21 August 2011

SC Master Gardener Class - Online

A few years ago I decided I was ready to take the Master Gardener class that the Clemson Extension offers every year.  I filled out a long application with a short essay and had a phone interview.  I felt proud to be accepted, though I didn't take the class because of scheduling conflicts.  I bought the MG Training Manual in advance, so when I didn't take the class, I decided that I didn't need to, now that I had the book.  Even though my intention was to slowly work my way through the book, I hardly even cracked it, except to read the vegetable gardening section and to identify pests.

Recently, I felt like my gardening skills had plateaued and I wasn't getting as much out of gardening as I used to - so I decided to look into signing up for the class again.  I thought I still had time, but when I looked it up, the class was closed and wouldn't be open again until next fall.  I was disappointed, but a couple of weeks later, I found out that they were going to offer an online version of the class.  It's pretty much the same structure, except there are video lectures, and home activities instead of classroom work.

I signed up for it and it started this week.  We have reading assignments, video lectures, activities to do at home, class discussions on a message board and online quizzes.  I haven't taken a class in a number of years, so it's going to be a little tough at first.  The first chapter on soil has a little bit of chemistry in it, but the good thing is that I can take my time and let it all soak in, since I have a whole week.

Like I'm doing with gardening tips, I think I'm going to do a series with stuff I'm learning in this class.  I have at least two ideas in this one chapter alone that I want to write about.  I may find too many things and not be able to keep up with it, but we'll see.

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