Registration Underway For 2012/2013 Master Gardener Program

SOUTH BRUNSWICK — A new season of Master Gardener Environmental & Community Stewardship classes will be starting soon at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in South Brunswick.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County will offer both daytime and evening programs. Orientation will be on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. for the evening class and Friday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m. for the Friday morning class. Middlesex County is currently the only county that offers the Master Gardeners course in the evenings. Pre-registration for the course is required.

Master Gardeners are community volunteers, trained in earth-friendly gardening and environmental principles. Lecture classes meet once per week for three hours from mid September through mid April. The 60-70 hours of classroom instruction includes practical field experience. Outdoor, hands-on garden classes meet weekly for three hours from mid-April through mid-September (every other week in summer). New students create and care for a large demonstration vegetable and herb garden.

Topics covered include: sound gardening techniques; composting; creative methods of conserving resources; and horticulture therapy. The program also requires participants to volunteer a minimum of 60 hours of service towards Extension projects, activities and events throughout the year.

The Middlesex County Master Gardener program will be offered at the EARTH Center, in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick. If you are interested, call the EARTH Center at 1-732-398-5262. Interested parties can see what the Master Gardeners have been up to, by reading their newsletter available at the Master Gardeners page on the website

As a homeowner, if you find yourself asking questions on gardening or backyard environmental issues, Middlesex County’s Extension office will assist you through the Master Gardener Helpline. Residents of Middlesex County are encouraged to call 1-732-398-5220 with questions on plants, bugs and home conservation practices.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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