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Schmidt: Preserving Garden Produce Workshop Sept. 9

By Staff | Sep 4, 2015

Interest in gardening has increased as people become more focused on bringing more fresh produce to their tables and diets. Additionally, many people in the area also enjoy summer gardening and landscaping activities for the added health benefits the physical act of gardening provides.

With the increase in summer gardening, interest in preserving the fruits of our labor is also growing. Many folks are looking for ways to continue to enjoy the bumper crops of their gardens beyond the summer growing season.

If you or someone you know is looking for tips on preserving the bounty of your garden, please consider joining us for the free “Preserving the Bounty” workshop at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Prairie Village Museum.

Two of my NDSU Extension Service colleagues, Callie Johnson, NDSU Extension Service Family Consumer Science Agent from McHenry County; Karla Monson, NDSU Extension Service Family Consumer Science Agent from Bottineau County, and myself will share will share information on freezing and dehydrating fruits and vegetables, as well as tips for getting the most out of your garden.

Register Now for 2015 Master Gardener Course

Gardening and horticulture information continues to be a popular programming request in NDSU Extension Service county offices across the state.

Rugby will again be among this year’s classroom host sites for the 2015 Master Gardener Course. This year’s sessions will meet in the community meeting room (to the right of the Extension office) in the lower level of the Pierce County Courthouse.

Master Gardener training will run for 10 weeks on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (central time) beginning on Oct. 2 and ending on Dec. 11 (no class the Friday following Thanksgiving).

Master Gardener training is as convenient and flexible as ever. The course will again be offered both online and in a traditional classroom setting. This way, if weekday morning classes conflict with your schedule, online lectures can be viewed later in the comfort of your home on your own schedule. For those that prefer traditional learning, classroom training will be hosted in the following counties: Cass, Dickey, Stutsman, Kidder, Burleigh, Griggs, Grand Forks, Pierce, Ward and Williams. All classrooms will be connected using Blackboard Collaborate as our videoconferencing technology. Alternatively, participants may take the class online. All lectures will be recorded and posted on our content management site.

Tuition for the 2015 class is $150 for Master Gardener volunteers (agree to volunteer 48 hours over two years), or $400 for Pro-Hort participants (no volunteering required). Computer knowledge, internet access and an email account are required.

Course topics will include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, fertilizers, plant diseases and pests, vegetable and fruit production and so much more. Classes are taught by NDSU faculty and by Extension personnel.

Once training is completed, interns will volunteer 48 hours over two years on horticultural projects in their home counties before earning the title of Master Gardener. Projects include answering questions at county fairs and farmers markets, organizing horticultural workshops, and managing school and community gardens, among other tasks.

An exciting addition to this year’s program is that grants to build 10 or more model pollinator gardens across the state will be awarded. Master Gardeners and their agents will be able to use the gardens as a teaching tool to improve pollinator health in their communities. In addition, the program hopes to inspire homeowners to build their own pollinator gardens in their backyards. Homeowners that follow certain criteria will be able to receive a sign stating that they are a certified pollinator garden.

Class size is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is Sept. 11. Registration is completed online at: www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener/. For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service County office or Esther McGinnis at 231-7406.

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