MARIPOSA COUNTY — The deadline is fast approaching to apply for the Mariposa Master Gardener training class, which begins in January. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 31.
Students will spend 17 weeks learning the ins and outs of home gardening from experts. All the information is based on University of California, peer-reviewed research.
The class meets for four hours, once a week, from January to May 2017 in Catheys Valley. The fee is $195, which includes several text books, and take-home materials. Each class member will have at least one mentor.
Prospective trainees must fill out an application and be interviewed. Applications are available on the website, cemariposa.ucanr.edu/Master_Gardener, or by phoning (209) 966-2417.
Students will have 18 months to put in the required 50 hours of volunteer work as new MGs. After that, the requirement drops to 25 hours each year.
The class starts with an introduction to horticulture in general and takes students through such topics as plant pathology, oak and pine care, dealing with critters and bugs, taking care of a home orchard, making the most of your water, growing fruits and vegetables, discouraging weeds, and plant and insect identification.
Mariposa MGs volunteer for a diverse garden of activities. Besides running the classes every other year, members grow plants and help at the annual plant sales (in Mariposa and in North County), present free workshops for the public, staff the Horticulture Building at the County Fair, maintain a native-plant garden along Mariposa Creek, set up shop at events including the farmers market and other community celebrations, and staff a helpline. There are monthly meetings for doing the group’s business and continuing-education presentations.