Lifelong Gardening Train the Trainer Program

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With age and certain physical limitations, gardening becomes more physically challenging and gardeners become concerned with keeping safe in the garden. Modifying gardens, and gardening practices, staying physically strong and safe in the garden and learning about ergonomic or adaptive garden tools and how to modify existing tools can make all the difference in helping a gardener age and stay longer in the garden.

The Lifelong Gardening program addresses all of these concerns and consists of 3 parts; garden design, body mechanics and tools. This is a program that the NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Buncombe County have been working for several years.

Alison Arnold, Extension Agent,  and EMG volunteers Nancy Humphries, Sue Bumby, John Bowen and John Fieselman were invited and traveled down to the Chatham County Extension Center to present a Train the Trainer workshop to 23 EMG volunteers from 14 different counties. This day long workshop included a full program presentation with trainer tips. After lunch the group broke into 5 groups, working with a Buncombe EMG volunteer trainer to prepare and present an assigned segment of the program back to the entire group. The group then gave feedback focusing on the positive aspects of their presentation. This gave presenters encouragement since many had little to know public speaking experience.

Each participant received materials and were encouraged to build a small team, similar to our work here in Buncombe, and offer this program to audiences in their own county.

The levels of engagement by the participants was very encouraging especially since a lot of information was provided and an all day workshop can be very tiring. We have gotten good feedback and are excited to continue to offer this program going forward.