Master Gardeners Host Tours, Win Award at State Conference
The 2016 Texas Master Gardener Conference “Buds and Bark,” was held May 17-19 at Myers Park in McKinney. The conference was hosted by Collin County Master Gardeners. In conjunction with the conference, the Kaufman County Master Gardener Association hosted tours to Ham’s Orchard in Terrell or the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center near Seagoville. Over 60 Master Gardeners from around the state had the opportunity to visit and learn about one of these destinations.
The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is the educational hub of the man-made wetland habitats on the Rosewood Segoville Ranch property. This includes the North Texas Municipal Water District’s 2,000-acre East Fork Wetland Project and an additional 1,200 acres of bottom land hardwood forest restoration that is part of the Bunker Sands Mitigation Bank. Master Gardeners learned the history of the wetland, as well as its purpose in water treatment. They walked the boardwalks, viewing the many birds and other wildlife that make their home in the wetland.
Consisting of over 100 acres growing over 30 varieties of peaches and other fruits, Ham’s Orchard is an excellent example of a well-managed orchard. Dale Ham, founder of Ham’s Orchard, treated Master Gardeners to an insider’s view of growing peaches in North Texas. Afterward, they enjoyed home-made ice cream while shopping in the farm store.
At the 2017 Texas Master Gardener Association Convention, Kaufman County Master Gardeners, who are in the medium association category (25 to 49 members), won a second-place award for their fall 2015 seminar, “Gardening in Fall and Winter.”