Master Gardener

After quitting my job and deciding to start my own LLC, I now have the flexibility to try things I couldn’t before. One such thing is becoming a master gardener. What is a Master Gardner (MG) you ask? Basically, MGs are trained volunteers with knowledge of the local horticulture who educate the community. The Extension Master Gardner program was started in 1973 in Washington State by Dr. David Gibby who trained passionate individuals in the science and art of gardening. MGs volunteer in various capacities such as in community gardens, teaching classes for children or adults, leading presentations, writing articles, etc. to educate the public.     

I must be honest, the only MGs I know personally are white and retired. This is not to say there are no people of color who are MGs, there are, but I’m not sure many are familiar with the program. Also, the MG classes are in the middle of the workweek during typical business hours. This means most young people are excluded indirectly from participation. I’m sure this is not intentional, but more so out of convenience, however, it is a little disappointing.

My interest in gardening was sparked by Monty Don’s show Big Dreams Small Spaces which I binged right before the COVID-19 pandemic. After some assistance from my dad and stepmother, I began getting my hand dirty and experimenting with different plants in my yard. The MG program is appealing to me because I have found joy in gardening. I hope to learn more and spread that knowledge and joy with other people of color.