AUSTIN — Experts from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Travis County Master Gardeners and Austin Parks and Recreation will be available to answer questions and share gardening expertise at the East Austin Garden Fair April 13.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be from 9 a.m-2 p.m. at the Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales St. in Austin.
The theme for this year’s fair is “Learn. Teach. Grow.” It will feature more than 50 booths representing a variety of gardening and related topics.
“The fair will provide something for traditional homeowners as well as the person with more of an urban lifestyle,” said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Travis County. “There will also be a special just-for-kids section and lots of family activities.”
Richards said event demonstration activities will include straw bale gardening, tools and techniques, and composting, as well as learning about best irrigation methods and how to garden using containers.
“Attendees can also learn how to care for their fruit trees, house plants and vegetable gardens, plus learn about subjects like backyard chickens and beekeeping,” she said.
Other event offerings will include a plant giveaway, free gardening materials and complimentary soil screening. Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants will be given to attendees while supplies last.
“This fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow foods to improve their family diet, as well as providing people an opportunity to learn about Earth-Kind landscaping,” Richards said. “Earth-Kind landscaping combines the best of traditional and organic techniques while emphasizing reduced use of chemicals.”
Richards will be available to answer questions about gardening and horticulture and talk about the Master Gardener volunteer program as part of the “Meet the Horticulture Agent” feature at the fair.
In addition, Travis County Master Gardeners will provide information on a variety of horticulture topics and other groups will provide information on gardening- and horticulture- related services, programs and projects.
Free soil screening is offered through Austin Resource Recovery. To have soil tested for metals, pH balance and nutrients, attendees should bring a 2-cup soil sample in a quart-size zip bag. Instructions can be found at http://austintexas.gov/soilkitchen.
Along with AgriLife Extension and the Travis County Master Gardeners, community partners and new participants in the fair include the Sustainable Food Center, Central Texas Food Bank, Green Corn Project, Home Depot Kid’s Workshop, and various city departments and agencies.
For more information, call 512-854-9600 or go to AgriLife Extension’s Central Texas Horticulture site at http://bit.ly/1RxVUN3.
Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacts: Daphne Richards, 512-854-9600, email@example.com
Peggy Hart, 512-342-8557, TCMGA@gmail.com