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Start thinking about becoming a Master Gardener

By Danélle Cutting

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Do you enjoy gardening, but want to know more? Have you moved to North Carolina and don’t know what to plant? Or do you have a passion for helping the community?

If any of those match you, then the 2016 Extension Master Gardener class may be for you.

The Rowan County Cooperative Extension office is now accepting applications for the 2016 Extension Master Gardener course. This is a 17-week course that teaches a variety of gardening subjects from organics to natives.

It is a great way to learn more about your area and how to garden properly. The course is great for newcomers and native residents so they can learn about soils and picking the right plant for the right place.

Rowan County Extension and Davidson County Extension will be taking the course together. The classes will be switched back and forth between the two counties, giving a unique experience to the 2016 class.

The course is $150, which includes a manual, fees to the state, name tag, guest lecturers, materials and two field trips. After receiving the training, all graduates must complete 40 hours of volunteer work to become certified, then every year after that, 25 hours must be met with 10 hours of continuing education.

There are many projects within the county that the Rowan County Master Gardeners have helped create such as the school gardens at Millbridge Elementary and Sacred Heart, demonstration gardens at the Agriculture Center, and research trials at the Piedmont Research Station.

This is the first Extension Master Gardener course within three years and it is usually held every other year. Classes will be held every Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. starting Jan. 20, 2016, and ending May 11.

If you are interested in the program, but have a few questions, there will be an informational session Tuesday, Dec. 29, 1 p.m., at the Rowan Cooperative Extension office, 2727 Old Concord Road. Please be sure to RSVP before attending.

If you would like more information on becoming an Extension Master Gardener, would like an application or to RSVP for the informational session, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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