When it comes to community outreach, the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Extension Service is comparable to the way Peace Corps reaches out to folks in other countries. The Master Gardener program is an important component of the CTAHR Extension Service. That program is set up to assist local folks with home gardening issues. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this service has been severely limited, but is again available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Kona Office in Kainaliu.
Hawaii is unique in its horticultural blend of plants and landscapes. Although we live in the tropics, gardening is heavily influenced by the ways of Europe and the Americas. This plus Asian, Polynesian and African agricultural influences have made landscaping and gardening fun but a bit complicated.
Fortunately, the CTAHR has been active in the development of the Master Gardener Program in Hawaii County. If you decide to get involved with the Master program you will have 45 hours of classroom and hands on horticultural training plus on going continuing education. Course topics include basic botany, native plants, nutrition, insect and disease management, propagation, pruning and much more. Once you finish the course you will become a local expert to assist others to be better gardeners. Master Gardeners also have several outings each year and get involved with community landscape projects.
Once we are back to normal times,