Cooperative Extension and their mission to “offer practical how-to education and problem-solving assistance based on university research..striving to help people make informed decisions to better their lives, businesses, and communities… ” has always fascinated me. In 1984 I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Resource Development from the Agricultural department. My plan was to work with Cooperative Extension. Fortunately or unfortunately, Cooperative Extension has received my admiration but never my resume. This Saturday you will have the benefit of meeting some individuals from the Master Gardener’s program, a program that Cooperative Extension developed years ago.
When I did an internship with Cooperative Extension, I specifically worked with the Master Gardener’s program. What fun this was. Here is a description of the program taken from the Chester County Extension website.
“Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by Penn State Cooperative Extension. Once they complete their training, Master Gardeners help Extension better serve the home gardening public by answering questions, speaking to groups, working with 4-H horticultural projects, participating in civic beautification, maintaining demonstration gardens, teaching plant sciences and horticulture, maintaining this web site, and in many other ways.”
Do you want to know a little secret? I really was at URI for a Plant and Soil Science degree in Field Crops. However, flunking Genetics kinda messed up that plan. I went to the Registrars Office and begged and pleaded. I told them they had to let me graduate, I would never pass with that teacher. Funny thing is there had been so many other complaints regarding that teacher, they actually took mercy on me. What I did not realize is they allowed me to graduate but they changed the name of my degree from Plant and Soil Science to Resource Development. Since then, pursuing a family took precedence, the degree got tucked away, and only recently, oh about 20 or so years later, did I notice the name change.
Anyway, just recently I discovered a covert Master Gardener in this community. Guess who? I will give you some clues. Her husband coaches soccer at Twin Valley. She was just hired to teach Home Economics at Twin Valley. Enough clues? You are right- Kelly Culbert! This makes Pam Gable and I jealous. We want to check it off our bucket list someday too. But for now, we will enjoy sharing the market tent with Diane, Maureen and Karen from Chester County’s Master Gardener program the second Saturday of each month during The Farmers Market at Elverson. Don’t you just love this market?! Thank Don Gable for coordinating this! He is the renaissance dairy farmer.