The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold the East Texas Fruit, Nut and Vegetable Conference on Jan. 13 in Tyler. The event will be held at the Cross Brand Cowboy Church, 11915 Farm-to-Market Road 2015.

The cost is $25 if registered online at by Jan. 12, otherwise it is $35 at the door. Onsite registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the conference starting at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided.

The event is being held simultaneously with the East Region AgriLife Conference and Expo, so those wanting more information on fruits, nuts and vegetables need to make sure they attend the correct event.

“This year we have an amazing lineup of what I consider some of the most talented horticulturists in the state of Texas,” said Greg Grant, AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Smith County. “It’s a don’t-miss event.”   

Grant said winter is the season when most fruit and nut trees are planted. For those buying bare-root trees, dormant season planting is absolutely essential.

“The event will offer both professional and amateur gardeners advice on figs, bunch grapes, muscadines, home vegetable production, peaches, plums and the growing history of the 100-plus-year-old King’s Nursery in Tenaha,” Grant said.

Five continuing education hours are available for Texas Master Gardeners. For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Smith County Extension at 903-590-2980. 

Expert advice, opportunities to grow

Grant said the event was organized to meet the growing demand for information about fruit, nut and vegetable production for home gardeners and commercial growers in East Texas.

“It’s an opportunity to learn tips from specialists and agents on how to be successful, how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to learn more as you grow,” he said.

The scheduled topics and speakers include:

  • Growing Figs in East Texas — David Creech, Ph.D., professor emeritus and director of Stephen F. Austin Gardens, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches.
  • Muscadines and Bunch Grapes — Michael Cook, AgriLife Extension North Texas viticulture specialist, Denton.
  • Feeding a Family from a Home Vegetable Garden — Grant.
  • Four Generations of Selling Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables in East Texas — Andrew King, Ph.D., owner and manager, King’s Nursery, Tenaha.
  • Growing Peaches and Plums — Tim Hartman, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Bryan-College Station.  
  • Susan Himes is a writer and media relations specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife. She writes news releases and features from science-based information generated by the agency. She also covers human interest stories and events across the state.
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