2021 Speaker’s Network Topics

Earth-Kind®: Preserve the Good, Prevent the Rest

Participants will be introduced to the four basic tenets of EARTH-KIND:

  • Water conservation,

  • Energy conversation,

  • Reduction of fertilizer and pesticide use, and

  • Reduction of yard waste entering the landfill.

  • Strategies for accomplishing each of the goals in the landscape will be explored.  

  • Assess resources to make the best use of time

  • Learn ergonomic principles for minimizing strain on back, legs, arms, and hands

  • Find ergonomically designed garden tools and useful assistive devices

 

 

Planting a Perennial Garden for a Glorious Spring

Perennial gardens can transform any space with colors, textures and dimension to enjoy year after year.  However, perennial is not synonymous with “work-free.” Taking the time to plan all aspects of your garden can reduce the effort and is the first step in your long-term relationship with your thriving garden.

This presentation will focus primarily on the planning process, explaining:

  • What is a perennial?

  • Considerations for selecting your space

  • Planning stages

  • Considerations for hardscape

  • Considerations for plants

  • Consideration for water conservation

  • Considerations for soil preparation

  • Considerations for installation

  • Considerations for care and maintenance with examples

 

 

Fermentation                                                                                                                                           

 

Before the advent of modern-day canning, food was preserved with the process of fermentation. The simplest type of fermentation with naturally occurring yeasts or lactic acid was called pickling. The Lactobacillus organisms convert lactose and other sugars present in food into lactic acid. This creates an acidic environment that safely preserves food and imparts a classic, tangy flavor. This session will show the techniques and varieties of fermentation.

 

The Internet and Social Media are awash with recipes and alternative canning methods that may not be safe. Many of the “tried and true,” “grandma’s techniques” or “great Aunt Sally’s methods” from a couple of generations ago are no considered longer safe. Canning information prior to 1994 could pose a serious health risk. This presentation will focus on current USDA and National Center for Home Food Preservation’s recommendations based on scientific evidence.                                                   

 

 

Hays County Master Gardeners Association Overview

By Marilyn Love

Marilyn, a Master Gardener since May of 2012, served as HCMGA President in 2014 and 2015 and then served as Vice President in 2016 and 2017.  She now chairs the Membership Committee and is one of our most active speakers and volunteers. She will present:

  • History of Texas Master Gardeners

  • Master Gardener Community Service  

  • Master Gardener Certification Training

  • MG Association Membership

 

 

Orchid Care Basics

If you’ve never cared for an orchid before buying it in bloom at the store, this presentation is for you.  Eileen will explain:

  • How to care for an orchid after the blooms drop

  • How to keep it healthy and able to bloom again

 

 

Plants Toxic to Pets

Annually, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals receives over 150,000 calls from desperate pet owners, seeking help with accidental pet poisonings. The “Plants Toxic to Pets” presentation covers a few of the most toxic plants; plants that are the cause of most common poisoning in pets, and some plants that would pose the highest threat to the pet’s life. In addition, the presentation covers the dangerous toxins that are contained in the plant, the symptoms and some first aide guidelines.

 

Goals for this discussion are to:

  • Educate pet owners to the dangers that some plants can cause to our beloved pets

  • Bring awareness and a deeper understanding of the risks of cohabitation between pets and plants

  • Become aware of the plant toxicity because “Our pet’s life is our responsibility!”

 

 

Preserving the Harvest

 

Food preservation is as old as the history of mankind. To survive, ancient man had to harness nature and develop ways to preserve food. This presentation will trace the history of storing and preserving food beginning with the Ancient Chinese and the Egyptians. The art of preserving foods, whether pickling, canning, making jams and jellies, curing or freezing, has made a comeback in the 1970’s and remains a popular cultural activity.  Each process will introduce modern-day food preservation methods with descriptions, detailed step-by-step illustrations and explanations of the necessary equipment.

 

The Internet and Social Media are awash with recipes and alternative canning methods that may not be safe. Many of the “tried and true,” “grandma’s techniques” or “great Aunt Sally’s methods” from a couple of generations ago are no considered longer safe. Canning information prior to 1994 could pose a serious health risk. This presentation will focus on current USDA and National Center for Home Food Preservation’s recommendations based on scientific evidence.

 

 

Stunning Texas Superstars®

The Texas Superstar program identifies specific plants that have been proven to thrive in our Texas heat. The plants are insect-tolerant, and highly drought- and disease-resistant. They provide stunning color and beauty while requiring minimal care or reliance on chemical pest-control.

 

Come ready to learn how to save money, identify these Texas Superstar plants, find ways to use them in your landscape, and care for them just enough to help them flourish and reward you with their beauty.

 

 

Composting

  • Basic Composting materials

  • Ideas for design

  • Dos and don’ts

  • For the beginner or advanced

 

 

Fall Planting

  • What grows well in the fall

  • Herbs, vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees

 

 

Do It Yourself (DYI) Garden Planning – Growing with Nature

  • Learn how to develop your own personal garden design

  • Save time and money when creating the yard of your dreams
     

 

Nurturing the Monarchs

  • History

  • Types, Location, Traits

  • Importance

  • Population Trends

  • Contributing Factors to Population Decline

  • Reproductive Lifecycle

  • Migration Patterns

  • Monarch Friendly Plants and Milkweed