Linda Thomas recently volunteered as a greeter for the Farm and Forest Expo. She met a couple who had a garden, as they talked they told her they had “white stuff” on this year’s crop of tomatoes and didn’t know what to do about it. Linda told them that in the future they should call the UNH Cooperative Extension Infoline and speak to a Master Gardener (MG) about the fungus. “They didn’t know you could do that,” Linda said. “I told them they absolutely could. They were so excited.”
As the new president of the New Hampshire Master Gardener Alumni Association (NHMGAA), Linda is a champion for all Master Gardeners — from the nearly 90 members who belong to the NHMGAA to the almost 400 MG graduates who do not. She says the last few years the structure of the association has changed and the challenges that once faced the association are in the past. “I want the association to be more responsive to all Master Gardener graduates and I’d like the association to become a stronger tool in support of the Master Gardener program.”
Linda, who lives in Candia in a house built in 1820, says “she wanted to learn more about gardening” and after prodding from a co-worker, she signed up and graduated from the Master Gardener program in 2004.
For 28 years Linda worked as a social worker at several children’s mental health agencies and retired in 2015. She has four adult children, one a foster child she and her late husband raised from a high school through college, and five grandchildren.
Linda belongs to the Candia Garden Club. She has always had a large garden, but at 78 years old, she says, “my gardening has been greatly reduced due to my age.”
Her main focus for NHMGAA is to see the membership grow. She says many people think to become a Master Gardener you have to have a big garden. “No, Master Gardeners is for everybody, not just big farm people.”
She invites all interested Master Gardeners to attend association meetings, which are held at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the UNH Cooperative Extension Hillsborough Country office in Goffstown. “We’d like to have input from all of the Master Gardeners in the program so we can continue to have good programs.”
Photo from The Forum
UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers share information about home, yard, and garden topics with the people of New Hampshire. Got questions? Master Gardeners provide practical help finding answers to your questions through the Ask UNH Extension Infoline. Call toll free at 1-877-398-4769, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.