Previous member, Steve McAnally passes away

It is with a sad heart that we have to report our good friend and previous member, Steve McAnally, passed away this past Saturday, July 17, 2021. Please keep his wife, Barbara, and family in your thoughts and prayers. Arrangements are as follows:

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 from 5-8pm at Ellison Memorial Funeral Home in Clanton, AL.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 10:00am from the Chapel of Ellison Memorial Funeral Home in Clanton with Rev. Jason Green officiating.

Burial with military honors will follow at 11:45am in the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, AL.

The family request in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the American Legion Chilton County Post 216 P.O. Box 1366 Clanton, AL 35046.

Garden Insects

Chilton County Master Gardeners had a last minute change of meeting location and met at the City of Clanton Zoning and Planning Room. Autauga County Master Gardener Anthony Yarborough spoke to us about Destructive Garden insects. We learned about several insects that attack our vegetable gardens such as flea beetles, squash bugs and the always hiding tomato hornworm. Let’s not forget about the white flies, flea hopper, pickle worms and more. He told how to scout insects and control them early. He suggests following Integrated Pest Management using cultural and mechanical methods before using insecticides. When insecticides are needed start with Bt, Sevin, or Milky Spore Powder before using more potent chemicals. Always spray early or late to help protect bees.

Our members were encouraged to help with our plant dig on Thursday, seed saving, Helpline calls, and sharing vegetables through the Grow More Give More campaign. We had a good turnout and expect to be back at our normal meeting place in August, hope to see ALL of you there!

Pres. Pat Farmer presents Anthony Yarbrough with hand crafted walnut pen by MG Ron Herbster
Back, Ron and Cheryl Herbster, front, Jan and Jim Rabey

Back, Jerry Farmer and Jimmy & Mildred Knowles; middle, Faye Collins and Wally Walters; front, Joyce Lawson and Judy Cobb
back, Linda Church, front, Lanell Baker and Harriett Jackson

Let’s Grow Herbs

What a treat to hold our June meeting at Petals From the Past! Our own Betsy Smith, who is working on her advanced certification on Herbs, was our speaker. She taught us about the five herb families and their growing needs such as amount of sun, soil type, water needs, and space and duration (perennial or annual). The families are mint, aster, carrot, amaryllis and laurel and of course she gave us the scientific names for each family.

Betsy also gave us handouts: one about all the different herb families and another on how to gather and dry herbs. We also enjoyed passing around the potted herbs she had for us to touch and smell. Who knew there were so many types of mint and thyme available and she didn’t even have them all!

Following the meeting a tour of Petals From the Past was available and that is always a fun learning experience.

Photos by Diane Clapp and Ruby Moberg

Betsy showing herbs
Betsy Smith presents “Herbs!”
Herbs
Herb handouts
Snacks
Snacks handouts made by Lyn Webb
Shoes with Herbs on them
Betsy’s shoes match the presentation!!
Betsy Smith makes presentation
Betsy Smith presents program on Herbs.

Plant Swap Fun

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.

Photos by Diane Clapp

Master Gardeners gives minutes

Rain boots and April Flowers

Bright rain boots filled with spring flowers welcomed us to our April Chilton County Master Gardener meeting, thanks to Hospitality leader, Lyn Webb.

Congratulations to Intern Joan Crocker, who was awarded her Master Gardener badge and certificate.

 Mollie Smith, Auburn School of Fisheries manager, presented a program on Aquaponics. She described the system used at AU and also showed how a smaller scale home version could be set up. Fish are grown in tanks and the water is used to water and fertilize plants. The fish, usually Tilapia, are also harvested. AU has had great success growing vine crops with their system. 

 Photos by Diane Clapp.

Charla with program speaker
V.P. Charla Giles and speaker Mollie Smith
Joan Crocker received certificate
Joan Crocker
speaker Mollie Smith
Speaker Mollie Smith, A U Fisheries Manager
Hospitality lead Lyn Webb
Hospitality Lead Lyn Webb
Members enjoy the meeting
Members at meeting 4-21

Best Plant Sale EVER!

We want to thank all the people that came out to our plant sale today at Goose Pond Park. Thanks to all of you, it was a huge success, more than we could ever imagine! We also want to thank all of our Master Gardener volunteers, there were many, so I won’t try to name all of them, but Thank You, you all did a great job! Also the weather cooperated so we won’t need our rain date of April 24. Here are some photos taken today by Diane Clapp and Gay West.

Volunteers at plant sale

Peach Outdoor Ask a MG

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.

Ask a MG at Spring event

Awards Day!

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.

Awarding stars
Awards program
Awards program
Awards program
Nominations fir MG if the tear

Ask A Master Gardener

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.