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!!
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!
Chilton County Master Gardeners had a great program at our June meeting on Tree ID, Tree Pests and Invasive Plants. Brian Smith from the Alabama Forestry Commission Southeast Region Office in Clanton gave us a quick review of leaf shape, arrangement, edges, tips and veins before giving us the opportunity to use a tree identification guide to ID tree branches he provided. We definitely had mixed results following the guide! After our attempt to ID he went through them and told us about each.
Congratulations to our newest certified Master Gardeners Cheryl and Ron Herbster! Both completed the requirements for certification and were presented with their badges and certificates.
Chilton County Master Gardeners held our traditional May plant swap and pot luck lunch at Susan Cleckler’s home. We thoroughly enjoyed her lovely shade garden: ferns, hostas, hydrangeas, ivy, lamium, heucheras and more. Plants were swapped and starts were shared so everyone went home with an addition for their garden. Pat Farmer earned her ruby star for four thousand volunteer hours and gold badges were presented to Diane Clapp, Jackie Hickman, Rick Miller, Lee Walters and Wally Walters. Lyn Webb earned her Master Gardener certification and was presented with her badge and certificate. Congratulations to all!
Our 2019 Master Gardener Intern class completed their class requirements on April 17 with the final classes presented by Sally Lee, Urban Regional Extension Agent. Woody Ornamentals , Invasive Plants, and Beneficial Insects were the topics of the day. A salad bar lunch was provided by the class and facilitators. Trisha Williams made the class a beautiful, delicious cake decorated with scenes of gardening. She is a multitalented Master Gardener! Congratulations to a great group of Interns on completing 12 weeks of Master Gardener training classes!
Debbie Boutelier, an Herbalist as well as a certified Master Gardener, spoke on growing and using herbs at the CCMGA April meeting. Most herbs required full sun and well drained soil so raised beds or pots are great ways to grow them. Of all the herbs she discussed most contain medicinal properties such as antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-septic. Herbs are often used to season our food but can also be used to make tisanes (teas), as tinctures, in cleaning products and more. Debbie suggests that we do our own research before using any herbs medicinally or to consult an herbalist.
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.
At the February 28, 2019 meeting of the AMGA Conference Volunteers, anticipation was building as Tracey Britnell, a Conference tour speaker and employee of Petals from the Past, drew the winner’s name from the early registrants. Registration Chairman Alice Broome held the bag for Tracey. AND THE WINNER OF EARLY REGISTRATION IS…….Laura Fields from Tuscaloosa Master Gardener Association!! Congratulations, Laura, your registration to the 2019 AMGA Spring Conference is paid for!
Nelson Wynn, ACES Regional Agent, presented the program for our monthly meeting February 12 on “Lawn Care”. We had a great turnout, despite the rainy weather! We had 10 interns present from our 2019 Master Gardener class!