(The Santa Barbara graduation class–spring 2007)
Several coastal California counties have started Green Gardener Certification programs (that was Santa Barbara–here is Monterey)–and by "gardener," we mean "one who makes their living taking care of other people’s gardens." The classes,which are offered in both Spanish and English, teach water conservation, pesticide reduction, pollution prevention, and other such ‘green’ practices.
Self-employed gardeners can take the class (costs seem to run $40-$60 for the course, which is usually held at a community college for continuing education credit), and landscape companies are sending their crews. Homeowners can go to the website to look for certified gardeners, and they’re also encouraged to talk to their gardeners about getting certified.
I’d love to see this take off across the country. Imagine:
1. Non-gardeners go organic without even realizing it.
2. Those bland, contractor-designed gardens in newly-built suburbs may continue to offend the eye, but they won’t offend the earth.
3. Landscape crews don’t have to handle harmful chemicals all day long.
What’s not to like? If this isn’t happening in your county, Monterey has some information here about how to get it started.