We’re now more than half way through our 11-week Master Gardener training course, so I thought I’d check in with some of my classmates and get their thoughts. Here’s what they said:
“Just sitting in the class makes me itch,” said Karen Waterson, in reference to the lessons on creepy-crawly insects.
But she also appreciates the importance of entomology. “It’s really going to help in identifying problems on a plant, whether it’s caused by a chewing or sucking insect,” she said.
Waterson has already signed up for several volunteer projects. Master Gardeners must complete 66 hours of volunteer service to become certified. She will help build a garden at Calapooia Middle School in Albany, work in the Master Gardeners’ demonstration garden in Linn County, and answer plant questions at the Master Gardeners’ booth at the farmers market in Albany this summer.
“I still have a long, long ways to go but I know a lot more than I did when we first started,” she said. “It’s unbelievable what we’ve learned so far.”
Trainee Elly Love, a retired high school teacher, has been impressed with the instructors.
“There’s so much. It’s so jam-packed every week,” she said. “I look forward to doing our volunteer hours, certainly, but I also look forward to this spring and summer in my own vegetable garden as well as my own property. I’m going to get down on my hands and knees and look for bugs in the grass and take my [10x hand lens] in there. I’ve got my llama and chicken poop in my compost pile with straw and all the alfalfa my llamas left. I bought a pound of worms last week and have a worm bin.”
Love lives in rural Corvallis and has three llamas and seven chickens. She has never composted before.
Toward the end of class, I heard a comment that rang true for me.
“If anything, this class really humbles you,” Connie Lepin said. “You learn how much you don’t know.”