Evalyn Cabell joined the Minden Lions Club for their weekly luncheon as guest speaker, sharing her work with the LSU Ag Center’s Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardener Program.
The Lions listened with interest as Cabell, a master gardener herself, detailed the program’s projects and accomplishments, hoping to pull in more male members.
“We have a few (men),” Cabell said. “But not enough. The ones we do have are very hard workers.”
The Piney Hills Louisiana Master Gardener Program is a non-profit aimed at education and volunteerism in the name of safe gardening practices. The program teaches principles of gardening such as climate, fertilization and pesticides, among others.
The program has both state and regional coordinator, with the latter residing in Shreveport. All work is done under the umbrella of the LSU Ag Center’s Horticulture Dept.
To become a master gardener, one must go through a 12-week training program. The class meets one night a week for 12 weeks, with participants required to pass tests at the end of each class. Labs and field trips are also part of the program.
“You also have to complete 40 hours as a volunteer,” Cabell said. “And any master gardener who remains active must get 20 volunteer hours a year and 6 continuing education hours. We have 55 active master gardeners, and 59 total members.”
The program gives back through projects such as: Buds and Blooms, the 4H Gardening Project, 4H Funday, the Greenthumb jamboree and the Teaching Garden.
The LSU Ag Center’s Extension-Services building is located in Minden at 1202 Homer Road and the Master Gardener’s club meets on the third Thursday of every month.