By HELEN PEMBERTON | Palo Pinto County Master Gardener
What is a master gardener?
Master gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn, willing to help others and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.
What really sets master gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, persons who become master gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through the county extension office to provide horticultural-related information to the community.
Is the master gardener program for everyone?
To help a person decide if application to be a master gardener is an option, these things should be considered:
• Is there a desire to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
• Is an intense training program appealing?
• Is participation in community education and working with groups enjoyable?
• Is there enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?
If the answer to these questions is yes, the master gardener program could be a possibility. This summer, on Aug, 20, the Palo Pinto County Master Gardeners will host an application/orientation meeting at 10 a.m. at the Agilife Extension Office in Palo Pinto. At the meeting, master gardeners will explain the Palo Pinto program and discuss the type of dedication they are looking for in new members.
Four applicants will be accepted into the master gardeners' program, and will attend master gardener training courses in Weatherford. Classes will be all day Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Oct. 9 and lasting six-to-seven weeks. Because the Palo Pinto program is still very small, Parker County includes a few Palo Pinto trainees in each of their training classes, which are held once every two years. Classes are taught by Texas AgriLife Extension specialists, agents and local experts.