If you have ever wondered what the Speakers Bureau is all about, considered joining it, or have an organization that could benefit from it, I think you will enjoy this post.
I became a Master Gardener in the fall of 2012. I had my first opportunity to speak as a Master Gardener in February/March of 2013. I was asked to present seminars to Barnstead residents who were interested in starting vegetable gardens. There were two presentations, Planning Your Garden and Starting Your Garden given at the Barnstead Library to 20 perspective gardeners. The presentations were well received and there were lots of questions. Being the first time presenting as a Master Gardener I took extra time to prepare. I was able to obtain PowerPoint presentations from UNH Cooperative Extension that I modified slightly and developed my talk. It was fun!
In the spring, I also gave a presentation combining the two mentioned above to a group in Durham. This time very little preparation was required. This was particularly rewarding because I was acting as a Master Gardener and as a member of the Durham Agricultural Commission.
In 2014, I spoke to two groups. The Somersworth Sustainability Committee requested a presentation on organic gardening. This was developed from a presentation given during my Master Gardener training. It was a relatively small group (approximately 10) that had been appointed by the Somersworth City government to advise on sustainability issues. The second was for the Bagdad Woods retirement community on Planning/Starting vegetable garden. There were 15-20 attendees. The result was that a group of the residents took a bed at the Wagon Hill Community Garden in Durham and started gardening!
In 2015, we received a request from the UNH Dimond library for gardening seminars for their lunch and learn group. Working with their coordinator it was decided to do two presentations a month apart. I used the same two seminars we developed for the Barnstead group in 2013. Again the events were well attended (20+) and well received. Later that year, I presented the Organic Gardening Seminar to a group of 15 at the New Durham Library.
In 2016, we have had more Strafford Master Gardeners step forward to speak. I organized a seed-starting seminar at the Durham Library and chose to ask Jeremy Delisle of UNH Cooperative Extension to speak. This presentation was a combined effort of the Durham Library, Durham Agricultural Commission and UNH Cooperative Extension of which Strafford County Master Gardeners are a part. In the fall, I will be presenting a Put Your Garden to Bed seminar. The aforementioned groups will again sponsor this.
Over the past several years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to speak to perspective and experienced gardeners. This fulfills the primary responsibility of Master Gardeners to educate. It also helps me to continue to learn while imparting information to interested parties.
I should note that the Strafford County Master Gardeners donated a new, high-tech LCD projector to the Strafford County Cooperative Extension office to facilitate future presentations.
If you think you or your organization might be interested in discussing the Speakers Bureau further, please contact us.
Submitted by: Vin D., MG since 2012