Talking pollinators with the Somerset master gardeners

bull thistle pollinationLast night I had the privilege of speaking to a group of my peers, the master gardeners of Somerset County.  It was an informal pot-luck dinner for the alumni that the folks at the extension office organized to thank those who gathered for their time and dedication.  I was honored that Kathy Hopkins and Tom Goodspeed would think of me to present to the group, after all it’s only been two years since I began public speaking.

It was a good night out, Grammy came over to hang out with the two boys since Keith was at work (thank you Grammy!), and they had fun talking about animals and playing checkers while I ate scrumptious delectables that the master gardeners had brought to share.

During the second half of the event I gave my presentation–a power point slide show I had prepared all about pollinators, about why they’re important, who the pollinators are, and what people can do to help maintain the populations of pollinators in their own backyards.

As far as public speaking goes, I still feel a bit rough around the edges.  Sometimes I get going just fine, and then get flustered and stumble a bit, sometimes I forget names and facts being on the spot in front of a group of people, but I’m getting better at it.  Last night’s performance was probably my best yet.  And you know what they say: “Practice makes perfect.”

master gardener awardTo conclude the evening those of us who have completed the 20 hours of volunteer service required to become certified master gardeners were awarded a pin of recognition.

It’s been a pleasure, working with the folks at the extension office.  They’ve supported my drive to promote pollinators, allowing me to use that toward my volunteer hours.  They’ve given the Somerset Beekeepers a home, we love using their classroom; and they allow me the use of many of their resources in my pursuit to educate beekeepers and in my efforts to reach out to the community to teach folks to love pollinators.

Kathy and Tom, Gail and Tammy, and all of the staff at the extension office, are super nice and wonderfully helpful.  Not only do they support the my ambitions as a master gardener and as the president of the Somerset Beekeepers, but they’ve also supported Runamuk.  They are a vast wealth of knowledge and information, and I am grateful to have had the privilege of getting to know them even just a little.

Get to know the folks at your own local extension office.  Generally there is one in every county, supported by your state’s university, but also by local, state, and federal funding.  These people have information and resources at their disposal and are there to help their community.  So why not make good use of a good resource?

To find your nearest cooperative extension check out this page from the USDA.

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