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Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

Bob Kellam, Wake County

Gardening information for North Carolina
Author: Dee Shore

Bob, the 2012 President of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association, sees the EMG program as an opportunity to practice the sustainable techniques he believes are key to the future. Even in a place as urban as Wake County, he says, Cooperative Extension and the Extension Master Gardener program are important and relevant to our past, our present and our future.

Kellam, retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now lives on his family farm just outside Raleigh where he and his wife grow about 40 varieties of organic vegetables and fruit, have a flock of 85 free-range hens and keep bees for pollination and honey.

They sell via a CSA and farmer's markets. Bob says, My roots run pretty deep here, and I have a personal interest in conserving the farm for future generations. His grandfather bought the farm in 1935, and Bob grew up visiting and helping out there. The farm was also the site of his wedding to Extension Master Gardener volunteer Susan Wyatt, and they made it their home since 1970.

In addition to serving as an Extension Master Gardener volunteer in Wake county, Bob also serves as chair of Wake County's Extension Advisory Council, and he's a board member of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service Foundation at N.C. State University.

Kellam's involvement as an Extension Master Gardener volunteer helps keep him abreast of the latest research pertaining to gardening and to small-scale food production. That's not only good for his farm, he says, but also good for the people who look to him for information.

'The whole idea of the Extension Master Gardener program is to provide information - reputable information - to consumers and the public on consumer horticulture, he says. When providing answers to people's questions, we have to make sure we are using research-based information.

Excerpts from an article by Dee Shore

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