Harvest Garden Taking Shape
If you have been to the Henderson County Regional Fairpark Complex lately, you may have noticed an area to the south that is enclosed by a fence. You may be wondering what will go in there and why that space is sectioned off.
That portion of the fairgrounds is being used by Henderson County Master Gardener Association (HCMGA) for a Harvest Garden, a demonstration garden for educating the public on growing fruits and vegetables. The garden will have raised beds for vegetables, berry beds, fruit trees, and grapes. It will also feature a hoop house.
Under the direction of Spencer Perkins, County Extension Agent, twelve Master Gardeners helped to erect the hoop house on Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1. It now stands proudly as an eye-catching feature, enticing you to come take a look as you drive into the fairgrounds. If you look closely, you can see it as you pass by the Complex located on Hwy 31E, Athens.
Steps to Erecting a Hoophouse:
Although a few Master Gardeners have either greenhouses or hoop houses of their own, erecting a hoop house was a new experience for most of the Master Gardeners on hand. The frame was built by sinking tubes into the ground which hold curved pipes. The pipes are secured with boards along the side, held on by brackets. A plastic covering was slipped over the frame, stretched, stapled along the sides using nylon ribbon, and secured by spring wire In a channel along the edges. Weed barrier is used as flooring.
Slabs will soon be poured for an education area and future building. Then, with the addition of some plantings, the Harvest Garden will be transformed from a portion of pasture to a productive garden which can be used as a model for citizens interested in growing fruits and vegetables. HCMGA invites you to drive by and see how the Harvest Garden is taking shape.
Certified as a landscape design consultant, Lydia Holley is past President of Henderson County Master Gardener Association. Lydia lives on land that has been in her family for five generations, and like many gardeners, she tries to grow one of everything. A member of East Texas Writers Guild, Lydia’s short story, Three Dreams and An Angel, will be published this fall.