Our August meeting was most informative, and I must say, much more interesting than I imagined! Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent – Animal Sciences & Forages, presented our program on the history and habits of fire ants and ways of controlling them. He even had a hands-on display of them for us to look at up close! Thanks, Josh, for the education in fire ants!
We have 4 interns who have earned their certification and badges recently. They are Karen Mims, John Higginbotham, Sarah Justiss and Clem Clapp. Clem wasn’t present today to receive his certificate and badge, he and Diane are one a tour of Nova Scotia, lucky them!
President Susan Cleckler talked about the upcoming 2019 Showcase in Ag/4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction at Chilton Research and Extension Center. Many of our members are signed up to help and many are also bringing plants for the Plant Sale we are having at the event. It promises to be a fun event, similar to our past Farm, Home, and Wildlife Expo started by Jim Pitts many years ago. We are looking forward to it, even though the weather is going to be HOT! We are tough!!
The Chilton County Master Gardeners will be having a PLANT SALE, ASK-A-MASTER GARDENER BOOTH, and an informal NATIVE ALABAMA PLANTS PRESENTATION at this CREC 2019 Showcase in AG/Chick Chain Show-Auction on August 17th. There will also be Fruit Tasting, BlackBerry Lemonade Sampling, and Tours. And this is just a part of the activities that day. So come on out, bring your lunch and a chair and spend the day!
Our program today was a little out of the ordinary. The scheduled speaker, David Doggett, a Jefferson County Master Gardener and Aldridge Gardens tour guide, was regrettably sick and in the hospital. So he asked famed storyteller Dolores Hydock to fill in for him. And boy, were we entertained! She is an actress and storyteller and described as “Dolores talks with her hands. And her elbows. And her shoulders. When she speaks, she is literally irrepressible”. She has won Resource awards from the Storytelling World Magazine for her eleven CDs of original stories. We thoroughly enjoyed her story today about her historic house and garden in Irondale close to the Whistle Stop Cafe. And about her friend in Mobile she had visited who had taught Western Civilization in school, had traveled a lot, had a gorgeous garden, collected beautiful art, and had an extensive collection of needlepoint she had done herself over many years. Thank you for a very entertaining morning!
Another very important part of our meeting was Trisha Williams presenting one of our interns, Betsy Smith with her Master Gardener certification and badge. Out of our original 20 interns, 5 have received their Certificates and badges, and many more are very active and well on their way!
Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary group of retired and active women educators, toured the Chilton County Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on May 16. Julie Harrison is chairman of the group. They were given the history of the garden by Master Gardener and Demo Garden Chairman Sondra Henley. Master Gardeners Harriett Jackson, Audrey Giles and Intern Betsy Smith were there to tell a little about the beds that they take care of. Refreshments were provided by Master Gardeners Alice Broome and Wally Walters.
The garden is open to the public and is located at the Chilton Research and Extension Center at 120 Co. Rd. 756, Clanton, AL 35045
On Wednesday, May 15, several Master Gardeners helped 2 classes of 3rd graders at Thorsby Elementary School plant a raised bed with annuals for a butterfly garden. The area is surrounded by the elementary and high school. There is already a butterfly bush and birdbath there and they have plans for a cement patio and tables. The children were really excited and they all wanted to help. The boys especially enjoyed watering the plants. This is an ongoing project and we will be back in the Fall to help the new 3rd graders plant fall and winter vegetables. Thank you, Christina Creighton for contacting us to help with this fun project!
We’d like to share a YouTube video from Tracy Britnell, who was one of our speakers at Petals from the Past during our 2019 AMGA Conference held here May 8-10, 2019. She spoke on Permaculture. She and her husband own a permaculture inspired farm in Autauga County called “Just Dig It”.
The 2019 AMGA Conference has come and gone after 3 years of intensive preparation by Chilton, Shelby, and Autauga Counties. Everyone that attended enjoyed the speakers, facility, Whimsies Workshop, silent auction, the Hoe Down and Bertelone’s Italian Dinner. Our Silent Auction was a huge success with a wide assortment of items for everyone to bid on. The speakers were well received with Joe Lamp’l of “Growing a Greener World” a big hit. Dr. Neil Lamb, Jason Powell, Jane McCarthy “the Hosta Lady”, and Lelia Scott Kelly were just a few of our very entertaining speakers. The Whimsies Workshop sold out quickly and 40 more spots were immediately added. We were all exhausted when it was over, but very proud of how it all turned out!
Our Master Gardener Class on April 10 was all about Trees and Bees. The morning session was conducted by Mallory Kelley, Autauga County Regional Extension Agent, on Tree Identification. The afternoon class was by Bill Evans, President of the Alabama Beekeepers Association. You didn’t hear any buzzing in that class, everyone was awake and alert! Thank you, Mallory and Bill for 2 very interesting classes!
Our March meeting was held at the Little House this month, and there was a full house! Our program was presented by Dr. Edgar Vinson, ACES Assistant Research Professor & Extension Specialist in Horticulture. Dr. Vinson plans on starting a new fig plot at CREC soon. He says that figs are becoming a production crop like peaches, blueberries, and strawberries because of their nutritional value.
The other highlight of the meeting was our Awards Program delightfully emceed by our own Skip Coulter. Top Hours were Harriett Jackson (580), Alice Broome (440), and Audrey Giles (407.50). Helpline Awards were Pat Farmer (Chairman, 5 days), Larry Jones (7 days) who received gold pins; Lanell Baker (4 days), and John Wallace (3 days) who received silver pins. Susan Cleckler won Top CEU hours with 43.50. Service Project of the Year nominees were Gardens of Clanton Assisted Living ( Trisha Williams & Audrey Giles) and Chilton/Clanton Library Adult Summer Program (Trisha Williams & Audrey Giles, Natives in the Garden; Sondra Henley, Composting 101; Larry Jones, Vegetable Gardening; and Lanell Baker, Starting Plants from Seeds. The Service Project of the Year was Gardens of Clanton Assisted Living. The Master Gardener of the Year nominees were Alan Reed and Lee & Wally Walters. The MG of the Year was veteran MG Alan Reed. Badges and Stars were also given out at the meeting. There were 28 members , 7 Interns, and 3 visitors present at the Awards Program meeting.
Click on the link below to see a slideshow of photos from the March meeting.