AgriLife Extension and Texas Public Radio to present Backyard Basics Expo in San Antonio

Sept. 14 event will have hands-on demos, instruction on home-grown, homemade foods

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SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Public Radio will present a Backyard Basics Expo on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Agriscience Magnet Program facility of James Madison High School, 5005 Stahl Rd., San Antonio.

The expo will feature a wide variety of presentations and hands-on demonstrations related to the production, preparation and preservation of homegrown and homemade foods. Concurrent educational sessions will present information and instruction on various subjects, including making soft cheeses, jerky, sausage, and jams and jellies; pickling, canning, and drying; gardening and horticulture, hydroponics, aquaponics and rainwater harvesting; and keeping bees, rabbits and laying hens.

Lunch is not included, but a concession stand and food trucks will be available during the lunch break.

“There has been a growing concern about food safety and interest in knowing where your food comes from and how it is handled and prepared,” said Dr. Connie Sheppard, AgriLife Extension agent for family and consumer sciences, Bexar County. “For this expo, AgriLife Extension and TPR have identified areas of consumer interest and have prepared a schedule to allow attendees an opportunity to learn about those which are of importance to them.”

Food preservation will be one of the subjects at the Backyard Basics Expo Sept. 14 that will feature a variety of  demonstrations and instruction on home-grown and homemade foods. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Food preservation will be one of the subjects at the Backyard Basics Expo Sept. 14 that will feature hands-on  demonstrations and instruction on a number of topics related to the production and preparation of home-grown and homemade foods. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Sheppard said the Backyard Basics program, which promotes healthy living through homegrown and homemade foods, was developed by AgriLife Extension and has been piloted in several South Central Texas counties, including Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Hays, Guadalupe, Medina and Wilson.

“We’ve had excellent response to these programs and are now in the process of expanding them to other counties throughout the state,” Sheppard said. “And while we’ve presented these programs at some larger venues, such as our kickoff at the Pearl Farmers Market and events at Don Strange Ranch and Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, we expect this to be our biggest event yet. We’re delighted to be working with TPR to bring this event to members and the general public.”

“Texas Public Radio is very proud to partner with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Backyard Basics Fall Expo,” said Shana Neel, TPR’s membership and grants manager. “We appreciate the program’s focus on home-based food production and view this partnership as an added value of membership in TPR because it is a healthy planet/healthy family initiative and is a great match with the expressed interests of our membership.”

The cost is $25 per person for the general public and free for children under 16 years old. Registration after Sept. 6 is $35 per person. Admission is free for up to a total of 200 TPR members.

For more information, Texas Public Radio members can visit tpr.org, call 210-614-8977 and ask for Elisa or Carin, or email elisa@tpr.org. All others register online at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Conference Services website at http://agriliferegister@tamu.edu or call 979-845-2604.

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