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Master Gardeners host plant sale Saturday

When it comes to horticultural knowledge, Beaufort County’s Master Gardeners are second to none, and aspiring green thumbs can learn from the best this weekend during the Master Gardener Volunteer Pass Along Plant Sale at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service office in Washington.

Not everyone can claim the title of Master Gardner — the curriculum to receive the certification is demanding, with 80 hours of training, plus additional sessions throughout the year. Those who complete the course, however, in turn become resources for the broader community.

At its core, the Master Gardener program is about outreach and education. From helping Extension agents teach classes to making appearances in local schools and farmers markets, Master Gardeners help educate the public and foster excitement for making things grow.

“Extension is an extension of our land-grant colleges here in North Carolina,” said Gene Fox, the area horticultural agent for N.C. Cooperative Extension. “So, as I am an extension of land-grant universities bringing research and unbiased information to the general public, the Master Gardeners are an extension of me, bringing that same research based information to the general public.”

Master Gardeners in many cases propagated the flora of the plants for sale this weekend. Offerings include annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, along with a variety of pots and gardening décor. Most plants are priced between $2 and $10. Proceeds from the sale will help sponsor the group’s activities for the coming year.

“The plant sale is our largest fundraiser of the year,” Fox said. “We’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 to 1,500 plants that get sold. … The plants are cared for and propagated by the Master Gardeners as a group.”

The sale takes place this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service of Beaufort County, located at 155 Airport Road, Washington. Supplies are limited, so shoppers are encouraged to arrive early. Only cash and check will be accepted.