Art & Science of Home Beer Brewing – Brad Aldrich
In this class, Brad will discuss:
- Why home brew?
- The Art & Science of brewing beer
- Styles (yeast, color, flavors, aroma, alcohol and carbonation)
- Ingredients (malt, water, hops, yeast) and adjuncts
- Explain the basic process (mash, hops, fermentation)
- How to home brew – dry demonstration
Attracting Pollinators – Joseph Blanford
The “Attracting Pollinators” presentation will, through colorful visual examples, give the attendee the tools to create, in their home landscape plan, an environment that will support a wide range of Pollinators throughout the growing season. Also, a key to the presentation will be a discussion on why pollination is important far beyond the aesthetics of the bee or butterfly that brightens your day in the garden.
- Why is pollination important and how is it threatened?
- What environmental factors are important to pollinators and how can you enhance their habitat?
- Which Pollinators are attracted to what plants in your garden?
Defensive Gardening – Joseph Blanford
The speaker has lived and gardened in Driftwood for several years where he currently raises antique roses, day lilies, peach trees, and raised bed vegetables where he experiments with heirloom and old varieties. His home landscape features a variety of native trees and shrubs that create a diverse, inviting environment for bees, butterflies, birds, and all animals. He will share his experience in co-existing harmoniously with our local native critters.
DIY– Building a Low Tunnel Raised Bed – Joe Scott
Joe Scott will provide a special DIY workshop to help you prepare for a successful winter garden (or any season!) using this new raised bed technique. Come ready to learn how to build an efficient Low Tunnel Raised Garden bed. You will learn:
- How to build healthy soil in our shallow hill country soil with a raised bed
- How to build a low tunnel that can be converted with row cover or shade cloth
- How to transform a low tunnel into a raised bed.
Earth-Kind®: Preserve the Good, Prevent the Rest – Marilyn Love
Participants will be introduced to the four basic tenets of Earth-Kind®, and strategies for accomplishing each of the goals in the landscape will be explored:
- Water conservation,
- Energy conversation,
- Reduction of fertilizer and pesticide use, and
- Reduction of yard waste entering the landfill.
Fermentation – Marilyn McCray
Marilyn is the author of “Canning, Pickling and Freezing with Irma Harding”, and is a contributor to Edible Austin.She maintains a high involvement in the organic food movement and frequents many of our local farmers’ markets. Her interactive discussion will help you learn:
- The processes,
- The sources, and
- The use of materials necessary to produce fermented foods.
Firewise Landscaping® – Carol Croft
The Introduction to Firewise® Landscaping is a brief overview of a complex topic and is designed for people who live in the wildland areas and make decisions about the home landscape. The presentation will provide a basic understanding of the three zones that surround a home and the importance of specific steps and practices to follow in each of the areas. The participants will be exposed to a wide range of fire protection knowledge and provided basic information on appropriate planting materials. Discussion will include:
- Pruning techniques.
- Increase awareness of the types of fuels around the home and how to remove them
- Encourage the integration of FIREWISE concepts in home landscape design and maintenance.
- Minimize risk of structural loss due to wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface
Ergonomic Gardening: Gardening to Avoid Aches and Pains – Helen Aristar-Dry
If lack of time or physical limitations due to arthritis or other condition hampers your desire to garden, this discussion is for you. Helen will share ways that she has found to garden less strenuously and successfully as she now enthusiastically cultivates her vegetable and flower beds. Her presentation will suggest ways to garden effectively with less physical strain, including strategies to:
- Planning a garden for easy access
- Assessing resources to make the best use of time
- Learning ergonomic principles for minimizing strain on back, legs, arms, and hands
- Becoming acquainted with ergonomically designed garden tools and useful assistive devices
Hays County Master Gardeners Association Overview – 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
Hill Country Trees – Delbert Bassett
Hays County Master Gardener Delbert Bassett will focus on the predominate trees in Hays County: the oak tree varieties and ashe juniper a.k.a. “cedar”.
Bassett will introduce the
- Physiology of trees,
- Common tree diseases like oak wilt,
- How to care for your valuable trees by proper pruning, watering, and fertilizing.
Milkweed for Monarchs – Marlene Fruittrell or Diana Black
Key learning objectives include:
- Population Decline & Causes
- Life Cycle of the Monarch
- Identification of the Monarch caterpillar & adult
- Ways to help build the Monarch population
- Plant native milkweeds (will have seeds to give out)
- Plant nectar plants (will have handouts of nectar plants)
- Create a Monarch Waystation (will have handouts)
Oak Wilt – What You Need to Know – John Young
Learn how to better protect one of your home’s most valuable asset by learning more about this spreading disease and how to better prevent it. John will discuss:
- How it kills trees
- How it is identified and how to recognize Oak Wilt
- What trees are susceptible
- How the Oak Wilt disease spreads
- Learn if it can be prevented
- Learn what treatments are available for Oak Wilt
Plants Toxic to Pets – Ana Simone Dumitrescu
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 on what the risks of cohabitation between pets and plants
- Become informed and aware of the plants toxic to pets because “The pet’s life is our responsibility as owners!”
Preserving the Harvest – Marilyn McCray
Learn about the key food preservation processes; freezing, dehydration and canning.
Factors related to food spoilage and the science involved in prevention will be covered along with a basic review of the tools and techniques involved. Master Gardener, and cookbook author, Marilyn Mc Cray will provide a step‐by step illustration of the hot water bath canning process–an excellent resource for those with an interest in preserving their garden produce.
Soil Health and Enrichment – Especially for Gardeners – Joe Scott
Joe Scott, Master Gardener, Compost Specialist, Vegetable Specialist, Irrigation Efficiency Specialist and Fruit and Nut Specialist will present his discoveries and expansive knowledge on the topic of how to build and sustain healthy soil. This is a highly interactive meeting and demonstration.
This talk can also be structured for children with hands-on demonstrations.
Spring or Fall Vegetable Gardening – Suzanne Love
Suzanne develops and maintains pollinator and vegetable gardens and has completed the Master Gardener vegetable specialist program. During this interactive discussion, she will explain the importance of:
- Proper planning
- Site and soil preparation
- Plant selection and planting guide, and
- Tools and tips for a bountiful harvest
Stunning Texas Superstars® – Marilyn Love
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.
Understanding Plant Nutrition – Brad Aldrich
The talk is focused on the nutritional needs of all plants whether they are crops, found in the wild, or found in your garden. Brad will present the following topics and open discussion is encouraged during the presentation.
- Essential Nutrients
- The Nitrogen Cycle
- Critical Role of Micro Organisms
- Organic vs Synthetic Macro-Nutrients