BELTON — The Temple Area Builders Association’s 46th annual Home and Garden Show — which provided displays and information on home improvement, gardening and other topics — closed out Sunday afternoon at the Bell County Expo Center.
Additional attractions at the three-day show included the SPJST Car Show and the Kids Zone.
For one of the Kids Zone activities, Bell County Master Gardeners walked the children through a hands-on session of Egg Shell Gardening. During a lull, Master Gardener Dorothy Thomas and Jimmie Snelson, a Master Gardener intern, dem-onstrated the process.
First, she said, you take a chopstick and punch a hole in the bottom of the egg shell, which already has been broken open at the top. Then, fill the egg with seed-starting soil.
With the stick, make a small hole in the soil. Snelson chose to plant lettuce. Thomas said she needed to drop only one seed into his palm, but the tiny lettuce seeds are almost invisible. Then he covered the hole with the stick, and she advised him to squirt water on the egg 10 times.
Then she dropped the egg into a travel cup and wrote a ticket naming the plant and the date.
“You tell them to water it every day a little bit,” she said. “Keep it damp. They’ll see a sprout come up and it will grow, grow, grow.”
The young gardener should keep it on a sunny window sill, she said.
“When you’re ready to plant, you just plant the egg, shell and all,” she said, and it should be about 30 days until the harvest.
Nearby, Cindy Claburn, another Master Gardener intern, showed children a hands-on display of the Life Cycle of a Butterfly.
Each child drew pictures on a paper plate and glued on noodles representing a caterpillar, eggs, a chrysalis and a butterfly.
“They get to take all this home, including butterfly stickers,” she said.
At a Habitat for Humanity table, Tanyla Copeland, 14, an eighth-grader at South Belton Middle School, showed children how to decorate a piece of bathroom tile. She was assisted by Janajah Washington, 13, a seventh-grader at the same school.
Tanya said she would burn the painting if the children wanted, which altered their work of art. Mixing in a little alcohol makes the design spread, she said.
“It’s something to keep the kids occupied for a few minutes,” she said.
Anterrica Rivera of Killeen had children involved in painting figures and designs on rocks. They painted lady bugs, spider webs, flowers and kitten faces, she said.
She also showed them how to use beads in making bracelets, necklaces or rings.
“They love it,” she said. “It was quite busy. We had several to come back more than once.”
Linda Williams of Kempner directed traffic at a booth for Central Texas Master Naturalists.
“It’s all about nature,” she said. “We want the kids to get outside and appreciate nature. We want them to understand it. All of these games in here have a nature theme to them.”
One game was putting a golf ball into cups that were labeled Food, Water, Shelter or Space, she said, which are four things that all living things need.
She talked to the children about the Endangered Species Act, saying that if one of those four things is missing in a particular environment the government tries to remedy the situation.
Children could also play a simple type of concentration game, matching owls with owls and wolves with wolves. And she showed them how to cast a fishing line.
“We go into libraries and present programs to teach kids about the outdoors,” she said. “We’re trying to get them off the couch.”