Master Gardeners week May 21st to 27th proclaimed by the Governor
by Peggy Morgan MA,ABS
We share the stage with Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon: because the Master Gardener program started right here in the Seattle Tacoma area just like they did and it is a success all around the world just like they are.
The big difference is you get our services free!
It was just an idea in 1971, from two Washington State University Extension Agents, and the idea grew, by 1972 the first clinic was held at the Tacoma Mall. A lot of people came; way more than the instigators expected! As usual it was a struggle getting the funding but after an article appeared in Sunset Magazine there were about 600 inquiries and from that there were about 300 applicants and the program was born. The two Agents from WSU who were assigned to King and Pearce County were unable to keep up with the demand for advice and help with the rising number of home gardeners so by training volunteers they could get back to their other duties in educating the public about agriculture.
So what’s the big deal? Master Gardeners receive 60 hours of training to begin and at least 10 hours each year after that. They can help with: planning and planting, bugs and diseases, identification of plants and problems and anything else that is involved with gardening.
I have been a Master Gardener for 20 years with the Burien Clinic and it’s been a lot of fun as well as educational. Our group started in about 1980 at the Burien Library. One of the original members told me the library made all books due on Weds so we were there on Weds to get the most traffic. When the library was remodeled we went to Fred Meyers Garden Department until the library was finished. At one time we were at Five Corners Nursery, also at the Herr Backyard Nursery and Furney's Nursery. We are still at the library; but now on Thursday, again to get the Farmers Market traffic, we will be at the DesMoines Farmers Market every Saturday this summer. We really like chatting with you gardeners, wether you are a newbie or a long time gardener. We also do some special events, you never know where you might run into us. Our group, clinic, has about 35 members. We meet once a month at different homes to “take care of business” we have a potluck dinner and two of our members are wine makers. Like I said “we have a lot of fun!” Please stop by say hello, and tell us “How does your garden grow?”
In the south end we have many groups at many locations, you can find them on the web at Master Gardener Locations.