Editor’s note: “A Better Life” is a new weekly column by the USU Extension – Tooele Office that will focus on a variety of topics intended to enhance quality of life.
If you are like me and are still wondering what to get someone for Christmas, I have a few suggestions.
For the gardener in your family, you couldn’t go wrong with the USU Extension Master Gardener Course, a 14-week, in-depth gardening and horticulture course that covers basic principles of gardening and plant science.
Some of the topics include: vegetables, tree fruit, turfgrass and landscape design. Class participants are required to complete 40 hours of community service if they want Master Gardener certification. Service opportunities include helping at the Tooele County Fair, participating in our summer season diagnostic clinic, helping out with 4-H youth in gardening projects and just about any other community service you can think of.
The purpose of the Master Gardener Course is to train volunteers to help Utah State University reach out and serve the local community. Weekly topics are taught by USU Extension faculty, and the course costs $150 for an individual and $180 for a couple.
The Master Gardener Course is a gift that keeps on giving long after the course is over. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. and will start Jan. 29 and run through April 30 at the Tooele USU Extension Office at 151 N. Main in Tooele.
Another great gift would be annual 4-H membership for your children or grandchildren. Regular 4-H begins when kids are 8 years old and in the third grade. Younger kids in grades K-2 can participate in a more limited way as a Cloverbud. The 4-H year begins Oct. 1 and runs until Sept. 30.
The general registration cost is $5 for the entire year. We have numerous programs that run throughout the year. Annual membership allows participation in any of those programs. For some workshops and programs, there is an additional fee or cost to cover and provide meals or materials. For example, sewing classes would have a cost to pay for material and thread. We usually charge $5 to $10 for our robotics camp to cover the cost for lunches.
You might think 4-H is just for kids who can raise livestock, but that is not the case. 4-H has expanded to include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). We have robotics camps in the summer months, a youth gardening program, and cooking, sewing and many other programs. We are starting a fishing program this year and are planning an ice fishing trip this winter. We are going to learn fly tying as well. Shooting sports is a popular 4-H program. We have just begun a Daylily Hybridizing program for the young biologists and geneticists in your family.
You might also consider giving the gift of being a volunteer 4-H leader. The secret to the long term success of 4-H is the many wonderful volunteer leaders and parents who are willing to spend time with youth. We have great information about how to start a 4-H club. The 4-H motto is: “To make the best better.” And the slogan is: “Learn by doing.”
For more information about 4-H and specific programs for the coming year, please call the USU Extension Office at 435-277-2409.
Linden Greenhalgh is the county director of the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele.