November 25, 2015
  
Bug Banquet makes a unique culinary experience

By Paul Schattenberg
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

An Australian man made national news recently and was dubbed "Ant Man" after surviving for almost a week in the unforgiving outback by eating ants - something he had seen survival expert Bear Grylls do on television.
 
While such a tale seems odd to Americans, entomophagy or the eating of insects for food goes back tens of thousands of years and continues today, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist Molly Keck for Bexar County.
 
"People in the United States and in other Western cultures usually find the idea of eating insects unappealing, but bugs are a normal part of the diet in many countries of the world," Keck said.
 
Keck recently hosted a unique entomophagy dinner event at a private residence near San Antonio. More than 70 people paid $35 each to attend the Bug Banquet she coordinated to educate people on insects as a food source and to serve them unique foods prepared with insect ingredients.
 
Dinner was prepared by chef Jose Cervantes and Bexar County 4-H Food Challenge team members, with assistance from other area 4-H members and employees of the AgriLife Extension office for Bexar County. Members of the 4-H Entomology Team greeted attendees at the door and helped serve the meal.
 
The menu included fire ant queso dip, candied pear salad greens with roasted mealworms, goat cheese quesadillas with tortillas made with cricket flour, and baked apples with cricket granola. Drinks included a cocktail made with honey produced by bees provided by AgriLife Extension to the San Antonio Food Bank to help increase pollination of the Food Bank Farm and for agency vegetable and fruit trials there.
 
Vegetables used in the evening's dishes were harvested from the Children's Vegetable Garden, a joint youth horticulture program of AgriLife Extension and the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
 
Reece Moffitt, a violinist who won recognition in the musical instrument competition in the statewide 4-H Roundup, provided entertainment for the event.
 
"Diners had the opportunity to eat an expertly prepared four-course meal made with delectable insects paired with an appropriate cocktail, beer or wine," she said. "Our goal was to give them an enjoyable and unusual dining experience while introducing them to a new way of thinking about their food."
 
One of Keck's youth entomology program participants, Ian Kusch, was given an opportunity to speak to the diners about his interest in entomology and entomophagy.
 
"My interest in entomophagy began while I was preparing for a science fair," said Kusch, who has been an entomology program participant for the past six years. "I've always been interested in insects, but then I learned about how people in many countries eat them and how they are a good source of nutrition."
 
Keck also spoke to the attendees, explaining how insects can be a viable "agricultural product" and alternative or supplemental food source for an ever-growing world population.
 
Gary Saathoff of Devine was one of the Bug Banquet diners, but this was not his first experience with entomophagy.
 
"I've actually eaten insects before, but that was mainly during military survival training and while teaching wilderness survival skills to Boy Scouts as an adult leader," Saathoff said. "Of course, they were raw and didn't taste very good."
 
He said this "bug-eating" experience was far more enjoyable.
 
"The mealworms in the salad added a buttery and nutty flavor," he said. "I couldn't really taste the fire ants in the queso, so they didn't affect the flavor and I know they provided extra protein."
 
Another diner, Patrice Cole of Adkins, whose family is involved in beekeeping, said she was hesitant when she first heard about the event.
 
"But when I got here and saw how the food was being prepared and how good the menu looked, I wasn't squeamish," Cole said. "You couldn't really taste the insects in some of the dishes. And in the ones where you could taste them, they added an interesting flavor that balanced the other flavors. Everything was really nice and the food was presented really well."
 
Keck said she thought the event was both a culinary and educational success.
 
"Based on what I heard at the Bug Banquet and after it, everyone had a good time and people were pleased with the menu and the quality and taste of the food," she said. "It was also a good opportunity to let people know that insects are a viable agricultural product and can be part of the solution toward ensuring the future food security of the planet."
Brighten up the winter landscape with berry-bearing hollies

Monrovia
 
Why settle for a barren backyard this winter! While most often thought of when decking the halls, glossy, glammy, wildlife-magnet, berry-laden hollies are useful, tough, fuss-free shrubs that add color, form and interest to the landscape year round. Monrovia, the largest grower of premium container-grown plants has five exciting ways to use them in the home garden.

"Sure they strut their stuff in the frosty season when they berry-up, but hollies are really more like a little black dress for the landscape," says Kate Karam, spokesperson for Monrovia. "From elegant, dense hedges and spectacular stand-alone specimens to shapely foundation anchors and container cuties, they make everything they're planted with look that much better. And in winter when they sport red, orange, yellow, or black berries, they dazzle."

Here are five easy ways to use hollies in the landscape 

Hedges and Screens: Because of their year-round foliage, ease of pruning, and generally quick growth rate, evergreen hollies make good hedges.
 
Foundations: When it comes to the front of the house, hollies look best in spring and summer when paired with flowering deciduous shrubs such as hydrangeas and viburnums or perennials such as grasses.
 
Naturalizing: Winterberries (Ilex verticillata) are native deciduous hollies that lose their leaves in winter; what remains is a breathtaking display of thousands of brightly colored berries clinging to every stem. Leave unsheared and watch the birds flock. Most require a pollinizer for best berry set.
 
Show Stoppers: Instead of a conifer as a stand-alone, brake-slamming specimen, consider a handsome holly instead. Just add twinkle-lights for a living Christmas tree.
 
Containers: From compact varieties that can be sheared into tight balls to tall, narrow columns, hollies are excellent container plants.
 
"There's a splendid, problem-solving holly for just about every USDA zone," says Karam. "Visit your local garden center to find the perfect choice for your yard. And be sure to cut some branches for decorating this holiday season."
FDA's final produce rule imposes undue burdens on farmers
 
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
 
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final rule for farms that raise produce for human consumption, "is going to be very damaging for the growing local food movement, and the millions of American consumers who want more access, not less, to healthy local foods," stated Judith McGeary, founder and Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and a farmer herself.
 
The final rule comes after two rounds of proposed rulemaking, an unusual procedure taken by FDA in response to the outcry caused by the initial proposed rule. The final rule retains many of the positive changes that had been made in the second proposed rulemaking, but FDA made only a few additional changes.
 
"On the positive side, the final rule retains the changes relating to the use of compost and manure, as well as adding some clarification on grazing and the frequency required for water testing," stated Ms. McGeary. "Unfortunately, the agency chose to ignore the comments it received about the unrealistic standard for irrigation water, as well as the scope of the qualified exemption."
 
FDA's final rule includes standards for irrigation water that are based on the standard that applies to recreational waters, such as streams that people swim in. Numerous organizations and experts argued that the standard was unnecessarily restrictive and impractical when applied to agricultural uses.
 
In addition, Congress included a "qualified exemption" in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), exempting small-scale direct-marketing farmers from the produce rule and setting a gross sales limit of half a million dollars a year. Although meat and grain products are not regulated under FSMA, under the final rule sales of such products will all be counted toward the gross sales limit.
 
"FDA's decision to effectively narrow the scope of the Tester-Hagan qualified exemption is deeply disappointing," contended Ms. McGeary. "In practical terms, this rule pressures grain and livestock farmers to avoid diversification, harming farmers financially and discouraging environmentally responsible land use. From a food safety standpoint, it does not make sense to treat the small-scale production of produce the same as large-scale production, simply because the same person is producing other types of food as well."
 
Moreover, FDA's final rule would allow a local FDA official to revoke a farmer's exemption if the official claimed there were conditions at the farm or facility that posed a risk of foodborne illness, giving the agency extensive discretion. The agency did extend the deadlines for the farmer to respond as well as to come into compliance, but not as far as many commenters had urged.
 
"What sane person would start a small farm, knowing that he or she might have to comply with thousands of dollars of extra expense based on a bureaucrat's say-so and very little due process?" asked Ms. McGeary. "This rule creates significant disincentives to farming, at a time when we need more farmers, not fewer.
 
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance has committed to providing materials to help farmers navigate the rules and understand their impact.
Gardening tips

Last week we talked about cleaning up annual ornamental beds. After the first freeze is also a good time to cut back perennials to a few inches above ground to remove the unsightly, dead growth. Then mulch the bed well and be sure to cover the base of the plants to protect them from cold weather. This may not be necessary in South Texas, but it could help some marginally adapted perennials survive a North Texas winter to bloom again next spring.                
 
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 2015 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.
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.
NOVEMBER

San Antonio: "Olive Production & Management Seminar" will be presented Monday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at San Antonio Livestock Exposition - Dairy Barn, 723 AT&T Center Parkway, San Antonio. 5 CEUs for MGs. This seminar is open to commercial olive producers, small acreage farm operators and the general public interested in growing olives. If interested, RSVP early with registration fee of $30, payable to the Bexar County Master Gardeners. Attention: Angel Torres, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 212, San Antonio, Texas 78230. For more information call 210-631-0402, or email Angel Torres: matorres@ag.tamu.edu.
DECEMBER

Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners are holding their annual fruit and nut tree fundraiser. Pre-orders are being taken now and will be open until Friday, December 4. To order by mail, submit completed order form with check payment to: Waller County Master Gardeners, 846
-6th Street, Hempstead, TX 77445. We also invite you to come by the AgriLife Extension Office to order in person at the above address. For tree information, order form, and instructions for ordering, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg/ and follow the Tree Sale tab on the top menu.

La Marque: GC Master Gardener Ira Gervais will present "Growing Tomatoes from Seed," Part 1 of 3, 9-11:30 a.m. December 12 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservation to galv@wt.net. For additional information, visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

Grapevine: The National Grazing Lands Coalition will host the 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands December 13-16, at the Hyatt Regency DFW near Grapevine. Conference organizers expect more than 1,200 ranchers, professors, land managers, researchers, public officials, conservationists and students to attend this national conference and participate in the exchange of ideas and information on grazing land environmental and economic practices and issues. The conference will feature experts in fields such as range science, range and pasture management, forage management and animal behavior. Speakers include Dr. Don Ball, professor emeritus, Auburn University; Dr. Garry Lacefield, professor of plant and soil science, Extension forage specialist, University of Kentucky; Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, forage product manager, Barenbrug, USA; and Dr. Rachel Gilker and Kathy Voth, who produce "On Pasture," an online grazing magazine which translates research and experience into actions graziers can implement on their own operations. The conference's unique format will provide grazing information and expert speakers along four "tracks" - Western, Midwestern, Eastern and Dairy. Some of the topics to be highlighted include grazing management, grazing land economics and marketing, public policy, soil health and the ag/urban interface. Session speakers also include everyday ranchers and land managers. This year's conference will also feature a "Texas Day" on December 15 that will feature sessions on prescribed burning and brush management, along with a Texas Social in the evening. Early bird registration of $295 is available through Oct. 15, followed by regular online registration of $365 until Dec. 4. On-site registration is also available at $365. For more registration information, or opportunities to exhibit or participate in poster presentations visit http://www.grazinglands.org.

Woodway: Peggy Cathey of Waco Iris will discuss Irises from noon until 2 p.m., December 16, at the Pavilion at Carleen Bright Arboretum, 1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. For additional information, call 254-399-9204.
JANUARY

Comal County: Want to be a Master Gardener in Comal County? Class applications are being accepted for the 2016 class that starts January 13. There are 50 hours of classroom instruction over 17 weeks. The Class meets every Wednesday 12:45-5:00 until May 4 and covers all Texas A&M University educational requirements to start your journey to become a Master Gardener. Visit txmg.org/comal for more information and click the Training Tab for an application.

Jasper: Longleaf 101, an in-depth classroom and field instruction in all things longleaf, will be presented January 19-21 at Rayburn Country, 2376 Wingate Blvd., Jasper. This course is to prepare landowners and natural resource professionals to address problems specific to longleaf forests and create a uniformly well-informed network of longleaf managers. $300 per participant includes registration fee, materials, lodging (Tuesday and Wednesday nights), and meals. Minimum of 20 attendees required to hold the course. SAF-CFEs will be provided. For more information or to register, call Casey White at 334-427-1029 at email office@longleafalliance.org
FEBRUARY

Dallas: "Master Gardener - Water Efficient Landscape Design" will be presented Wednesday-Friday, February 17-19 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C Classroom & Large Hall, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Do you have a demonstration garden or school garden project that needs help to be water efficient? The Water Efficient Landscape Design Program for Master Gardeners provides you the skills to be your own landscape designer. You bring the project and we provide the guidance. You will learn basic landscape design techniques, native/adaptive plant selection, rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation to help your project become the envy of water efficient landscapes. This is a three-day program with Wednesday and Thursday evening optional design workshops. This workshop is only open to current Master Gardener volunteers. One registration is good for two club members to attend with design materials to share. Additional design materials available for purchase. Registration: Only 20 Master Gardener participant spots are available for this training (10 groups). Registration is first come/first served basis. Cost: $300.00: (includes lunch, dinner and design materials). For additional information please email Karen Sanders at karen.sanders@tamu.edu. To pay by credit card please contact Clint Wolfe at 972-952-9635.Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.
MARCH

Dallas: "Landscape Design - Be Your Own Landscape Designer, with Water Efficiency in Mind" will be presented 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, WaterSense Labeled Home, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Are you on a budget, but your landscape needs a facelift? Be your own Landscape Designer by learning hands on approaches to landscape design for the do-it-yourself homeowner. Learn proper plant placement, design aspects and installation for a more water efficient landscape. This is a four-week class meeting once per week. Cost: $395. Note: This is a project-based class and is limited to one project please. Fee includes dinner each week for up to 2 project leaders/homeowners listed at initial registration. If you will have two project leaders/homeowners please reply to the confirmation email after you have registered. Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

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.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.
 
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
 
Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.
  
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.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.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.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at kayleetl@sbcglobal.net.
 
Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels. 
 
SECOND WEEK
 
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.org.
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. 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.
 
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.
 
Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit http://dcmga.com/.
 
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
 
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's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 
 
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.
 
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
 
Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.
 
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 new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. 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.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 
 
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 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, 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.
  
Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.
 
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.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
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 Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.
  
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.
 
Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
 
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third 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 254-471-5860. 
 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker, plant of the month presentation, and plant raffle. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/wp/lindheimer.
 
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 Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, 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.
 
Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
 
Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/Houston.
 
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.
 
FOURTH WEEK
 
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.
 
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
 
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 Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. 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 email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
 
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 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 Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
 
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday 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.
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Finally, back by popular demand and in its fourth printing, the most informative and comprehensive "how-to" book on vegetable gardening in Texas (also, suitable for most other areas of the South) written by the late, great Dr. Sam Cotner, former head of horticulture at Texas A&M University and lifelong gardener. This interesting read has over 370 pages of detailed information on every crop, from Asparagus to Watermelon including problem/solving sections for each vegetable. If you want to maximize your enjoyment and success growing vegetables in Texas, this book is a "must have," whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener. Price $34.02

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Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. Suntex Communications, Inc. 2015. 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.

 

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Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken 

 

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