By Debbie Roland Master Gardener

The Permian Basin Master Gardeners recently received three awards at the Texas Master Gardener State Conference in College Station hosted on the beautiful Texas A&M University campus. The awards program recognizes AgriLife volunteers for satisfying their mission to serve Texans by serving their communities at the local level.

As Master Gardeners, we are trained to share horticultural knowledge with Permian Basin residents in all areas of horticulture. We attend classes on gardening topics that are relevant to our region and in turn, teach what we learn through seminars, workshops, demonstration gardens and one-on-one communication.

There are more than 7,000 certified Master Gardener volunteers in Texas which has over 100 local chapters. We gain much of our knowledge through horticultural research sites in the Permian Basin which ensures that we deliver information that is suitable for West Texas landscapes.

Master Gardener volunteers are the backbone of the AgriLife horticulture program, volunteering thousands of hours in our communities to improve your life through research based knowledge. Local research has long been a top priority for AgriLife volunteers. Master Gardeners actively participate in all aspects of our local plant trials including the evaluation process which measures how well a particular species responds to our tough growing conditions.

Permian Basin Master Gardeners 2018 conference award: EarthKind(r) Grape Cultivar Trial, first place in research; Plant Fun at the YMCA, second place in the youth Junior Master Gardener Program; and The Great Tomato Roundup or “Can you Really Grow a Tomato in West Texas,” third place in educational programs.

Those interested in attending classes taught by Master Gardeners, visit westtexasgardening.org or follow us on Facebook.

To learn more about the Texas Master Gardener program, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 686-4700 or 498-4071, or email jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu.