Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Howdy! And here's a learning opportunity for you.

As some of you might remember from a post quite some time ago, I'm the new Extension horticulture agent for Travis County. Yes, Skip is still around, but he's busy being in charge of the office. I'm glad he's still here; it's great having the former hort. agent around--I have a wealth of information in the office right next door! And that's extremely helpful, seeing as how I moved here recently (well...okay, it has been almost a year now, but it feels just like yesterday) from almost a decade as the hort. agent out west in the beautiful Chihuahuan Desert.

As my long dormant allergies are painfully telling me (shhh, don't tell the boss, but I have a degree in botany from this city's fine institution of higher learning, so I've lived here before), spring is springing back upon us. And with its arrival, you'll no doubt be getting back out into your gardens and landscapes, happy to escape from the uncharacteristically cold, wet winter that we just experienced. I'll be out there too, as soon as my nose will let me, and I'll also be keeping you more informed about horticulture information and goings-on that I think you might find useful. And here's the first one:

Tomato 101 - The Basics of Growing Tomatoes
An online course, whose name is self-explanatory.

As our lives become more and more hectic, many of us are looking for ways to streamline our activities and make the most of every minute of our time. Fortunately or unfortunately, that streamlining often involves electronic rather than face-to-face interactions. While I believe that in-person learning continues to be a vital part of Extension's programming, I recognize that electronic learning opportunities will increase our impact on the community and are becoming a vital part of our program offerings.

Here is a description of the course, which was developed by Extension vegetable specialist Dr. Joe Masabni and his assistant, Patrick Lillard. I would love your feedback, so please feel free to drop me a line after you've completed the course: drichards@ag.tamu.edu

Tomato 101
The best garden is a well planned garden, so while you wait for spring,
get ready for the best tomato harvest by taking the new online course
‘Tomato 101’.

This course teaches all aspects of growing tomatoes in a home garden,
at your own pace and in your own home.

The course covers:
●Garden and soil preparation
●Plant selection and training
●Weed, disease and insect control
●General care

A short quiz at the end of each section lets you review what you
learned before moving on, and the completion of the course generates
a certificate for you.

So get out from the rain, take a seat by your computer and dream about
those summer tomatoes while you go through Tomato 101.

Available at: http://www-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/

Creating a free use account is required to participate.

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