Although I am familiar with the beginnings of the Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association, the best place to go for information on dates, times, and locations of current Master Gardner and UT Extension activities is the Master Gardeners website. , www.ccmga.org.
The location of the Crossville UT extension office is 1398 Livingston Rd, Crossville, TN 38571, 931-484-6743. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Webpage: https://cumberland.tennessee.edu.
The United States Extension Service Master Gardener Program was started in Washington State in 1972. Home gardening was all the rage at that time. Extension service offices in urban and suburban areas were overwhelmed with garden/landscape related questions from homeowners. The concept was to provide academic training to volunteers with a good knowledge of gardening and in return these ‘master gardeners’ would assist extension staff in educating consumers about horticulture in these communities. The program has expanded to most states and although Canadian provinces and some states are not administered by a land-grant university, they are affiliated with this program, so the MG program is now international.
The University of Tennessee administers our state Cooperative Extension Service and the UT Extension Master Gardener program. When looking for horticultural publications relevant to yards and gardens (most free when downloaded) and other gardening information online, as well as personal assistance at our local office in Crossville UT Extension or at one of the many UT Extension-sponsored events of interest to home gardeners offered each year throughout the state, I say “Go big Orange!”
The number of new home constructions and existing home sales over the past three years indicates that many people have moved to this area from other parts of Tennessee as well as other states, and perhaps a few new neighbors have moved from countries other than the United States. States. Good living conditions, a scenic area and affordable golf courses made Cumberland County attractive when my husband and I were looking for a future retirement location. We built a house near Crossville in 1994. As a long-time gardener before moving, I can understand the questions gardeners moving here today might have.
Wherever the newcomers lived before settling here, there was a unique combination of soil types, water availability and flow, weather/climate, and living things that combine to make up this called an ecosystem. These people may want to set up vegetable gardens in the back yard, flowers in the front yard, or foundation shrubs. Information on vegetables, flowers, trees and/or shrubs suited to the growing conditions here would be helpful. Others may be planning to install or renovate the entire landscape around their residences. Our local soil, water flow, typical weather conditions and plant hardiness zone would be of interest to both new residents and those new to cultivation.
In 1998, I and about 29 others signed up for the first Master Gardener training course offered in Cumberland County.
In the past 23 years as a master gardener, I have learned far more than the local growing conditions and hardiness of plants in Cumberland County, Tennessee, but these basics have prompted most of my group to MG training to register. After graduation, we first organized and then developed community service projects and garden presentations as ways to share what we had learned during our MG training. We also published garden-related UT Extension posts. Then I and other MGs wrote articles for a weekly yard and garden column that appeared in the Crossville Chronicle newspaper for 18 years (1998-2016). The target audience was county residents interested in home gardening and landscaping. Articles also cite nearby web pages and/or physical locations that people interested in home gardening would like to visit.
The following images from my Cumberland County Master Gardener Photo Collection provide a brief history of CCMG. Lots of learning: in the classroom, on tours/excursions, through research to diagnose plant diseases and pests, and through hands-on planting and landscaping projects. Information then shared in alliance with UT Extension. Serving our region through educational and community projects.
Do you have questions about gardening on the Cumberland Plateau? What yard and garden topics do Crossville-area readers want?
Email your suggestions to [email protected]