Eric’s story: Master Gardeners teach horticulture principles grounded by research

“I originally became a Master Gardener during an early period in my career where I was feeling a bit stuck and looking for an opportunity to gain some new professional experience that could help me find work in the nursery or sustainable landscaping businesses. I fell in love with the program and found a strong community in the Washington County chapter, and as I’ve made my way back into the ecology career I’d always dreamed of, being a Master Gardener has felt like an important part of my professional practice. The opportunities it has provided me to learn best practices, share knowledge, and build professional and community partnerships have been invaluable, and I continue to lean on the connections I’ve made in the program in the work I do far beyond my Master Gardener service.

We live in a time of mis- and disinformation, and the world of gardening and landscape care is no exception. At the same time, we’re now also called to be humble and open-minded to other traditions and ways of knowledge, and seeing those welcomed into the MG curriculum has been powerful and refreshing to witness. What keeps me engaged is the opportunity to help people support native plants and wildlife in their landscapes, to steer homeowners away from hazardous chemicals and live more gently on the land, to help people provide for themselves with productive food gardens, and to nurture an appreciation and care for the life around them. I also deeply value the professional and personal relationships I’ve made during my time in the program, and count some of my fellow MGs among my closest friends.”

This is but one of the many stories of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program we’re sharing this month in honor of Dam Proud Day. On April 26, Beavers everywhere will come together to support the things we do best: transformative educational experiences and life-changing research.
We are excited to be raising support specifically for our Seed to Supper program and updating our foundational resource, the “Sustainable Gardening Handbook” to reflect current knowledge. Please join us in gathering your friends and colleagues to give to support the Master Gardener Program on Dam Proud Day, at any donation level. See you (online) April 26th!

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