What’s Growing On: Master Gardener Program adjusting to pandemic

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:40 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Most businesses and activities people enjoy doing have been sidelined or negatively affected by the pandemic. Gardening, though, has become more popular.

“Alachua County residents and residents throughout the state are at home more, so a lot of them actually took up gardening as new hobbies," Says UF/IFAS Extension agent and Alachua County Master Gardener Program head Taylor Clem. "It actually made IFAS Extension as well as the Master Gardner Volunteer Program that more important because people are reaching out to us.”

Clem has led the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Alachua County for the last 2 years. He says due the pandemic they had to make some quick changes to the program, which included more online webinars and a new podcast.

Clem says they have also set up the master gardener volunteers help desk to where the volunteers can answer questions people have from home.

With florida in phase 3 reopening, they are able to start doing more in person activities with the Master Gardeners.

“The master gardeners have been chomping at the bit and they’re ready to get back out,” says Clem. "They’ve been out at the school gardens and helping get school gardens ready for when students are able to come back. They’re also working in some of the demonstration gardens.”

Clem also wants people to know if they have any gardening or landscaping questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to their counties extension office.

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