Backyard Basics



Backyard Basics: The Art of Self-Reliance

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Backyard Basics is a statewide initiative that promotes the consumption of nutritious homegrown and homemade foods. The program, which was piloted in Bexar and surrounding counties, is now offered in Travis County and will offer consumers, backyard gardeners, homemakers, and
educators opportunities to learn about composting, vegetable gardening essentials, pest  management and raising chickens for home egg production.

The monthly programs will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the AgriLife  Extension office in southeast Austin, located at 1600-B Smith Road. Cost is $10 per course for early registration and $15 per course for late or on-site registration. A person may take as many of the different courses as desired.

The dates, courses, location and times are:

August 7th – Composting
Whether you want to get ready for a fabulous fall garden, or just improve the health of your lawn and landscape, compost is an easy and inexpensive amendment, safe to use, and beneficial for the environment.  Cathy Wood, Master Gardener and compost specialist, will teach the ingredients needed for quality compost, how to build an effective compost pile, and how to use its contents to increase the fertility of your soil and productivity of your garden.  This first course in our series on Backyard Basics will include a tour of the compost methods used on site at the AgriLife Demonstration Garden, weather permitting.

September 4th – Vegetable Gardening
With its warm days and cooler nights, along with more stable weather patterns, Fall just may be the best season for vegetable gardening in Central Texas.  In our second course on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and vegetable specialist Tommie Clayton will share her many years of experience in gardening, with details on planting schedules, proven varieties for our area and other helpful resources.

October 2nd – Integrated Pest Management
Wizzie Brown, Integrated Pest Management Specialist for the AgriLife Extension Service, will discuss natural pest control in the garden and landscape, as she teaches about pests and the damage they inflict at various times of the year.  Learn to encourage the good guys and discourage the bad guys in your vegetable garden in this third course on Backyard Basics.

November 6th – Backyard Chickens
For our final course on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and blogger Ally Stresing will share her love of backyard chickens in this informative talk on the care and maintenance of the home flock.  From constructing a predator-proof coop, to choosing proper feed, to handling boredom and the pecking order, Ally will guide you through the ins and outs of caring for happy, healthy hens.

Register online:
Register by phone:  979-845-2604
For more information, contact Richards at 512-854-9600 or