Seed catalogs arriving, narcissus blooming, and sunsets later in the day – all signs of spring that stir the inner gardener in each of us. Here’s an opportunity to become an expert South Mississippi gardener.
- by Wendy Sullivan
Best of all? Prior gardening experience is not required to participate.
The 2022 Master Gardener training classes will begin Tuesday, March 15. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am – 2 pm. The course is eight hours a week for five weeks.
The registration deadline is February 28. Dr. Christian Stephenson is coordinating the training program. To register, contact him directly at 228-467-5456, or email C.Stephenson@msstate.edu.
The Hancock County Master Gardeners will host the in-person classes, providing light refreshments (which are usually quite delicious). As a Mississippi State University program, MSU Covid protocols are required to be followed, which include mandatory masks at this time.
The cost for the course is $150, plus a commitment from participants to volunteer 40 hours of their time in exchange for the 40 hours of training. The course also includes an extensive training manual with a plethora of horticultural information written specifically for our coastal region.
In-person classes will be held at new Hancock County Extension office at 11704 Hwy 603, Kiln, MS 39556. Located in a fairly rural area, this new location is centrally located in the county with enough land for a planned gardening high tunnel. Once in place, the tunnel will allow the 4H Kids Garden Club and Master Gardeners to engage in hands-on growing projects.
After completing the course, participants are asked to volunteer their time to help county extension offices with horticulture and education projects that benefit the local community. Master Gardeners help extend the educational arm of the university by providing horticultural information to the public based on university research and recommendations.
The Hancock County Master Gardeners are an energetic group of adults who enjoy sharing their love of gardening, plants, sweat equity and creative ideas for making Hancock County beautiful. In addition, the group supports the free meals programs at the Senior Center and King’s Kitchen.
Residents who have completed Master Gardener training in other states are invited to join the Hancock County Master Gardeners and learn the unique challenges and joys of gardening in south Mississippi.
Despite a few days of frosty weather, Spring is fast approaching. It’s time to dig in and learn!
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