Dedicated Master Gardener volunteers answer home and garden questions big and small each weekday at the UNH Extension Infoline. Get to know the volunteers behind the Infoline with this ongoing series of profiles—and learn how you too can become a Master Gardener.
Will Lowenthal remembers exactly when he was bit by the gardening bug.
“I was in the seventh grade, and back then, we had to take a year of ‘industrial arts’—topics like electricity, drafting, woodworking and horticulture,” he says. “I wasn’t very good at any of those other things, but when it came to horticulture, I really liked it. I grew some radishes and my parents let me plant a vegetable garden in the backyard.”
That junior high class ignited a lifelong interest in gardening. Lowenthal has always had a vegetable garden in some way, but it was when he moved to his home in Derry about eight years ago that he was able to begin gardening on the scale he’s always dreamed of. His home garden yields so much food that he shares it with family and friends.
“I’ve got a large fenced-in garden with raised beds and perennials and some blueberries and strawberries,” he says. “We have fruit trees here that I’ve been tending to.”
His home gardening experience led him to becoming a N.H. Master Gardener. With so much gardening space to work with, he “became almost obsessed” with vegetable gardening, and whenever he read a new article or looked at a website, he’d see the Master Gardener program mentioned. In the spring of 2018, he completed his Master Gardener training.
“The great part about working at the Infoline is that you never know what you’re going to get for a phone call or an email. It keeps you on your toes. Plus, you have the backing of UNH Extension’s resources and staff behind you,” he says.
Lowenthal encourages home gardeners with a passion for volunteerism to consider becoming a Master Gardener. “If you have both those qualities, then by all means, take the steps and become a Master Gardener,” he says.
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