The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program for for Knox, Lincoln and Waldo County is now open for applications.

The Master Gardener Volunteer program provides participants with more than 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In addition, volunteers are trained to conduct and join sustainable horticulture projects in their communities.

This year’s program will focus on growing fruits and vegetables. Trainees will receive the latest research-based information from UMaine Extension educators and industry experts. The 13 classes that make up the training begin on Oct. 6 and will be held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. in Waldoboro, Belfast and Waldo.

In the spring of 2012, participants must attend two of three tours and hands-on workshops at other sites. To complete the course, participants must volunteer a minimum of 40 hours at approved community projects in their first year. There are many ways to volunteer – demonstration gardens, school programs, Maine Harvest for Hunger campaigns, articles, public talks and more.

Applications are due Sept. 16. The program costs between $110 and $330 based on a sliding income scale. FMI, contact the Knox-Lincoln office: 207-832-0343 or 800-244-2104 (in Maine) or jeanne.pipicello@maine.edu