NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Stephen F. Austin State University's newly located "Sprout Garden" students will show you how you can grow winter produce just like it's summer Thursday night.
Down one flight of stairs from the SFA Agriculture Building, a fruit and vegetable class steps into the Sprout Garden and the outdoor classroom of horticulture professor Jared Barnes.
"Why do we use floating row cover in fruit and vegetable production?" Barnes said.
The answer to that and a lot more winter gardening questions will be shared with the public Thursday at a free event called "An Edible Evening."
"And we're hoping the public will come out here and just really enjoy a nice stroll through the gardens," Barnes said. "We'll have a few free plants they can take home. Also we'll have some cooking demonstrations as well too."
If the produce makes it from garden.
The small space gardens planted with with sugar snap peas, kale and other cool weather plants resemble a tidy backyard.
"The whole goal is to try to teach students how that they can grow produce in small areas," Barnes said. "We are seeing more and more people interested in growing produce that's local and small based and sustainable."
Students are learning by teaching. Team Seed will get you started with tiny basil seed.
"You just go through like this," said Calvin King, a sophomore horticulture major. "You tap just one seed in each one of those little holes, like so."
If planted soon the young plants will be ready to go into the ground in a couple of weeks, says Team Transplant.
"So we dig down enough to cover the actual root ball," said Kali Wright, a junior horticulture major.
Team Cultivate gets physical with high performing gardening tools.
"This is a co-linear hoe right here," said Colin Burke, a senior horticulture major. "Very easy to use to get in between crops. This is scuffle hoe. You just come through plow the weeds right there."
"This is a broad fork and it's for aeration," said Kaitlin Wilson, a junior environmental science major. "You basically stick it in the ground and then you step on it and then you pull it back and it breaks the ground and it allows for aeration."
Finally,Team Harvest will prove to you that real men eat kale.
"I love it," said Dan Martens, a senior horticulture major. "Put a little salt and pepper, a little vinegar, throw it in the oven and make some kale chips. It's the way to go."
Food is a natural connection to others. The students leading, "An Edible Evening" will teach you how to have the ingredients all year long.
An Edible Evening is Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the newly located Sprout Garden, just south of the SFA Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive.