Along with Hilda Carr, Dempsey Craig, Jackie Pope, and Eloise Register, I had an enjoyable learning experience attending the 2015 NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association Conference. The Conference was September 21 & 22 in Cary, NC. It is an event where the North Carolina Master Gardener Program comes together to provide educational information, along with recognition of efforts of Extension personnel and Master Gardeners across the state.
Monday we were up bright and early with seminars available all day. Our choices were Ecology and Natural Remedies, Using the 3 “R’s” for Sustainable Gardening, Out of the Sandbox, Into the Garden, Weathering Our Changeable Weather, and A Gardener Saved Tolkien’s World (woody plant management). Monday afternoon continued with Return of the Natives, Create a Pollinator Paradise, Composting with Squirmy Friends, Ecology of Better Backyards for Birds, and Write Your Way to a Thriving Garden.
How can you come away from a schedule like that without gaining knowledge? When I left each seminar, my mind was buzzing with things we could do, as Master Gardener Volunteers and individuals, to improve our environment; not just for mankind, but also for birds, bees, insects, animals in general, in nearly all aspects of our county.
Weathering Our Changeable Weather let us know (among many things) that we can expect an unusually cold winter due to El Nino.
Out of the Sandbox, Into the Garden taught us areas to teach children about gardening, and how getting their little hands dirty pays off with good food for the table.
And of course, Planting for Pollinators was a wonderful seminar. There is so much to consider when you plant for pollinators and the honeybee is the first thing that comes to my mind.
After an entire day of educational sessions, we were ready for some humor delivered by the one and only Paul James, “The Gardener Guy” host, creator, writer and senior producer of “Gardening by the Yard” on HGTV. What a wonderful evening.
Being a Sampson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer covers a large arena. There is so much to learn, so much to do and always an opportunity and a need for our help. If we can assist you in ways concerning your gardening, lawn and flowers call 910-592-7161 and ask for a Master Gardener Volunteer.
Mary Burke Bass is a certified Extension Master Gardener volunteer who represents and supports the Cooperative Extension Center in Sampson County. For more information or to reach an EMGV for help with your gardening needs, please call the Extension Center at 910-592-7161.