About the New Hampshire Master Gardener Program



    The Master Gardener program started at Washington State University in 1973. The name came from the German word “Gartenmeister,” which roughly translated means “Master Gardener.” The originators of the program had worked in Germany and learned that Germans bestow titles for hard‐earned proficiency levels in various crafts.

    The New Hampshire program started in 1993. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers, who share their enthusiasm for gardening with the general public.
    By serving as volunteer educators in their community, Master Gardeners help UNH Cooperative Extension reach more people.

    A Master Gardener is a:

    • volunteer who is willing to work on horticultural projects that extend the outreach capabilities of UNH Cooperative Extension
    • gardener with interest, experience and knowledge of any type of gardening
    • teacher who is eager to share gardening knowledge and experience with others
    • student curious to learn scientifically-based gardening information

    This is a volunteer program and is not to be used for professional advancement or commercial advertising.
    Some projects that Master Gardeners are involved with:

    • Education Center Infoline - answering garden questions from the public
    • School/youth gardens - using school gardens to teach many topics
    • Community gardens - helping residents learn to grow their own food
    • Historical museum and nature center garden interpretation - providing interpretation about past and current garden benefits
    • Speakers Bureau - presenting approved programs to garden clubs, library groups and other civic organizations
    • Writing articles for local publications - sharing knowledge via written media
    • Ask a Master Gardener Info Booth - providing knowledge at Farmers’ Markets, community fairs, public expos

    The Next Class

    The 12-week training is offered each spring and fall.  The next class will be held on Thursdays from March 3 – May 19, 2022 at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock. Future classes will be in different parts of the state, based on demand and regional distribution.

    The fee for the class is $300 plus $25 for a printed manual (electronic versions are available for free). Scholarship funds are available. Anyone interested in the training must complete an application and qualified applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance to the class. Due to our emphasis on building regional cohorts, preference for this spring’s class will be given to candidates from Cheshire and western Hillsborough Counties along with other southwestern New Hampshire communities.


    Applications will be reviewed starting in mid-January


    Ruth Smith
    Master Gardener Program Manager
    Asst Extension Program Mgr
    Phone: 603-351-3831
    Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

    Amy Papineau
    Food and Agriculture Program Team Leader
    Phone: (603) 862-1601
    Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

    Nate Bernitz
    Public Engagement Program Manager
    Extension Program Mgr
    Phone: 603-351-3831
    Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

    Judith Hull
    Grafton County Master Gardener Coordinator
    Phone: 603-787-6944
    Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824