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June 2010 Archives

At this moment, I am in Columbus, Ohio, at the North Central Integrated Pest Management meeting. As a group, we received a grant to create a continuing education tool for Master Gardeners to help you to better learn diagnostics. We hope to have the tool available for you to try out in early 2011. This will be on eXtension - the national website for cooperative extension, part of the US Dept. of Agriculture (the federal government). Watch for this cool new tool!

We need to fill the volunteer slots at the Arboretum Yard & Garden Desk. This is an important way that we, as Master Gardeners, can help the gardening public by sharing our knowledge while spreading the important word about the great work Master Gardeners do throughout Minnesota. Please sign up at: Master Gardener Volunteer Online Tools

We also need your help in handling calls on the Arboretum Y&G Phone Line. While some counties have a phone line of their own, there are counties that don't, and the Arboretum Line is your horticulture hotline. It's important that calls get answered (and deleted) from the Arb Line. Please sign up as well at Master Gardener Volunteer Online Tools

If you need help with signing up, check out the instructions or call Bridget at 612-625-4211.

Thanks a million! Your help as Master Gardeners is so important to gardening public!

Thumbnail image for backyardfarmer.BmpI am currently at a very cool meeting - the North Central IPM committee comprised of Master Gardener coordinators from WI, IL, OH, IA,and NE (and me) as well as Celeste Welty (OSU-Entomology, Mary Meyer, Karen Jeanette, and Lynnae Jess (director of the NCIPM regional program). We received a $30,000 grant to develop a Diagnostic module online at eXtension for all of you, Master Gardeners, from these states.

Terri James, MG coordinator from NE, just showed us the Backyard Farmer YouTube videos that are great learning (and teaching) tools for you to use in your volunteering. Find it at Backyard Farmer

Get to know the bigger Master Gardener community in the USA!

A nationwide blog for Master Gardeners is now online! Blog with Master Gardeners from all over the USA, and enjoy sharing ideas, interests, projects, and community. Click on the link below and get on board. It's easy, it's interesting and it's fun.

Extension Master Gardener Blog


National eXtension Community of Practice Workshop - Austin, TX

What is learning like today?

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David Warlick, author / teacher / speaker / programmer, opens our eyes about the fact that learners today - especially kids - have no "ceiling"; in other words, there is no limit to where people can go to learn or find answers. As a kid, I could only go so far - namely my own neighborhood, school, family, and friends - to learn. Kids today can learn globally. His website, explores learning. Check it out. Fascinating. intriguing. Wow.

Is work ever really complete? As a graduate student, my Master's project - the herbaceous plant maintenance of SULIS , and learned that digitally-based or web projects are never really finished. They can go on .... and on ..... and on - to the point that I begged my three advisers to "draw a line" - a sort of finish line for the project - so I could graduate. Today, I know that site will never be finished because - fortunately - information about sustainable design, plants, and landscapes continues to evolve.

So how does this relate to Master Gardeners? You are the ultimate "life-long learners" and while you are only "required" to pursue 5-12 hours of continuing ed as your volunteer requirements, I encourage you to continue to look for opportunities to keep learning. Not just in horticulture, but in other areas of interest in your life. You owe it to yourself - and those you care about - to stay open to new ideas, new information, new skills, and new ways of thinking. Life is often called a "journey" - I like to think of it as an exploration.

You are also teachers - the key to being a Master Gardener - and as teachers, you need to think hard about molding your education to fit the learning styles of your students. The standard methods of teaching may not be the best way to get the message across, inspire, or communicate with your students.

Learning is important. Life is short. Never think you have all the time in the world.

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