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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Livington MG

Livingston County Offers Master Gardener Training this Fall


Would you like to learn about growing vegetables, landscaping, trees, insects or community and school gardening from the University of Illinois Extension? The Livingston County Master Gardeners want you to join there volunteer program this fall and take you on a mind blowing garden learning experience.

Offering their first ever Master Gardener training class, Livingston residents no longer have to travel to different counties to take part in this masterful University of Illinois experience. The Master Gardener training program covering all topics gardening, meets every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on August 21 and ending November 6 with our infamous propagation lab. The cost of the class and the Master Gardener training manual will be $150. All classes will be held at the University of Illinois Extension Livingston County office (1412 S. Locust, Pontiac). The criteria for the program include willingness to attend all training class for 12 weeks and the desire to share horticulture information in your community.

Once training is completed, prepare to become a volunteer that truly makes an impact on their community. The ultimate goal of the Master Gardener is to encourage people to grow vegetables and flowers and promote environmental responsibility with an emphasis on youth. This year Livingston Master Gardeners experienced many firsts

1. Taught about Seeds, Apples, Pollination and Insects to 5th graders as part of a Livingston County Master Gardener Program.

2. Started a Heirloom Garden at the Yost House with plans to give tours.

3. Planted Natives Perennials and Annual Pots at the 4-H Fair having plans to give tours during the 4-h Fair. Booth will highlight local reptiles and amphibians on site just for the kids.

4. Offered Programs like “Miniature Gardening,” “Container Gardening” and “Strawbale Gardening”

5. Hosted First Annual “A Day in the Garden Patch” highlighting Kay Henrichs a local Monarch enthusiast

6. Assist 4-H Educator and Program Coordinator with 4-H Camps (Art in the Garden and Pond Exploration at Humiston Woods)

Ultimately, the Livingston County Master Gardeners and Horticulture team are most excited about providing this “First” training class offered in Livingston County. Imagine what you can experience by joining this vibrant volunteer group. Whether you just want to learn more about your own garden successes and failures create school programs focusing on horticulture and science or help the Livingston County community solve their own gardening woes.

Master Gardener’s trainees participate in more than 60 hours of classroom instruction on basic botany, vegetables, soils, herbs, wildlife, insects, turf grass, flowers, diseases, trees, fruits, and landscaping. All classes will be taught by Horticulture educators and experts from the University of Illinois.

This year we are honored to have the Vegetable class taught by Horticulture Educator, Richard Hentschel. Hentschel started a City Produce project bringing locally grown produce to the “food deserts” in Chicago. The Tree class will be taught by the well-known Horticulture educator and Mid-American Gardener guest host, Sandy Mason. Mason writes gardening column for the News Gazette in Champaign-Urbana called the Homeowner’s Column. Trips to local farms and Master Gardener projects will be included.

Local Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, will teach the trainees how to identify and key out insects that can be found in your garden and landscape while sharing her passion with pollinators. Local Foods system Educator, Bill Davison will share his expertise on growing fruits in your back yard. Local Horticulture Program Coordinator, Brittnay Haag will guide you and assist you throughout the entire training class. County Director, Bobbie Lewis-Sibley will congratulate interns with a celebration and express her desires to make an impact on Livingston County through volunteerism and educational opportunities for all.

Following the training sessions, Master Gardener interns are required to complete a 60-hour internship through approved volunteer services which include giving demonstrations or talks to local groups, answering gardening questions in the Extension office, participating in gardening projects, representing the Master Gardener program at library and school programs and attend local meetings.

The most successful Master Gardeners are the ones who want to continue to learn and grow. There are a plethora of continued learning opportunities made available to explore your personal horticulture interests.

For more information about the Master Gardener training offered in Livingston County this fall, please contact the Livingston County office at (815)842 1776 or email Brittnay Haag at bhaag@illinois.edu. All applications for the training must be received by July 11.



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