2020 has delivered many challenges and Oregon Extension Master Gardeners have risen to meet them. Identifying pest problems, recommending plant options, responding to compost concerns have all gone from in-person discussions to virtual workshops, email, and web based interactions. This has been a tremendous pivot, all while Oregonian’s interests in gardening, and beginner gardeners, have skyrocketed in numbers.
In order to meet the needs of the community and to support our 3,000 active Master Gardeners, we are excited to begin announcing our approach to elevated education in 2021.
Current Master Gardeners (including 2020 trainees) will be offered an innovative new curriculum, online, via a combination of self-paced learning and live webinars and online conversations with OSU experts. Online discussion boards and meeting rooms will be used to foster connectedness, networking, and the exchange of ideas among Master Gardeners across the state. This curriculum will be delivered January – March, 2021, so that Master Gardener volunteers can launch the 2021 gardening season empowered to serve Oregon’s experienced and novice gardeners.
Trainings for new Master Gardeners will occur again in 2022.
What this means for Master Gardeners:
• access to top level university training opportunities to connect, learn and grow with others in your local community as well as across the state;
• learn how to take the deep well of horticulture knowledge you have and bring it to more people, friends and neighbors through learning new online tools;
What this means for Oregonians;
• increased accessibility to OSU Extension Master Gardeners, questions and advice;
• a whole wave of new regionally relevant resources to support Oregon’s gardeners;
• increased topics of knowledge for growing plants for food, health and wellness;
We will continue to offer our core services to gardeners in local communities, including answering your gardening questions, teaching and demonstrating locally-relevant gardening methods, and supporting locally-driven and delivered garden education opportunities. But we’re also expanding and strengthening our ability to develop and disseminate gardening advice and information in ways that are easily accessible to gardeners of all levels, on their own time, at their own pace, and at no cost.
In the coming week, surveys will be distributed to current Master Gardeners to solicit your thoughts, ideas and priorities for this new 2021 curriculum. We look forward to hearing what’s important to you and your local communities and are excited to work together in 2021. Together, we can grow Oregon’s gardeners.