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S. Christopher Marble, Amy Fulcher and Richard Karel

fastest-growing platform for formal education ( Allen and Seaman, 2011 ; Haynie, 2015 ) and is becoming a preferred method for informal education ( Dittman Research and Communications Corp., 2010 ; Rich et al., 2011 ). Online distance education programs

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Richard E. Durham and Candace Harker

Efforts to build an eXtension community of practice (CoP) for consumer horticulture began in 2005 as part of a funding initiative by eXtension to establish pioneer communities of practice ( Durham, 2008 ; Meisenbach, 2006 ). The community’s

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Alexandra G. Stone, Danielle D. Treadwell, Alice K. Formiga, John P.G. McQueen, Michelle M. Wander, James Riddle, Heather M. Darby and Debra Heleba

eOrganic is the organic agriculture CoP and resource area for the national web-based extension community of land-grant university content providers, eXtension. eOrganic was initiated as a CoP in 2007 (the first eXtension CoPs were initiated in 2006

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Eric T. Stafne, Edward W. Hellman, R. Keith Striegler, James A. Wolpert and Jean-Mari Peltier

with expertise in commercial grape production. To date, the GCoP has 89 members from 30 states and Canada, who interact through a variety of online methods to collaboratively create content on the eXtension website ( eXtension, 2012 ). The GCoP intends

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Elisa Solis-Toapanta, Andrei Kirilenko and Celina Gómez

Reddit online communities known as “subreddits,” which are focused discussion forums dedicated to specific themes. Nonetheless, despite active input from online community members, expert advice in social media platforms such as Reddit can be limited

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Amy McFarland, Tina M. Waliczek, Jayne M. Zajicek and R. Dan Lineberger

Review Board approval, the sample was drawn from two sources. About half of the sample population responded to the survey online where it was posted for 4 months, July through October, on one of the largest online resources for Master Gardeners. The

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Coleman L. Etheredge, Tina M. Waliczek and Jayne M. Zajicek

since it incorporates weight-bearing motions involving all muscle groups ( Turner et al., 2002 ). It is generally accepted that community gardening and growing food for personal use may increase physical activity and benefit individual diets ( Burges

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Emily E. Hoover, Richard P. Marini, Emily Tepe, Wesley R. Autio, Alan R. Biggs, Jon M. Clements, Robert M. Crassweller, Daniel D. Foster, Melanie J. Foster, Peter M. Hirst, Diane Doud Miller, Michael L. Parker, Gregory M. Peck, Jozsef Racsko, Terence L. Robinson and Michele R. Warmund

available for other stakeholder groups. For example, NC-140 cooperators recently developed an online interactive Apple Tree Spacing Calculator, but it needs to be modified for different regions and for the home gardener ( Perry et al., 2008 ). We have formed

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Richard Durham

A Community of Practice (CoP) for consumer horticulture has been formed as part of the eXtension system. The CoP was organized at the National Consumer Horticulture Forum held Nov. 2005 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The meeting was attended by representatives of 24 states from all four Extension geographical regions. The attendees discussed project priorities and began to build a framework for working together across state lines on eXtension-sponsored activities and other efforts. Initial plans from the meeting include constructing a National Consumer Horticulture FAQ database, developing online learning modules that can be used for Master Gardener training, and developing marketing tools to better identify consumer horticulture resources available through local as well as national Extension activities. This presentation will provide additional details regarding the Consumer Horticulture Forum, an update regarding consumer horticulture activities within eXtension, and an opportunity for members of ASHS to learn how they can get involved in eXtension. Information regarding eXtension CoPs (including Consumer Horticulture) is continually being updated on the eXtension CoP Web site ( and information regarding the Consumer Horticulture Forum has been posted on the Consumer Horticulture CoP Community Home page (

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T.M. Waliczek, J.M. Zajicek and R.D. Lineberger

A survey based on the Life Satisfaction Inventory A (LSIA) was used to investigate gardeners' and nongardeners' perceptions of life satisfaction. The LSIA was developed in 1961 by Neugarten and measures five components of quality of life including zest for life, resolution and fortitude, congruence between desired and achieved goals, high physical, psychological and social self-concept, and a happy optimistic mood tone. The survey was posted for four months on one of the largest online resources for Texas Master Gardeners within the Aggie Horticulture network, the Texas Master Gardener Web page ( During the 4 months, 402 responses were gathered. Additionally, identical `paper/pencil' format surveys were distributed to garden, church, social and community groups with about 400 responses received. In each group of participants, respondents differentiated themselves as gardeners or nongardeners by responding positively or negatively to the survey question, Do you garden? Results indicated statistically significant differences in comparisons of the overall life satisfaction scores with gardeners receiving higher mean scores indicating more positive results on the LSIA. When responses to individual statements were analyzed, results indicated statistically significant differences on 20% of the statements. Differences were detected on statements relating to energy levels, optimism, zest for life, and physical self-concept with gardeners answering more positively on all statements when compared to nongardeners' responses. Additionally, gardeners rated their overall health and their physical activity levels higher than did nongardeners.