Purdue Extension plans in-person, virtual events


Purdue Extension Hancock County’s Master Gardener program maintains a lily garden outside the extension offices, 802 Apple St. The garden, which features many varieties, provides starter plants for gardeners every summer as a fundraiser for the program.

GREENFIELD – Hancock County residents are invited to participate in upcoming in-person and virtual events sponsored by Purdue University Extension, including master gardener training and a conference for farmers.

The spring 2022 Purdue master gardeners program will begin on Feb. 1 as a series of webinars. Purdue Extension specialists and educators from across Indiana teach the course. Topics will include soils, fertility, pest control, invasive species, pesticide safety and alternatives, and plants of all kinds.

To learn more about local soil and discuss how the topics covered apply to their own gardens, Hancock County participants in the program will also meet in person with extension agriculture and natural resources educator Lais McCartney.

“The Purdue Extension Master Gardener program’s main purpose is to train volunteers to assist Purdue Extension with consumer horticulture education in Indiana communities,” John Orick, the program’s state coordinator, said in a press release.

After completing training and passing an exam, master gardeners complete their certification by participating in 40 hours of community service.

“Indiana is a long, north-south state,” said Jeff Burbrink, a Purdue Extension Educator in Elkhart County who is on the team that planned the spring program. “Our climate and soils vary a great deal from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. We want to be sure that our Extension Master Gardeners can see how these concepts work in their backyard.”

Visit bit.ly/2022PurdueEMGTraining to apply for the program. The application deadline is Jan. 11. The training wraps up May 3. An individual registration costs $180 and includes a print version of the Purdue Master Gardeners manual. Two people sharing a print manual can participate for $280.

Hancock County is also hosting statewide virtual Grow Your Farm Fridays, which local residents can join either in person or online. The events take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on Fridays. For more information, visit extension.purdue.edu/county/whitley/grow-your-farm.html.

The Indiana Small Farms Conference will be back in person this year at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville. Registration is open now for the event, which will take place March 3-4, with a $140 registration fee.

Attendees can choose from 12 program tracks that best suit the needs of their farm.

“The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a great way to learn what’s new and what’s next in production, marketing, and other areas to make the most of your efforts in 2022 and for years to come,” Tamara Benjamin, assistant agriculture and natural resources program leader, said in a press release.

A full schedule for the event will be available in early 2022. To sign up, visit the Indiana Small Farm Conference website at purdue.ag/sfc.

Learn more

For more information about Purdue Extension Hancock County and its upcoming programs, visit extension.purdue.edu/county/hancock.