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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Dr Rector spoke at one of our Master Naturalist classes about native grass identification. I've had several conversations with him since the class, most concerning water rights in Texas.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Dr. John Panzarella spoke at our class today. He is a whiz on citrus and has many, many breeds to his name. Check out his website. (I want to take his grafting classes sooooooooooo bad but, unfortunetly I have previous engagements on those days)

http://johnpanza.googlepages.com/home

He lives in same town I do, or really we live in different towns but they are both attached together so it makes no difference. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:20 pm 
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LovetoLearn wrote:
Oh, one more thing that I forgot to mention is that I mentioned to them that I would follow their rules to be a Master Gardener here but that when I can, I stay totally organic. Many people thought that was very interesting and approached me afterwards to know what I really meant.

One of the first things that people asked me was where to start and the first thing that I tried to tell them is the basic idea of not tending the plants but the soil instead. Of course, the MG's will want me to recommend some plant feeding things but I tried to show those, who were interested, that basically tending the soil applies towards everything from feeding the plants to basic health such as being strong towards insects and such.

There were so many things that I was leary about but will have to get used to for the program such as tonning in chemicals when transferring a plant from a pot to the ground. (yuck)
We will have to see how that goes. :D


This is fantastic! Way to go! Spread the good news! Organic shows are great to go to and see what all is going on and for meeting people who are like-minded. On the other hand, there are other opportunities for us to go and tell people who may not be aware of organics or that never had anyone they could conveniently speak with about the concepts. I (and other members of the Denton Organic Society) was a part of a Master Gardener Information Festival last year. We believe our presence there really made an impression on some folks and shed a new light on things for those who came by our booth for a chat. We had a really cool model that demonstrates how fertilizers and other bad things get into the water table and how it can be prevented. Nancy Tam of the Upper Trinity Water District Headquarters invited us to be a part and I am very glad that she did! It is good to have a presence in places where most people are of the conventional mind set. If you are gracious and approach it in the right way, you can really make a difference!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:46 am 
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Well, I attended another MG class yesterday (I had missed a few in recent weeks for various reasons).
The lady that taught was a Dr. of Landscape Design. She was very interesting but she said one thing that I could not help myself responding to.

About half of the way through her lecture she said "if you don't like some weeds somewhere that you don't want them, just spray Roundup on them and move on for a while"! I did not realize it until after I had said it but I had said "Nope" to myself and most people heard it (although I did not mean for them to). Most of the class heard me ( ALL knew that I would never use that stuff as a part of my regimen). She was a little confused but moved on.

I did not really want to interupt the class or anything but that really got to me.

Other than that, it was a fun and interesting class. I am definitely not a design oriented person but I am sure I can learn.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Well, the class has been over for about 2 weeks now. I am currently working off my hours to be able to aquire my official certificate/diploma. 60 hours of "service" are needed with the term "service" being pretty broad.

We can attend meetings, get travel time, work at our educational station, teach seminars, man the phones on Sunday mornings, etc., etc. So far, I have elected to learn from the more experienced, elder, long time members. It is very interesting and many have little techniques that they invented by themselves and some even have some types of plants to their name. People such as John Panzarello (or something like that) does a tremeeendous amount of work and time with citrus, from grafting, splicing and all sorts of techniques.

Most things are organic and have only heard a very select few mention things such as Roundup and Malathion.

I, in 2 weeks, already have 1/3 of my hours in and will probably have 500 hours by the end of the year. :wink: I am supposed to receive my "graduation" diploma next February or March or so. I am looking forward to it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:24 am 
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I have been at the horticulture station, for our county, just about every Friday and Saturday since the class ended.

We had a pretty big sale last week and it surprised me how many people came out to buy things from us. It is a good sign.

I have been informed and invited, by several members, to join the Brazoria County Master Naturalist program also. They say that they have noticed my energy with the Master Gardeners and suggest that I would be good at the Naturalist program also. The only problem is that it is the pesky problem of transportation, as I am epileptic. But, if I can find a ride then I hope to be a Master Naturalist by the end of the year. The class starts in September.

Lots of learning!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:08 am 
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For an informative, enlightening and entertaining read, pick up a copy of "Weeds - Control Without Poisons" by Charles Walters.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:25 pm 
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M/G class has been over for a while now.
60 hours of "service" are required for "official" graduation to be afforded next May, 10 of these hours being on our county horticultural center Sunday morning radio show. I am supposed to be "expert" for people to call in and ask questions of.

I have completed 60 hours but none of them have been at the radio so I still have that part to complete. This is what really makes me nervous, for many reasons, something that Howard is very good at and can give me advice on. First, I am nervous that I will tell somebody something wrong and give the M/G's of Brazoria County a bad rap. Next, I don't really like giving people advice, even on subjects that I know really well because have high expectations and if they do not do the exact thing that is recommended, they blame the advice giver. Another thing that I am sure Howard has been round and round on.

So, anyway, I still have lots to learn but once I have my final 10 hours on the radio, I will be official....in Brazoria County at least. :D

One of the things that I found of our M/G's that is so great is that the vaaaaast majority of them, and our center, is proving that plants will grow in our area with no help....no chemical, mostly no watering, no pruning, no nothing. Very organic I would say. I am not sure what the plants are classified in Howards' county but once ours pass the test, they are classified as "Earthkind", a label that is adhered to many plants around here showing that very little is needed to grow these plants in our area. Good 'ole gumbo.

I still would not want anyone to check my backyard as I kill alot of plants but, truthfully, I just like to see what will grow around here, even if the lowest place they are recommended for is zone 4 or 5. It gives me a little experience but alot of dead plants. Good for the compost pile, at least. :wink:

I would still love to enter and be a Master Naturalist but, since I am epileptic and cannot drive, and our M/N do not have one single place that they meet, preferring to use demonstration places for each get together, it is absolutely impossible. Oh well.

Lots to learn and alot of time to do it. I am looking forward to it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Oh, I forgot to say that using the Dirt Doctors recommendations, I have the thickest, darkest lawn in our neighborhood...maybe even this side of town. Of course, the mainstream is to use "nuke'em, chemical'em" like TruGreen but ours beats all of theirs all the while they are paying hundreds and hundreds for yards that I would not let anyone kid or animal touch.

Pretty much all I did was add some greensand, some lavasand and aerate the fire out of it while adding compost. I still have a feeew small spots that are not the best but I am sure that when I plug/aerate them better, they will be as great as all of the rest. Ooooooh, I bet there is some envy now. I was threatened last year for having a terrible yard vs. all the chemical ones. Not any more. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:51 pm 
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It has been quite a while since I last frequented here...sorry. I have been watching from the sidelines though.

As far as the Master Gardener program goes, once the classes are completed, a person "has" to complete at least 60 hours of work for the MG's. Of course, there is so many things that a person can do that it is practically walking out the door is enough. I now have about 75 hours minus the 10 hours of radio that I still need to perform.....that is the scary part....I do not want to tell anybody the wrong thing and have them blame in on the MG's.

So, here is the interesting part. I had mentioned, here, a while back that I was actively trying to persuade the MG's toward the organic direction. As I had mentioned before, some people had approached me immediately after my first mention of it. Here is the surprise, at least for me. Last week, a small speech was given to many of the "core" BCMGA people stating that they NEEDED to go organic. Now, they did not say that we HAD to but stressing needing to is a step. And, now for best part, the information that was used in the vast majority of the speech was right out of Howard's books with him even being mentioned several times.

When the meeting was almost over, everyone was asked if they had any questions or statements and noone, except I, had anything to say. My only statement was "Start with the soil and everything else comes afterward, as a result". I did not see much reaction except from the people giving the speech, who agreed whole heartedly.

One step at a time....one step at a time.


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