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:
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.