Consumer horticulture
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CONSUMER HORTICULTURE Bob Westerfield - Consumer Ornamentals Marco Fonseca – Master Gardener Program Wayne McLaurin – Consumer Vegetables Gerard Krewer – Commercial and Consumer Fruits Vegetables Ornamentals Fruit Master Gardener Gardening Trends in the U.S.

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Bob Westerfield - Consumer Ornamentals

Marco Fonseca – Master Gardener Program

Wayne McLaurin – Consumer Vegetables

Gerard Krewer – Commercial and Consumer Fruits

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Master Gardener

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Gardening Trends in the U.S.

  • Home gardening and landscaping – #1 hobby in U.S.

  • 85 million households participate

  • Consumers spent an average of $450.00 per year on landscape and garden

  • Georgia Value – 1.2 Billion dollars spent in retail garden centers each year

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Georgia Trends

  • Consumers more educated and environmentally sensitive

  • Steady increase in the past 10 years in call volume for agents and specialists

  • 1997 – creation of Consumer Horticulture/Master Gardener Coordinator position

  • Need for more volunteer assistance through the Master Gardener Program

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Georgia Master Gardener Program

  • Program began in 1979 around Atlanta with 150 people in 4 counties

  • Currently we have trained over 9000 volunteers in 110 counties

  • Currently have 3000 active Master Gardeners

  • In 2001, MG’s returned over 100,000 hours of volunteer time across the state

  • Value of volunteer time and travel close to 1.5 million dollars.

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Other MG Products

  • Horticulture therapy

  • Wildlife habitats

  • Junior master gardener program

  • Demonstration gardens

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Master Gardener Funding

  • Program generates approx. $32,000 per year through book sales

  • Program funds 20 hour per week program assistant position

  • Proceeds fund complete operating and travel budget for the coordinator and assistant

  • $30,000 in recent grants have funded an advanced Master Gardener Coordinator position

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Georgia Master Gardener Association (GMGA)

  • Supports state program, ie conferences, advanced training

  • Offer small grants for MG projects

  • Purchased equipment for state program

  • Publish quarterly newsletter for all members

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Horticulture Faculty Involvement in the Master Gardener Program

  • Creation of State Master Gardener Coordinator Position in 1997

  • Hort. Faculty currently teach 60 to 75 MG classes a year

  • Development of Advanced MG training in 1998

  • Development of resources such as slide sets (powerpoint) , administrative manuals, and text book

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Continued … Program

  • MG web page ( and list serve

  • Advanced training

  • State and regional conferences

  • Collaborative state projects

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Consumer Horticulture – Vegetables ProgramDr. Wayne McLaurin

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Sample Publications Program

  • Growing Vegetables Organically

  • Home Vegetable Gardening

  • When to Harvest Vegetables

  • Conserving Water in the Vegetable Garden

  • Herbs in Southern Gardens

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Herbs Program

  • Authored “Herbs in Southern Gardens”; over 1,000 sold.

  • Powerpoint slide series for landscaping with herbs.

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Composting and Program Waste Management

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Commercial Horticultural Waste Management Program

  • Organized interagency committee of university, state, regional and local governments.

  • Helped acquire $2.7 million Bioconversion, Research and Education Center at The University of Georgia.

    • Established Facility Operators Training Workshops at Bioconversion Center.

    • Trained 190 Administrators and personnel

  • Developed 15 demonstration/research state projects on compost/waste utilization.

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State-Wide Results from Horticultural Waste Management Initiatives

  • 38 compost processors and 553,600 tons/year processed.

  • 63% of local governments that now chip yard trimmings.

  • Nursery use of recycled material; 600,000 pots with incorporated sawmill waste.

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Consumer Horticultural Waste Management Initiatives

  • Co-created first state-wide home composting program

    • Trained over 800 compost volunteers (Handbook developed and utilized in 22 other states.)

    • Instrumental in creating 94 permanent composting demonstration sites.

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Consumer Ornamentals Initiatives

Robert Westerfield

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Consumer Ornamental Trends Initiatives

  • Trend towards drought tolerant and “bullet-proof” plants

  • Organic and BMP alternatives

  • More educated audience with information overload (not all correct)

  • Need for quick electronic transfer of information

  • People less likely to attend seminars.

  • Agent specialty training

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Faculty Involvement Initiatives

  • Commercial and Consumer Faculty involved – 50% of Q and A are homeowners

  • Select publications –

    • A compilation of Low-Maintenance Plants for Georgia Landscapes

    • Coping with Watering Restrictions in the Landscape

    • Environmentally Friendly landscape Practices

    • Best Management Practices in the Landscape for Homeowners

    • Xeriscape: A Guide to Developing a Water Wise Landscape

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Other Consumer Involvement Initiatives

  • Agent trainings – (winter school, tours and in-service trainings)

  • Consumer newsletter – Timely Tips, Hort Alert, Hort Fax

  • Center for Urban Agriculture (web page)

  • Field days and open houses

  • Digital diagnostics

  • Multi-state collaboration

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Continued Initiatives

  • Grant of $157,000 for nonpoint source pollution resource development (BMP booklet, training manual, and programs)

  • Radio Program

  • T.V. involvement –”Gardening in Georgia”

  • Metro Agent List Serve

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Consumer Horticulture Fruits Initiatives

Dr. Gerard Krewer

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Current Faculty Initiatives

  • One general specialist for most of home fruit calls (half of all calls are homeowner)

  • Tri-state funded apple specialist

  • Peach specialist

  • Specialized Agents

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Faculty Involvement Initiatives

  • Select publications:

    • Grafting Fruit trees in the Home Orchard

    • Home Garden Series, ie. apples, figs, pears, etc.

    • Numerous news articles

  • Master Gardener Support

  • County Agent Trainings

  • Multi-state agent Trainings

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Consumer Horticulture Needs Initiatives

  • Tenure track credit for teaching master gardener programs

  • Continued update of materials – slide sets, powerpoint presentations, manual

  • Travel money for specialists to assist agents with programs

  • Electronic delivery of programs, ie GSAMS or a web based MG program

  • Train the trainer program to encourage more MG participation in teaching classes

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Needs continued Initiatives

  • Specialized agent training

  • Additional computer support to add fact sheets and brochures to web site

  • Creation of strong computer data base for agents and master gardeners

  • Continued faculty computer training to enhance current skills, ie powerpoint

  • Full-time home fruit specialist

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??? Initiatives

Questions & Comments