ORONO — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program will begin accepting applications for the virtual 2021 training on Monday, Jan. 4. The program spans March 1 through May 23, and will resume Sept. 7 through Oct. 31.

According to a news release from the UMaine Extension, the Master Gardener Volunteers program, designed to train volunteers in horticulture and food system-related community service, includes self-paced learning modules and live virtual sessions with horticultural experts.

Topics include vegetable and fruit production, plants for the Maine landscape, soil health, composting, pesticide safety and food security. Participants will be expected to volunteer at least 40 hours to complete the certification in the first year. Volunteer opportunities and expectations will be adjusted based on public health safety guidelines.

The $250 course fee includes all materials; limited financial assistance is available. Applications are due Jan. 24.

To apply and find more information about the program, visit extension.umaine.edu.

For additional details or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207-581-3188 or email [email protected].