The Latest Dirt - July 2022
Continuing Education: Science-based, UC-focused, Master Gardener-relevant
By Terri Takusagawa, Continuing Education Project Lead
The Continuing Education (CE) team’s goal is to provide learning opportunities that expand your understanding of the science and practice of horticulture to help you carry out our mission. Our emphasis is on science-based education, preferably from UC or other cooperative extension sources, with relevance to UC Master Gardener volunteer roles. For 2022, we are experimenting with innovative educational offerings, exploring advanced topics and/or incorporating problem solving, skills development, and experiential learning techniques. After two years of mostly online (Zoom) offerings, we are happy to include more in-person learning opportunities this year.
The first of our 2022 series of CE Workshops at Our Garden was held on June 4th. It was a fun and interactive morning of learning together and enjoying the beautiful garden! Participants rotated through three stations led by knowledgeable instructors/facilitators (kudos!) – Irrigation (Steve Griffin), Good & Bad Fungi (John Fike and Mike Corby), and Composting (Joie Spinelli, Kurt Larson, and Bob Archer). Instructors provided science-based knowledge through short talks and demos, and participants interacted via hands-on activities, problem solving, discussions, and questions. The focus was on knowledge and skills relevant to UC Master Gardener volunteer roles. We received positive feedback about the enjoyable interactive learning experience and the opportunity to meet in person.
- I liked the small size of each group and being more hands-on than our zoom workshops.
- Being able to see the implementation of the concepts firsthand in the garden is invaluable
- Nice to see other MG as well as hearing from experts in a hands-on place.
- I appreciated the references to questions often fielded in AAMG, along with their answers, of course!
- Good hands-on, eyes-on presentations. Way better than zoom.
- I appreciated hearing from fellow participants who enhanced the presentation… even though all presenters were extremely knowledgeable (and humble)! All comments and questions were encouraged.
And the participants also asked for more! We now have two more Workshops at Our Garden planned this year, in August and October. The workshops will feature seasonal topics in the context of Our Garden. Watch for our announcements for more details.
We are also working on interactive Zoom workshops to explore some of the common topics and questions from our clients at the Help Desk, Ask a Master Gardener tables, or other client-facing venues. The workshops will provide opportunities to learn and practice UC Master Gardener- relevant skill within an interactive, collaborative format. The first will be offered in July, featuring common (and very challenging) rodent pests. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming in-person or Zoom CE events!
In addition to our internally produced offerings, look for our email announcements of approved webinars and classes from UC and other appropriate sources. If you are unable to attend scheduled offerings, find our list of approved self-paced options (books, recordings, blogs, etc.) in VMS News/Docs. The CoCoMG Hub (login required) on our website is another source for approved CE recordings. Find recordings of Zoom CE events in the “Continuing Education” section, and recordings of the 2022 New Volunteer Training lectures in the “New Volunteer Training” section.
With plenty of CE options available, you’ll be sure to find topics of interest and relevance to your role as a UC Master Gardener volunteer. Happy learning!