Who We Are
The mission of the Hancock County Indiana Extension Master Gardeners is to educate home gardeners of Hancock County and the surrounding area about the growing and care of plants and gardens. We use environmentally friendly, researched based information from Purdue University and other respected sources, and encourage more people to discover fulfillment in gardening. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Extension Master Gardeners must complete a 12 week, 40 hour Purdue University course in the art, science and technology of growing plants. Our local Purdue Extension Educator facilitating the course is Lais McCartney. Lais is located at the Purdue Extension Office on Apple Street in Greenfield, Indiana. In addition to the course studies each Extension Master Gardener must complete the required annual continuing education and volunteer hours to remain certified. You can find information about the state Purdue Extension Master Gardener program here.
Helping Others Grow
Extension Master Gardeners have a wide range of opportunities to share their plant and gardening knowledge to educate home and junior gardeners through our many community projects and programs. Extension Master Gardeners also increase their own plant and gardening knowledge through continuing educational presentations offered at our monthly meetings, Purdue webinars, and guest speakers who present a wide range of horticultural subjects. Through our activities we exchange ideas, make new friendships, and above all have fun. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener be sure to check out Become a Master Gardener page.
Extension Master Gardener Team
As of February 2023, our Hancock County Extension Master Gardener team consists of 44 certified Master Gardeners and 18 Master Gardener Interns who have successfully completed the Extension Master Gardener training and are volunteering for various projects to meet the requirements for final certification.
Our Leadership Team for 2023 is: Teresa Bowlby (President), Steve Bowlby (Vice-President), Lynn Meier (Secretary), and Bob Mattsey (Treasurer).
Ask a Master Gardener
Ask a Master Gardener is a free service offered by Hancock County Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Ask your plant and gardening questions and they will be researched and answered by a trained Advanced Extension Master Gardener. Click here if you have a plant question for a Master Gardener.
Check out our Backyard Botanist column which cover a variety of topics from vegetables to flowers to insects to critters. Backyard Botanist posts are composed by Hancock County Extension Master Gardener volunteers.
Hancock County Master Gardener Activities
Garden Learning Center
Our Garden Learning Center is located on the grounds of the Purdue Extension Office and is open to the public at no charge 7 days a week. The gardens include; butterfly, pollinator, daylily, ornamental, wildflower and a demonstration vegetable garden. All produce from the vegetable garden is donated to a local soup kitchen.
Indiana State Fair
The Hancock County Master Gardeners assist with staffing the Purdue Extension Master Gardener booth at the Indiana State Fair and the Spring Flower and Patio show. The purpose of the booth is to assist visitors in gaining gardening knowledge and answering gardening related questions. Stop by and visit with us while you are at the Fair.
4-H County Fair
Annually we setup, staff and maintain a Master Gardener booth at the 4-H County Fair. The purpose is to educate Hancock County residents on our program, answer plant related questions, and teach and stimulate young gardeners interest in growing plants.
Award an annual scholarship to local college students enrolled in a major related horticulture field and award the Best of Show awards in Flowers and Vegetables at the annual County 4-H Fair.
Shared Harvest program; Members currently do monthly interactive educational presentations on selected topics to local assisted living facilities. The group also does a monthly “Seed Library” speaking series in adjoining Henry County in cooperation with the New Castle-Henry County Public Library.
Answer Your Questions
Annual Green Thumb Program
In collaboration with the Hancock County Public Library, Master Gardeners are creating a free “Green Thumb” interactive educational series bringing in regionally well-known horticultural experts to speak to the public. Our first program was held April 2nd 2016 with keynote speaker and “Hoosier Gardener” columnist, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp who presented educational talks on Best Plants For Indiana Landscapes and Shrubs, Trees and Woody Vines. Additionally, Master Gardeners set up tables to provide educational information on plants, garden pollinators, and Hosta dividing demonstrations. Free milkweed seeds, bulbs and tree seedlings were also offered.