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2004 County Pecan Show ChampionsShown left to right are
Photo by Dr. William M. Johnson.
Gardening: County Pecan Growers Display Their Successes
by Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture
Producing a high-quality pecan crop was a challenge this year. However, many area growers were up to the task based the quality of the entries in this year's Galveston County Pecan Show. Fourteen area residents submitted 37 pecan entries for competition and display in the County Pecan Show which was held on November 4, 2004 at the Walter Hall Park Pavilion in League City. The entries represented 27 pecan varieties.
Bill Ree, Extension Pecan Entomologist at College Station, served as Show Judge. Plaques, rosettes and ribbons were awarded to winning entries for each variety. Twenty-one entries qualified to advance to the East Texas Regional Pecan Show to be conducted in early December.
Winning entries that qualify at the Regional Pecan Show will then be advanced to the Texas State Pecan Show to be held during July 17-20, 2005, in Austin, Texas. To qualify for submission to regional and state shows, entries must meet certain minimum criteria regarding number of nuts per pound, kernel color, percent edible kernel, and uniformity in nut size.
Winners in the 2004 County Pecan Showare as follows:
Dale Butler, Texas City: First Place, "Podsednik"; First Place, "Unknown Variety"; Second Place, "Kiowa"; Second Place, "Stuart".
Forrest Couch, Santa Fe: First Place, "Mahan"; Third Place, "Choctaw"; Third Place, "Shawnee".
Rita Sue Harrington, Texas City: Champion, Native Division; Reserve Champion, Native Division.
Jim Jackson, Texas City: Reserve Champion, Classic Division, "Shoshoni"; Reserve Champion, Commercial Division, "Kiowa"; First Place, "Big Boy", "Caddo", "Cherokee", "Choctaw", "Creek", "Desirable", "Forkert", "Jackson", "Moreland", "Navaho" & "Pawnee"; and Second Place, "Shawnee".
Shelby Jackson, Texas City: Second Place, "Cheyenne".
James Martin, Texas City: Champion, Commercial Division, "Cheyenne".
Vincent Morreale, Santa Fe: Champion, Classic Division: "Shawnee"; First Place, "Stuart"; and Second Place, "Choctaw".
George Reynolds, Texas City: Third Place, "Mohawk".
Congratulations to all show exhibitors for their successes.
Organic Gardening Workshop On December 4
If you practice organic gardening or you're interested in doing so, be sure to make a seat reservation to attend the upcoming educational program entitled "Organic Gardening in Galveston County." The program will be conducted on Saturday, December 4, from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office (5115 Highway 3, Dickinson).
Topics to be presented include bed preparation, insect and disease control, beneficial insects, and companion plants. This program will be presented by Diane Norman who is a longtime member of the Texas Organic Growers Association. Pre-registration is required (by phone: 281-534-3413, ext. 6 or by e-mail: GALV3@wt.net) as seating is limited.
Control of insect pests and diseases in the vegetable garden, is more complicated than it used to be because of concern about persistent pesticides. Many of the old standbys are no longer allowed in the vegetable garden for the reason that they simply last too long.
Why do we have so many insect pests, anyway? Our typically mild winter climate presents a mixed blessing. While it allows us to grow something in the garden nearly year-round, it also allows many insect pests to live through the winter season that might otherwise not survive if a long, cold spell occurred. With past winters being unusually mild, we can expect insect pests to be a persistent adversary.
When we plant a garden, we change a lot of Mother Nature's ideas about ecology in part by reducing the diversity of plant types in a given area. For instance, in nature a single plant species does not grow naturally in a row. Growing a single plant variety (which is typically very uniform genetically) in a limited area tends to favor the buildup of those insect pests that attack the plant.
Today's favorite garden varieties have been developed primarily for flavor and texture. Insect-resistance is great but no one is willing to eat lettuce if it looks like it has been used for target practice or has the taste and texture of leather.
A major focus of organic gardening is to shift the balance of nature in your favor as you deal with insect pest problems as well diseases. Although pesticides have done an admirable job of controlling most pests most of the time, the use of as many non-toxic or low-toxic organic controls as possible is certainly justified.
Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County
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