2019 Christmas Home Tour

The Chilton County Master Gardeners 2019 Christmas Home Tour is now history. But what a Tour it was!! Records were broken in the number of tickets sold.

Speaking of history, the Tour this year was held in the historic town of Verbena, Alabama. The tour included the homes of Pat Barefield, Vivian & Dalvin Johnson, Elaine & Arnold McDaniel, Janine & Chris Speaks and Verbena United Methodist Church. Each of these locations has its own piece of Verbena history. Many guests had grown up in the area or had relatives in Verbena. Other guests were most interested in seeing the homeowners’ various decorating styles. Each house and the Church had its own style of decoration, each unique and beautiful. Guests surely gained great ideas for their own seasonal decorating.

CCMGA is grateful to the people of Verbena for the excitement and exceptional cooperation displayed. With every Christmas Home Tour, one of the best parts is the new friendships we establish. This year was no different! Thanks to all the Master Gardeners, the homeowners, and Verbena United Methodist Church for making this event such a great success!
Article by Alice Broome
Photos by Audrey Giles

MG hostesses at Pat Barefield home for 2019 Christmas Home Tour
Hostesses and parking attendants at Johnson Home 2019 Christmas Home Tour
MG hostesses and parking attendants at McDaniels Home 2019 Christmas Home Tour
MG hostesses and parking attendants at Chris Speaks Home 2019 Christmas Home Tour
Master Gardener hostesses at Verbena U. M. Church
Hospitality and parking attendant at Verbena U.M. Church 2019 Christmas Home Tour
Decorations on porch if Pat Barefield Home 2019 Christmas Home Tour

Elmore County MG Interns visit Demo Garden

On October 17, the Elmore County Master Gardener Intern class visited the Chilton County Demonstration Garden. On hand to share information and answer questions were Master Gardeners Harriett Jackson, Sondra Henley, and Betsy Smith. Also present was one of the first to sign up for our 2020 Master Gardener Class, Gail Brooks. Photos by Betsy Smith

Christmas Home Tour is Back!

Our Christmas Home Tour is BACK! We are excited to present these homes for the tour this year. Verbena is just down the road (Highway 31, South) and all the homes are in the same area. Also a new item this year is a tour of the historic Verbena United Methodist Church.

Tickets may be purchased from Chilton County Extension Office, 205-280-6268 and at the homes the day of, but not at the church. Advance tickets are $15.00, the day of- $20.00. 

All homes are in Verbena.  The directions are printed on the tickets and there will also be directional signs to guide you through the tour.

So buy your tickets today from a Master Gardener or go by the Chilton County Extension Office and pick them up. You can help us out by also picking up a few to sell to all your friends and relatives. This is a big fund raiser for us and always lots of fun to boot!

Planting Fall Veggies at Thorsby Elementary

On September 25th CCMGA volunteers helped the 3rd graders at Thorsby Elementary School plant fall vegetables. Included were Broccoli, Lettuce, Onions, Radishes, Swiss Chard, and Kale just to name a few. Later they will help plant the “Cabbage Patch”!!

Pictured left to right- Front- Kaylee Doucet, Betsy Smith, Debbie Housner, Jackie Hickman, Sondra Henley, Susan Cleckler, and Charla Doucet. Back- Ron and Cheryl Herbster.

Teach them to garden and they will never be hungry”

Photos by Susan Cleckler and Sondra Henley

Eagle Scout Project: Re-purposing for Hardscapes

Boy Scout Jared Cleckler and his team finished his Eagle Scout Project at the CCMGA Demonstration Garden.  Jared will be completing his paperwork and turning it in to the Eagle Scout Project Committee for final approval.

Jared’s project started with the monkey bars that were located at the old homestead at Chilton Research and Extension Center and moved behind the Shade Garden in the Demo Garden.  He and his team sanded and painted the bars.  Ron Herbster, Chilton County Master Gardener, drew plans for the planter boxes and donated the cedar wood for them.  Ron worked with Jared to plane the boards and prepare for the planter construction.

Ron and Cheryl Herbster also donated the stone bench that sits near the newly furbished monkey bars. The Boy Scouts also set up the bench.

Vegetables and pole vegetables will be planted in the boxes. This new garden area shows how to re-purpose hardscapes and gives additional space to plant vegetables.

Photos by Sondra Henley

Jared Cleckler’s Eagle Scout project
Jared Cleckler’s team

2019 Showcase in Ag/4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction

The 2019 Showcase in Ag/4-H Chick Chain Show & Auction was held at Chilton Research and Extension Center August 17. This event featured the 4-H Chick Chain Show/Auction and programs on Fig Production, Beneficial Uses of Trap Crops, and Fire Ant Control. Many varieties of apples, pears, peaches and grapes were available for tasting. Chilton County Master Gardeners hosted “Ask a Master Gardener,” held a plant sale, manned registration, prepared fruit, helped with Chick Chain and talked with visitors about our Demo Garden. The day was enjoyed by all and was a successful FIRST Showcase in Agriculture. Click Here for a Smilebox slideshow of photos with music. Photos by Audrey Giles & Gay West.

Control Options For Fire Ants

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!!

Interns receive certificates

Showcase in Ag/Chick Chain Auction

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!

Field Day Announcement