Originally Posted by Kat2
BTW, I have nothing against MGs but some are better than others I've found.
Here in California, I have yet to meet a Master Gardener who knew anything beyond hearsay or could tell the difference between symptoms of a virus and nutrient deficiency. Perhaps this is why in California many county agricultural extension offices have divorced themselves from master gardener associations.
Historically, the county agriculture extension offices in the U.S. employed librarians to answer questions submitted by phone call or letters about crops and gardens. Each ag extension office had a library of crop information, and the librarians would quote answers from the textbooks. With the advent of fax machines and then the internet, their job became obsolete. From them, the master gardener associations arose. Originally these folks had some book knowledge but many of them had no practical application knowledge. Further, since they had no schooling in horticulture they were prone to adopting counter-culture beliefs. Soon they were advocating practices that were rejected by standard double-blind field tests -- and hence the divorce began. One of them ended up becoming a writer for the local San Diego newspaper. Myself and others have made quite a bit of money as consultants correcting his recommendations, but still the heartbreak is the number of gardeners left feeling that they do not have green thumbs.