June 20, 2012

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Texas community garden/agriculture project feeding bodies, souls

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

A 15-year vision by a Texas AgriLife Extension Service employee is reaching fruition in the form of the Restoration Community Gardens, thanks to the generosity and hard work of hundreds of youth and adults in a small East Texas town.

“I’ve had this vision of creating a sort of community garden and agricultural park for kids for about 15 years,” said Leslie Lazenby, 4-H program assistant at the AgriLife Extension office for Madison County, Madisonville. “I was beginning to think that if it happened at all, it would just be a small garden and maybe a barn that I’d put in my own backyard.”

Lazenby said she had given up hope for a larger effort when she was turned down for a grant that would involve building a community garden on a 6.5 acre site close to the AgriLife Extension office. The site was the grounds of a former elementary school, and the land had been unused for several years, so the county was considering putting the property up for sale.

The day after she was turned down for her grant, however, Rev. Debbie Daigle of nearby Holy Innocents Episcopal Church came to Lazenby’s office. Daigle had said she had her own similar vision — serving area youth and feeding the underprivileged in the community and teaching them to feed themselves.

“For a while, the Lord had been pulling on my heart to work with underprivileged children and others through planting, gardening and other agricultural activities, but I’m a city girl and didn’t know too much about any of that,” Daigle said. “So a friend of mine suggested I talk to Leslie at the AgriLife Extension office. We talked and I soon realized her vision and mine were closely in line — we both wanted to work with kids and help feed the less fortunate.”

Daigle, who had recently received $2,000 in discretionary funds, decided on the spot that she would donate the entire amount toward building a community garden on the site Lazenby had identified, pending approval from county officials.

“It was wonderful,” Lazenby said. “I thought about a scripture verse (Haggai 2:19) that says: ‘Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. From this day on, I will bless you.’”

Because Daigle’s congregation was relatively small and comprised mainly of older members, and since funds were limited, it was necessary to find others willing to volunteer their time, talents and labor toward building the garden and other structures and facilities in the site.

Word went out and help came by the hundreds — including 4-H youth members and adult leaders, participants in the community’s House of Hope program, the Madisonville Christian Fellowship, Living Truth Church, local business people and numerous caring individuals.

“Our first efforts toward building the community garden were last fall as part of the One Day 4-H, the annual statewide community service initiative by Texas 4-H,” Lazenby said. “More than 100 4-H adult leaders and club members came to help us clean up our property, plant flowerbeds and pots, paint murals, and restore some life to the existing building. The community started to take notice and wonder what we were up to over here.”

This spring, the project coordinated a community ‘Planting Day’ during which seed potatoes were planted. We had another 100 kids show up to build and fill raised beds with plants and seeds. It was Rev. Daigle’s contribution that allowed us to buy the materials needed, and we were elated with the way the young people in community got behind the project.”

“We had more than 100 people come, mostly underprivileged kids and parents from a low-income apartment area in the neighborhood.” Daigle said. “The kids had a great time playing in the dirt and planting. It was a lot of fun for them — and their parents. Some of these families didn’t have electricity or running water in their homes, but everyone was anxious to help.”

Today, the garden has 24 raised beds of okra, green beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and other vegetables, she noted. In another section of the site is an orchard, which Madison County AgriLife Extension agent Billy Zanolini was instrumental in laying out and fencing. Produce from the orchard will include pears, pomegranates, figs, peaches, plums and other fruits for the community feeding effort.

But fruits and vegetables are only part of this “feed the community” vision.

“One of my parishoners said they give away culled chickens that had been used for show and competition at the county fair,” Daigle said. “So I talked to the fair board about getting these chickens, and they were very interested. I acquired about 200 chickens and found some people willing to process them. Then someone else donated a pig and another person donated the processing for that pig. Then someone donated half a steer. We even had some emus and rabbits donated. All of this went into our neighborhood feeding program.”

Much of the hands-on work being done related to the project has been contributed by House of Hope, a faith-based program which provides free community service as part of its mission and outreach.

Among other efforts, House of Hope volunteers have cleaned the former school’s gutters, put in two cisterns to catch rainwater and irrigation lines for the garden, and provided much of the labor toward building flower beds and installing an aquaponics system designed by John Musser of Aquaponics and Earth in DeSoto.

“House of Hope program participants are people trying to make a fresh start. They commit to staying in my program for a full year and agree to provide unpaid community service,” said House of Hope Church minister Brad Brock. “With this new Restoration Community Garden project, they get a chance to contribute to the community through volunteering their time and skills — planting the seeds for their own future.”

Brock said he learned of the community garden project from Lazenby, who had attended his church services at House of Hope and become involved in their music ministry.

“I saw how the project would be of benefit to the people in our program, as well as the community as a whole,” he said.

Brock said House of Hope has been providing three or four men a week to the project for several months and that it plans to continue its support for as long as needed.

“We have people with different talents, such as plumbers, carpenters, sheet metal workers and electricians,” he said. “These talents have come in very handy for restoring the school buildings and building the garden and other facilities. People in our program come from all walks of life, and many are from urban areas and have never seen a garden. But now they’re literally seeing the fruits of their labor growing in the garden they helped build.”

Involving young people in the community has been one of the top goals of the project, and the Madisonville Christian Fellowship has been indispensable in that effort, Lazenby said.

“Most of what we’re doing is focused on feeding the kids and educating them about growing their own food, knowing where their food comes from, proper nutrition, getting some exercise and giving back to the community,” she said.

Joshua Schwarz, youth pastor at Madisonville Christian Fellowship, said young people in the community have responded overwhelmingly to the project and look forward to being involved in it.

“The kids love to plant and to work in the dirt,” Schwarz said. “It’s really nice to see them interested in planting and growing, which has become a sort of lost passion. We always look for ways to involve the kids and for them to learn and have fun as part of the project, which is growing into an agricultural community center.”

He said some of the project activities the young people enjoy most are tending the raised beds, growing their own vegetables and learning about the aquaponics system that was built on the grounds of the AgriLife Extension office.

“The tilapia we are growing in the aquaculture area of the system produce wastewater that is then filtered and the remaining nutrients are used to feed the plants. It’s a small, self-contained ecosystem, and the kids think it’s fascinating.”

Schwarz said he is also excited about other ideas under discussion or being implemented to benefit youth. He said kids and their families will benefit from proposed instruction on growing food, proper nutrition, limited-space gardening and pruning and tending fruit trees.

“We’ve also been discussing an outreach program to get limited-resource and at-risk kids involved in 4-H animal projects as part of this overall project effort,” said Schwarz, who is a nationally certified archery instructor and part of the 4-H archer program. “There are at least 125 youth within walking distance of apartments who could become involved in gardening or animal projects. This also provides an opportunity for them to learn about 4-H and to bring a more diverse audience into that program.”

Lazenby added that youth from the Living Truth Church and youth and adults from other churches of different denominations throughout the community also have provided labor, materials or other support for the project.

“Community and religious leaders, like John Hardy, who has been a great AgriLife Extension supporter, Reverend Daigle, Josh Schwarz, Brad Brock, Pastor Lon McVeigh, Father Mike from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and others have all been very supportive of this project,” she said.

Additional programs and activities related to the Restoration Community Garden project continue to come from the community and members of its board of directors, which includes Lazenby, Daigle, Schwarz, a local commercial farmer, an organic farmer, a 4-H program adult leader and gardener, a local businessman and other community leaders. The board meets weekly to discuss current and future plans and assess project progress.

Along with community donations and contributions, additional ongoing monthly financial support for the project has been committed by Daigle’s son, a successful businessman.

“The board is currently looking into the possibility of building a kitchen and finding someone to provide cooking instruction,” Daigle said. “We’re also planning instruction on canning and preserving foods, as well as possibly showing people how to make their own soap and providing instruction on proper hygiene.”

Lazenby said another project plan in the works is to plant seeds for a pumpkin patch that would be ready for harvest in the fall.

“We’ll be working with people from Fort Worth involved in Mission Madisonville, which comes annually to minister to kids in the community,” she said. “We’ve set aside one acre to plant watermelons, cantaloupes and pumpkins. The pumpkins will become a pumpkin patch that will be ready for harvest for decoration in the fall.”

Lazenby added that Hailey Haberman, a summer intern at the AgriLife Extension office, would be involved in designing children’s summer programs and other efforts relating to the project.

“Right now, we’re working on a summer weekend backpack program where kids will receive backpacks filled with produce from the gardens and easy to prepare food, as well as participate in some arts and crafts activities and a two-hour fun and educational Extension program,” Lazenby said. “We’re keeping most of what we do focused on the kids.”

Lazenby said the project has been a genuine group effort and would not have been possible without a shared vision and the support of the entire community.

“This whole project is truly a blessing and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said. “So many people have already been so generous and helpful, and it’s great to see that, as it develops, even more people want to be involved. It’s amazing to see what can happen when people work together.”


Six steps for container garden success

www.bonnieplants.com

You don't need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables and herbs. Herbs are a common choice for container gardeners, but many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening too. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, like tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container gardens.

What you can grow in containers is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30") container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements.

Here’s six steps for container garden success

1. Time-saving transplants. When you're ready to begin potting up vegetables and herbs, opt for transplants — seedlings that have already been started — rather than starting from seed. Transplants will buy you lots of time because plants are six weeks or older when you put them in the pot, and you'll begin harvesting much sooner. Bonnie Plants offers a wide variety of veggie and herb transplants, (many are compact varieties perfect for containers) available at garden retailers nationwide and grown near you.

2. Use a premium quality potting mix. Don't skimp here. A quality mix holds moisture and drains well, giving plant roots the perfect balance of air, moisture, and stability to grow a great harvest. Read bag labels to look for quality ingredients: sphagnum peat moss, aged (composted) bark, perlite, lime or dolomite, and sometimes moisture-holding crystals. Quality potting mix stays fluffy all season long. It does not contain actual dirt that would compact with frequent watering.

3. Pick the right pot. It should be affordable to buy and fill, and large enough to accommodate your plants as they mature. Almost anything can serve as a container — flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, washtubs, window planters, even large food cans. Larger veggies, like tomatoes and eggplants, will need a larger container, at least 5 gallons for each plant. When in doubt, bigger is always better, the plants will look better and last longer because the roots will have more room to grow. Be sure that the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom.

4. Feed your plants. Even if your potting mix came with fertilizer already mixed in, you may need to feed your plants. Some potting mixes include just enough fertilizer to give plants a charge when they’re starting. Mixes designed to feed for several months run out sooner in hot weather with frequent watering. Add timed-release granules or try a soluble fertilizer such as the “little green jug” of Bonnie Plant Food for quick results. It’s organic in nature, environmentally friendly, an excellent food source for beneficial organisms in the soil and helps support healthy soil and overall plant growth.

5. Put pots in a sunny spot. At least 6 hours is best. The sun drives energy for production and for making sugars, acids, and other compounds responsible for the fullest flavor. Make sure pots on a deck or porch get enough sunlight and move them to a sunny spot if shade encroaches.

6. Water regularly. Vegetables are at least 90% water. To produce well, they may need daily watering in hot weather. The easiest way to do this is set up a drip system on a timer. It's a little more work on the front end, but it makes for as close to auto-pilot watering as you can get. (Most herbs, except the big-leaved ones like basil, can get by with a little less water.) Be sure to water before the sun goes down, leaves will need to dry before nightfall.

Be on the lookout for key words like: bush, compact, and space saver. Here are some veggie and herb varieties to get your container gardens growing.

  • Eggplant: Hansel Mini eggplant
  • Green Beans: (Pole beans give a higher yield in a small footprint) Blue Lake, French Dwarf
  • Leaf Lettuce: Buttercrunch, Bibb
  • Peppers: Cubanelle, Sweet Banana, Jalapeno
  • Tomatoes: Patio, Husky cherry Red, Sweet and Neat, Bush Early Girl, Bush Goliath, and Better Bush
  • Basil: Greek Columnar Basil

Any herb will do well in a pot!


Gardening tips

Consider growing a vine on a trellis covering a west oriented window or patio. Once the vine covers the arbor, it will provide shade from the scorching summer sun and help reduce your energy bill.

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 2012 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did you know...

Regular gasoline contains up to 5 percent ethanol and should not be used in lawnmowers, string trimmers, chainsaws and other small engines that may sit for weeks or months without being used. That is because the ethanol in the gasoline attracts moisture and the moisture will damage the carburetor and fuel lines. Instead, use the higher grades of gasoline like super unleaded since they do not contain any ethanol. The problem should not occur in those lawnmowers and other small gasoline-powered equipment if they are used on a regular basis such as in commercial use.


Upcoming garden events.

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

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive. Mike Teal, RLA will present “Highways are for More Than Getting from Here to There.” Teal is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Texas A&M Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Teal’s scholarly interests focus on transportation aesthetics and maintainability of landscape development, corridor management for visual and environmental quality, water quality, and highway environments. He also owns and operates a small Landscape Architecture/Design firm based in College Station. He has a BS in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He has practiced as a Licensed Landscape Architect, registered with the State of Texas, since 1999. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund are always appreciated. For more information, call 936-468-1832 or e-mail grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

College Station: On June 23 "Fire Wise and Water Smart" will be presented at the Texas Forest Service, 200 Technology Way, College Station. It will address how to evaluate your landscape and prepare in case of fire threats. It is from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and requires pre-registration at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

San Antonio: "Sustaining a Garden Community Workshop," including community building, fundraising, increasing membership, marketing your garden, garden signage, and communication, will be held at 9 a.m., June 23, at Olmos Park Terrance Community Garden, San Antonio. To register, visit www.greensatx.org/upcoming-events/register-for-a-workshop. For more information, call 210-222-8430.

Bryan: "Fruits and Vegetables in Prevention of Cancer: Scientific Oddity or Clinical Reality?" by Dr. Bhimanagouda Patil will be presented on June 26 from 7-8 p.m. It is free and open to the public at the Brazos Center Room 102, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For more information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Buchanan Dam: Join Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis on Tuesday, June 26, for a very enjoyable and informative program on "Gardening For Wildlife - Birds, Bees, Butterflies, etc." presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Green Thumb programs. Learn interesting things about our desirable backyard visitors and how to attract them to your yard. The program is part of the Lakeshore Library Speaker Series and is at 2:30 p.m. You must call the library to reserve your seat for this free program at (325) 379-1174.

Ft. Worth: Learn about cactus gardens from Tarrant County Master Gardeners from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, June 28, in Building 2300, Room 2351, Circle Drive at the Resource Connection, 1100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, located off Campus Drive, north from I-20. Class few is $5 and the class is limited to 30 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

Austin: A Garden Photography seminar will be held from 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, June 30, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. A retired expert in the field of biotechnology, Texas Gardener contributing photographer Bruce Leander concentrates now on his love of fine art nature photography — macro and landscape. His work with the Wildflower Center has produced a series of stunning plant studies which highlights the fine work being done there. He will share with us the tools and methods he recommends to get started in this fascinating aspect of horticulture. This free class doesn’t require a reservation but if you want to ensure a seat, sign up online at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/ Please note that any empty reserved seats are open seating at 9:50 am. This seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Ft. Worth: Learn to make a Butterfly Puddle from Tarrant County Master Gardeners from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, June 30, at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at the Resource Connection, 1100 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, located off Campus Drive, north from I-20. Class few is $20 and the make-and-take class is limited to 20 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host an Open Garden Day from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, July 2, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Tour the working and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer gardening lessons to children. This event is free and open to the public.

Ft. Worth: "Sustainability" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, July 7, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Austin: Are the bugs enjoying your garden more than you do? Learn how to combat those critters safely and organically from Trisha Shirey. Shirey has managed pest problems at Lake Austin Spa Resort with safe and effective natural pest control for almost 30 years. She is an organic gardener, chef, author, speaker, garden designer, and a guest host of the popular "Gardening Naturally" radio how on KLBJ-AM. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by our guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Seabrook: Master Gardener Jean Fefer will lecture on "Community Gardening" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

San Antonio: "A Lot in Common," a movie in the garden, will be shown at dusk., July 12, at the Alamo Heights Community Garden, San Antonio. To register, visit www.greensatx.org/upcoming-events/register-for-a-workshop. For more information, call 210-222-8430.

Austin: “Identifying Good and Bad Bugs” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, July 14, at the Austin Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Wizzie Brown, integrated pest management specialist for AgriLife Extension in Texas, will lecture about how to manage pests in your yard through IPM. IPM is an environmentally responsible and minimal use of chemicals that may also kill beneficial insects, harm pets or possibly enter the water table. She will teach how to identify good bugs vs. bag bugs and the thoughtful, careful use of pesticides for control in our gardens and landscapes. This free class doesn’t require a reservation but if you want to ensure a seat, sign up online at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture/. Any empty reserved seats are open seating at 9:50 a.m. Please note, the Zilker Park entrance fee is $2 per adult and $1 per child or senior. This seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host an Open Garden Day from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, July 16, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Tour the working and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer gardening lessons to children. This event is free and open to the public.

Seabrook: Master Gardener Jean Fefer will lecture on "Plants of the Bible" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 18, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Austin: “How to Plan and Install Home Drip Irrigation” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, July 19, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Conserve water and reduce water stress to potted plants, landscaping or vegetable garden by using a drip irrigation system. Learn about the two most common drip systems available and how to utilize one or the other or combination of the systems. Discover how to test the water pressure to determine the length of the run. Gain knowledge by watching how the pieces are assembled. Take away the knowledge necessary to create your own system. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Ft. Worth: "Fall Vegetable Garden: The Best Season in Texas" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., August 4, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Nacogdoches: An "Estate Planning and Taxation Workshop," designed for forest landowners, consulting foresters, accountants, attorneys, and others who work with forest landowners in matters pertaining to estate planning and timber taxes, will be presented by Dr. Robert Tufts, an attorney and associate professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday, August 10 in Room 117, Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University, East College at Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. Registration, which includes lunch and workbook: $35. For additional information, call the Texas Forestry Association at 936-632-8733.

Austin: “Planting the Fall Vegetable Garden” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, August 16, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. In spite of the warm temperatures, it is time to prepare for the fall vegetable garden. Discover which warm-season vegetables can be replanted now and which vegetables thrive in our mild winter temperatures. Learn the basics of soil preparation, how to plant seeds and transplants. Learn the varieties recommended for this area and the ideal times for planting. Novice and experienced gardeners will learn valuable information. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Ft. Worth: "Native & Adapted Plants" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, September 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Landscape Design" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., November 3, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Individual Consultations" will be available from 10 a.m. until noon, December 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit http://www.overthegardengate.org or call 940-716-8610.

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the first Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting is held from noon until 1 p.m. at 1405 Conway St. (Odd Fellows Lodge). Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or e-mail gonzales@ag.tamu.edu for more information.

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.

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5585.

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July and August at The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program preceding the business meeting. For further information call Cindy Gill at 903-236-8429 or visit www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. 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 visit www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.

Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Beaumont. For more information, call 409-835-8461.

Brownwood: Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Thursday of each month, from Noon to 1 p.m., at the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk, Brownwood. For additional information, call Freda Day 325-643-1077, or Mary Engle 325-784-8453.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Bldg. cor. MLK & Strickland in Orange. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.

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.

Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 am at the Peace Lutheran Church, 2201 Rio Grande, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.

Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.

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.

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners meet at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne, which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Sharon Smith at 817-894-7700.

Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For 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.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.

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/.

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

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, visit http://www.npsot.org/Houston.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7:00 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 at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, except December, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For topic or other information, call 830-379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

Atlanta: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Horne Enterprise building in Atlanta at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Kay Lowery at frostkay268@aol.com.

Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

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 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at 210-999-7292.

Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org

Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thurday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.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.


Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

By Greg Grant

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In Greg's Garden:
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volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007),
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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener’s Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ● www.TexasGardener.com