Schmoozing with the Master Gardeners

Despite a lot of rough weather in Wisconsin, I’ve arrived in Milwaukee for the Midwest Regional Conference of Master Gardeners, which has attracted gardeners from Minnesota to Michigan. Full disclosure: I am NOT a master gardener–far from it! But consistent with the generosity that is the essence of master gardeners, the conference is open to the public. What better way to learn about plants and gardening than to hang out with people who genuinely care about these issues?

Master gardeners go through extensive training, 48 hours in the classroom in Minnesota followed by 50 hours of community service. Many of the 300 or so gardeners here are taking the course for additional master gardener credits. I’ve met many master gardeners over the years, and as a group, they are among the most giving, knowledgeable, and just plain fun folks to be around. I’m looking forward to meeting more of them. The convention has attracted a bunch of top-notch speakers, including author and TV gardener, Melinda Myers, and Micheal Weishan, host of the PBS program, The Victory Garden.

The educational component is Friday. Thursday is all fun, with a full day of garden tours. I’ll report back tomorrow night.

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