SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present a variety of youth activities, horticultural offerings and practical demonstrations at the H-E-B Little Buckaroo Farms tent during the 2015 San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Feb. 12- March 1, said agency participants.
The Little Buckaroo Farms tent will be in the Family Fair area of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition grounds, near the West Gate entrance and Freeman Coliseum. It is sponsored by H-E-B in cooperation with AgriLife Extension and other agriculture-related entities to introduce youth and adults to agricultural production, nutrition, horticulture, natural resource conservation and more.
“Bexar County Master Gardener volunteers have been involved in the planning, design and building of exhibits for themselves and AgriLife Extension at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo for decades,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Bexar County. “The program, which is a volunteer horticultural effort of the local AgriLife Extension office, has dozens of volunteers from Bexar and Guadalupe counties who contribute hundreds of hours of their time annually toward this event.”
Rodriguez said AgriLife Extension is coordinating with city arborist Mark Bird and city forester Ross Hosea to provide 300 one-gallon trees for a giveaway at the tent from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., or while supplies last, Feb. 21 and 28.
“On Feb. 21, the trees will be provided by the San Antonio Tree Mitigation program and on Feb. 28 they will be provided by Bartlett Tree Experts,” he said. “The trees are free and come with information on their care. Master Gardeners will be giving them away for adoption.”
To make sure more people benefit, Master Gardeners will give only one tree per household while supplies last.
The Master Gardener booth will be staffed with experts to provide information on gardening, landscaping, lawn maintenance and irrigation. They also will sell this year’s rodeo tomato and ornamental plants, including the newest Purple Heart Bluebonnet.
Rodriguez said from noon- 2 p.m. Feb. 15, KLUP, station 930AM, will broadcast a live garden show from the tent. At 3 p.m. Feb. 28, John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, will present a workshop on how to make a rain barrel for capturing rainwater.
“Steven Sumrow of Aquaponic Systems USA will give a presentation from 3-3:30 p.m. Feb. 21 on aquaponics, a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture which allows for the joint production of fish along with vegetable and fruits produced in a closed ecological system,” he said.
There also will be a number of youth activities offered at the tent, said Ruby Zavala, AgriLife Extension youth gardens program coordinator.
“One of our goals with the program and at the stock show and rodeo is to get youth involved in gardening as a means to expose them to nature and learn respect for the environment and natural resources,” Zavala said.
Zavala said youth activities at the tent will include:
— A make your own seed-paper rodeo necklace activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15.
— 4-H youth livestock demonstrations, featuring live animals, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 21 and 28.
— A plant life-cycle bracelet craft activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22.
— A spring flower ‘Pot-A-Plant’ activity from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1.