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Backyard Basics Expo Has Broad Appeal

The attendees came for many reasons: Some are dedicated urban gardeners, some came prepared to learn to build their own rain barrels, and some, like Georgie McCandless, were just curious.

"I heard about it on the radio, and it sounded interesting," Georgie said, before admitting that she's a TPR listener who has not yet made the transition to member. "When I found out that TPR members got in for free, well, let's say I'm seriously considering joining." 

Georgie hadn't decided which sessions she wanted to attend in advance. Instead, she said she brought along "an active curiosity" to guide her. That curiosity led her to the session on fall and winter vegetable gardening.

The session was full, and she pulled a chair up to the open door, hoping to listen to the session from the hallway. Expo organizers pointed out that this was a fire code violation,  so she moved down the hall to the session on backyard rabbits. 

She particularly enjoyed the exhibitors, where she picked up lots of information and a free broccoli plant from the Master Gardeners. Georgie decided to try out her new enthusiasm on the broccoli before committing to a whole garden. "Who knows? Maybe someday I'll be a presenter. Maybe I'll teach Gardening for Dummies!" 

Georgie McCandless may not have been typical of the attendees at the event, who brought their green thumbs with them, but she wasn't alone in her optimism. With around 250 attendees, 140 of them TPR members, the Backyard Basics Expo showed that San Antonio in general, and TPR listeners in particular, have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge.  

Carin Lamontagne joined the Texas Public Radio team in October 2012. She graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1996 with a B.A. in history, and she also studied anthropology and vocal music performance.