Training Program

2022 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

The Master Gardener Volunteer training will take place online beginning in the fall of 2022 with a few in-person learning opportunities. The online training will include self-paced learning modules coupled with live virtual sessions where participants will have direct access to dozens of horticultural experts from across the state. The course, designed to train volunteers for horticulture and food system related community service projects, will cover vegetable and fruit production, plants for the Maine landscape, soil health, composting, pesticide safety, food security, and more. Participants will be expected to engage in fun volunteer opportunities after the training takes place. 

Is online learning right for you?
Online learning is an accessible, affordable, and flexible learning environment that allows students to work around their personal schedules to obtain quality education.

If you are wondering if online learning is right for you, please visit Online Learning: What You Need to Succeed.  

Interested in applying for the Master Gardener Volunteers Program? 

The application period for the 2022-2023 Master Gardener Volunteer Program is open until September 1, 2022.

Apply Today!

Course Fee: Sliding scale* (see below)

  • $75: 75% discount: Suggested fee for participants for whom the full course fee would prove a barrier.
  • $150: 50% discount: Suggested for those who can afford 50% of the full course fee.
  • $300: Full price: Suggested for those who can afford the full course fee.
  • $400: Pay it forward: Pay for yourself and support those who cannot afford the full price.

*Please contact us if these payment options still proves a barrier for participation.

Course Format: The training program will take place online and be divided into two parts:

  • Part 1: October 24 to December 11, 2022
  • Part 2: January 9 to April 2, 2023 (mini break: February 27 to March 5, 2023)

Program Requirements:

  • 4-5 hours of self-paced learning content in the form of short videos, readings, activities, online discussions and self-graded quizzes each week
  • Attend one in-person class during the first week of the training
  • Attend two Zoom sessions to learn about volunteer projects in your area (date TBD)
  • Midterm Exam and Final Exam (open-book, grade of 70% required to pass)
  • Volunteer at least 40 hours on a community project (includes virtual volunteer opportunities) in 2023 to complete certification. Please note: Service opportunities and expectations will be adjusted based on public health safety guidelines.
    • In order to maintain the Master Gardener Volunteer certification, volunteers must commit to volunteering a minimum of 20 hours every calendar year with an approved project and submit an annual enrollment form.

Optional:

  • 3-4 In-person workshops (Please note: These workshops are regional and may require a longer drive)
  • Q&A sessions via Zoom with Extension and industry experts on most Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 7:30pm (the Q&A on Election Day will be rescheduled for Wednesday)

Micro-Credential: Participants who successfully complete the training and their 40-hour internship will receive the Master Gardener Volunteer Micro-Credential. 

Technology Requirements:  This course content will be entirely online with optional hands-on classes. An email address, access to a reliable internet connection, the newest version of your web browser and an electronic device (i.e. laptop, desktop, iPad, or tablet) with video/audio capabilities are required to complete this course.

Do you need access to a computer or reliable internet to participate in this training? 

  • To complete coursework: you may contact your local Extension office to schedule a time to use their WiFi during office hours (in the building) or use WiFi anytime from the parking lot.
  • Contact the National Digital Equity Center for no cost or low cost tablets for Maine Residents who are of low to moderate income.
  • Many public libraries have computers available for public use. Contact your local library for more information.
  • If you are still unable to find access, please contact your local Extension office.

Accommodations: If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact us at extension.mastergardeners@maine.edu or 207-581-3188 by September 15, 2022. If requests are received after this date, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.

Refund Policy: 50% refunds will be available until October 15, 2022.

Course Schedule (tentative)

Module 1: Volunteerism

  • Orientation
  • Volunteerism
  • Food Systems and Food Security

Module: 2: Foundations of Horticulture

  • Ecology
  • Botany
  • Propagation
  • Soils and Composting

Module 3: Food Production

  • Vegetables 
  • Vegetables Maintenance
  • Small Fruits
  • Tree Fruits
  • Garden Food Safety

Module 4: Garden Pests and Diseases

  • Entomology
  • Plant Diseases
  • Pesticide Safety

Module 5: Maine Landscapes and Design

  • Plants for the Maine Landscape
  • Landscape Design and Maintenance