SFA Plant Fair will feature grand opening of school’s new trial garden

SFA Plant Fair will feature grand opening of school’s new trial garden
Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 2:58 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Stephen F. Austin Horticulture Program is preparing to host its sixth annual Fall Plant Fair.

In celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary, the program is bringing a new garden to campus. Horticulture students have been finishing up filling in their new trial garden with thousands of native plants.

“It’s going to equip us here at SFA to really lead this movement of knowledge, more about how people can grow natives better in their own gardens,” said agriculture associate professor Jared Barnes.

The university awarded the program a $30,000 Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation grant to construct the new garden.

“The university funds experiences to help develop the rural areas here in East Texas while also simultaneously getting students incredible experience here at SFA,” said Barnes.

Over 30 students have helped build the trial garden, including some from other departments, since March, according to Barnes.

“[Agriculture mechanic] students were essential to do the boxes, and then, of course we even have forestry students, hospitality students,” he said.

“That’s really cool to see just all the different things in agriculture and out of agriculture, all those people coming together for something,” said horticulture student Grace Ramsey

Ramsey is in her first year with the program and said she’s excited to see familiar faces once the garden is complete.

“Something I wasn’t expecting coming to work here was the community that comes to the plant sales. I don’t know why I really thought ‘Oh yeah, it’s just going to be all students coming,’ but it’s really a lot of the community.”

Barnes said every dollar from their plant sales goes back to their program to support student projects.

“We’ve been able to make improvements on our nursery pad greenhouses because of the hard work of the students growing plants and celebrating them with the East Texas area,” he said.

The plant sale will be on Nov. 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.