Laugh at the recession; eat the landscape, said Tommy Neyland, AgriLife Extension agent for Leon County, and organizer for the event.
Neland is only partially joking. Its possible to save quite a bit of money by growing ones own vegetables and herbs, he said.
Theres been a big increase in interest for home gardening the last couple of years, most likely because of the economy, Neyland said.
Featured speakers at this years event will be Thomas LeRoy, AgriLife Extension agent for Montgomery County and co-author of The Southern Kitchen Garden: Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers Essential for the Southern Cook.
Many people think The Southern Kitchen Garden is a cookbook, but theyre wrong, LeRoy said.
Kitchen gardening is a practice that developed in France and other parts of Europe, he said. ( Its ) where you would grow the things you used in the kitchen in a garden located where you could easily access it by the back door of the kitchen.
At the seminar, LeRoy and his co-author, Bill Adams, retired AgriLife Extension horticultural agent, Harris County, will talk about what can be grown in the home garden and how to get started.
Because what you use in the kitchen is not just vegetables – it includes herbs, fruits and even cut flowers – well talk about growing those too, LeRoy said.
Though it is possible to save money growing your own vegetables, especially staples such as tomatoes and green chilies, not all homegrown vegetables will be cheaper than grocery store produce.
If you grow the right things, you can save money, LeRoy said. If you try to justify gardening by growing potatoes, its pretty hard to do. But if you grow tomatoes, its pretty easy to justify it.
But there are other reasons to grow a variety of your own vegetables, he said, including freshness and flavor, and being able to control what pesticides are used, if any.
The thing about Texas is that there are so many things we can grow here throughout the year, LeRoy said. For example, in the winter, we can grow all the salad greens that are essential to the table, everything from broccoli, to lettuces, and even leeks and onions.
As far as fruits are concerned, blackberries and strawberries and some of the smaller fruits are a good fit for home landscapes with limited space, he said.
Its hard to fit in a big pecan tree into a small backyard garden, but you can always fit in a small orange tree or tub of strawberries or a couple of blackberry plants, LeRoy said.
LeRoy and Adams will speak in the morning session. The afternoon speaker will be Judy Barrett, author of What Can I Do With My Herbs?
Registration for the event is $75 per person. A catered lunch, break refreshments and handout materials will be included.
Due to the speaker cost, meal cost and room cost, to reserve a seat I have to require that attendees preregister and prepay, Neyland said.
Private pesticide applicators will earn two continuing education units, both in the general category, toward the renewal of their Texas Department of Agriculture licenses.
The seminar will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.
To preregister and for more information, call the AgriLife Extension office in Leon County at 903-536-2531.
Source: Media Newswire