Upcoming Events

Planting for Pollinators

Zebra Longwing butterfly
Zebra Longwing butterfly

The importance of pollinators can not be overstated.  Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce.

Some scientists estimate that one out of every three bites of food we eat exists because of animal pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths, birds and bats, and beetles and other insects.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help protect our pollinators.  Join Taylor Reeder, our Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests Agent at our upcoming workshop and learn what you can add to your garden for pollinators.

Time/Date:  May 4th, 2017, 6 pm – 7 pm

Location:  Limestone County Extension Office

There is no charge for this workshop, pre-register for this workshop by calling our office @ 256-232-5510.

Workshop Flyer

Getting Dirty at the Library

seedlings emerging

Do you enjoy gardening?

If so, then bring a sack lunch and enjoy Getting Dirty at the Library!

The Limestone County Extension Office is excited to be partnering with the Athens-Limestone Public Library to offer the Getting Dirty at the Library gardening series.  Starting in March and going through July on the 2nd Tuesday of each month we will discuss a different topic.


Click here for the schedule and topics.


The Athens-Limestone Public Library is a great community partner so check out all they have to offer.


Alabama Extension

Athens Library

2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar series

butterfly on coneflower

First Friday of the Month 1:00 pm

Join us for the 2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar series

Please join us for this webinar series for information you can use about good and bad insects.  We used your feedback to bring topics that you suggested.  We will discuss troublesome insects such as invasive ants, landscape pests, vegetable pests, and house dwellers as well as arachnids too.  Not all insects are bad, though, come and meet some of our native pollinators!

This year, topics will include:

  • Don’t Let Tramp Ants Take Over Your Home, February 3.
  • Protect Your Veggie Harvest From Hungry Insects, March 3.
  • Mosquitoes and Insect Borne Diseases, April 7.
  • Ticks, May 5.
  • Aphids, Scales and Whiteflies, June 2. 
  • Drain Flies, House Flies, and Fungus Gnats, August 4.
  • Meet Our Native Pollinators, September 1.
  • New Invasive Ants to Know About, October 6.
  • Pantry Pests, Carpet Beetles, and Clothes Moths, November 3.
  • Don’t Let Bed Bugs Hamper Your Vacation Plans, December 1.

Each webinar is recorded and archived so you may watch at your convenience.  Recorded webinars can be found below.

The 2017 Webinars are brought to you by the Ant Pests and Urban IPM eXtension Communities of Practice; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the University of Georgia Extension, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Clemson Cooperative Extension.  Series Coordinators: Dani Carroll and Kathy Flanders, Auburn University.  Marketing: Amanda Tedrow, University of Georgia Extension.  Webinar Text Chat Moderators: Tim Davis, University of Georgia Extension, and Vicky Bertagnolli-Heller, Clemson Cooperative Extension.


Alabama Extension

Texas A&M Extension




Georgia Extension

Clemson Extension

Rain Barrel Workshop

Rain Harvesting

The Drought is not over!

Currently most of North Alabama is experiencing severe drought conditions.  Being able to collect and save rain water is extremely helpful during drought.  Attend this upcoming rain barrel/harvesting workshop to learn how to maximize your rain water collection and use.

When:  February 7, 2017 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: $50.00 for each completed rain barrel

Location: 1109 W. Market Street, Athens, AL 35611

Space is limited, so please register by January 31st by calling the 256-232-5510.



Smart Yards logo

All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar…Going to the snakes











Snakes are one of those animals that get a bad rap!  There are not many animals that strike fear into people more than snakes, unfortunately most of that fear is unnecessary and unwarranted.  Snakes are very beneficial to humans in that they are very efficient at controlling rodents.  Some of the most harmless snakes actually will feed on other snakes including the venomous species.

The only good snakes is a dead snake statement could not be more wrong and it is a shame that many people think this to be true.  Although some snakes can present a danger to humans, if left alone most snake encounters occur without incident.

It is important to be able to distinguish between the venomous and non-venomous snakes.  There are 42 different species of snakes that call Alabama home, six of which are venomous.  Tune in to the September All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar for tips on identifying them.

The webinar is scheduled for Friday, September 3rd at 12:00pm

For more information and how to participate, click here 


Sixth Annual North Alabama Beekeepers Symposium

Honeybee on flower

Bees as well as other pollinators help to produce over $19 billion a year in agricultural crops through pollination.  It is important that we do our part through conservation efforts to help our pollinators thrive.

When:  August 20, 2016, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Where: Calhoun Community College (Decatur Campus)

Classes and demonstrations will be available to suit the needs of beekeepers at every level of experience in addition to those individuals just wanting to learn more about an amazing group of insects.  

  • Honey Bees and Water
  • What Does A Good Colony Look Like?
  • Monitoring Africanized Honey Bee Activity
  • Queen Rearing – Cell Punch Method
  • Location and Setup of Your New Apiary
  • Harvesting Your Honey Crop
  • And much more
For more information related to the symposium, click here.
Click here for a very informative and detailed Backyard Beekeeping Publication 
Limestone County Beekeepers website
Honey bee
Smart Yards logo

Cottage Food Law Class – Athens

Farmers Market

Are you familiar with the Alabama Cottage Food Law?

As of June 1, 2014, the Alabama Cottage Food Law took effect.  This law regulates the sale of edible products from a person’s home.  The Cottage Food Law allows individuals to sell non-hazardous food products at state sanctioned farmer’s markets.  The law regulates several aspects of selling home made food products including what can and can not be sold, where it can be sold, the total annual sales, labeling and more.

If you are interested in selling your products you will need to be certified.  Come to our Alabama Cottage Food Law class June 6th and learn all you need to about the law to protect yourself and others.

When: June 6, 2016 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Limestone County Extension Office, 1109 W. Market Street, Athens, AL 35611

This is certification class, so there is a $25.00 charge. 

For specifics on the class and the Cottage Food Law, contact Christy Mendoza, Regional Extension Agent for Food Safety & Quality.

Please register for the class by calling the Limestone County office at 256-232-5510.


Alabama Extension




Turf Management Class – Athens

mowing grass

Does your yard look more like a wildflower pasture than a manicured  lawn?  Come and learn what you can do to improve the look and health of your turfgrass.

Extension Horticulturists will cover many topics related to turfgrass including:

  • Cutting height
  • Weed control
  • Establishment
  • Types of turfgrass
  • Soil testing
  • Fertilization
  • Aerification
  • Irrigation

When: May 26, 2016, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: Limestone County Extension Office

Cost: There is a $7.00 charge for the class

To register please contact the Limestone County Extension Office

1smy copy

Operation Grow: Agricultural opportunities for veterans and their families

Veteran farmer


Intel: Veterans returning to the United States from active duty face many challenges, and the U.S. Department of Labor reports that as of May 2010, over 20 percent of young veterans are unemployed. Moreover, recent data shows that 45 percent of armed service members are from rural America, which positions the agricultural industry as a logical solution to fill the economic gap veterans face. (http://www.outreach.usda.gov/veterans.htm).

Operation GrowMission:It is the intent of Operation Grow is to introduce and educate veterans in the various areas of small scale agriculture as well as explore related business and job opportunities. While there are many agricultural sectors, the Nursery and Horticulture Industry alone contributes 2.9 billion dollars, including 44,000 jobs, to Alabama’s economy annually. Additionally, more than 65 percent of Alabama’s farms produce vegetables crops grown on less than 5 acres. The success and popularity of local farmer markets are increasing and offer another avenue for veterans to get involved in agriculture. The Nursery and Horticulture Industry as well as commercial fruit and/or vegetable production are logical, viable, profitable and realistic options for veterans. Operation Grow’s definition of a veteran is any member of the U.S. Armed Forces, current or honorably discharged, including members of the National Guard, Reserves or Coast Guard.

Contact Chris Becker with any questions.


For more information related to the classes click here.

To register for Operation Grow click here. Registration