McDowell County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program 2019

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2019 Training Schedule

Attend an Information Session

The first step in becoming an Extension Master Gardener volunteer (EMG) in McDowell County is attending an information session. During this session you will learn what it means to be an EMG, and the training and volunteer requirements for the program. This will help you decide if becoming an EMG is the right choice for you.

Sessions are currently scheduled for:

  • Jan. 31, 10:00 a.m.
  • Feb. 4, 6:00 p.m.

Sign up to learn about these sessions and the registration link.

Attend at Least 4 Extension Gardener Classes this Winter/Spring

In addition to being part of Extension Master Gardener training, Extension Gardener classes are open to the public. Anyone can register for and attend these classes, each of which will be offered twice, on a Monday evening (6 p.m.)  and again on Thursday morning (9 a.m.). Some additional classes will be offered on Saturday as well.

Click on each class date to register:




Growing Fruits & Berries February 18, 6 p.m. $5
Blueberries (EMG Program/Meeting) February 21, 10 a.m.
Blueberry & Fruit Tree Pruning Demo February 23, 10 a.m. $5
Vegetable Gardening February 25, 6 p.m. $5
Vegetable Gardening February 28, 9 a.m. $5
Growing Vegetables from Seeds March 2, 10 a.m. $5
Growing Culinary Herbs March 4, 6 p.m. $5
Growing Culinary Herbs March 7, 9 a.m. $5
Annuals & Perennials March 11, 6 p.m. $5
Annuals & Perennials March 14, 9 a.m. $5
Trees & Shrubs March 18, 6 p.m. $5
Trees & Shrubs March 21, 9 a.m. $5
Lawns April 1, 6 p.m. $5
Lawns April 4, 9 a.m. $5

Submit Your Application by April 30

Applications for the McDowell County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program are due by April 30, 2019. To receive a printed copy of the application and Certification Agreement, contact NCCE-McDowell County Center at 828-652-8104 or email

Attend Orientation

An orientation session for participants accepted into the McDowell County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program will be scheduled for May 2019. The date will be based on participant availability, with every effort made to find a date that everyone can attend. The training fee will be due when you attend orientation. The fee for the Extension Master Gardener Training is $60. The Extension Master Gardener Manual is available online for FREE. You may also purchase a hardback copy for $51.05 (book, tax, shipping) or an e-book for $37.63. You can download the e-book on 6 devices.

Get Involved in Summer Activities and Projects

A variety of optional, formal and informal learning and volunteer activities will be scheduled for the summer including garden workdays and garden tours. Summer activities are a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and increase your knowledge and skills.

Complete EMG Core Training

Core training classes focus on skills you will need as a volunteer. To complete training you must attend a at least 5 core training classes, which will be held on Thursdays, Aug 29 – Oct 31, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a lunch break from 12 – 1. EMG meetings are held the third Thursday of each month, 10:00 – noon. Please plan to attend these as well.

Core Training – Date/Topic:

  • Aug. 29- Extension resources and finding research-based information
  • Sept. 5- Botany and plant ID
  • Sept. 13- Demonstration Garden Fall Planting
  • Sept 19- Soils and Fertilizers
  • Sept. 26- Plant diseases
  • Oct. 3- Insect pests
  • Oct. 10- Integrated pest management
  • Oct. 17- NC Arboretum Field Trip
  • Oct. 24- Weeds and weed management
  • Oct. 31- Final Review & Exam- ATTENDANCE REQUIRED
  • Nov. 14- EMG Graduation Ceremony

One or two field trips may be scheduled based on participants’ availability. Field trip locations will include the NC Arboreteum in Asheville and possibly a local garden center.


Volunteers will complete a 40 hour internship within one year of completing their training. Trainees are encouraged to begin volunteering during the training course by assisting with a class project.  Students in the class will determine the class project.