Jerry Higgs, Flint, and Dale Johnston, Gresham, showed up at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton looking for tomatoes but left with much more.
Higgs, a 93-year-old retired nursery owner, and Johnston, an amateur onion grower, were preparing to plant their home gardens and searching for hard-to-find tomato varieties and advice for peak performance.
Dr. Joe Masabni, small-acreage horticulturist at the center, ushered the two men to his greenhouse where eight standard tomato varieties were being prepared for spring planting. He provided the men with a dozen plants of each variety on the condition they report on the plants’ performances – disease and pest resistance, yield and taste – after the season.
“It’s an outreach opportunity and, in my opinion, is in the spirit of what we do at AgriLife Extension,” Masabni said. “We’re here to teach growers at all experience levels and help them throughout the season.”
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.
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