By Howard Voland
By the end of October, most of us are ready to put gardening away for the winter…or at least through the holidays. But come January, that green thumb can start to get a bit itchy.
The WSU Snohomish County Extension Master Gardener program has a number of ways to scratch that itch through lectures, workshops, and programs this winter.
For those of you interested in the importance of honey bees to our agriculturally dependent world—not to mention getting something sweet for your work—think about becoming a beekeeper. Five-week apprentice level master beekeeper courses start Monday evenings, Nov. 5, Jan. 7, or Feb. 25.
The Snohomish County Master Gardener program is now taking applications for their 2013 training class. This comprehensive 13-week training program on Thursdays beginning in January covers a wide range of horticultural topics that train Master Gardeners to become community educators and mentors in home gardening and sound environmental stewardship techniques.
What we do with our yards and gardens affects everything from ground water quality to the health of our rivers, streams and lakes, and into Puget Sound. And that affects our quality of life and, most importantly, that of our children. You can help by volunteering to become a Master Gardener. The application deadline is Nov. 5.
For those of you focused on edible gardening, there is the new Growing Groceries Volunteer Mentor training program whose goal is to increase access to local fresh, healthy food by training volunteers to teach and mentor sustainable food gardening practices to others. Training begins Feb. 9.
Detailed information about all of these training classes is available under the “News and Announcements” heading of the Extension website at snohomish.wsu.edu, or you may call the Extension office at 425-338-2400 during normal office hours.
For those of you who enjoy entertaining and informative garden lectures, the Snohomish County Master Gardener Foundation has announced their tenth annual Sustainable Gardening Winter Speaker Series.
Speakers include Dan Hinkley, Ciscoe Morris, and Cass Turnbull, among other Northwest favorites. A total of eight lectures will be presented every other Friday morning beginning Jan. 4 for only $85 for the series. For more information, visit www.gardenlectures.com or call the Master Gardener hotline at 425-357-6010.
Howard Voland draws upon sixty years of playing in Snohomish County dirt, and while he enthusiastically volunteers for the Master Gardener program, the opinions expressed are his alone. You can reach him through www.ravenwriters.com.