Master Gardener: Growing into the job
May 5, 2023
Visions of butterflies floating amongst a field full of wildflowers, the sound of honey bees buzzing around an apple orchard, watching the dew on those red apples glisten in the sun, and feeling the dirt in which the veggies are growing are all reasons why I felt the need to join the Master Gardener program.
Living on a small hobby farm, gardening has been a large part of our daily life and a growing passion for understanding how each plant works and how that plant ties into the world around us. It is incredible to think about the life cycle of a pollinator and how important it is to have natural habitats for plants and animals to thrive. This fascinating ecosystem led me to wanting to learn more about horticulture and what I can do to make my farm and community a better place through connecting people with plants.
On my quest to learn more, a colleague and I discovered the University of Minnesota Master Gardener volunteer program and decided it was the opportunity we were looking for to gain more skills and knowledge. From the course work to the weekly webinars, we found the information to be exciting, educational, and exactly what we were hoping for. However, what I didn’t foresee was the overwhelming support and personal connection I felt as I walked into my first meeting.
Going into this program, I was cautious about joining because I didn’t consider myself to be a Master Gardener. The thought of being relatively new to horticulture and knowing that there was so much that I have not learned and experienced concerned me, but that was not the case at all. Surrounded by individuals from all over our county, I quickly learned that I was amongst various levels of gardeners with unique experiences and knowledge who were all welcoming and willing to share. The amount of support and knowledge this group has provided is unmatched and I am honored to have this opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a Master Gardener intern.
If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Master Gardener, as a new intern I can tell you that this program has already taught me so much. I have met some outstanding people and have been introduced to opportunities in our community that I wouldn’t have had the chance to participate in otherwise. Whether it’s community gardening, teaching children about the world of plants, supporting each other in our plant projects, or growing your own at home garden, this program has a lot to offer, and you’re guaranteed to make some friends along the way.
Writer Samantha Halligan is a Master Gardener Intern.