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

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

Alpha Delta Kappa tours Demo Garden

Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary group of retired and active women educators, toured the Chilton County Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on May 16. Julie Harrison is chairman of the group.  They were given the history of the garden by Master Gardener and Demo Garden Chairman Sondra Henley. Master Gardeners Harriett Jackson, Audrey Giles and Intern Betsy Smith were there to tell a little about the beds that they take care of. Refreshments were provided by Master Gardeners Alice Broome and Wally Walters.

The garden is open to the public and is located at  the Chilton Research and  Extension Center at 120 Co. Rd. 756, Clanton, AL 35045

For tours of the garden, call 205-646-3610.

Small Fruits Intern Class

The Master Gardener Class was held at the Chilton Research and Extension Center on April 3. The instructor was Dr. Edgar Vinson, an Extension Fruit Specialist, who taught the class about small fruits for the garden. He taught the class how to grow small fruits, discussed diseases and gave them some recommended varieties of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes and figs. What a lot to learn in one day! Following the class Matthew Price took the group on the traditional wagon tour of the CREC grounds.

Dr. Edgar Vinson teaches small fruits
Dr. Edgar Vinson teaching Small Fruits
Small Fruits Class at Little House at CREC
Wagon tour of Chilton Research and Extension Center
2019 Intern Class tours Chilton Research and Extension Center
Move um up, head um out!

Awards Program

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.

https://desktopapp.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4459334e6a59794f444d3d0d0a&blogview=true

May Plant Swap

Our May Meeting and Plant Swap was held at Chilton Research and Extension Center at 120 County Road 756, Clanton, 35045.  Autauga and Shelby County members were invited to attend. Michael Thomason, who is the Vice President of AMGA this year, was our speaker. Mr. Thomason spoke about the planning and organizing of the 2019 AMGA Conference, which is being hosted by Chilton County Master Gardener Association.  He compared it to putting a puzzle together, the progress, the completion of the puzzle, and enjoying the fruits of your labor when your done. He commended CCMGA for the progress and efficiency of the planning done so far.

Our guest included our speaker Michael Thomason from Shoals MGA and Extension Regional Agent II Nelson Wynn. Other guests included  Kate Vogel, Merle Schukoske, Myra Healy, and Heidee Vansant from Shelby County and  Ofie McCoy, Tim McCoy, Lanell Tatum, Patti Teel, Cheri Cook, and Lee Thomas from Autauga County.  Everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship.  We had a total of 44 present.

May Plant Swap

The speaker at May Plant Swap

Photo of Demo Garden

 

Elmore County Interns Tour Demo Garden

On October 19th the Central Alabama MG Intern Class toured the CCMGA Demo Garden. President Sondra Henley was the tour guide and told the history of the Demo Garden and how the new garden was created.  Mallory Kelley, ACES Regional Agent for Autauga County and facilitator of the class, accompanied the group.  Chilton County Master Gardener Sue Webb was there to tell about her Native Bed in the garden.  Treasia Bennett told about her Knot Garden and Susan Cleckler told about her bed “Don’t’ Bug Me” (repels insects) and a little about the Butterfly Garden.  For a slideshow of photos of the tour go to Smilebox.

The Demonstration Garden at the Chilton Research and Extension Center  (120 County Road 756, Clanton, 35045) is open year round. To schedule a tour for your group or organization call 280-6268 and the office will contact the appropriate person.

Photo Credit: Audrey Giles

Sue a Webb tells about Nativesgroup of master gardeners touring Demo Garden