Winter is the season when most fruit and nut trees are planted. For those that are sold “bare root,” dormant season planting is absolutely essential. If you’d like to learn more about producing edible crops in 2023, the annual East Texas Fruit, Nut and Vegetable Conference, Friday, January 13 at the Cross Brand Cowboy Church (11915 FM 2015, Tyler, Texas 75708) 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.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m.; followed by the first session at 8:30 a.m. Lunch is provided. Cash, checks, or credit cards will be accepted at onsite registration. The program cost is $25 for pre-registration online before January 12 and $35 after. The program will be held in person only. Pre-registration is required for a lunch headcount. No Texas Department of Agriculture CEU’s will be offered for this event. However, CE’s (5 hours) for certified Texas Master Gardeners will be awarded.

Topics and speakers include:

Growing Figs in East Texas, Dr. David Creech, Professor Emeritus and Director of SFA Gardens, Stephen F. Austin State University.

Muscadines and Bunch Grapes, Michael Cook, North Texas Viticulture Program Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Feeding a Family from a Home Vegetable Garden, Greg Grant, Smith County Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Four Generations of Selling Fruits, Nuts, and Vegetables in East Texas, Dr. Andrew King, King’s Nursery, Tenaha.

Growing Peaches and Plums, Dr. Tim Hartman, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist-Fruit Crops, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

This 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.

The East Region AgriLife Conference and Expo will be held the same day, at the same time, on the same property, so be sure and find your way down the hill to the Fruit, Nut, and Vegetable Conference if that is your desire. The Expo on site will be attended by professionals seeking Texas Department of Agriculture CEU’s.

For more information on either conference or to pre-register, contact the Smith County Extension office at 903-590-2980. Online registration is available at The flyers, registration link, and schedules are posted on the Texas A&M AgriLife-Smith County Facebook page.


Greg Grant is the Smith County horticulturist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. He is the author of Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, Heirloom Gardening in the South, and The Rose Rustlers. You can read his “Greg’s Ramblings” blog at, his “In Greg’s Garden” in each issue of Texas Gardener magazine ( or follow him on Facebook at “Greg Grant Gardens.” More science-based lawn and gardening information from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service can be found at and