June 22, 2004

Fruit and Vegetable Show

A Fruit and Vegetable Show will be held Saturday, June 26 at the Ft. Worth Rail Market (1401 Jones, 2 blocks east of the Convention Center) from 8 am to 3 pm. It is sponsored by the Texas Cooperative Extension, North Central Texas Farmers Market, and the Fort Worth Rail Market. Entry is free. There will be Youth, Amateur, and Professional Divisions.
Schedule is as follows:
8:00 - sale out: Farm fresh produce
8:00 - 12:00: Master Gardener Q&A
8:00-2:00: Children's Activities
8:00-10:00: Fruit and Vegetable Entry
10:00: "Creating the Best Backyard Vegetable Garden" Dotty Woodson, Horticulture County Extension Agent
10:30: Judging of fruit and vegetable show
12:00: Chef Series Presentation, Pam Pride, Rock House Cuisine and Gallery
2:00: Awards for fruit and vegetable show


Posted by angie at 07:46 AM

June 19, 2004

Natural Urban Living Garden Show

The 9th annual Natural Urban Living Garden Show will be held on Saturday, June 19 at the Bob Duncan Community Center in Arlington (2800 S. Center St.). Hours are 9-5. Please see www.aogc.org/gshow2004.htm for details.

Posted by angie at 06:38 PM

June 06, 2004

Devil's Backbone (Redbird Cactus)

I have a 30-year-old Devil's Backbone (a houseplant, popular in the 70's) that has bloomed for the first time since I've been its keeper (it was given to me several years ago by my mother-in-law). Now I understand why another name is "Redbird Cactus" -- the flowers look like little red birds!

redbird1.jpg

The interesting zig-zag shape of the stems make it easy to tell why they call it the Devil's Backbone.
redbird2.jpg

Although this is a houseplant, I keep it outside in my shaded backyard all summer, and move it into the greenhouse just before the temperatures fall into the 40's or lower. A light frost will scar the plant and definitely do some damage, so it should be protected from freezing for sure.

Devil's backbone is easily propagated by cuttings. . . either keep them in water in a vase, or plant them directly into moist soil. This is a very hardy plant: I've had a vaseful of cuttings completely dry out and many of them still survived. The majority of the leaves will turn pink in color and many will drop when the plant is in stress (especially when it needs water). Some pink, however, appears to be "normal" since the plant seems perfectly happy with the amount of rain we've been getting this spring.

Posted by angie at 11:49 AM

Assassin Bug

I wasn't sure what this bug was when I first snapped his photo . . . he looks a little like a wheel bug without a wheel.
bug1.jpg
bug2.jpg
I sent a photo to Dotty Woodson at the Tarrant County Cooperative Extension Office and she was kind enough to send it along to one of the entomologists. Michael Merchant replied and identified it as an assassin bug -- since it's immature, it's hard to identify exactly which type. Assassin bugs are generally considered to be beneficial since they eat other bugs, although some can sting if you try to handle them.

If you're not familiar with your local Extension office, you should look them up. They're a wonderful resource for gardening information.

Posted by angie at 11:22 AM