The Master Gardener program in Oktibbeha County is launching its 2020 educational and certification campaign on Feb. 7 with an information session for all interested gardeners. Photo by: Courtesy photo
January 18, 2020 9:58:56 PM
Anyone interested in becoming a master gardener will have an opportunity to hone their skills and learn the latest techniques when the Oktibbeha County Master Gardeners hold an informational session for anyone interested in the joys of gardening.
"It will be an open meeting beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Oktibbeha County Extension Service on Felix Long Drive," explained Flo Henley, president of the chapter. "We welcome citizens -- both seasoned gardeners and complete novices -- to come learn how the program operates and how they can participate."
Henley added, "With more baby boomers retiring and the growing interest in environmental sustainability, gardening is attracting record numbers of citizens wanting to hone their gardening skills."
The AARP stresses the health benefits of gardening including increased exposure to vitamin D which increases calcium levels, benefits bones and the immune system, while reducing stress and improving mood.
The local president noted that a 2006 study found that gardening could lower risk of dementia by 36 percent while providing enjoyable aerobic exercise. She also noted that membership results in a special camaraderie between members. Over the past three years membership in the organization has doubled in Starkville, growing from about 20 to more than 50.
"Besides, it's just plain fun getting to know others with common interests and working on projects to benefit the community while learning every aspect of home gardening from ornamental design to food production," said Henley.
Master Gardeners will be present at the information session to answer questions and provide information about some of their experiences and projects in which they have been involved.
Attendance is not required for registration in the training course that begins Feb. 25 and extends through April 2. Those interested may register and pay the $100 fee for the classes (40 hours) and all course materials at the county Extension Service. Registration by Feb. 21 will insure course materials are available the first day of class.
Training classes are taught by Mississippi State University Extension personnel on designated dates. In exchange, volunteers will provide 40 hours of volunteer service on community projects within a year of training. For more information call 662-323-5916.