Vern's vine Master Gardener and melons

Master Gardener Rich Apking, who volunteers at the University of Nebraska Extension office in Fremont, slices open melons on Wednesday.

Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune

Master Gardeners help public with questions

Tammy Real-McKeighan

News Editor

Rich Apking of Winslow is a Master Gardener.

What are Master Gardeners?

They’re trained volunteers who help University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educators provide horticultural information to the state’s residents.

They provide only researched-based information, providing accurate and tested answers, states information provided by the extension office in Dodge County.

Classes take place at the extension office. Those accepted into the program may attend the 40 hours of training.

Subjects covered include: botany, soils, fertilizers, lawn care, vegetable gardening, annual and perennial flowers, trees and shrubs, water gardening, insect, disease and weed control.

Extension staffers teach the classes.

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In exchange for training, participants must volunteer one hour of service for each hour of training received. Master Gardeners must re-certify to stay active in the program. Re-certification means completing 10 more hours of classroom training and completing 20 or more hours of volunteer service.

Apking has been a Master Gardener for years.

“It’s been pretty busy the last month or so with the Japanese beetles and people talking about the emerald ash borer,” he said.

Those wanting more information about becoming Master Gardeners may contact: Natalia Bjorklund, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, 1206 W. 23rd St., Fremont, NE 68025-2504 or via email at: or phone: 402-727-2775.


News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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