Excellent article Paul, I'm still an intern working toward certification. The learning process is more complex than I realized going in and it really made me feel like I was "starting from scratch" (un-learning lots of info). Our particular class was the first one at the UGA Griffin, Ga. campus and comprised mostly of retirees.
Gov. Sonny Perdue declared March 15 as MG day in Georgia to honor the thousands of hours volunteered.
Thanks for the article, Paul. I often to hesitate to let people know I am a Master Gardener, because they then think I know everything. I'm learning just like everyone else, and I'm glad to search for any answers I don't know!
Then you'd never know the joy of digging holes with a spade or shovel till you feel like a marshmallow, lifting 'small' trees, watering, pulling bags of sand, compost, manure, peat moss, fertilizer bags, bags of Lime, bags of rocks for landscaping ... etc..
You'd also not feel the salty sweat rolling down your off your forehead & into your eyes (ouch that stinging sensation,) down your back & into your pants until you feel like you'd rather be hosed down clothes & all or far away in a pool somewhere.
And you'd never know what it feels like coming home at the end of the day feeling so tired you can't even eat, too tired to want to take a bath (almost) & when you have to go to church on Sundays - falling asleep in the pew.
A nice article. However, at least here in Douglas County, NE, I would add that the classes are not free (around $200, I think). In addition, you are REQUIRED to do 40 hrs of volunteer work the first year, and for each hour you do not do, you must pay the County $10. . Here in Douglas County, NE, we are actually required to do 40 hrs of volunteer work EVERY year, on projects specified by the MG group (not just any volunteer garden project) My 86 yr old mother became very ill the year after I started the program, and I had to (and still am) caring for her in my home. I wish I had saved the 'termination' letter I recieved from MG, so that I could quote it. Whether intended or not, it was worded rudely enough to keep me away from the group permanently. All of the people I met there were very nice, I just want to say every group has its weak points.
avianut - I'm sorry to hear you were treated badly. It obviously was the person, or persons, behind the letter and they shouldn't be allowed to participate with the program.
When I took the class (three or four years ago) the cost was $80; I believe it has gone up, but is still much less than the $200 Douglas County, Nebraska charges. We don't have to put in nearly as many volunteer hours as most states; only 24 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours yearly.
Here in SC it also costs more than $200 to take the classes. So many of the states have tight budgets and no longer support the program financially so the tuition must cover the costs involved in teaching it such as the meeting facilities, speakers and materials. The new manual here has over 800 pages and the printing costs alone are enormous.
Due to moves, I have been closely involved in 3 separate MG programs and it has been my experience that every program, even within the same state, is very different.
Yes, ~ bugme ~ it made a lot of sense when I wrote it. I was trying to be informative with a little dry humor. But it looks like it's kind of sarcastic. However I kept looking around to see if my pedicote was showing or something like that; but then I realized that I wear pants mostly these days. And sometimes even my coveralls! ~ yeah; I have 3 pair left that are 30 years old!!