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Dreaming Green

TWENTY-YEAR MASTER Gardener Cheri Austin poses in the Master Gardener office at OSU Wasco County Extension Service with the test tubes and other tools for soil testing. While frost is still on the ground, this is a good time to plan for the garden season ahead.

Photo by Kathy Ursprung
TWENTY-YEAR MASTER Gardener Cheri Austin poses in the Master Gardener office at OSU Wasco County Extension Service with the test tubes and other tools for soil testing. While frost is still on the ground, this is a good time to plan for the garden season ahead.



Master Garder training deadline nears

A Master Gardeners social will offer information about the upcoming Master Gardener training program Thursday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.

Learn more about gardening and share gardening experiences. Learn what they are doing within the community and how to join.

Applications for Master Gardener training are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 29 at the OSU Wasco County Extension office.

“I think we have put together an interesting training program again this year,” wrote Lynn Long, Extension horticulturist. “We’ve got some great programs and speakers lined up for classes. Among other things we’ll learn about native plants, vermiposting/composting (Don’t know what that is? Come and find out), and we’ll visit some of the most interesting gardens in The Dalles as three Master Gardeners show us what they are planning for their 2014 garden. “

Other topics include ecological planting design, attracting native pollinizers and lawns, among others.

Classes begin Wednesday, Feb. 12, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles and continue every Wednesday through March 26, with a short morning class from 9 to 10:30 a.m. April 2.

“Every year I’m asked what we are looking for in new Master Gardeners,” Long said. “Our main requirement is a love and enthusiasm for gardening and a desire to share that love with others. Most Master Gardeners have at least two or three years of gardening experience before they join the program, but we do not require extensive knowledge.”

Those included in the program agree to contribute 42 volunteer hours within the next eight months in exchange for the classes they receive. Volunteer opportunities include plant clinics, Seeds ‘n’ Soils for fourth graders, planning and participating in garden fairs, the Imagination Garden, Junior Master Gardeners and other learning events.

Those interested in the program should send submit an application (available at the Extension office) and two checks, one for $90 for class tuition and the other for $15 for membership in the Wasco County Master Gardeners Association (both fully refundable if not accepted).

Submit application and payment to OSU Extension Service, 400 E. Scenic Dr., Suite 2.278, The Dalles, OR 97058, Attn: Master Gardener Program. The application must be received no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29. Late applications will not be accepted.

Twenty-year Master Gardener Cheri Austin says one key to an enjoyable gardening experience is to not go overboard — a little advance planning doesn’t hurt either...

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