A few weeks ago, our association committed to forming our own Conservation Group, which will be a part of the Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance. Their three goals are: 1. To educate and promote conservation awareness; 2. To collect and report data of endangered or threatened plants; 3. To propagate plant material to be placed in the wild or shared with others to plant. Their first project will be to work with the Mohr’s Barbara Button species, currently a federally threatened plant.
Hugh Nichols, Chairman, and nine members of the committee met with Patrick Thompson at the Davis Arboretum in Auburn for training and a tour. During this visit the group agreed upon 5 immediate goals: 1. To be represented at the APCA fall meeting in Union Springs 2. To coordinate the INaturalist phone APP training to aid in plant identification. 3. Propagate plant matrrial provided to gain experience. 4. Identify potential habitants for rare plants in Chilton County. 5. Develop a community education plan.
Members of the committee include: Hugh Nichols, Chairman, Amelia Bloomfield, Chip Durham, Leslie Durham, Audrey Giles, Lynne May, Rick Miller, Alan Reed, and Trisha Williams.
Awards Day, March 9, 2021, was a special meeting day for Chilton County Master Gardeners!
We awarded Reach for the Stars bronze pins to Benita Cahalane, Charla Doucet and Kaylee Doucet. A silver pin was awarded to Larry Jones and a gold pin to Debbie Housner. Lyn Webb received her gold badge and Lanelle Baker got her platinum badge. For earning more than 4000 hours, Harriett earned her ruby star.
Our top hours volunteers were recognized and presented certificates. 1st Place: Lynn Webb, 600.5 2nd Place: Harriett Jackson 447.5 3rd Place: Sondra Henley, 425.5
Top Intern hours was awarded to Gail Brooks, 83.45 and top Continuing Education hours was awarded to Lyn Webb, 171.5.
Our Master Gardener of the year is Susan Cleckler. She has served as President for two years and lead us through this challenging year. Susan has been involved with all aspects of MG and is a great example of what a MG should be.
Congratulations to our 2020 award winning volunteers!
David Doggett, Jefferson County Advanced MG, Aldridge Gardens Docent and a member of the Alabama Hydrangea Society, taught us about winter pruning of panicle and smooth hydrangeas. He gave us detailed instructions for first, second and third year cuts. He also discussed propagation using the winter cuttings and suggested books on propagation. It is always a real treat for David to share his knowledge with us.
We once again have a plant sale planned for this year. Everything was in place for our Sale last year and it looked like it was gonna be the best ever, but unfortunately, Covid shut us down. Please come and shop Saturday, April 17th, and help us make this plant sale a great one!
A few years ago, the Chilton County Master Gardeners took over the landscape around the C.C. Extension Office. The appearance around the building (former Health Office) has really improved. Former President Sondra Henley was the one who spearheaded this project and this year she is the Extension Office Committee Chairman. Today was a beautiful day for her and some of our Interns to work on pruning and cleaning up all the landscaping around the building and around the sign. And for the interns to get some hours they’ve been missing since the COVID shutdown. Photo by Audrey Giles
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.
Mallory Kelley, Autauga Regional Extension Agent, was our guest speaker for the June Meeting. She shared the requirements and process for becoming an Advanced Master Gardener. The requirements include earning education hours in their selected garden topic and also teaching or volunteering in related activities. Mallory calls on her Advanced Master Gardeners to help with answers to questions she receives.
John Wallace was presented his MG certificate and badge at the meeting.
Our speaker for our April 10th meeting was Holly Wadleigh of the Montevallo Community Garden at the University of Montevallo. Many students work the gardens as part of class requirements. Last year about 1800 pounds of vegetables were grown in the garden and donated to the Shelby Assistance Center. The garden is supported in part by the sale of herbs and vegetables started from seed in their greenhouse.
Chilton County Master Gardeners attended a Small Fruit and Grape Production Workshop on March 8 at the Chilton Research and Extension Center. Dr. Elina Coneva, Auburn University Department of Horticulture spoke on blueberry and grape varieties and gave a demonstration in the field on pruning European hybrid grape vines. Dr. Edgar Vinson, Extension Horticulture Specialist, discussed commercial strawberry production. Kevin Burkett, Regional Extension Agent for Farm and Agribusiness Management, spoke on Commercial Farm Budgeting. A muscadine pruning demonstration was given by Matthew Price, CREC Research Assisstant. Our Master Gardeners found the workshop to very interesting and informative.
In preparation for the fruit workshop, Chilton County Master Gardeners volunteered at the CREC pruning grape vines. On the first day Diane Clapp, Lamar Giles, Bill Hairrell, Sondra Henley, Harriett Jackson, Rick Miller, Alan Reed and Lee Walters helped. The second day the MG volunteers were Alice Broome, Lamar Giles, Harriett Jackson, Rick Miller, Alan Reed, Lee Walters and Sue Webb. Harriett Jackson and Alan Reed finished up on the third day.
Chilton County Master Gardeners partnered with Habitat for Humanity to rehabilitate the landscape of a recent Habitat for Humanity home in Clanton. Kimberly Lyn, master gardener and Habitat Board member coordinated the landscape project. The existing landscape was evaluated and a low maintenance update was planned. Over several weeks several CCMGA members raked leaves, prepared beds, and pruned trees and shrubs. They planted tea olives, knockout roses, and daylilies, spread mulch and even laid sod. This project fits perfectly with the mission of Chilton County Master Gardeners.
Chilton County Master Gardeners have a standing date with the Shelby County Fair to help judge the exhibits. This year several members helped out, as well as Jefferson County Master Gardeners, St. Clair County Master Gardeners, and Kiwanis members. Photos by Harriett Jackson.