Add Your Heading Text HereResidents Benefit from Rainwater Harvesting/Straw Bale Gardening Programs

MG & RWH Specialist Brad Ackerman explains runoff calculations while MG Intern Jim Burt holds the “roof.” MG Mary Dean can be seen in the background. Photo: KCMGA.
MG & RWH Specialist Brad Ackerman explains runoff calculations while MG Intern Jim Burt holds the “roof.” MG Mary Dean can be seen in the background. Photo: KCMGA.

On Saturday June 9th, Kaufman County Master Gardeners, in conjunction with the Antique Tractor Show at Gill Park in Terrell, provided two educational programs for area residents. More than 20 persons heard Brad Ackerman, KCMG and Rainwater Harvesting Specialist–with the assistance of KCMG Mary Dean and KCMG Intern Jim Burt–explain the basics of Rain Water Harvesting. Ackerman provided handouts on how attendees could set up their own systems at home, including where to find the necessary components. In addition, he covered utilization of the collected water with small electric pumps, solar pumps and drip irrigation.

Following the Rain Water Harvesting program, KCMG Lynn Ackerman, with assistance of Renee Word, KCMG Intern, provided a program on Straw Bale Gardening. As explained by Ackerman and Word this is a “container gardening” system as well as a “raised bed” system utilizing bales of straw. A 10 to 12 day “conditioning” process was detailed. This process starts  decomposition within the bale that frees up nutrients to facilitate the growth of plants. The straw bales can be used alone or in rows, or other layouts to have your entire garden off the ground in decomposable containers. Attendees took home packets explaining the process, as well as addresses for online sites to find additional information or see videos of persons initiating a straw bale garden.

If you would like a presentation on rainwater harvesting, distribution of collected water, straw bale gardening or any other horticultural topic for your group or organization, please contact the Kaufman office Texas AgriLife Cooperative Extension at 972-932-9069 or request a topic through the Speakers Bureau form on the KCMGA website: www.kcmga.org.

Master Gardener Lynn Ackerman demonstrates how to prepare the planting section of a straw bale. Master Gardeners Frances Holmes (left) and Renee Word (right) stand by to help. Photo: KCMGA.
Master Gardener Lynn Ackerman demonstrates how to prepare the planting section of a straw bale. Master Gardeners Frances Holmes (left) and Renee Word (right) stand by to help. Photo: KCMGA.

 

MG & RWH Specialist Brad Ackerman explains runoff calculations while MG Intern Jim Burt holds the "roof." MG Mary Dean can be seen in the background.

 

MG & RWH Specialist Brad Ackerman explains runoff calculations while MG Intern Jim Burt holds the “roof.” MG Mary Dean can be seen in the background.

Master Gardener Lynn Ackerman demonstrates how to prepare the planting section of a straw bale. Master Gardeners Frances Holmes (left) and Renee Word (right) stand by to help.

 

Master Gardener Lynn Ackerman demonstrates how to prepare the planting section of a straw bale. Master Gardeners Frances Holmes (left) and Renee Word (right) stand by to help.

Following the Rain Water Harvesting program, KCMG Lynn Ackerman, with assistance of Renee Word, KCMG Intern, provided a program on Straw Bale Gardening. As explained by Ackerman and Word this is a “container gardening” system as well as a “raised bed” system utilizing bales of straw. A 10 to 12 day “conditioning” process was detailed. This process starts  decomposition within the bale that frees up nutrients to facilitate the growth of plants. The straw bales can be used alone or in rows, or other layouts to have your entire garden off the ground in decomposable containers. Attendees took home packets explaining the process, as well as addresses for online sites to find additional information or see videos of persons initiating a straw bale garden.

If you would like a presentation on rainwater harvesting, distribution of collected water, straw bale gardening or any other horticultural topic for your group or organization, please contact the Kaufman office Texas AgriLife Cooperative Extension at 972-932-9069 or request a topic through the Speakers Bureau form on the KCMGA website: www.kcmga.org.

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