East Texas Quarterly Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 12

Sodbusters digging in at Rayburn Country Club Sodbusters should actually be a dirty word, according to the USDA. It was sodbuster farming practices, after all, that led to the Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, a massive environmental disaster that left half a million Americans homeless. But the word “sodbuster” has been rehabilitated; its original meaning was a farm worker who plows the land. Nowadays, there are sodbuster products, clubs, dances and festivals. You can play a Sodbusters board game and drink a Sodbuster beer while wearing your Sodbuster boots. Sodbuster, to most folks nowadays, means someone who likes to get down’n’dirty in the garden, someone who wants to get close to the earth and grow good stuff. Jasper Master Gardeners (JMG) chose Sodbuster Symposium as the name for their educational fund-raiser that will be held Saturday, August 8, 2015 at Rayburn Country Club. To them, sodbuster reflects the grassroots values and hard work that allowed them to build the Butterfly Gardens, Outdoor Learning Center and Master Gardener greenhouse at the Arboretum in Jasper. Sodbuster Symposium will feature three garden speakers, lunch, door prizes, plant sales and silent auction. Only 100 tickets are available for the speakers and lunch, but the vendors outside will be open all day to anyone. Vendors include the Bird Crib, Wild Thymes Herbs, the 10 East Texas Quarterly Magazine East Texas Art League, Mill Creek Art Glass, Sybil’s jams and jellies, Bob Avery’s wood creations, birds of Pray, Kenyon Naturals (soap and lotion), Smooth Talking Stones (silver and stone jewelry), Henry Brothers Cutlery, Peafield Pottery and Rod Barger’s Indian flute music. Proceeds from the event will help with master gardeners’ educational programs and the building of the new permanent Butterfly House to celebrate the state’s official recognition of Jasper County as the Butterfly Capital of Texas. For ticket information, contact Joanna McMurry at 409-382-3096 or call the Texas A&M AgriLife office in Jasper at 409-384-3721. Registration form is also online at: http://jasper.agrilife.org