Welcome to the Mississippi Master Gardener's website. Through this program, individuals are trained and certified in consumer horticulture and related areas.
In exchange for 40 hours of educational training, individuals are required to return 40 hours of volunteer service within one year of their training. This service should help county Extension offices with horticulture projects that benefit their local communities.
After the first year, volunteers are required to return 20 hours of volunteer service and to attend 12 hours of educational training to remain certified as Master Gardeners.
Continuing education is offered to encourage long-term commitments. Most certified Master Gardeners serve five to seven years. The Master Gardener approach helps the local Extension office reach a broader audience than is possible with only one or two agents. It also provides the local office a way to serve the public and, at the same time, develop a supportive clientele group.
Volunteers help extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.
The Master Gardener Volunteer program is a great way to gain horticultural expertise at a low cost, meet other avid gardeners, share gardening experiences, get connected to the community, and belong to a well-respected and educational organization.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.
The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.
“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.
TUPELO, Miss. -- For more than a quarter century, Mississippians with a love for horticulture have been helping to educate and serve their communities through a nationwide Extension Service program.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Long before Charlie Weatherly earned the state’s 2015 Master Gardener of the Year honor, his family roots were dug deep into the Mississippi soil.
Although he retired from Mississippi State University in 1997, Weatherly has not strayed far from the land-grant institution’s campus or mission. How could he? As a child, he frequently came to campus with his father, Ernest, who was a county agent for what is now the MSU Extension Service.
PURVIS – The Pine Belt Master Gardeners reached a milestone June 19.
The group constructed its 100th salad table, which is designated for donation to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Sustainability. It is one of many the group has donated throughout the last year.
When the Pine Belt Master Gardeners built two raised beds for demonstration at the Mississippi State University Lamar County Extension office in 2013, they did not expect the educational project to become so popular.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Jerry Don Keith has been gardening for years, but he had the best garden he’s ever grown after he attended the Master Gardener training last spring.
“I knew I had a lot to learn, but I had no idea that the Master Gardeners would cover so much,” Keith said. “It’s not just about vegetable gardening, but trees, weeds, grass and soil. It’s learning what to do in gardens and yards. Sometimes the little things we learn are the most important.”