Seven Big Spring Master Gardener Association members attended the annual “Master Gardener Winter School” held at the Lane Agri-Park Pavilion in Murfreesboro, Tennessee February 25-27, 2015. Darlene Moore, Virginia Williams, Sandee Cook, Martha Fluharty, Michele Bradley, Jeanie Jackson, and Teresa Uhls attended various leadership and educational sessions aimed at both growing volunteer leaders in their communities and cultivating unique educational opportunities for clientele they represent.
Master Gardeners across the state convened to meet the newest addition to the statewide Extension Team, Dr. Natalie Bumgarner, Residential and Consumer Horticulture Specialist, who was recently hired in October. She brings energy, enthusiasm, and creative ideas to the table as many positive changes are expected for this program in the coming years that will further add value to the counties in which Master Gardeners are providing leadership and educational opportunities.
Master Gardeners were introduced to several experts in their respective fields to become more comfortable and competent in their advising and mentoring of the local Master Gardener Program. Some of the sessions attended were: “Plant Fertilization Strategies”; hands-on grafting workshops for both apples and tomatoes; a discussion on GMO’s; “Hydrangeas in the Landscape”; “Balancing Pesticide Use with Biological Controls”; and “Plant Scouting Techniques”.
Those in attendance also participated in a personality profile workshop that allowed them to interact with those different from their own personality, illustrating the importance of working together in group settings. The culmination of the Winter School ended with key-note speaker, Janet Carson, Extension Horticulturist Specialist from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Ms. Carson shared the local vision of the Arkansas Master Gardener program, and provided powerful insight, inspiration, and motivation to the audience in attendance.
Lastly, Master Gardeners across the state came together to share great ideas, learn from one another, and network with Extension professionals to gain both personal proficiency in their educational endeavors at the local level and determine new and unique ways to cultivate the Master Gardener program at the county level.
The BSMGA is involved in several exciting and worthwhile community gardening projects throughout Greene County. Projects include: maintaining the Greeneville/Greene County History Museum landscape; participating in weekly gardening seminars at the Boys & Girls Club; maintaining the New Hope Cemetery landscape; growing and maintaining the Soup Kitchen gardens; facilitating educational seminars for the Food Bank; designing and implementing historic, period-era gardens at the Dickson Williams Mansion; growing the landscape beds at the Greene County Fairgrounds; hosting a Plant Sale on May 9th at the Greene County Fairgrounds; and a Farm2Fork dinner on June 12th at the Andrew Johnson Clubhouse, as well as participating in Greene County Fair events; participating in community events such as Kid’s Day on the Farm; the Greene County Christmas Parade; and being available to answer questions in the Master Gardener lab at the Greene County UT Extension Office every Monday and Thursday from 10 AM – 3PM.
For additional information on the BSMGA, please feel free to contact the Greene County UT Extension Office at 423-798-1710 or e-mail Melody Rose, Extension Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out the BSMGA website at bsmga.com
This and other programs of the University of Tennessee Extension are open to all interested persons. UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs.