Exhibits will focus on horticulture, agricultural production, natural resources
SAN ANTONIO – Once again, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is saddling up with H-E-B to present the Little Buckaroo Farms tent during the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, according to exhibit coordinators.
The tent will in the Family Fair area of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition grounds.
“The exhibit introduces visitors to agricultural production, nutrition, horticulture, natural resource conservation and more,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Bexar County and an exhibit coordinator.
Rodriguez said Bexar County Master Gardeners will return as one of the main exhibitors. The Bexar County Master Gardener association is a volunteer horticulture program of AgriLife Extension.
“Bexar County Master Gardeners will have an information booth in the tent to provide visitors with information and advice on gardening, landscaping, lawn maintenance and irrigation,” he said. “They also will be selling the popular Rodeo Tomato.”
Rodriguez said this year’s tomato is the red deuce — a reliable medium-to-large fruit producing beefsteak variety with a “superb sugar-to-acid flavor” and very good disease resistance.
“The plants we will have for sale at the rodeo were grown locally by Peterson Brothers Nursery,” he said.
He said Master Gardeners will have also have the newest Purple Heart bluebonnet for sale, as well as the newest Texas Superstar Whopper begonias and Texas Superstar satsuma varieties, including Orange Frost, Arctic Frost, Bumper and Lemon Frost.
“All proceeds go to the Bexar County Master Gardener scholarship fund,” he said.
Rodriguez noted each year dozens of Master Gardener volunteers from Bexar and Guadalupe counties contribute hundreds of hours to the planning, design and presentation of exhibits in which AgriLife Extension participates.
“This year, AgriLife Extension will also be coordinating two Adopt-A-Tree giveaways with the city of San Antonio and Bartlett Tree Experts,” he said. “The first giveaway will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 13 or while supplies last. The next tree giveaway will also be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 20, also while supplies last.”
Rodriguez said the first giveaway of 300 trees in one-gallon containers is part of the city’s Tree Mitigation Fund initiative, an effort to get San Antonio residents to plant more trees.
“Bartlett Tree Experts will provide another 400 trees for the second giveaway,” he said. “Tree samplings from Bartlett will include live oak, bur oak, lacey oak and cedar elm.”
Rodriguez said to make sure more people benefit, Master Gardeners will only provide one tree per household during both giveaways.
“Another Little Buckaroo activity will be a live garden show broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb.14 by KLUP radio station,” he said. “People can call in and have their horticultural questions answered by former AgriLife Extension horticulturists Dr. Calvin Finch and Dr. Jerry Parsons, and tent visitors can listen in.”
Rodriguez also said AgriLife Extension specialist John Smith, based in College Station, will provide a rainwater harvesting program from 3-4 p.m. on Feb. 27.
“This will be an informal presentation on how to make a rain barrel for capturing rainwater,” Rodriguez said.
A number of youth activities will also be offered at the tent, said Ruby Zavala, AgriLife Extension youth gardens program coordinator, Bexar County.
“We try to get youth involved in gardening as a means to expose them to nature and learn respect for the environment and natural resources,” Zavala said. “During the rodeo, we have hands-on activities so kids can see how much fun it is to learn about nature.”
She said youth activities will include a Make Your Own Love Bugs craft activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb.13 and 14; a Make A Terrarium Necklace! craft activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21; and a Pot-A-Plant activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28.
“We feel these activities will help young people learn more about the importance of nature and also give them an opportunity to see how to take care of things so they can grow,” Zavala said.