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Marion County Agriculture & Natural Resources

WVU Extension offers a variety of programs related to horticulture, agriculture and natural resources available for the residents of West Virginia. For a complete listing of all the information WVU Extension has for home gardeners, visit our lawns, gardens and pests section. While you're there, learn about the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program and how it benefits individuals and communities. Be sure to check out the latest from our popular WVU Extension Garden Calendar.

If you’re a producer, whether with large-scale animals or vegetables for your local market, visit WVU Extension's farming section for more in-depth information about agriculture.

If you’re interested in learning about the all the things that make West Virginia wild and wonderful, visit our natural resources section.

This Month in the Garden Calendar

Native Winter Squash

Delicata squash on the vine in the garden.

As summer turns into fall, most of the produce we harvested will begin to decay if not properly frozen, canned or pickled. If you are looking to add another crop to your garden that will keep for a longer period and double as decoration, look no further than a winter squash.

More from the Garden Calendar

Lawn, Gardening & Pests News for Marion County

AgAlert! Cucurbit Downy Mildew

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) has now been found in Monongalia County, West Virginia, as well as neighboring states – Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. For the latest information, visit the CDM regional map at https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) is a destructive disease that can affect most members of the gourd family or Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumber, cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, watermelon and zucchini. However, cucumbers are the worst affected cucurbit that can be completely killed in two weeks from the onset of the disease. 

Symptoms of the disease may vary slightly from species to species, but in general, it causes angular chlorotic lesions on the foliage. These lesions appear angular because they are bound by leaf veins. During humid conditions, the lower surface of the leaf is covered with a downy, pale gray to blackish mildew. 


Join the Fall 2022 Master Gardener Training

female planting in a garden

WVU Extension Master Gardener training, typically offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension offices around the state, will once again be available online via Zoom sessions. 

Something we learned through this COVID-induced way of conducting our training is that many people found it very appealing and wanted to have the online training opportunity again this fall. We understand that some prefer in-person sessions, but given the persistence and volatility of the COVID situation, the best approach is to have a hybrid platform. 


Join us for the 2022 Master Gardener Conference

The 27th annual Master Gardener Conference will be held on April 8-10, 2022, at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Garden enthusiasts and beginner gardeners from near and far are invited to join us this year! To register for the conference or find more information about the schedule and speakers, visit the Master Gardener Conference page.

West Virginia Extension Master Gardener Program.

Master Gardeners

We’re growing

The WVU Extension Master Gardener Program provides people interested in gardening with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills by taking part in Basic/Level 1 and Advanced/Level 2 training programs that provide in-depth training in various aspects of horticulture.

The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.

Benefits of becoming a WVU Extension Master Gardener

Among the many benefits for getting involved with the WVU Extension Master Gardener program, here are the highest-ranking ones:

  • Getting to know more about gardening and horticulture to expand personal horizons and be able to help others
  • Significant improvements in quality of life, including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem and nutrition
  • Offers opportunities for professional development through continuing training opportunities
  • Meeting like-minded people and engaging in the garden activities you are passionate about
  • Opportunities to assume responsibility
  • Encourages individual independence
  • Gaining respect in the community for your newly developed horticultural skills
  • Flexibility to conduct volunteer work

How do you join?

The first step is to contact your county office and ask about the training program. Under normal circumstances, the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program is offered through our local WVU Extension offices . The training program has been migrated to an online-hybrid platform. You will still need to contact your local WVU Extension office to go over the registration, fees, paperwork and how to get the manuals.

The Fall 2022 training series will run from August 25 until November 22. Classes will be held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Over the course of the 17-session online training program, you will receive 54 hours of instruction in a variety of topics, including botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil science and nutritional management, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants, garden wildlife management and West Virginia native plants. View the complete fall training schedule here.

From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener.

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Application

Extension Master Gardener Policy Statement & Guidelines

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Agreement

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Code of Conduct

How to order a WVU Extension Master Gardener Manual

County Master Gardener Program coordinators are responsible for signing up new trainees and will take care of ordering the manuals for those participants. Each coordinator will submit their county’s manual order to the WVU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources office by contacting Carra Higgins ( Carra.Higgins@mail.wvu.edu) or Mira Danilovich, WVU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator ( Mira.Danilovich@mail.wvu.edu). The office will prepare the invoice and send it with the shipment of the manuals.

Manuals are available in two formats: a printed version and an electronic version. Printed manuals are $75, and the electronic version is $30. You will find all the related information covered in 22 chapters across more than 1,000 pages.

Master Gardener Member Resources


Agriculture News for Marion County

2022 Agriculture Webinar and Dinner Meeting Series

Snow covered cattle in field.

Each winter, WVU Extension brings education, know-how and research right to your community through a series of educational dinner meetings. This year, we're offering a mix of virtual and in-person meeting opportunities across West Virginia for the 2022 agriculture education series!

Participants had the same opportunity to learn from WVU Extension specialists and industry experts about relevant topics to help you improve your own agricultural operations.


Lease Recommendations for Land Owner & Tenants

Ben Goff.

Ben Goff, WVU Extension Agent in Mason and Putnam counties, offers recommendations for landowners and tenants who want to prepare for the upcoming farming season and work to minimize their respective risks.

Goff covers a variety of tips for farmers and landowners regarding farm leases, including:


Register for 2021 Pasture Management Certificate Training

Barn on farm.

The Pasture Management Certificate Training is offered as part of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Agricultural Innovation Workforce Trainings & Certifications. 

Instructed by Kevin Shaffer, Ed Rayburn and Ben Goff from WVU Extension, this certification will teach farmers how they can improve sustainability to their operation by improving their pasture management so there is more available forage year-round. 


Beekeeping

The Marion County Beekeepers Association in Fairmont, W.Va., shares love for bees and helps new members learn about how to care and nurture their hive by way of experienced members' mentoring new members.

Visit the association website for events the association is participating and hosting, and how to join.


Natural Resources News for Marion County

Register for White Oak in West Virginia Webinar

Hand holding up a leaf from a white oak tree. The leaf is red from fall coloring.

Join us as we dive into the opportunities and challenges related to sustaining and harvesting white oak trees in West Virginia.

Tuesday, February 2


Register for West Virginia Woodland Stewards Seminar

Timber forest.

Join us as we dive into a variety of educational topics and learn more about how we can be better stewards of West Virginia's woodlands.

Tuesday, February 9