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Becoming a master gardener

Think globally, act locally. It’s a phrase that applies so well to University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners in Lyon County. We are the University of Minnesota, on the ground — often literally — delivering science-based practices to our communities. As volunteers, Master Gardeners learn not only from scientific research, but from one another and the communities we serve. And sometimes we surprise people. Many are familiar with Master Gardeners as reliable resources for questions about flowers or grass because horticulture skills are a cornerstone of our work.

But did you know that Master Gardeners also focus on local foods and sustainability? Or that we teach about practices that restore Minnesota’s native prairies and protect our precious water? Or that being a volunteer as a Master Gardener gives people a chance to spread their wings in photography, writing, community speaking and more? There’s a lot in the Master Gardener program that helps us learn, grow and share.

Masters Gardeners come from all ages and backgrounds. We’re especially excited to see the new generation of Master Gardeners embracing opportunities with enthusiasm. Learn more about becoming an Extension Master Gardener by visiting extension.umn.edu/master-gardener. Or call, myself or any other Master Gardener that you are familiar with. Applications will be accepted online until Oct. 1 and can be found at https://umn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1ZmkIJ1i0jCVeCx Come learn, grow and share with us.

If you want to learn more about becoming a Master Gardener or at least learn a little more about gardening, please come to one of the upcoming meetings, presentations or activities. There are three presentations that are coming up by the Lyon County Master Gardeners. We will have information at all of these events about how to become a Master Gardener.

The first event is Preserving the Harvest by me at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22, at the Marshall Lyon County Library. This is a free event. This will cover the newest area that Master Gardeners are working in which is teaching residents about canning, freezing, drying and much more. Information will also be given about how to know if your dial canner is working properly. The second event at the library is at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 and is called Myths and Legends of Grandma’s Garden by Sue Morton.

The Master Gardeners will also have a table of information on gardening and how to become a Master Gardener at the Marshall Farmers Market on Aug. 31 and Sept. 28. The Master Gardeners are also inviting those who are interested in becoming a Master Gardener to our next meeting which will be at 1p.m. Sept. 6, at Memorial Park in Marshall. Come over your lunch hour and learn about everything that we are doing!

And last, but not least, you may have missed the spring Garden Day with the Lyon County Master Gardeners. We have another presentation day planned on Sept. 7 starting with registration between 8:30-9 a.m. at the Marshall Adult Community Center. The presenters this year are Kirsten Boehne on The Monarch Butterfly. Kirsten has become an advocate and teacher sharing her love of Monarchs and Butterflies with local community groups and organizations. The second presenter of the day is Sue Morton, Lyon County Master Gardener on Putting Your Perennials to Bed. Sue will guide you through a plan to prepare your perennials for a Minnesota winter. She will discuss clean-up, trimming, mulching, harvesting seeds and planting your fall bulbs and rhizomes.

For more information on gardening or any of these events that the Lyon County Master Gardeners have planned, please contact me at 828-5754 or email s.dejaeghere@me.com

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