AUSTIN — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Travis County Master Gardeners and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department will present the annual East Austin Garden Fair from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 11 at the Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales St. in Austin.
The event, which has the theme “A Passion for Plants,” is free to the public.
“This is the ninth year of this fun, hands-on fair that involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit, as well as providing them useful information about Earth-Kind landscaping,” said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Travis County.
Earth-Kind landscaping is an environmentally responsible method that combines the best of traditional and organic gardening, Richards said.
“Attendees can also get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chickens and beekeeping,” she said. “The fair will also feature a variety of do-it-yourself and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids’ activities and container-garden building.”
Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants will be offered to event participants while supplies last, she added.
“We have some new partners in addition to our many long-standing community partners collaborating to present this event,” Richards said. “Plus, this year we will have a bright festive look, including a quick way to distinguish our youth-oriented activities from those designed for adults. The youth activity booths will have apple-green tablecloths, and there will be fuchsia-colored tablecloths for all other booths.”
She said long-standing partners and participants include the Sustainable Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, Festival Beach Food Forest, Green Corn Project, Home Depot Kid’s Workshop, Texas 4-H, AmeriCorps, AgriLife Extension Master Wellness Volunteers and Prairie View A&M University.
There will be new booths for this year’s fair that will address raising backyard rabbits, alternate methods of gardening, building a backyard greenhouse or hoop house, house plants and terrariums, and garden tools and techniques,” Richards said.
She said new community partners and participants include Methodist Healthcare Ministries, Bailey Massage, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Pandora Healing Hoops, Austin Herb Society and the Austin Public Library.
“Some of the activities and demonstrations the new partners will bring to the event will include diabetes and blood pressure screenings, garden stretching, wildscapes, hydroponics, family dance and exercise, landscaping with edible herbs and garden story time.”
For more information, call Richards or the Travis County Master Gardener desk at 512-854-9600