Understanding and Interpreting Soil Test Results – Join us for a practical how-to for reading and interpreting soil test results. Learn how to use those lab results to give recommendations to homeowners – and be able to amend your own lawn or garden too!
Agents and Coordinators,
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions imposed by our Governor’s Executive Orders and directives from VCE executive leadership, we are uncertain about when Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) will be able to start volunteering again. As a result, the State EMG Office has put the following policies into place for 2020:
- For 2020 only, we are suspending the 20 volunteer hour requirement for Extension Master Gardeners.
- For any active Extension Master Gardener who does not complete their 20 hour requirement in 2020, their status as an EMG will not be affected for 2021.
- For 2020 only, we are extending the timeframe for Extension Master Gardener Interns to complete their required 50 volunteer hours.
- For any Intern who does not complete their 50 hour requirement in 2020, they should be given an extra 6 – 12 months in 2021 to complete their remaining hours.
- The local VCE unit office should determine the length of the extension based on when their EMG training took place in 2019 or 2020. The local office should also factor in other extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis.
- The 8 hour requirement for continuing education will remain in place in 2020.
- There are a number of online sources for continuing education our volunteers can make use of, including this list on the EMG website: https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/ce/.
- Master Gardener College will be held online this year and will be another good education opportunity for our volunteers. Registration will open in early May and College will run from June 25 – 28, 2020. All sessions will be recorded and available for later viewing by registrants.
We know these are unusual times and want to ensure that our volunteers are kept safe and healthy during the pandemic. We know that Governor Northam and Drs. Jones and McKinnie are exercising their best judgement in the decisions they are making in order to keep all of our citizens, including Extension faculty, staff, and volunteers, safe and healthy to the extent they can. Likewise, our team wants to ensure the health and safety of our EMG volunteers and the clients you serve to the extent we can. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. Stay safe and healthy. And as always, our sincerest gratitude for all you do on behalf of VCE and the Extension Master Gardener Program.
The EMG State Office
1. College 2020 goes online – June 25-28, 2020
a. Master Gardener College this year will be held online rather than in person in Blacksburg. Please continue to hold the same dates, June 25 – 28.
b. We are working on the logistics of Virtual Master Gardener College now and hope to have more information and registration details out soon. Please expect an email in the coming week.
2. State Office Webinar Series – April 16, 2020
a. April 16 | 10 am – Interpreting Soil Test Results with Scott Baker
b. Join us for a practical how-to for reading and interpreting soil test results. Learn how to use those lab results to give recommendations to homeowners – and be able to amend your own lawn or garden too!
c. Register in advance: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/vJIqdu6urDMvK1zsj7wMfFsKm6bAt0VTbg
3. Submit a digital brag board for College 2020 – Deadline: June 1, 2020
a. Submit a digital brag board to show off your unit’s activity! Brag boards will be displayed digitally during College 2020. For guidelines and to submit your brag board:
b. Use this link to upload your brag board (requires you be signed into a Google account) OR email your brag board to Devon at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Facebook Live “Get Gardening” Series – Thursdays through the spring
a. Join us Thursdays through this spring and early summer as we invite VCE professionals to join us via Facebook live for short sessions on beginning gardening!
b. You can watch live or check our page later to view the recorded & saved video!
c. Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/226756471734154/ UPDATE: Chris Mullins’s “Beginning Gardening” event has been RESCHEDULED FOR MONDAY APRIL 13 AT 2 PM – PLEASE JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!
5. Online CE opportunities
a. Online Resources for MGs We have put together a list of online CE opportunities volunteers can take advantage of while at home: https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/ce
1. Virginia is hosting International Master Gardener Conference 2021 – Norfolk, VA – September 12-17, 2021
Have you heard? Virginia is hosting IMGC 2021! IMGC is an opportunity to come together with other EMGs from across the nation for a week of tours, workshops, and speakers. Check out our keynote speakers and start planning your trip to Norfolk now: https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/
b. Keep an eye out this fall for IMGC registration!
2. IMGC 2021 Call for proposals – Norfolk, VA – September 12-17, 2021
a. IMGC 2021 is soliciting speakers for concurrent sessions and workshops. If your unit has had a great guest speaker who might be interested in this opportunity, please forward them this info! If you or someone you know is interested, please fill out our application form here: https://vce.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_emTq59MEsXzf3XD
b. Deadline for proposal submission is Friday, May 1, 2020
2. NC State Online Learning opportunities
a. NC State is preparing to launch a 2020 Online Learning Program! Discounts available for Master Gardeners and Agents – please email Devon at DVJ@vt.edu for information on discount eligibility.
3. View our most recent webinar
a. View a recording of our most recent state office webinar – Pam Bennet on gardening with smartphone apps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYWds9sP4Lw
b. For a full archive of state office webinars, see: https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/webinar-archive/
10. Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive pest insect– found in Winchester, VA- January 2018
a. Here at the Extension Master Gardener State Office, we want to showcase YOU