We support the Master Gardeners. Just this last week we donated a couple of hundred dollars in plants for their first plant sale. We have had the El Dorado County Master Gardeners come to our picnic grounds at the nursery the last few years for their annual picnic. The idea that somehow my last post was negative towards the Master Gardener program is false.Â Just as Don Shor said in the comments, "California already has the Garden In Every School program, a great opportunity for local nurseries to make direct donations of materials and time and reap excellent public relations. Iâ€™ve donated to every school in our area, participated in plantings, talked to school groups, all in conjunction with this excellent state program." So have I Don! Why do we need another layer of bureaucracy from the federal government? Gardening is local and having federal programs just seems to me a waste of precious resources. Lester Loam comments, "Do you know the budget situation of Master Gardener programs around the country?" Yea, most likely it's like all of our budgets, under strain. You just have to deal with it the best you can. Lester says, "weâ€™ve got the potential for an incredible increase in customers for seeds, plants and gardening supplies. Those customers need information about how to garden (and a supportive community to help them) or their initial forays into gardening will sour them for the long haul. There go your new customers." We already have had the incredible increase in customers for seeds, plants, and gardening supplies this year. Apparently the word has gotten out, without the federal governments intervention. Lester says, "master gardeners have been doing that for decades, and thatâ€™s why the program works." he continues saying that with more government involvement you are, "more likely to see networks of gardeners sharing information about what works in their area." It seems to me that that is what we are doing here, and other gardening blogs right now. In addition there are places called garden centers, run by people like me who are more than happy to fill you in on all your gardening questions and needs. We are local, need your support, and will keep the money here in the neighborhood. The resources are already in place.
I think Frank hit it on the head when he said, "Local govs can do more to get local farmerâ€™s produce to regional markets. Farm policy needs to address water rights/irrigation, organics, subsidies, etc. Please, Fed Gov - I beg you not to consider my five pots of tomatoes agriculture!"
Keep it local.