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Brazos County Master Gardeners

41st Annual Home and Garden Expo

Who:  Brazos County Master Gardeners

What:  B/CS Home & Garden Expo

When:  Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16

Where:  Brazos County Expo (5827 Leonard Road, Bryan, TX)

Please note: there is an entrance fee to the Expo but all Master Gardener presentations are included with your admission.

Details of Program:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

10 am:  Creating a Backyard Habitat. Presented by Molly Harris. Backyards don’t have to be dull. By learning how to use both native and adapted plants to attract wildlife, home gardens can be both beautiful and lively. Planting a variety of herbs, flowers, groundcovers, vines, shrubs, and trees that do well in the Brazos Valley and encourages visitors such as bees, butterflies, birds, and other species, adds interest to your garden and provides color as well.

Molly Harris and her husband moved to College Station a few years ago and built a log house on 5½ acres. They cleared just enough forest to leave room for the house, driveway and septic fields. Her training as both a Texas Master Naturalist and a Master Gardener taught her about both native wildlife and plants. Her property is now certified by the National Wildlife Federation (Backyard Habitat), the Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife (Texas Wildscape and a Best of Texas Wildlife Habitat), and Project MonarchWatch (Monarch Waystation).

11 am:  Year-Round Vegetable Gardening. Presented by Michael Vidrine. In our area vegetable gardens can be productive throughout the year. Planting a diverse variety of vegetables appropriate for the changing seasons can yield a bountiful and almost continuous harvest. Gardening in every season can also broaden your appetite for vegetables that may be new to you. A garden full of vegetables leaves little room for weeds.

Michael Vidrine is a Texas native, an A&M graduate in electrical engineering ’73, and a lifelong gardener from a family of lifelong gardeners. He and his wife have gardened from the tropics of Brazil to the chilly Midwest and three different locations in Texas. They moved to Brazos County in 2011 and raise vegetables, fruits, nuts and bees all while doting on our grandchildren who live nearby. He has been a Master Gardener since 2004 and has taught many sessions on vegetable and fruit production.

1 pm:   Healing Through Horticulture. Presented by Katie Loewe and Victoria Bailey. Using evidence-based techniques, horticulture therapy has shown to help improve memory, sensory processing, cognition, task initiation and socialization while simultaneously reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. Research-based education in a judgment-free atmosphere encourages healthy habits, coping skills and a positive self-image for survivors.

Katie Loewe, a Brazos County Master Gardener, and Victoria Bailey, a licensed professional counselor-intern, have turned their passion for plants and people into a program for hands-on healing in a local crisis center. Join us as we share the hope and healing horticulture therapy has to offer!

2 pm:  Rose Pruning in the Age of the Rose Rosette Virus. Presented by Maggie Boriski. February 14th is the traditional day to prune roses. Timely and careful pruning encourages good health for our roses, gives them a good structure and size, and helps prevent Rose Rosette Virus. We also need to control mites carrying the virus and we are in the process of developing and breeding resistant roses.

Maggie Boriski, originally from Southern California, married an Aggie and moved to Bryan in 2011. She earned her Master Gardener Certification in the Class of 2011 and specializes in cultivating roses and in vermiculture.

3 pm:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Building an EarthKind Supply Chain for the Kitchen Garden. Presented by Dr. Sarah N. Gatson. In this talk you will learn about several small food garden styles built with low-cost and free (repurposed and recycled) materials that are largely crowd-sourced through the community. The talk will showcase raised beds and container gardens — recommended styles for Brazos County — and will include a discussion of existing demonstrations in the local community.

Dr. Sarah N. Gatson is a Texas transplant from Kansas City, MO. She completed her B.A. in Sociology & Spanish at Cornell College, and her M.A. and PhD in Sociology at Northwestern University. She has served as a Texas Master Gardener for Brazos County since 2016, and as faculty in the TAMU Sociology Department since 1999. She conducts the research and service-learning ethnographic project, “Everybody Eats,” focused on community food security in the Brazos Valley.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

1 pm:  How to select materials for raised beds and initial landscaping. Presented by Sam Feagley. Preparing and managing raised flower beds and initial landscaping will be discussed. How to select raised bed materials and whether to use native soil or purchased landscaping materials will be evaluated along with ways to determine the amount of nutrients available in the initial prepared soil.

Sam Feagley is a native of Texas. He has a BS in chemistry, MS in soil fertility (Texas A&M), and PhD in soil chemistry (University of Missouri). After teaching and doing research in the Agronomy Department at LSU for 16 years he joined TAMU 24 years ago in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department in an Extension and teaching position. He retired in December 2017 and became a Master Gardener in 2018.

 

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