Tuesday, November 6, 2012

And What a Great Year it Has Been! by Steve Sherwood

On October 12th, five members of the Jefferson County CMG program took part in a Health and Wellness Fair at Lockheed Martin.  Over the course of the day we talked with an estimated 500 to 600 employees about gardening and the CMG program.  What made our booth special was the way we actively engaged people.  While many of the people staffing booths sat behind their table and waited to be approached, we waded right into the crowd and asked people if they had any gardening questions. 

What surprised me was, when asked if they garden, how many people replied “no.”  However, after further questioning, I discovered that almost every participant was involved in some sort of gardening.  Some people discovered that taking care of their lawns or watering flowers planted in pots were all a part of gardening, albeit a small part in some cases.  

As my year as an apprentice master gardener comes to a close, like many of the folks at the Wellness Fair, I have discovered that the world of gardening is much more inclusive and extensive than I would have ever guessed when I started the classes last January.  For example, after spending 33 years with the U.S. Forest Service, I never considered the fact that we manage millions of acres of trees for a variety of purposes (i.e. wildlife, timber production, aesthetics) to be a part of the greater body of knowledge called gardening.  Working with fellow apprentices and seasoned master gardeners, I feel like they have opened a whole new world of opportunities that I can pursue for the rest of my life.  That’s inspiring!  

I want to say thanks to all of those folks who have offered their time and knowledge to help me become a better gardener and a person who can now share my growing knowledge with others.