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The Hidalgo County office of Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service and the Master Gardener volunteers celebrated the Grand Opening of the South Texas Master Gardener Educational Garden on Saturday, October 18 with a Fall Garden Festival and Plant Sale. Master Gardeners began designing the 1.2 acre garden, located in Precinct 2’s North San Juan Park, in September 2012. Their goal was to provide the community with a garden that serves as a horticultural educational center and demonstrates the types of plants that thrive in south Texas.
A small reception was held at the beginning of the day to thank the donors and volunteers, including Mr. Chris Burns, owner of Lamar Farms, who donated the decorative entrance gate to the garden; Jim and Millie Hoffman, a local citrus producer with the Sustainable Agronomic Education Association; the American Legion and HEB. Barbara Storz, recently retired horticulturist and Master Gardener program coordinator, also acknowledged Precinct 2 Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios, who was instrumental in providing the space for the educational garden.
The festival, which was free and open to the public, provided bi-lingual garden tours and workshops on plant propagation, vegetable gardening, citrus greening, composting and rainwater harvesting. Tours and workshops were provided by Master Gardeners and Extension staff. Visitors also had a chance to purchase plants, fruit trees and herbs. Ms. Storz says approximately 125 people attended the event.
The garden is open every Thursday between 9 a.m. until noon and is available for group tours by contacting the Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service, Hidalgo County office at (956) 383-1026.