Magnolia Branch

File photo: Linda Hamwi, Moore County Master Gardener, gave a presentation on “Plants that Purify: Nature’s Way to Cleaner Air” to the Magnolia Branch of the Pinehurst Garden Club.

Have you ever given advice to other homeowners on landscaping questions? Do you enjoy the camaraderie of others who share your love of gardening? Do you believe that beautification and community gardening projects are valuable assets to a community?

Do you like to explore the complexities of the Sandhills environment, and successful gardening in the light of the sciences of botany, plant pathology, soil chemistry, entomology, and horticulture? Do you want to learn more about sustainable and organic gardening? Do you have some time available for volunteer work? If so, you should become an Extension Master Gardener!

The Moore County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will hold Extension Master Gardener training at the Agricultural Center in Carthage, on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Thursday, August 22 and ending Thursday, November 7.

The 40 hours of classes cover practical aspects of gardening and landscaping. We emphasize sustainable and organic methods of gardening. Those who take the class are expected to donate 20 hours of volunteer service in youth gardening programs or client “helpline” duty, and an additional 20 hours in other Extension horticulture programs.

Across North Carolina, 4,500 Master Gardeners annually provide 200,000 hours of community service and education projects, serving to about 4 million client contacts. Their volunteer effort is equivalent to over 100 full‑time employees.

Organized in Moore County since 1995, Extension Master Gardeners contributed more than 6000 hours in 2018. This is the equivalent of 3 full-time employees that enhance Extension’s outreach to schools, 4H, and homeowners seeking lawn, landscape, and general gardening information. In addition to ongoing projects in sustainable landscape education, helpline duty, and school gardens. Master Gardeners made 10,000 client contacts in Moore County in 2018.

Extension Master Gardeners assisted with the establishment of School Garden and Head Start programs in Moore County. They are actively involved in the burgeoning local food movement, serving as volunteers in the Farm to Table cooperative and local farmers markets. Master Gardeners donate time to Sandhills Horticultural Gardens, maintain drought tolerant native plant demonstration gardens, make presentations to clubs, teach 4H classes, and serve on civic boards.

Master Gardeners receive a high level of training in all aspects of horticulture, including soil fertility, woody plants, fruit and vegetable gardening, home landscaping, lawn care, perennial and annual flowers, pruning, and other related disciplines. This program is an introduction to the full educational and research resources of the land‑grant university so that volunteers may better their homes and communities through horticulture.

We are currently accepting applications for the training class to be held August 22-November 7, evening trainings on Mondays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. at the Moore County Agricultural Center in Carthage. Some classes will be held at the Rufus McLaughlin American Legion Post 177, 1650 W New York Ave, Southern Pines. We emphasize sustainable and organic methods of gardening tailored to our region. 

There is a $100 fee for training materials for those accepted into the program. A few scholarships will be available. An interview prior to acceptance is required. Space is limited: Not all applicants will be accepted into the program.

Those who wish to enroll in this class should fill out and return their application early.

For more information or to schedule an interview, call Moore County Agricultural Extension Agent Taylor Williams at 947-3188 or stop by N.C. Cooperative Extension Service office at 707 Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage to request an application. 

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