Home and garden show to feature rainwater harvesting program Feb. 22-23 in Wichita Falls

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: David Graf, 940-716-8610, cdgraf@ag.tamu.edu

WICHITA FALLS – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Wichita County and the Wichita County Master Gardeners Association will team up Feb. 22-23 with the Kemp Center for the Arts to provide educational programs during the Arts Alive! Home and Garden Festival in Wichita Falls.

The annual home and garden show will be in the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall at the MPEC, 1000 5th St. Admission is $7 per person or $5 in advance from local business supporters or Master Gardeners.

Vendors, seminars and demonstrations are scheduled from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Feb. 23.

The primary segment of the educational sessions will occur in the auditorium starting at 9:15 a.m. with the following speakers:

- Dr. Joseph Masabni, AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist in College Station, will discuss vegetable gardening in the Rolling Plains under drought restrictions.

- Chris Wiesinger of Golden, who is known as the Bulb Hunter, will talk about collecting and saving heirloom bulbs and introducing them to a new generation of gardeners.

- Dr. Dotty Woodson, AgriLife Extension water resources program specialist in Dallas, will present Rainwater Harvesting for Landscape Irrigation.

Also, a special educational lineup, known as Challenge Sessions, will be held throughout the two-day event in Room 5. These sessions will feature a variety of topics in an informal setting, where attendees may interact with speakers, said David Graf, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Wichita County.

Challenge Sessions on Feb. 22 will be from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Morning sessions will be Rainwater Harvesting Basics by Graf and Rainwater for Home Use by Woodson. Afternoon sessions will be Backyard Bird Feeding by Katherine Smith with Wild Birds Unlimited in Wichita Falls, Low Water Use Plants by Paul Dowlearn with Wichita Valley Nursery and Simple Ways to Save Water by Graf.

Challenge Sessions on Feb. 23 start at 12:30 p.m. and will include repeats of Dowlearn’s and Graf’s presentations, plus Bird Feeds and Feeders to Draw Color by Smith.

Attendees will be able to view a rainwater harvesting display, complete with decorative stacked totes of about 500-gallon storage capacity, a small replica of a pet/wildlife harvesting unit and decorative barrels under 100-gallon capacity. The display also will offer examples of how to connect gutters to rainwater containers, Graf said.

Also, an educational video loop will feature Billy Kniffen, retired AgriLife Extension specialist and noted rainwater harvesting expert in Menard. Kniffen has proven a family of two can live with only 9 inches of rainfall per year. In the video he will explain the basics of rainwater harvesting, system setup, and rainwater harvesting for drinking water and purification.

For more information, contact Graf at 940-716-8610 or cdgraf@ag.tamu.edu.

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