Pictured from left to right; Jackie Hickman, Diane Clapp, Linda Hays, Trisha Williams and Alan Reed
C hilton Master Gardeners are busy preparing for the Home and Garden Expo at the Chilton County Research Center on Saturday, August 3. We are taking care of fig and vine cuttings that will be for sale, along with shrubs and flowers. This event offers a taste of the fruits that Jim Pitts and his crew grow on this valuable research site. Master Gardeners help pick, peel and make ice cream from various fruits and all the tasting is free. Not only do we help out with the fruit serving but we have our Demonstration Garden on site. Demo Garden Chairmen, Alan Reed and Jerry Farmer, along with other Master Gardeners, have been working each Monday morning to weed and maintain the irrigation system so our newly planted flowers will be beautiful to view by August. Come out and join us!
AMGA conference attendees brought back lots of information, trunk loads of plants and Kombi shovels. The ease of digging with this “weapon” like tool is amazing! Florence is a beautiful place to visit along with the Florence City Garden Tour that was offered. We were invited to view Margie Anderton’s natural gardens after the conference and although it was north of our home destination, we all agreed we wanted to go. We were not disappointed! Thanks Margie!
Clanton and Jemison City Planters were planted in April. This is a fun event for our association. Clanton city streets are lined with planters and baskets. Marty Martin is their landscape advisor and chooses a variety of lovely annuals and perennials to grace them. This is our first full year with the Jemison planters and we are looking forward to working with the city.
Also in April, was the Maplesville Heritage Day Celebration. The Master Gardener Class Interns hosted their first plant sale there and were trained in the different responsibilities of plant sales. They found out they knew more than they thought they knew and it gave them a good confidence boost for other upcoming plant sales.
In May we had a great Plant Swap at Bettye Glass’ in Jemison. Across from Bettye’s house is the oldest home in the Jemison area and their very large garden and more of their fruit trees. Left over plants from our Maplesville Plant Sale were sold, along with garden crafts. Gardeners took home lots of pretty plants and plants that were brought to be shared. We voted unanimously to raise our county dues. Alice Broome announced that round CCMGA magnets which can be used on mail boxes, vehicles or refrigerators would be available for sale at our next meeting.
Mr. Ralph Hayes, from R & N Goat Farm of Thorsby, gave our June Program. His informative presentation included the uses of goat milk, what goats eat and goat milk production. A tour of his goat farm followed our meeting. Goat milk and milk products will soon be available through Debra Stone’s Hapersville store. It is his goats’ milk that provide the source for these natural products.
Even though it is HOT and HUMID, our gardens are producing and we are gathering, canning and trying out new recipes. Christy Mendoza, AU Extension Kitchen Specialist, gave our April program on “Cooking is an Art and Canning is a Science”. She reminded us of the importance of following canning guidelines for everyone’s safety when consuming home canned goods. Practical advice for everyone this summer!
Hope you have a bountiful summer!
Sondra Henley, President