Master gardeners supply farm, ranch show with speakers

BY BARBARA THEDIN - VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
EDITED BY CHARLA BORCHERS LEON
October 18, 2007
Photo Credit: HENRY HARTMAN/CREATIVE IMAGES
Victoria County Master Gardeners, from left, Cynthia Cunningham, Martha Sawyers and Barbara Buethe talked with visitors at the Master Gardener booth at last year's South Texas Farm and Ranch Show. This year there will be more than 125 booths with product information for attendees. The show is Oct. 24 and 25 at the Victoria Community Center.
Summer harvest is over and it's time to start preparing for the next season.

It is also time for the 23rd Annual South Texas Farm and Ranch Show taking place Oct. 24 and 25 at the Victoria Community Center.

If you have never attended, this is a great educational opportunity to see what's new in the agriculture industry. And we as consumers of food and fiber are definitely involved. There will be something offered to folks of all ages.

FOR THIRD-GRADERS
Third-graders will be able to attend the 2007 Pasture to Pyramid programs on both days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program includes various topics related to nutrition and health as well as how and where we get our food. This event is so popular that classes are already filled.

Gardening topics

Again this year the Victoria County Master Gardener Association will present topics to help you achieve your home, farm or ranch gardening and landscape goals. Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units (CEUs) also will be available through these programs.

A person who gardens does much the same as anyone in the agriculture business, but on a much smaller scale. Instead of having hundreds or even thousands of acres you may have a container garden, a regular-size yard or a vegetable garden. With either one, you still want it to be healthy and produce as much as possible.

Some of the topics presented by Master Gardeners include:

What do you think of when planting your fall garden: tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage?

"Fall and Winter Gardening" with Victoria County Master Gardener Gerald Bludau will be Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. in Annex 3 and Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. in Annex 2.

What fruit and nut trees grow here?

"Fruit and Nut Production" will follow presented by Victoria County Master Gardener Roy Cook. Wouldn't it be nice to have your own pecan tree to harvest for a pecan pie or maybe a peach or plum tree? By attending both of these programs you will receive two IPM CEU's.

How much rainwater could have been collected this past summer?
"Rainwater Harvesting" will be presented by Victoria County Master Gardeners Glen and Kathy Chilek on Oct. 24 in Annex 3. Last year we were in a drought situation and this summer we had an overabundance of rain. Think how much better off plants would be if only rainwater was used in gardening.

What attracts birds to your yard?
The next program will be "Managing Landscapes for the Birds" by Victoria County Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Linda Valdez. She will address the three essential things necessary to attract birds - including hummingbirds - to your yard.

These two programs are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. By attending these programs you will receive one IPM CEU.

What is that bug on my plant?
"Ten Most Common Insects" presented by Victoria County Master Gardener Lorissa Grymes will be Oct. 24 and again on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. in Annex 3. You will learn how to identify these insects.

What kind of roses should I plant?
"EarthKindTM Landscape Roses" with Victoria County Master Gardener Jerome Janak will follow. EarthKindTM Landscape Roses have been developed through statewide testing and evaluated by a team of experts from Texas Cooperative Extension. They are disease- and insect-tolerant/resistant, which is required for this designation.

What do you do when bees attack?
"Africanized Bees" given by Victoria County Master Gardener Lesa Bowers will conclude the 2-4 p.m. time slot. What would you do if you encounter a swarm of bees? Learn more about the bees and some precautions to take. By attending these three programs you will receive two IPM CEUs.

Reservations requested
In order to provide seating based on the large number of attendees last year, please call the Extension Office at 361-575-4581 by Monday to indicate what programs you will be attending. For all the programs that will be presented during the two-day show, check out the show Web site, www.southtexasfarmandranchshow.com. There are at least 42 different speakers for the various presentations.

There will be more than 125 booths at the show, and Victoria County Master Gardener Association will have one of them. Stop by and visit with us to learn more about our program as well as landscaping around the farm, ranch and home.

The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas Cooperative Extension-Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, Texas 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.