Learn – All Master Gardeners receive 50 hours of instruction in gardening practices and pest control and conduct 50 hours of approved volunteer service.
Teach – Master Gardeners spend some of their time teaching about gardening through home consultations, garden club sessions, local education programs and by volunteering at booths at the county fair, farmers markets and other community events.
Grow – Master Gardeners love growing their own flowers, household plants, vegetables, herbs and more. In addition, many volunteer at local community gardens and botanical gardens.
Share – Master Gardeners are willing to share their expertise, seeds, seedlings and enthusiasm with others. Most participate in local plant swaps and plant sales.
Volunteer – Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who serve in their communities, churches, neighborhoods, schools and local gardens. There are Master Gardeners in all fifty states.
History of Shelby County Master Gardener Association 1995-2013
In 1995 several other Alabama counties had already begun Master Gardener groups and our very own Nelson Wynn decided Shelby County needed to follow suit. He took flyers around to nurseries and other places gardeners would frequent. Our first class was held in August of that year.
Just as soon as these class members finished their courses and did their 40 hours of community service, the association was formed.
A class has been held every year with the exception of 1998. Those first years were a time of growing and adapting to our members needs. The first meetings were held in homes until we outgrew most living rooms. The idea of having a pot luck lunch following our meeting began and we hope it never goes out of style. We have all agreed that our members are some of the best cooks in the country. We have always been able to get good and interesting speakers for our monthly meetings. Our regular meeting date of the 2nd Friday at 10 AM has proved to be the best time for most folks. Through the years we have tried a night class and night meeting on special occasions. These have not proved satisfactory and are being discontinued. We continue to have plant/seed swaps and tour the yards and gardens of our people.
We always have several members attending the state convention as well as regional meetings. Some of our members have held positions on the state board. Many members are available for speaking engagements as well as teaching our new class members. The knowledge gained from this program has been shared with countless others through our volunteers.