By Mason W. Canales

The Cove Herald

KEMPNER - Gathering for lunch in August has been an annual event for the Browning Community Garden Club almost since it was founded in 1980.

"It is just a time to relax," Debbie Burrows, the club's president, said over a plate of schnitzel and bratwurst at the Brick Oven.

Tuesday's meeting functioned as the group's membership drive. Every member attending the meal was instructed to bring someone interested in joining the plant-savvy organization.

A total of 15 woman showed up - five of whom curious about the organization.

"Some people think it is from the 1940s, and all we do is sit around in pretty dresses and have tea, but it is a lot more than that," Burrows said.

Having the membership drive during a luncheon gathering at a setting like the Brick Oven allows curious residents to ask lifelong members questions about the club in a casual setting instead of the routine meetings about gardening, Burrows said.

"We are very active," said Doris Henry-Magnor, a club charter member. "We are active in a lot of different ways."

The organization plants trees every Arbor Day, participates in two annual litter pickups, makes several field trips to local nurseries, tends the Blue Star Memorial at Fort Hood and sponsors a horticulture show once a year. Those are just a few of the club's activities, Henry-Magnor said.

Speakers including Texas Agrilife Extension agents and master gardeners attend the club's meetings. They discuss plant life, landscaping, conservation and other eco-conscience topics, Burrows said.

"Basically, it is a social gathering around those things," said Margaret Hoke, another charter member. "And you learn a lot."

The August luncheon marked the start of a new season for the group. During the summer, the group doesn't meet because of the heat. Regular meetings will continue on the third Tuesday of each month.

The next meeting is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Clear Creek Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 3350 Farm-to-Market 2657, Copperas Cove.

The club has about 18 active members, but it is always looking to grow, Burrows said. For Henry-Magnor and Hoke, the club is a great place to interact with like minds.

Burrows said the club gives her the opportunity to give back.

"I like the community involvement with the projects," she said. "We learn a lot about plants, flowers, dirt ... but I like using that knowledge."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474.

Follow him on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.

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