Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Seminars: Composting & Building an Insect Hotel

Backyard Basics: Composting
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10am – noon
Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 Smith Road
Cost: $10 ($15 after 7/28 and onsite)

Whether you want to get ready for a fabulous fall garden, or just improve the health of your lawn and landscape, compost is an easy and inexpensive amendment, safe to use, and beneficial for the environment. Cathy Wood, Master Gardener and compost specialist, will teach the ingredients needed for quality compost, how to build an effective compost pile, and how to use its contents to increase the fertility of your soil and productivity of your garden. This first course in our series on Backyard Basics will include a tour of the compost methods used on site at the AgriLife Demonstration Garden, weather permitting.



Part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Backyard Basics Series.  Register at  https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty  or by phone 979-845-2604


Insect Visitors in Your Garden
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 10am – noon
Zilker Botanical Garden 2220 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX, 78746
Seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior.

Update your understanding of good bugs and bad, with Master Gardeners Pat Mokry and Sheryl Williams. Pat, an entomology specialist, will describe the common insect visitors to your garden, and help you determine if and how you should treat for them. Following identification of beneficial insects, Sheryl will then share a fascinating project she has constructed to attract insects into her garden for observation, pollination and just plain fun. Don’t miss these two lively, informative ladies!

For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/master-gardeners/master-gardener-educational-seminars-events/

Friday, June 27, 2014

Raising and Managing Bees

Saturday, July 19, 2014, 10am – noon
Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd
.
This seminar is free
Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior.

Chris Doggett, of Williamson County Beekeepers Association, will share his knowledge and expertise in raising and managing bees. Learn how to provide a healthy and attractive environment for bees, whether you have a backyard hive, or acres of crops needing pollination. A delightful speaker with hands-on experience, Chris will gladly answer your questions and concerns to take the mystery out of beekeeping.

For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/master-gardeners/master-gardener-educational-seminars-events/

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Forward Farming Series

I'm proud to announce: our recently revamped educational series on urban farming issues is now a partnership with the City of Austin Office of Sustainability.



We will have several more offerings in the next few months, but once again, we're starting with two programs focused on the business aspects of farming in small acreage situations: Business Planning, on July 16, and Marketing, on July 23.

FORWARD FARMING: BUSINESS PLANNING
July 16, 2014 @ 8:30 am - 4 pm
location changed to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office   
                                    1600-B Smith Rd, Austin, TX 78721
Registration: $50 thru July 14 ($65 late and onsite)

 
Business Planning for Your Small-Scale Farming Operation
Planning and management are very important when beginning any operation. We’ll cover both topics in this interactive program. You’ll have a chance to discuss your own opportunities and ideas.
Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Professor and Extension Economist, Director of the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers

USDA's Microloans Program
The USDA Microloan program is designed with small producers in mind. A simplified loan application process and modified eligibility requirements are well-suited to beginning farmers, ranchers, and CSA operators. Learn all about this exciting new program.
Terri Trevino, Farm Loan Manager, USDA’s Farm Service Agency

Financing Panel
This is your opportunity to ask the experts about different financing options – some traditional, some a little more “out of the box”. Bring your questions about agricultural financing through USDA loans, traditional bank loans, grant funding, crowd-funding, and community partnerships.
Mark Rutledge, Capital Farm Credit

Also:
Ag Valuations
TDA Guidelines for Becoming a Certified Organic Operation

A box lunch will be provided. Please list any dietary restrictions you may have or if you prefer a vegetarian meal.

Register online at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/traviscounty
Register by phone: 979-845-2604


For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600, drichards@ag.tamu.edu



FORWARD FARMING: SALES & MARKETING
July 23, 2014 @ 8:30 am - 4 pm
location changed to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office   
                                    1600-B Smith Rd, Austin, TX 78721

Registration: $50 thru July 20 ($65 late and onsite)

MarketReady
The MarketReady Training program prepares producers to develop supplier relationships with restaurants, grocery, wholesale and foodservice buyers. This curriculum is based around specific best business practices (in communications, packaging, labeling, delivery, invoicing, etc.) identified by current buyers – not to miss!
Marco Palma, PhD, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist

Exploring Texas MarketMaker
Explore this virtual market place between Texas producers and buyers, and learn how to create a profile for your farm.
Marco Palma, PhD, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist

Also:
Pati Jacobs Bastrop Cattle Co.

A box lunch will be provided. Please list any dietary restrictions you may have or if you prefer a vegetarian meal.

Register online at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/traviscounty
Register by phone: 979-845-2604


For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600, drichards@ag.tamu.edu

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Backyard Basics: The Art of Self-Reliance

 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County will offer the Backyard Basics series where consumers, backyard gardeners, homemakers, and educators can learn about composting, vegetable gardening essentials, pest management and raising chickens for home egg production.

The monthly programs will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the AgriLife Extension office in southeast Austin, located at 1600-B Smith Road. Cost is $10 per course for early registration and $15 per course for late or on-site registration. A person may take as many of the different courses as desired.

August 7th - Composting
Whether you want to get ready for a fabulous fall garden, or just improve the health of your lawn and landscape, compost is an easy and inexpensive amendment, safe to use, and beneficial for the environment. Cathy Wood, Master Gardener and compost specialist, will teach the ingredients needed for quality compost, how to build an effective compost pile, and how to use its contents to increase the fertility of your soil and productivity of your garden. This first course in our series on Backyard Basics will include a tour of the compost methods used on site at the AgriLife Demonstration Garden, weather permitting.

September 4th - Vegetable Gardening
With its warm days and cooler nights, along with more stable weather patterns, Fall just may be the best season for vegetable gardening in Central Texas. In our second course on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and vegetable specialist Tommie Clayton will share her many years of experience in gardening, with details on planting schedules, proven varieties for our area and other helpful resources.

October 2nd - Integrated Pest Management
Wizzie Brown, Integrated Pest Management Specialist for AgriLife Extension Service, will discuss natural pest control in the garden and landscape, as she teaches about pests and the damage they inflict at various times of the year. Learn to encourage the good guys and discourage the bad guys in your vegetable garden in this third course on Backyard Basics.

November 6th - Backyard Chickens
For our final course on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and blogger Ally Stresing will share her love of backyard chickens in this informative talk on the care and maintenance of the home flock. From constructing a predator-proof coop, to choosing proper feed, to handling boredom and the pecking order, Ally will guide you through the ins and outs of caring for happy, healthy hens.

Register online: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty
Register by phone: 979-845-2604
For more information, contact Daphne Richards at 512-854-9600 or drichards@ag.tamu.edu

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Master Gardener Training Information Sessions @ Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office


Are you interested in becoming a Travis County Master Gardener? If so, it’s time to apply!

In order to receive an application, you must attend one of our information sessions. Seating at each session is limited, so please arrive early to secure a seat.

All information sessions will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office, 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin, TX 78721


MG Information Session 2, Tuesday June 17, 2014, 2:00 to 3:00 PM
MG Information Session 3, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 6:00 to 7:00 PM
 

If you are unable to attend one of the sessions offered, you will need to wait until the 2015 information sessions are offered, and thus you will not be able to apply for the 2014 program. No exceptions will be made

Monday, June 2, 2014

Two great educational opportunities in June !!


Grafting Vegetable Crops— Principles and Practices

June 19, 2014 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Travis County East Service Center
6011 Blue Bluff Road
Registration: $10 thru June 5 ($15 late and onsite)


Are you interested in learning more about grafting vegetables? AgriLife Extension specialists in College Station will be joining us via web video to present this program. A live question/answer session will also be available.

Part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Small Acreage Horticultural Crops Series. The goal of the program is to assist in evaluating diversification strategies and income opportunities from the production of small acreage horticultural crops.

REGISTER HERE:
https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/index.cfm/publicHome/ or by phone 979-845-2604
 

Composting for the Home Garden

June 21, 2014 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Zilker Botanical Garden 2220
Barton Springs Road

This seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior.

Pat Mokry, Travis Co Master Gardener and compost specialist will teach the methods of constructing different composting systems to turn kitchen ‘trash’ into garden treasure. You’ll be both informed and entertained by Pat’s presentation on how to use this valuable soil amendment to increase your garden’s fertility and productivity.

For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/master-gardeners/master-gardener-educational-seminars-events/

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dealing with Drought in the Landscape Series: Alternate Methods of Gardening


Thursday June 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Travis Co East Service Center
6011 Blue Bluff Rd, 78724
Workshop Fee $15

 
Feeling adventurous? Explore alternate methods of gardening during the final class in our Dealing with Drought Conditions series.

If you have time, space, or physical limitations yet still have a desire to nurture your green thumb, Master Gardener Pat Mokry will teach you how to raise carefree veggies, herbs and flowers using self-sufficient grow boxes. Then, for some more ‘new’ ideas, Master Gardener Marian Stassney will describe the ancient practices of both keyhole gardening and hugelkultur, to expand your repertoire of gardening techniques.

Part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Dealing with Drought in the Landscape Series. Register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty or by phone 979-845-2604

IMPORTANT:  All seminars normally held at Extension will be temporarily moved to our classroom at 6011 Blue Bluff Rd, 78724.  For further information, please call (512) 854-9600.   Click here for directions