If you became a certified Master Gardener in Mobile County at any time since the beginning of our program in 1992, we encourage you to become an active member of the Mobile County Master Gardener Association in 2021. Maybe you have re-kindled your love of gardening during this year of COVID. Please consider joining us again. We need you!
If you've been an inactive Mobile County Master Gardener, there is no need for you to retake the Master Gardener Class. Just pay the annual dues of $25 to MCMGA. You'll be re-engaged with the many programs and volunteer opportunities in which we participate.
Current Projects: Mobile County Master Gardeners volunteer year-round in projects including:
· Dream Gardens: We maintain our extensive Dream Gardens at the Jon Archer Center, on Schillinger Road, in West Mobile. Volunteer Master Gardeners work in the Native, Shade, Herb and Vegetable Gardens, among others. All produce from our Vegetable Garden is donated to Haven of Hope, a non-profit organization that helps women addicted to drugs and alcohol take back their lives.
· Japanese Garden: We assist with seasonal planting in the Charles Wood Japanese Garden, at 700 Forest Hill Drive. Master Gardeners also helped clean up hurricane debris at the facility. We find it's the perfect place to 'socially distance' and get some exercise while enjoying and working in the great outdoors.
· MBG: Collectively, we volunteer many hours at the Mobile Botanical Gardens (MBG). MBG hosts the largest plant sale on the Gulf Coast every March and October. In a typical year, Master Gardeners unload trucks of plants from area nurseries, set them in their appropriate places, and are available during the sale to answer any questions customers may have about their planned or unplanned(!) purchases.
· Grow More, Give More: A new program Mobile County Master Gardeners are embracing is 'Grow More, Give More.' Inspired by the Victory Gardens of World War II, this initiative encourages and supports gardeners throughout the state to plant 'extra' food to donate to neighbors, family members, friends and/or food banks. The state-wide program officially kicks off here in Mobile County in January 2021!
· Helpline: We answer all your gardening questions year-round on the Gardening Helpline, 1-800-ALA-GROW.
· Ask a Master Gardener: A biweekly gardening column is written by a Mobile County Master Gardener in Lagniappe Newspaper, published weekly right here in Mobile County. 2021 topics that will be addressed include lawn care, the best trees to grow in a hurricane zone, pollinator plants, care of citrus trees, plus horticultural therapy, among many others.
· Horticultural Education: During the Covid-19 crisis, MGs watched online videos put together by the Auburn Extension Service and, more than a few of our 'tech savvy' members. The videos keep our skills sharp, hone in on activities and/or gardening practices in which we'd like to participate, answer questions we may have and enable us to 'connect' with one another.
· Fundraising: Mobile County Master Gardeners was one of the few non-profits in the area to be able to host an annual fundraiser in a safe and socially distanced manner. Founded in the 1990s to raise money for continuing education, our annual Greenery Sale takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving, in partnership with the Mobile Botanical Gardens Holiday Market. Thanks to a committee that planned very carefully throughout the year, we were able to sell our hand-made greenery arrangements, mailbox toppers, paperwhites, swags, wreaths and craft items. Funds raised are used for our continuing education and to support a scholarship for an area student majoring in horticulture at Auburn.
Reconnect in 2021: Are you a long-lost Master Gardener who would like to reconnect with us? Email email@example.com.
2021 Master Gardener Class: If you'd like more information on becoming a Mobile County Master Gardener, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Master Gardener Classes for 2021 begin in early August and run through early November. Class meetings are on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. at the Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N, Mobile.
Julie Conrey, Vice President, 2021,Mobile County Master Gardener Association
Elise Saunders, President, 2021, Mobile County Master Gardener Association