Farmers market selling organic vegetable baskets

By Rod Santa Ana
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

A new twist to the old farmers market concept could soon have consumers enjoying weekly baskets of fresh, organically grown vegetables in South Texas, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist.

"With all the salmonella scares we've had recently in spinach, peanut butter and other foods, wouldn't it be wonderful to actually know your vegetable farmer and buy from him or her directly and know exactly what you're getting?" asked AgriLife Extension's Barbara Storz.

The concept is called community-supported agriculture whereby customers pay a subscription fee to have a grower produce for them the vegetables they want using safe farming practices and organic chemicals, she said.

"Community-supported agriculture is a very successful and common practice in other parts of the country," Storz said. "With an almost year-round growing season here, the Rio Grande Valley is an excellent place to do this."

Growers benefit by knowing exactly what to plant and harvest, while consumers enjoy organically grown, freshly picked vegetables at their peak of vitamin and nutritional content," she said.

"When we buy vegetables at the grocery store, do we really know what country they came from and which chemicals were used to produce them?" Storz asked. "Here consumers know exactly what they're buying for their families."

In this case, the growers would be participants of Grow'n Growers, an AgriLife Extension program organized by Storz that teaches low-income residents how to grow organic vegetables on their own properties, then sell them at the area's only organic farmers market in San Juan.

Fifteen families joined the program last year and organized a farmers' cooperative known as Familias Productores del Valle, or Family Producers of the Valley.

Their next farmers market will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 21 at North San Juan Park. Others will be held April 18 and May 16.

North San Juan Park is located at 511 E. Earling (the Nolana extension), between Raul Longoria and Cesar Chavez roads, some two miles east of U.S. Highway 281. Admission is free.

Idelma Gomez, a member of the farmers' cooperative, said while buying vegetables at the farmers market, shoppers can inquire about buying the weekly organic vegetable baskets.

"Once we know what the consumer wants, which could include vegetables not commonly sold in supermarkets, we'll provide those baskets on a weekly basis at a price of $10 to $20 per week. That's a bargain," she said.

For more information, contact Storz at the AgriLife Extension office in Edinburg at (956) 383-1026.

 

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center to reopen March 7

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange will reopen to the public on Saturday, March 7, nearly one year after its initial re-opening to the public in March 2008 and nearly six months after operations were suspended due to damages sustained as a result of Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

Although Shangri La received minimal structural damage during the hurricane, it experienced considerable flooding throughout the gardens, nature center, and outpost and bayou areas as well as to its administration buildings, garden store, cafe, volunteer center and nature classrooms. During the period of post-hurricane closure, the Shangri La team worked to restore the gardens by replacing many damaged or destroyed plants and adding thousands of new plants. In addition, the thousands of birds known for nesting in Shangri La's Ruby Lake have returned in great numbers.

Managing Director Michael Hoke said of the restoration efforts, "Hurricanes rarely have a silver lining but, in the case of Shangri La, our staff has used the time in which we have been closed to plant thousands of new plants in the gardens, and nature has renewed itself in the nature center. Visitors will experience a Shangri La that is more beautiful than ever."

The combination of gardens and nature at Shangri La presents a serene oasis for retreat and renewal, as well as the opportunity to explore, discover and learn.

Beginning March 7, Shangri La will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.shangrilagardens.org or call (409) 670-9113.

Gardening tips

If you suspect a late frost is on the way and you want to protect your small tomato transplants, try this. Fill a gallon size plastic milk jug with water and place it on the north side of the plants, as close to the plant as possible. During the day, the water will absorb heat and then during the night it will release the heat to provide several degrees of frost protection.

Have a favorite gardening tip you’d like to share? Texas Gardener’s Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a free Texas Gardener T-shirt. Here’s a chance to get published and be a garden stylist as well! Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Did You Know...

The spread of exotic plants in some state waters has rendered parts of these waterways unusable. That is why it is very important to be careful when selecting plants for your water pond or garden this spring. Some plants, such as water hyacinth, are actually illegal. Purchase plants only from a reputable and knowledgeable nursery. For more information on illegal water plants visit the North Texas Water Garden Society Web site: http://www.ntwgs.org/articles/illegalAquatics.html#water%20hyacinth.

Upcoming garden events

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "Getting Ready for Spring Gardening," February 26, 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., at the Yarborough Branch, Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin. Learn how a little planning now results in healthier and more beautiful gardens all year, what makes plants thrive, and pruning and fertilization techniques to get perennials, trees and shrubs off to a strong start. Also covered: lawn care, including the how and when of fertilization. Do your plants a favor and don’t miss this great kick-off to spring gardening. This seminar is free and does not require reservations. For additional information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Tomball: "Herbs 101," led by Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Thursday, February 26, 10 a.m. and Saturday February 28, 10 a.m. The basics of herb growing-easier than you think! Ann will focus on bed preparation and growing information for your favorite herbs. She will also include information on maintaining your herb garden. Lastly, expect to receive some tasty herb recipes! This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Bryan: Brazos Country Master Gardeners will host Swing into Spring the Earth Kind Gardening Way, Saturday, February 28, 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Brazos County AgriLife Extension, Bryan. This event will include four outdoor interactive mini-lectures and demonstrations: 8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m. — "Composting/Vermiculture" by Margrit Moores, Master Gardener & Master Composter; 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. — "Testing Your Soil" by Dr. Sam Feagley, Professor & State Soil Environmental Specialist; 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. — "Programming Your Irrigation System" by Charles Swanson, Irrigation Specialist; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — "Rainwater Harvesting" by Justin Mechell, AgriLife Extension Assistant. Download the registration form at brazosmg.com and pre-register, $10 per person. (In the event of inclement weather, event will be canceled.)

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners of Precinct 2 will hold a plant and fruit tree sale on Saturday, February 28, from 9:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Landolt Pavilion at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Road 1. The sale will feature fruit trees and tomato and pepper plants. Heidi Sheesley, the owner of TreeSearch Farms, Inc., a wholesale grower of perennials, natives and unique plants, will present a lecture beginning at 8 a.m. to highlight fruit trees available at the sale. Heidi's lectures are packed with gardening information. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Tomball: "Home Vegetable Gardening," led by Jeremy Kollaus, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Tuesday, March 3, 10 a.m. Jeremy’s low key approach to gardening appeals to the laid-back gardener in each of us. Not only an experienced vegetable gardener, Jeremy is also a great cook, so expect some culinary tips! This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Brownwood: The newly organized Brown County Master Gardeners Association will hold it first planning meeting Thursday, March 5, 6:30 p.m., at the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For more information call Mary Engle (325) 784-8453, or Freda Day (325) 643-1077.

Houston: The River Oaks Garden Club's 74th annual Azalea Trail will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 6, 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day, and will feature four beautiful private homes and gardens. Tickets for admissions are $15 before March 6 and $20 during the trail or $5 per location. For additional information contact the River Oaks Garden Club at (713) 523-2483 or visit www.riveroaksgardenclub.org.

Mineola: Master Gardeners of Wood County will host a Spring Conference, “Landscaping from the Ground Up,” Saturday, March 7 at the Convention Center in Mineola. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Speakers include well-known author Dr. William C. Welsh, Texas A&M University Professor and columnist for Southern Living, and Kenny Rollins, County Extension Agent of Titus County. There will also be exhibits featuring garden art, birdhouses, spring and fall flowering bulbs of East Texas and many other landscaping related items. The conference is open to the general public. There is a registration fee of $5.00. Following the conference, tours are available at the Governor Hogg Park and Botanical Gardens and Arboretum in Quitman and the Mineola Nature Preserve. For additional information, contact Pat Wilson at pmarts42@yahoo.com.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners Association Community Horticulture Education Series host "Rainwater Harvesting," a presentation by Greg Marsh, at 6:30 p.m., March 9, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. For additional information, visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org<.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Weed Control," Noon-1 p.m., March 9, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Paul and Mary Meredith will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Huntsville:Walker County Master Gardeners will present a free seminar "Creating a Backyard Habitat" on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 p.m. at the County AgriLife Extension Office at 102 TAM Road (located on the corner of Hwy. 75 North and TAM Road approx. 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop). The seminar will provide information on how to create a habitat for butterflies, bees and birds in your own yard using Texas native and perennial plantings, some of which are deer-resistant, too. Plants used by pollinators for larval food and nectar will be identified and earth-friendly methods for creating a habitat will be discussed. If you have questions, please call (936) 435-2426.

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association presents Dr. Carol Brouwer, County Extension Agent for Horticulture, and Karen Breneman, Harris County Master Gardener, who will provide expert insight into "Great Plants for the Houston Area," Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Tomball: "Native Plants for the Gulf Coast," led by Jason McKenzie. Pineywoods Nursery, will be held at Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, Tuesday, March 10, 10 a.m. Jason shares his extensive knowledge of native plants. His enthusiasm for this wonderful group of plants is infectious and he will have you incorporating natives in every corner of your garden. This class is free. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, March 12, Jason Radcliff, landscape architect with TBG Partners, designed the landscape at the Wolfe Ranch Town Center. He will talk about plants, design and a bit about maintenance.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners will present a free seminar "Herbs and Heirlooms" on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m. at the County AgriLife Extension Office at 102 TAM Road (located on the corner of Hwy. 75 North and TAM Road approx. 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop). The seminar will provide information on the wonderful world of herbs — culinary and medicinal. Topics also include discussion of heirloom vegetables, especially tomatoes. Come away with a list of herbs and vegetables for your own kitchen garden and recipes for your kitchen table. If you have questions, please call (936) 435-2426.

Huntsville: It's a Spring Thing! Walker County Master Gardener's will hold their Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, March 14 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Master Gardeners Greenhouse located north of Huntsville on the corner of Highway 75 N. and TAM Road (102 TAM Rd.) approximately 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop. Bring your wagon, your gardening and landscaping ideas and load up with a wide assortment of vegetables (including heirloom tomatoes and peppers), herbs, Texas natives and perennials, hard-to-find pass-along plants, citrus, persimmon, blackberries, blueberries and much more. Many of these selections won't be found at the "big box" stores. Gardeners willing and weather permitting, we may have fresh, seasonal produce. Come early and shop the Country Store for gardening shoes/boots, gloves, hats, books and tools. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds will be used to benefit Master Gardener community activities and educational projects. For more information, please call (936) 435-2426 or visit www.walkercountymastergardener.org/.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, Monday, March 16, 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. The garden includes an extensive vegetable garden, fruit orchard, perennials, roses, herb and cactus gardens and 2 working greenhouses. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions during this free event. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Austin: Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden, presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas A&M and Travis County AgriLife Extension Service, will be held March 18, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Enjoy juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and delectable green beans straight from your garden. Baskets of okra and armloads of squash can be grown in your garden! Learn how to plant and maintain a spring vegetable garden from Master Gardener Patty Leander, a frequent contributor to Texas Gardener, who will share her expertise on vegetable varieties that perform well in Central Texas, recommended planting times, and composting. This seminar is loaded with basic facts and helpful ideas, useful to both new and experienced vegetable gardeners. This seminar is free, open to the public and does not require reservations. Please arrive early as this is one of our most popular seminars. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call The Travis County Master Gardeners help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Seabrook: The Harris County Master Gardeners lecture "Color Your Garden — Master Gardener Favorites" will be presented by Ginia Keen-Matern, who is both a Harris County and Chambers County Master Gardener, March 18, 10 a.m., at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Keen-Mater is an accredited landscape design consultant for National Gardening Clubs of America. She has taken pictures of master gardener gardens and will explain how the use of sound design principles create beautiful gardens. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Program by Montgomery County Horticulturist Tom LeRoy begins at 8 a.m. Limited seating. Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. For additional information, call (936) 539-7824.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardener Propagation Workshop, "Growing Plants from Seeds and Cuttings," will be offered Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., MC540, North Annex Office, Houston. Propagation is a great way to save money. In this hands-on workshop, learn about and practice a variety of methods to propagate popular plants. All participants will take home the plants they propagate. Early registration fee $15 before March 14. Registration at the door $20. Attendance is limited. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Nacogdoches: Nacogdoches Azalea Trail Symposium: Azaleas and More—Companion Planting will be held Saturday, March 21, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Stephen F. Austin State University Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Symposium presenters focus on colorful companions for azalea gardens: "Japanese Maples in the Landscape" by Elizabeth Mundy, owner of Acer Acres, Inc. in Beaverdam, Virginia, and "Perennials for Shade" by Dawn Stover, Ornamental Plant Evaluations Research Associate at the Mast Arboretum. Includes Japanese maple grafting workshop, grafting knife, and tree to take home. Lunch is provided, followed by tips on propagating azaleas and a guided tour of the SFA Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden by Barbara Stump. Co-sponsored by SFA Mast Arboretum and the Texas Chapter of the Azalea Society of America. Fee $40 to SFA Gardens members; $50 to non-members. Call (936) 564-7351 or sfagardens@sfasu.edu to register or for more information.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Budding and Grafting Ornamentals," Noon-1 p.m., March 23, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. James Rother will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener Plant Sale will take place Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at Hulen Park, Cleburne. Natives, herbs, butterfly plants, tomatoes, peppers and much more will be available. Demos and lectures will be presented by the Master Gardeners throughout the day and there will be activities for the kids in the Jr. Master Gardener booth. For more information, contact Pat Kriener at (817) 793-4625.

Bonham: The Fannin County Master Gardeners will host the 5th Annual Fannin County Garden, Lawn & Home Expo from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., March 28, at the Multi-Purpose Complex in Bonham. There will be five guest speakers, a variety of vendors, and lunch may be purchased from the Fannin County 4-H Club. For additional information, call (903) 583-7453.

Burnet: The Eleventh Annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Assn. in conjunction with the Burnet Co. AgriLife Extension Service will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. at the Burnet Community Center located at 401 E. Jackson St. in Burnet. Vendors feature only lawn and garden products, such as herbs, native plants, vegetable plants, bedding plants as well as the latest in equipment and garden decorations. There will be informative speakers and demonstrations as well as children's activities. No charge for admission. For additional information, contact Sammye Childers, Publicity Chair, at sammyenmike@yahoo.com or (830) 693-5061.

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardener Association Plant Sale will be held April 4, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Hewlett Park Pavilion across from the Hilton Hotel. Texas natives, perennials, annuals, vines, vegetables, shrubs and trees will be available along with a limited amount of beautiful, handmade garden art. Master Gardeners will present hourly mini-seminars beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Kristi Brooks at remuda1@aol.com.

Stephenville: The annual Native & Heirloom Plant Fair will be held April 4, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Stephenville Museum, 525 E Washington St., Stephenville. Vendors will be offering native Texas plants, adapted plants, herbs and vegetables, arts & crafts, gardening supplies, nature and garden related gifts, concessions, and much more. Speakers will be delivering informative presentations and/or workshops. A self-guided nature trail along the Bosque River is on site. Vendor space is FREE; interested vendors should contact Russell Pfau at pfau@tarleton.edu.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, April 9, Kerry Blackmon, District Landscape Architect with the TxDOT Austin district, will discuss survey factors that have to be considered when designing roadside landscapes and native plant use. There will also be a question and answer session.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Color Your Landscape With Annuals and Perennials," Noon-1 p.m., April 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Nancy Kramer will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

League City: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will again award a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior in the Dickinson or Clear Creek School Districts. Students planning to study Horticulture, Floral Design, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Landscaping, Forestry, Environmental and related subjects may apply. Last year's recipients may reapply. The deadline to submit applications is April 15. For applications and more information, please contact Eileen Gilley at (281) 535-1978.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Mast Arboretum will host its annual Garden Gala Day on April 18 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the SFA Intramural Fields on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. This event features the annual spring plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and their educational programs. All of the plants are produced at SFA by the staff, students and volunteers. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information and a list of plants for sale call (936) 468-4404, or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu and click on "upcoming events."

Rosenberg: The Texas Rose Rustlers and the Fort Bend Master Gardeners will present "Fling With Felder," 10 a.m., April 18, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Building C, Rosenberg. Felder Rushing has authored 15 gardening books, writes numerous newspaper columns, and hosts a radio garden talk program. He uses an off beat, "down home" approach with humorous anecdotes and irreverent garden metaphors to help gardeners get past the "stinkin’ rules" of horticulture. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Becky Smith at bas@wcec-wb.net.

San Antonio: Spring is budding April 18-19 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden! Walk Across Texas, an official Fiesta event at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, will be held 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 18. Just in time for spring planting, gardeners will want to get there early for the Spring Plant Sale on the same weekend. All varieties of San Antonio-friendly plants will be on sale Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The annual Walk Across Texas event literally gives visitors a "walk across Texas" right in the heart of San Antonio. The loop trail system of the Texas Native Trail winds through an 11-acre native area of the Botanical Garden allowing guests to experience the diverse ecosystems of the Hill Country, East Texas Piney Woods and South Texas Plains. And don't forget the Spring Plant Sale held in the Garden's Greenhouse area. Hundreds of spring plants expertly cultivated by the San Antonio Botanical Society Plant Team of Volunteers and several plant societies will be on sale Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Botanical Society members may get a sneak peek of the Plant Sale a day early — Friday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m. as well as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. For more information, call (210) 829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

Woodway: A Gardener's Gathering will be held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, Woodway, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., April 26. The free event, sponsored by Woodway Beautiful, will include an opportunity to gather growing tips and advice, purchase plants, and enjoy an afternoon of music and events for the entire family. For additional information, contract (254) 399-9204.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Insect Control," Noon-1 p.m., April 27, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Helen Boatman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Tyler: 2009 Home Garden Tour, sponsored by the Smith County Master Gardeners, will be held May 2, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Five delightful homes, ranging from a large formal traditional garden in an historic neighborhood to a modest home in a country setting, spotlight a variety of landscaping styles and methods. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tour. To order tickets: make checks payable to SCMG and mail to 14608 Foxwood Circle, Tyler TX 75703.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 pm on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, May 14, Kelly Conrad Bender of Texas Parks and Wildlife, and author with Noreen Damude of Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, will speak on creating wildscapes and how you can get the latest information, since the book is now out of print.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Rainwater Harvesting," Noon-1 p.m., May 11, Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Glen and Kathy Chilek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Fort Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society's Annual Herb Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., May 16, at the Fort Worth Botanic Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. For additional information, call (817) 874-6405, e-mail festival@gfwhs.org, or visit www.gfwhs.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Essentials for Building a Trellis, Arbor and Raised Beds," Noon-1 p.m., June 8, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Ed Gregurek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Water Gardening," Noon- 1p.m., July 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Pat Plowman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Mulching, Composting and Water Conservation," Noon-1 p.m., August 10, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Monica Pilat will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners meets at 9 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office - Aransas County, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at Wildwood Eco-Farm in Kilgore. For more information, call Carole Ramke at (903) 986-9475.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the little blue-gray house located at 102 N. Allen Dr., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.main.org/aog.

Friendswood: The second Tuesday of each month the Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold a free evening educational program for the public, called the Green Thumb Series, at Southeast Church of Christ, 2400 W Bay Area Blvd., Friendswood, about 1 mile west of I-45 and Baybrook Mall. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu or call (281) 991-8437.

Houston: The Clear Lake City Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of each month September through May at 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the Clear Lake Recreation Center, 16511 Diana Lane, Houston. This small garden club is open to all residents of the Bay Area interested in horticulture and making new friends. Visitors are welcome meetings. For further information, please e-mail Sue at flosflores@comcast.net.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Guadalupe County Annex, 1101 Elbel Road, Shertz. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7. For additional information or an application to join NPSOT, contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Rockport:The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second Wednesday of each month, with the exceptions of June and July, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation, meets at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport at 10 a.m. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda (361) 729-6037, Ruth (361) 729-8923 or Cindy (979) 562-2153 or visitwww.rockportherbs.com.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. at the Exit Center, 1600 Rock Prairie Road, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation topics, and more. For more information, visit www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Clubs/GardenClub.htm.

Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member’s homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners host Brown Bag events the third Tuesday of each month, from noon until 1 p.m. at Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For a complete listing of all events or additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.

Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call (940) 382-8551.

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call (817) 579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.

Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas — Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) and December (2nd Thursday). Location varies. For locations, for more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visithttp://www.npsot.org/Houston.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7:15 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except December at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. For more information, call (281) 341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak at 7 p.m. For more information, phone (830) 379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Longview: The Northeast Texas chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the third Thursday of each month at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Longview. For more information, call Logan Damewood at (903) 295-1984.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at (361) 782-3312.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens main building. Refreshments are served. For more information, call (817) 274-8460.

Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room (on the Lakeside) at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Fretz Park Recreation Center, located at the corner of Hillcrest and Beltline Road in Dallas. For more information, call (214) 824-2448 or visit www.dogc.org.

Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at (817) 483-7746.

If you would like your organization’s events included in "Upcoming Garden Events," please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.

The Southern Kitchen Garden

By William D. Adams and Thomas R. Leroy

A kitchen garden, or potager, is a celebration of the seasons: brimming with vegetables, herbs, flowers, and even fruit trees, it’s our link with nature and a source for fresh produce. The kitchen garden has always been an important part of life in the rural South, at times meaning the difference between being well-fed or going to bed hungry. In recent times, the kitchen garden has become more fashionable and now more and more homeowners are reaping the delicious rewards of growing their own food.

A kitchen garden needs little more than a small raised bed, so an aspiring gardener with only a modest backyard will have plenty of room to get started. If you have more space on your hands, then you can include some produce requiring a little more space like fruit trees, corn or pumpkins.

In the book, the authors with take you through the process of starting your very own kitchen garden from location to soil preparation to planting and then to harvest. It is also loaded with useful information on propagation, pest control and is laced with mouth-watering recipes and beautiful color photographs.

$21.30 plus shipping*

Order online with credit card at www.texasgardener.com or call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

*Or with credit card by phone and receive FREE shipping. That is a $3.50 savings! Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.

 

Wish you’d saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? Three new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of
volume 23
(November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006),
volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007), and
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.

Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac

Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac is a giant monthly calendar for the entire state — a practical, information-packed, month-by-month guide for gardeners and "yardeners." This book provides everything you need to know about flowers and garden design; trees, shrubs, and vines; lawns; vegetable, herb, and fruit gardening; and soil, mulch, water, pests, and plant care. It will help you to create beautiful, productive, healthy gardens and have fun doing it.

$26.63 plus shipping*

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

*Mention Texas Gardener’s Seeds when ordering by phone and we’ll waive shipping charges. (Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

$30.64 per 12.3’ x 32.8’ roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)