The coming gardening season will be my first as a Master Gardener. It feels very good to have completed my required studies in horticulture. Up to now, I have been a Master Gardener in Training (MGIT), that is, a "midget". And yes, we newbies do take some ribbing with that nickname.
As the Master Gardeners of Ontario (MGOI) website explains, "Master Gardeners (MGs) are trained horticulturists who volunteer their time to provide free advice to home gardeners." MGs have "good basic knowledge of and interest in ornamental horticulture and general home gardening." MGOI is an independent non-profit organization.
A lot of people don't realize that Master Gardeners provide FREE advice. A good place to start is MGOI's online database of gardening advice articles.
In Northwestern Ontario, you can submit a question to our local group. MGs will review your question, do their best to answer and direct you to resources.
I joined the Thunder Bay & District Master Gardeners as a favour to my friends. I was boring them with 'garden talk'. I knew I had to find a group of people who were as passionate about plants as I was.
At one of my first meetings, members were offering their recommendations on gardening books. I thought, "Now these are my kind of people." Since then I have found some wonderful mentors who have encouraged me in my studies, in public speaking, and in applying gardening knowledge in a practical way.
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Atlantic provinces.
So this growing season, watch for me and other MGs in the community. We'll be the ones in the green aprons!