begin on February 1 as a series of live virtual webinars.
Go to bit.ly/2022Purdue EMGTraining and contact a Purdue Extension educator host to get an application. The deadline to apply is January 11. The training ends on May 3. An individual registration costs $ 180 and includes a printed version of the Purdue EMG manual. The fee for two people sharing a printed version of the manual is $ 280.
Specialists from Purdue Extension and educators across Indiana teach the course. Topics include soils, fertility, pest management, invasive species, pesticide safety and alternatives, trees, vegetables, flowers, lawns and fruits.
âThe primary goal of the Purdue Extension Master Gardener program is to train volunteers to help Purdue Extension educate consumers about horticulture in Indiana communities,â says John Orick, Purdue State EMG Coordinator (www. hort.purdue.edu/mg).
Extension Master Gardener volunteers are required to give back a minimum of 40 hours to the community after completing initial training and passing an exam. Volunteers completed 117,000 hours in 2021, says Orick.
To strengthen ties with Purdue County’s EMG programs, each host extension educator will hold a weekly one-hour meeting with attendees to delve deeper into how the topic of the week applies to local gardeners.
âIndiana is a long north-south state,â says Jeff Burbrink, an educator with Purdue Extension in Elkhart County who is part of the team that planned the spring program. âOur climate and soils vary a lot from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. We want to be sure that our master extension gardeners can see how these concepts work in their backyards.
Most of the master gardeners remain involved in the program for years.
âOur local master gardeners started the Michiana Master Gardener Association in 1996,â says Burbrink, âpartly because they love to learn, and partly because they can work together on big projects, like our annual garden tour. and the exhibition of the gardens. They are a group of incredibly talented creative people.