International Master Gardener Conference sprouts into West Virginia for first time

The countdown is on!  In just 5 days over 1000 Master Gardeners and friends of Master Gardeners will descend upon the capital city of West Virginia.  Folks are coming from 43 states (not sure which ones aren’t included), two Canadian provinces and three countries will come together to celebrate “green” gardening next week.  A delegation of folks from South Korea will be among their number, exploring ways to start the Master Garener program in their country

The conference, in coordination with the West Virginia University Extension Service focuses on “green” gardening and will feature talks from educators and leaders in the horticulture industry, such as Joe Lamp’l from public TVs “Growing a Greener World”, Barbara Pleasant from “Mother Earth News”, and Anna Ball from Ball Horticultural Company .

Conference attendees will gather for a “Taste of West Virginia” at the opening reception on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The meal features locally-grown and produced foods. Local favorites, like ramp chowder and smoked trout, appear on the menu. The reception is sponsored by Bob’s Market & Greenhouses, Inc., which is a major greenhouse producer for the east coast that grows hundreds of millions (yes, you read that right) of plugs for companies like Ball Horticulture.

Attendees will visit more than 30 breakout sessions on topics ranging from diagnosing soil problems to planting edible landscapes. The conference theme is “Color it Green in a Wild and Wonderful Way.”

Keynote speakers’ topics include “Trends in Horticulture” by Anna Caroline Ball; “The Layered Landscape” by Rick Darke; and “Growing a Greener World” by Joe Lamp’l.

The conference is sponsored by Ball Horticultural Company, the West Virginia Master Gardener Association and WVU Extension Service.

For more information, visit


John Porter

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent

WVU Extension Service – Kanawha County