Soils and Plant Nutrition

Our Feb. 19th speaker was Dr. Charles Mitchell, retired Ph.D., CCA, Professor Emeritus, Dep. Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Auburn University. Dr. Mitchell taught “Soils and Plant Nutrition” to our Master Gardener interns. His program is always very interesting and most informative. Thanks, Dr. Mitchell!!

The Interns paying attention!

Awards Day

Collage of photos 2-2020 meeting

Our Chilton County Master Gardener February meeting is our Awards Meeting. Our Master Gardener of 2019 went to the duo of Wally and Lee Walters, two very active MGs who rarely say no to any Master Gardener event. The Demo Garden addition of reused monkey bars for growing climbing plants was selected as the Project of 2019. Top hours volunteer was Sondra Henley (1155), second place was Alice Broome (549.5) and third place was Pat Farmer (538). Top Continuing Education Hours were earned by Betsy Smith (100.7). Stars * for hours were presented and badge earners were announced. Helpline pins were awarded to Lyn Webb and Benita Cahalane for working 3 or more days.

Gary Gray, Regional Commercial Horticulture Agent, presented a program on the easiest fruits we can grow as home gardeners. He discussed several varieties of fruits, their culture and pest problems. Some of the easiest fruits for home gardens are muscadines, blueberries, figs, apples, blackberries, and Japanese persimmons. Several unusual native fruits were discussed such as pawpaws, mulberries and passion fruit (Maypops).

*Stars and Badges
Bronze Star (100-299): Joan Barber, Clem Clapp, Cheryl Herbster, Ron Herbster, John Higginbotham, Sarah Justiss, Karen Mims
Silver Star (300-499): Debbie Housner, Betsy Smith
Gold Star (500-999): Lyn Webb, Elizabeth York
Gold Badge (1000-1999): Treasia Bennett, Susan Cleckler, Linda Hand, Jane Mason
Platinum Badge (2000-3999): Alice Broome, Jerry Farmer
Ruby Star (4000-5999): Audrey Giles
Diamond Star (8000-9999) Sondra Henley

Click Here for a slideshow of photos from the awards program.

Meet Our 2020 MG Class

Our 2020 MG Class got started yesterday with 20 enrollees! We are so excited about the vitality and interest of this group. I’m sure we will learn as much from them as they do from us. Stay tuned!

2020 Intern class group photo
Trisha Williams Facilitator
Mother-Daughter Interns from Wilsonville and Mountain Brook areas.
Intern Gail Brooks has been attending meetings and waiting on a MG Class since last year.

President’s Letter

Well…We made it through another year! Before getting into 2020, I would like to thank the 2019 Officers and the Board for their service, you are very much appreciated!

As we start this new year, let’s not forget who we are… As it states in our MG Handbook, we are trained volunteers serving as educators in our communities. Ask yourself “where can I be of service?” So, let’s look around and see what community projects we can find. That will be our challenge for the year.


So…moving forward we have a lot to be excited about. Now that we have established a relationship with Thorsby Elementary School we will continue participating in a Spring and Fall planting with the 3rd grade classes. As with any new relationship there have been growing pains, but with each year that relationship will grow stronger.
We will be having our plant sale in April, and plan on this being an annual fundraiser for us. With any new event it will take time to establish in the community and, again, we will feel some growing pains but I’m sure in no time Chilton County will look forward to this event every year. Once again, it will take all of us to participate and make this a success. I want to thank you now for your help, your patience and your plants that you have donated to make this happen.


I will end by saying we may not all agree all the time, but one thing we can agree on, we are all dedicated to the success of CCMGA, and it takes ALL of us to make this Association successful.


Susan M Cleckler
President
Chilton County Master Gardeners

All About Gourds

For the first meeting of 2020, Chilton County Master Gardeners were treated to a program about gourds presented by Mack Gothard, President of the Alabama Gourd Society. Fellow ALGS member, James Stone, assisted Mack with the presentation. Tips on growing, harvesting and drying gourds were discussed. Gourds can be decorated in any way one can imagine using paint, woodburning, carving and more. Mack says the gourd “tells” you what it is and his usually become chickens! Many gourd varieties were on display as well as decorated gourds and musical instruments made from gourds.

March Gourd Madness will be held March 20 and 21 at the Chilton Performing Arts Center. http://www.marchgourdmadness.com

The Alabama Gourd Show will be held in Cullman in October. http://www.alabamagourdsociety.org

2019 Christmas Luncheon and Dirty Santa

Our December meeting was held at the Barn at Petals from the Past. We had a short business meeting, presented Golda Thomas with her MG certificate, enjoyed a delicious Pot Luck Christmas Luncheon, then concluded with many of us playing Dirty Santa. There was a lot of stealing going on as you can tell from the photos in this slideshow . We look forward every year to this get together and just relaxing and having fun!

Congratulations Sondra Henley!

Sondra Henley has become our association’s first master gardener to obtain her Advanced Master Gardener Certification. Her advanced certification subject is Composting. In order to become certified, Sondra developed and completed a plan of specific requirements which included continuing education, volunteer time and presentations. This effort takes lots of self-motivation and commitment. Congratulations Sondra Henley!

SONDRA Henley receives Advanced MG certification

Dr. Mitchell and Camellias

Our Chilton County Master Gardeners enjoyed an educational talk on “The Camellia, Celebrate the State Flower” presented by Dr. Charles Mitchell. Dr Mitchell is known to most Master Gardeners in this state as the Soils teacher for the MG Program. Recently retired from Auburn University, he still teaches Master Gardener Soils classes and is very involved in the Auburn-Opelika Men’s Camellia Club. We learned about the origin of camellias and tips on caring and propagting them. The lovely blooms brought from his garden varied from white to pink to red and were a treat to see. The Auburn-Opelika Men’s Club has searched for camellias with names connected to Auburn and have also named a few in honor of Auburn University. “Sweet Auburn” was named by the club and was given as a door prize to one lucky MG.

Our elections were held and congratulations go to our new 2020 Officers:
President: Susan Cleckler
Vice-President: Charla Doucet
Treasurer: Audrey Giles
Secretary: Elizabeth York

Dr. Mitchell showing camellias
Officers of CCMGA for 2020