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Master Gardeners gather at the 2019 Fall Association meeting. Applications are now available for the 2020 season.

Applications for the Oregon State University Extension Central Gorge Master Gardener classes are currently being accepted.

The Central Gorge Master Gardener program allows gardeners of all levels and abilities the opportunity to learn and grow with other like minded gardeners. No previous gardening experience is necessary and all interested individuals are welcome to apply for acceptance into the program.

Classes are scheduled on Wednesday evenings and occasional Saturdays from Jan. 22 through April 4 and are held at the Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road, Hood River.

Class topics will include Botany, Firewise Landscaping, Entomology, Healthy Soils, Vertebrate Pest Management, Vegetable Gardening, Growing Berries, Herbaceous Ornamental Plants and more. Classes are taught by OSU instructors, experienced Master Gardeners and local experts.

Master Gardener classes are designed to be informative and interactive. New Master Gardener trainees will have the opportunity to attend all 17 classes for a fee of $165, which includes the Master Gardener Sustainable Gardening handbook, plus $10 in optional association dues.

If you find that the cost would prohibit you from taking the training, full or partial scholarships are available. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, note this on the application and contact Megan Wickersham, Education Program assistant, Oregon State University, Hood River County Extension Master Gardener Program, for more information.

Completed applications for the 2020 Master Gardener class series must be received by Jan. 10. Applications are available by contacting Wickersham at 2990 Experiment Station Drive, Hood River, or 541-386-3343 x38257.

About the program

In exchange for attending these classes, new Master Gardeners will be required to offer 40 hours of volunteer service towards the many education and service programs during their first year in the Master Gardener program. Returning Master Gardeners may also attend all classes and events in exchange for 24 hours of volunteer service each year.

Central Gorge Master Gardeners are a group of over 90 volunteers who participate in education and service programs, including Master Gardener Plant Clinics. Gardening questions are researched and answered through Plant Clinics from April to October each year at the OSU Extension office, Ace Hardware in Hood River, White Salmon and Stevenson, as well as at area festivals and events.

The Waterwise Garden at the Hood River Library serves to educate on how to landscape using less water while adding beauty to the library entrance. Education continues to be the theme at The Learning Garden on the OSU Extension Campus, where 11 different areas demonstrate gardening applications like compost, bioswales, Eco-lawn, a Native Plant Garden and Japanese Heritage Garden.

A popular spring event is the Master Gardener Plant Sale, where quality vegetables and flowers are grown in the Master Gardener greenhouse and sold to the public on the day before Mother’s Day each year.

Master Gardeners also present classes and seminars throughout the year that are open to the public. Community Classes occur during the winter and Seed to Supper is offered in the spring. Community service projects include the Holiday Greenery Event and FISH Food Bank Garden. The bi-annual Master Gardener Garden Tour allows the public to view private gardens in our community to enjoy, learn and gather ideas.

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