Come to a lecture, workshop, or garden tour. Visit with us at a farmers market or festival. Buy plants from our gardens. We always have something fun going on.
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Master Gardener Information Meeting #1
October 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Interested in becoming a Master Gardener?
Master Gardeners are volunteer plant educators of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, who teach our community about vegetable and flower growing, healthy lawns, and sustainable landscapes. If you love plants and would enjoy sharing their amazing qualities with others, please check us out.
To learn more, please join us at one of our upcoming Info Meetings. Meetings include a short presentation, application packets, and a Q/A session.
Applications are due between now and December 1 for the 2019 Charlottesville-Albemarle Training Class. To apply, please pick up an application packet at our Info Meeting, or download one from the website under “How to Apply” on our Volunteer page.
You’ll find Master Gardeners together sharing information with the public at farmers’ markets, Monticello’s Heritage Harvest Festival, the Albemarle County Fair, and other community venues. Master Gardeners also staff a free Horticulture Help Desk to answer gardening questions by phone, email, or in person at the Virginia Cooperative Extension office. More than twenty projects in which you might participate include:
School gardens —Master Gardeners teach a hands-on after-school curriculum for junior gardeners at two elementary schools.
Speakers Bureau — Master Gardeners are available to give presentations on horticultural topics for local clubs and organizations. We also host a spring series with well-known guest lecturers for the public.
Online newsletter — Master Gardeners research and write articles of seasonal interest for a widely-followed monthly online newsletter, The Garden Shed.
Demonstration gardens — We show how in two teaching gardens, at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and the JABA Senior Center.
Healthy Virginia Lawns — Protecting the Chesapeake watershed is the aim of our service for homeowners, which includes analyzing lawns and making recommendations for care and feeding.
Garden tours — We interpret gardens for the public as docents during Historic Garden Week, and at seasonal monthly tours of exemplary local gardens in the Through the Garden Gate series.
Garden Basics — Topics of seasonal interest and usefulness are offered in half-day classes for the public in partnership with Bread and Roses, a mission of Trinity Episcopal Church. Together, Albemarle County Master Gardeners give more than 10,000 volunteer hours to the Charlottesville area community each year.
The 70-hour course of instruction is concentrated and fast paced. Topics include botany, soils, water management, vegetable gardening, pruning, landscaping, fruit growing, and pest management. While going through the course, each trainee is assisted by a Master Gardener mentor. Classes are conducted from 9 am to 4 pm on Mondays from February to May. The cost is $190 to cover materials, and need-based scholarships are available. Class size is limited to 25, and there is a final open-book examination. Master Gardener training classes are taught by experts from Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and professional practitioners. Classes are held at the Fifth Street Albemarle County Office Building, and at field sites such as Bundoran Farm and Morven estate.
After completing the class and exam, Master Gardener interns must volunteer 50 hours to achieve their full certification, including hours on the Horticulture Help Desk, during the first year after training. After that, each year Master Gardeners must volunteer at least 20 hours and complete eight hours of continuing education to maintain their certification. Opportunities for continuing education include programs offered as part of the association’s monthly meetings, and Master Gardener College at Virginia Tech each summer. The monthly meetings, held in Room A of the Albemarle County Office Building on Fifth Street, are held on the first Mondays, and are open to the public. Master Gardeners may not use the title to promote commercial horticultural or landscaping services.
How to Apply
Applications for the 2019 Master Gardener training program are being accepted from October 1 through December 1, 2018. Application packets are available for download, in person at the VCE office, and at our information sessions. Please submit the application materials to the address below c/o Scott Boven, or email. Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you to schedule an interview. If you have questions about the program or application process, please contact: Scott Boven, (434) 872-4581, email@example.com, or drop by the Virginia Cooperative Extension at the Fifth Street Albemarle County Office Building 2nd floor, 460 Stagecoach Road, Charlottesville VA 22902.