Lake Mitchell Pavilion was the site for our annual May Plant Swap. Although it was overcast it was a nice day to be at the lake. It is always a treat to see what plants our members have propagated or purchased to swap. We had dipladenia, roses, hosta, begonias, geraniums, hydrangeas, hosta, Solomon’s seal and more. There was also a fig tree and a plum tree plus tomato seedlings that were shared.
Kathy Giles, the park manager’s wife, spoke to us about the Higgins Ferry park and some of the things they do on a daily basis. A new playground was finished this Spring and she explained how it was built with donations. She told us about the activities at the park and that it is free except for camping.
Badges and certificates were presented to our newest certified Master Gardeners: Peggy McGraw, Ruby Moberg and Patty Frye. Congratulations for completing volunteer requirements during a trying year.
Peach Automotive and Outdoor held a “Spring Garden Event” at their Clanton 205 location on March 12. This was a live event to kick off the spring gardening season. The day was all about gardening, tractors, seeds, free food and drawings. Master Gardeners Jerry Farmer and Alan Reed were there manning the “Ask A Master Gardener” table to answer any gardening questions. Photo by Jerry Farmer.
Chilton County Master Gardeners have “Ask A Master Gardener” tables set up at Garrison’s Farm & Home Center in Thorsby February 27 through April 10, and Holleywood Nurseries in Clanton April 3 through April 17. We are always glad to be able to answer any questions about planting and growing vegetables and flowers.
The first CCMGA meeting of 2021 was held on February 9 at the Clanton National Guard Armory. Thirty-four mask-wearing members met in the large bay which gave us room to be socially distanced. We did not meet in December or January so it was nice to see everyone, even though we were 6 feet apart!
Our speaker, Jessica Kelton, Alabama Cooperative Extension System REA for Farm and Agribusiness presented her program, “The Hype about Hemp”. Hemp was first grown in Alabama for CBD oil, fiber and grain in 2019. There are regulations and oversight for growing hemp. For CBD production growers use cloned plants as female plants are needed. Mixed seedlings are planted to grow hemp for fiber or grain. We learned that hemp does not like “wet feet” but needs irrigation. After harvest the plants must be hung to dry much like tobacco. This can be a challenge in Alabama’s humid climate.
After the program, we had our usual business meeting where we approved the 2021 Budget, announced our Plant Sale for April 17 to be held at Goose Pond Park, announced Ask a Master Gardener being held at Garrison’s from Feb 29 through April 10, and heard a report of the February Advisory Cancel meeting by Council representative Harriett Jackson.
We only have one member this month with a birthday; Sarah Justiss. Happy Birthday, Sarah! Our February meeting will be this coming Tuesday, the 9th at Alabama National Guard Armory , 406 Airport Road, Clanton. The program will be “The Hype About Hemp?” The meeting starts at 9, and your attendance is always important! So bring a chair, your own drink if you so desire, and your mask. See you there!
The first month of this year, 2021, is off to a slow start for Chilton County Master Gardeners. We chose not to have a meeting this month, because of COVID-19. But we will have a meeting in February at the Alabama National Guard Armory on Airport Road. And we can’t wait for spring to get back to work in the Demo Garden and the project at Jemison Middle School. In the meantime, we do want to wish all our members born in January a very Happy Birthday!
Master Gardener Interns have had a difficult time earning volunteer hours to become certified this past year due to, of course, COVID 19 restrictions. CCMGA is pleased to congratulate Patricia Agee, Gail Brooks, Linda Church, Julie Garris, Sharon Hosch, Jane Rabey, Jim Rabey and Rae Ann Wright on becoming certified Alabama Master Gardeners during this difficult year. Volunteer activities included not only gardening activities but even mask making! There are eight more 2020 Interns working towards their certification and we encourage them to help with upcoming Master Gardener volunteer opportunities as much as possible!