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  • Author or Editor: B. Rosie Lerner x
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Each US state was surveyed to obtain a list of teaching materials and methods used to extend information on comporting. Most states offer a bulletin on the subject and some have audo/visual materials. Methods of delivery include traditional lectures by staff and volunteers in most areas. Unique programs include the “Don't Bag It” program in Texas aimed at management of lawn clippings and the “Master Composers” in Washington State that develops volunteers trained specifically for comporting education. A reference list of materials and programs submitted for this project will be available.

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The general public is in need of education regarding the responsible use of pesticides in home gardens. A 1990 California survey indicated that many individuals never read product labels and do not follow safety precautions when applying pesticides. A 1991 EPA study found that the most frequently detected pesticide in well water was a breakdown product of DCPA, a commonly used herbicide on home lawns. A 1988-89 National Gardening Survey found that 39% of US households purchased pesticide products. Excerpts of a video tape titled “Read the Label”, which specifically targets the home gardening audience, will be presented. Because the subject of pesticide safety may be of little intrinsic interest to gardeners, actors were hired to lend a bit of light humor. Highlights feature Gordon Guardian, the Gardening Angel, who comes to Earth to guide Beth Homeowner through the proper selection, use. hazards, storage, and disposal of pesticides. Production methods, funding and budgeting of the video will also be discussed.

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In the United States, more than 80 million households participate in some type of gardening activity, including lawn care, vegetable gardening, and flower gardening. This considerable interest in gardening has led to the demand for accurate information about horticultural topics, trends, and research. One credible source for this information is the Extension Master Gardener (MG) Program, of which volunteering is a foundational component. Descriptive characteristics of Purdue Master Gardener (PMG) and PMG interns, characteristics of program participation, and volunteer behaviors were measured through an online survey questionnaire. Demographics, attitudes, self-efficacy, participation in the PMG program, and prior volunteering experience were measured and relationships between predictive variables and total volunteer hours were explored. Overall, the data revealed participants (N = 673) had strong positive attitudes about volunteering. Participants also reported having increased self-efficacy through participation in the MG program, and attitudes and self-efficacy were highly correlated. Based on the results and theoretical framework, a model was developed that can be used to predict volunteering behaviors within MG programs. The predictive model for volunteering behavior revealed that the number of years as an MG and the participant’s level of self-efficacy were good predictors of the total number of volunteer hours.

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“Plant Propagation” is a CD-based course that covers seed propagation, divisions, layering, cuttings, and grafting. It is multimedia at its best—hundreds of photos, illustrations, and videos show close-up details of each propagation method and create a fresh and enjoyable way to test the viewer's knowledge. Although designed for the amateur gardener, it is detailed enough to be used as a supplemental text in college-level plant propagation courses. Additional features include: 1) an extensive Resources section that lists additional book and internet resources, scientific names of all the plants discussed in the course, and sources for tools; 2) an extensive Glossary, including audio of the correct pronunciation of 50 terms; 3) a Basics section that reviews the different types of plant propagation, plant biology, and horticultural concepts, such as potting media, lighting, and plant growth regulators; and 4) a short discussion of the use of tissue culture for plant propagation. “Plant Propagation” is available for $40 from Purdue Extension's online education store at http://www.ces.purdue.edu/new/ . It's also available by calling (888) EXT-INFO or e-mailing media.order@purdue.edu. The product code is CD-HO-3.A free preview of the course is available online at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/plantprop/webversion/Intro.html . If you have questions about the course content, please contact the authors directly: Mary Welch Keesey (marywk@purdue.edu) or (317) 630-3257 and B. Rosie Lerner (rosie@purdue.edu) or (765) 494-1311.

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A list of the consumer horticulture publications available from the cooperative extension service of each state was compiled. This list was prepared under the auspices of the ASHS Extension Consumer Horticulture Working Group and will be available for distribution. This list includes extension publications, leaflets and other extension materials appropriate for continuing education programs in consumer horticulture.

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Indiana Master Gardeners were surveyed to determine their perceptions of adequacy of training related to pesticide use in the home garden and landscape. Respondents were also asked to indicate their attitudes regarding “organic” gardening practices and education. Of the 1054 surveys mailed, 568 were returned with usable responses. Of these responses, 217 had received some advanced training. More than 75% of respondents felt that their MG training was at least adequate in the areas of problem diagnosis, pesticide selection & use, and pesticide safety. MG training in non-conventional pest control methods was deemed inadequate by 43%. Organic gardening information and techniques were described as at least somewhat important by 92% of the respondents. Organic gardening methods are always practiced by 10%, usually practiced by 49%. MG training in organic gardening was described as thorough by 10% of the respondents, adequate by 47%, inadequate by 30%. No training was received in this area by 12%. Responses often varied with age, gender, and educational and training background of the respondent.

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Indiana Master Gardeners were surveyed to determine their attitudes and practices related to pesticide use in the home garden and landscape. The data are of interest for the purpose of preparing educational programs for Master Gardeners and the public. Of the 1054 surveys mailed, 53.8% were returned with usable responses. When questioned about protective clothing worn during spray application of pesticides, most respondents indicated that long sleeves were not worn (57%), that long pants were worn (71%), that protective shoes were worn (76%) and that breathing protection was not used (80%). A median response of 0% of pesticides were reported to be stored in a locked cabinet. However, of those pesticides that were not in a locked cabinet, 74% were stored at least 4 feet off the floor. Master Gardeners with children reported locked storage of pesticides more often than those without children. Responses concerning disposal of containers indicate an area for future education. Only 54% of Master Gardeners reported rinsing their pesticide containers prior to disposing of them, while 73% indicated that the containers were included in the regular trash collection. Responses often varied with age, gender, and other demographic characteristics of the respondents.

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