The Master Gardener program provides Oregonians with education about gardening and horticulture. In return, trainees agree to match the time spent in instruction with gardening-related public service. These enthusiastic volunteers serve an increasingly larger home gardening audience, and are equipped with tools to become better gardeners, a network of fellow gardeners, and a means of service to others. Extension Agents enjoy watching Master Gardeners become more confident, outgoing and aware of the need for their knowledge.
Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener™? Master Gardeners are people like you, interested in learning more about the art and science of growing and caring for plants in the garden, the landscape, and the home. In exchange for classroom instruction, Master Gardeners agree to help local Extension faculty and staff extend horticultural information to people in their communities.
Who are Master Gardeners?
Master Gardeners are volunteers who are experienced gardeners, who receive horticultural training from Oregon State University Extension Specialists, agents and other Master Gardeners, and who want to share their gardening skill and training with others.
Becoming a Master Gardener
Master Gardeners must be willing to spend one day each week for eight consecutive weeks during February and March in the class room + online modules + handson workshops for a total of 66 hours of instruction. It is helpful if potential Master Gardeners have had some gardening experience. They must agree to return 66 hours in volunteering gardening information, public service, or remit $500 for the course.
- botany basics
- soil management
- plant nutrition
- pest identification and control
- diagnosis of plant problems
- growing vegetables
- fruit trees and more
Each new Master Gardener who is accepted for training must pay $130 to cover the cost of the Master Gardener reference notebook, class materials, and classroom expenses.
Paying back the 66 Hours
A minimum or 46 hours is spent at the Extension office, farmers market or other plant clinic venue answering gardening questions. Additional time can be returned in such activities as staffing information booths and/or giving demonstrations at the Linn County Fair, the Spring Garden Festival, or teaching Seed to Supper classes. One might volunteer hours working in the Linn County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden located at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center, or lead a 4-H horticulture club, or lead a gardening class at the Gardening in the Pacific Northwest series sponsored by Linn County Master Gardeners and LBCC. Other ways to pay back volunteer hours might be to provide gardening programs for service clubs, write newspaper articles, or tape radio spots.