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. • 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
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
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.
Other MG Products • Horticulture therapy • Wildlife habitats • Junior master gardener program • Demonstration gardens
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
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
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
Continued … • MG web page (gamastergardener.org) and list serve • Advanced training • State and regional conferences • Collaborative state projects
Sample Publications • Growing Vegetables Organically • Home Vegetable Gardening • When to Harvest Vegetables • Conserving Water in the Vegetable Garden • Herbs in Southern Gardens
Herbs • Authored “Herbs in Southern Gardens”; over 1,000 sold. • Powerpoint slide series for landscaping with herbs.
Commercial Horticultural Waste Management • 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.
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.
Consumer Horticultural Waste Management • 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.
Consumer Ornamentals Robert Westerfield
Consumer Ornamental Trends • 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
Faculty Involvement • 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
Other Consumer Involvement • 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
Continued • 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
Consumer Horticulture Fruits Dr. Gerard Krewer
Current Faculty • One general specialist for most of home fruit calls (half of all calls are homeowner) • Tri-state funded apple specialist • Peach specialist • Specialized Agents
Faculty Involvement • 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
Consumer Horticulture Needs • 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
Needs continued • 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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