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SFA professor talks Horticulture program, upcoming plant fair

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 2:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Horticulture investments were hopefully protected on this windy day.

Under cultivation is a new crop of plant experts for the future market. It’s happening through the SFA horticulture program and its inviting the public to see what they’re learning.

“Y’all have sprout looking great. Tip top shape for next week’s plant fair,” said SFA Associate Professor of Horticulture Dr. Jared Barnes to students.

Behind the SFA’s Ag building is a microfarm, tended with care by the fruits and vegetable class led by Dr. Jared Barnes.

“The broccoli looks spectacular,” Barnes said.

He teaches students sustainable gardening with the latest garden tools.

“May I practice with that?” a student asked Barnes. “Yeah that will be great,” Barnes responded.

Barnes personally shares the students’ progress each Thursday at noon. He also likes students to share with the public green thumb knowledge.

“Because we’ve seen one of the best ways that students can learn things is by teaching and sharing what they know with others,” he said.

“So next week at our plant fair we’re going to be showcasing the sprout garden,” said Hannah LeFlore, a Horticulture student at SFA.

The open garden will feature healthy vegetables you know you should eat.

Corniness is allowed in the class. But serious growing methods are taught.

“Students remember. These plants are planted in 3-4 inches of pure gravel,” Barnes tells his class.

A method beneficial in urban landscaping and arid markets. Whereas hydroponics is taught for the controlled setting.

“We have a circulating system where water is pumped up,” Barnes said.

The greenhouses are filled with winter annuals. Next week they’ll be sold at bargain prices to support learning.

“We’re going to have some live music, some games and even some bon fires out back here where people can come and roast a couple of s’mores,” Barnes said.

Barnes says there are dozen of studies showing horticulture is beneficial to the mind and body. Next week’s event may sprout your interest.

The fall plant fair is Thursday, November 4 from 5 p.m. To 7 p.m. at the SFA plantery. It’s located behind the ag building on Wilson Drive in Nacogdoches.

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