Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Master Gardener Level 3

Master Gardener Level 3 

Last weekend, Toole County had two Master Gardeners attend the Master Gardener Level 3 training in Bozeman. Lisa Hurley and Sue Smith were the attendees from Shelby. Sue and Lisa had taken the Level 1 Master Gardener course before I was hired as an agent, but I was lucky enough to have them both in Level 2 this past year! Sue and Lisa both show a great passion for gardening. Sue is the Treasurer of the Shelby Community Garden and she helped in getting the Community Garden started in Shelby. Lisa is such a dedicated Master Gardener that she took Level 2 a second time for a refresher and she has been watering the flowers down Shelby’s Main Street this summer for her volunteer hours.
Lisa Hurley - Master Gardener Level 3

The Level 3 Training in Bozeman is a three day hands-on intensive training. The attendees get a crash course in Plant Diagnosis, Insect Identification, Disease Identification, and Sustainable Food Production.  Friday morning, the Master Gardeners were led around campus by Toby Day, former Master Gardener Coordinator and movie star of the Master Gardener videos. He gave them an interactive, hands-on tour of the different diseases and species of trees on campus. The Master Gardeners then toured the MSU Horticulture Farm where they were given a catered dinner and opportunity to ask questions. Sue explained, “The Hort farm is big and they have many projects going on.  They have a fruit orchard, including experimental pears, apples, plums, flowers, lots of veggies and of course weeds!”  Saturday, the gardeners attended the Farmers Market at the fairgrounds and were bussed to Livingston to see the Livingston Food Resource Center. Lisa shared, “The Livingston Food Resource Center is a wonderful example of how a food bank can be operated if funding is available.”

Sue Smith Master Gardener Level 3

It wasn’t just fun and games in Bozeman for three days though, these ladies had to do their homework! They were each given an insect or a plant and had to give a short three minute presentation. Lisa presented on Western Salsify and Sue had Hoary Cress. Now, these ladies have to gain 40 more hours of volunteer community service to be certified Level 3 Master Gardeners.  Sue wanted to share that it was a very interesting trip and, “I would strongly encourage everyone to check out and sign up for the next Mater Gardener class as soon as you can.”

If you are interested in the Master Gardener program, I recommend visiting with your local Extension Agent or going online to www.mtmastergardener.org to see if this program is offered in your area. Toole County will be starting Level 1 again in the winter.

Toole County Extension

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