A New Education

Encourage exploration, growth, curiosity and independence in a hands-on, minds-on learning environment!

Master Gardeners are Your Greatest Resource

on January 18, 2011

I feel as though I have fallen off the face of the technological planet.  Graduate school has kept me incredibly busy and sadly, my duties as a blogger have fallen to the wayside.  I have however been keeping notes surrounding things that I would like to write about and tonight, have made a vow to myself to write at least once a week no matter my hectic schedule.

In addition to obtaining my M.Ed, I am working toward three certificates, one if which is becoming a Master Gardener.  Before beginning the training last Tuesday, I attended a gardening workshop for teachers two months ago.  Teachers were there from all over the Western Washington range with classroom gardens ranging from non-existent to elaborate; chickens and all.

One piece of incredibly valuable information that the successful schools shared with the beginners though is the untapped resource of your local master gardeners.  Master Gardeners are volunteers at heart.  They are blending their love for gardening with their love for volunteer work and giving that wealth of knowledge to the community FOR FREE.  They are generally a group of retired, incredibly friendly and helpful individuals (besides me of course, I am far from retiring).  After listening to the introductions this past Tuesday from the new batch of King County Master Gardener volunteers, I have become more aware of people who have the same passion as mine, which is why I am writing here tonight.  They have a passion for introducing students to the world of gardening through classroom, hands-on, minds-on science activities surrounding soil health and nutrition, vegetable, annual and perennial growing techniques and the creation of a well-rounded and fun learning experience in a school environment.  These individuals are dying to get into schools and begin working with teachers and their students.  That is where the teachers come in, if you are dying for a garden, call the Master Gardener volunteer hotline and tell them about what you would like and where you are located.  They can share that with their volunteers and hopefully, find you a good match.

I am sharing this information because there are Master Gardeners in almost every community.  If you looked, I am quite certain that you could find one.  There are many teachers out there who would love to have a classroom garden, no matter its size but don’t have the first clue on how to get started.  It turns out, all you need are fund-raising abilities, determination, a few parent volunteers, a Life Lab curriculum book for your grade level and a master gardener!

…And maybe one day you and your students will enjoy chickens!  🙂


One response to “Master Gardeners are Your Greatest Resource

  1. Elaine Anderson says:

    Hi, Ally –

    What a nice commentary on the Master Gardener program.


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