Upcoming Events



November 4-H Newsletter

4-H Horse Camp Participants

Check out the November 4-H Newsletter to see what’s coming up for Marion County 4-H’ers: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/11/November-2017-4-H-Newsletter.pdf

Contact the Marion County Extension Office (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu for questions.

Youth Council Meeting December 5th, 2017 5:30pm

 

Are you interested in Leadership? Come to our third Marion County 4-H Youth Council Meeting of the 2017-2018 4-H Club Year! This year’s Youth Council will plan upcoming 4-H events and activities, participate in Leadership activities, conduct community service projects, and brainstorm fun games/activities to include at this year’s 4-H County Round-Up in April! Youth Council members will serve as Marion County 4-H Ambassadors that promote 4-H in the schools and at local events.

DATE: Tuesday, December 5th
TIME: 5:30pm
WHO: Any active Marion County 4-Her ages 9-18 or any youth that want to get more involved in Marion County 4-H. We encourage all 4-H Club Officers to attend.
WHY: A youth council member will serve as a Marion County 4-H Ambassador to promote 4-H in the schools and at local events. Youth will learn leadership skills, help plan county events, and help plan/participate in Community Service Activities. We will be doing a community service activity at the November Youth Council Meeting-you don’t want to miss it!
WHERE: Location revealed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter closer to meeting time.
COST: FREE
QUESTIONS: (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

Marion County Extension Office Hours 7:30am-4:00pm Monday-Friday

Address: 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570

4-H Agent, Rebecca Danley (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

4-H Local Photography Exhibit

4-H Local Photography Exhibit
Photo By: Ginger Avery

4-H Local Photography Project

The November-December 4-H Project will be the 4-H Local Photography Project. Any 4-Her can participate in this contest. The first place winner’s photograph will be featured in the Journal Record Newspaper. Remember 4-Her’s you need 3 points in order to go to County Round-Up this year. Entering this contest gets you 1 point (only 1 point-that does not mean you will get 4 points for entering the 4 categories). We hope to see many of you participate. This is one of the easiest projects we offer! Your school/teacher can help you with printing photographs if you don’t have access to a professional printer.

Rules: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2016/10/Photography-Exhibit.pdf

  • This is an individual event.
  • Photos may be color or black and white.
  • Photos must be 5 x 7 or smaller.
  • Photos should be mounted flat on plain white paper.
  • The photos must be original photos that you took.
  • Photos must have been taken during the current 4-H Year. (October 2017-January 2018)
  • You can enter each category one time only.

Categories are:

  1. People
  2. Animals
  3. Nature and Buildings
  4. Picture Sequence – consisting of three or more pictures that tell a story.

What Judges Will Look At ?

  • How the photo is put together – Is the photo well arranged? Did the photographer use the best angle or point of view?
  • Focus and Sharpness – Is the photo in focus? If it’s not in sharp focus, did you mean it for an artistic effect?
  • Lighting – Did you use lighting to create a mood or effect?
  • Is the picture creative?

Pictures are due at your January 4-H Club meeting! 

Questions? (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

 

Alternative Leaf Clean-up: Leaf them there!

By: Kerry Stober

Question: Are there other ways I can utilize the leaves that are beginning to fall on my yard?

As Fall arrives and the trees begin their natural changes, we all start to see an excess of brown leaves appear on our lawns. Many homeowners dread blowing, raking, and bagging the leaves to dispose of them. Some may have services from their city or municipality that allows them to create piles near the street for later collection. A blanket of deciduous leaves left on your turfgrass for long periods of time can cause damage your lawn, so management is a necessary process.

To answer your question, there are definitely other methods you can utilize to keep your lawn healthy and the leaves at bay. The most common way without disposing of the material is to integrate the leaves into your compost; one point to mention- never compost leaves from plants that were showing signs of disease.

The main alternative method I want to share with you is mulching the leaves into the lawn. This way is less labor intensive than raking and bagging, and it also provides your lawn with valuable nutrient material! There has been research into the value of mulching leaves into the lawn which shows your grass will benefit over time from the decomposing leaves integrating into your soil. The leaves do not replace your regular fertilizer routine, but still have positive effects on growth and overall health. Mulching these leaves should not cause any damage or excess thatch when done properly. The main factor for mulching leaves into the lawn is using the proper equipment. Most riding or push mowers sold today have a mulching blade or deck that is made specifically for this type of purpose. You can also use a rotary mower, but you want the mower to allow the leaves to remain in place after chopping (not throw them to the side of the mower). Using a bagger attachment on the mower while mulching leaves, and then spreading them in a thin layer onto the lawn from the bag can work if your mower is a side discharge model (although this takes more effort on your part). You do not want the leaves to build up too much before mowing; any more than 2-4 inches is too thick. Wearing safety goggles and an air mask is always to good idea as mulching can produce dust and debris.

Hopefully the mulching method can save you time while also adding beneficial material in your lawn!

Garden Talk is written by Kerry Stober of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Kerry at KDS0010@aces.edu or call 205-879-6964 x19. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Garden Talk: Awesome Osmanthus

Question:  I’ve been looking for plant material that will make a good hedge, but not one that looks unkempt very quickly, or become problematic because it spreads too fast.  It should be evergreen since it’s a hedge, needs little care or pruning, is not a water hog, no thorns or prickly leaves as my children will be playing near it, and have some seasonal interest other than being green.

Am I asking to have my cake and eat it too?

Answer:  Actually there are plants that fill your requirements, one in particular comes to mind. And if you’ve been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in the past few weeks, you’ve likely encountered it as well.

Known botanically as Osmanthus, this shrub is also known as “Sweet Olive” or “Tea Olive”, occasionally “Holly Osmanthus”, or even “Devilwood” which is a species native to southeast U.S.

Incidentally, Osmanthus comes from Greek osma (“fragrant”), and anthos (“flower”), and was brought to Europe in mid-19th century by botanist Jean Marie Delavay.

Potentially as tall as a small tree, Osmanthus normally ranges in size from 7-35’ in height, leaves opposite, simple, and entire with serrated (think kitchen knife) to coarsely toothed edges.  Those tiny fragrant flowers develop spring through fall, depending on variety. For those who aren’t familiar with Osmanthus in bloom, the scent of peaches, apricots, or orange blossoms will point your nose in the right direction.

Tolerant of full sun to part shade depending on variety and location, Osmanthus handles a range of soil types, including our clay soils, with aplomb. Pruning, while not necessary unless to tidy up or remove damaged branches, is OK, as are even heavier pruning jobs but beware that they bloom on old wood so be careful of timing.  An Osmanthus shrub heavily pruned at the wrong time may take a few years to flower before growth matures to the point of blooming.

Though most fragrant Osmanthus sport clusters of tiny white blooms, a few varieties offer orange (O. fragrans aurantiacus), or yellow flowers (‘Butter Yellow’). O. x fortunei  or Fortune’s Osmanthus develops intensely fragrant flowers in fall, with ‘San Jose’ blooms offering color from cream to orange.

Not just a handsome hedge or fragrant flower, other regions of the world cultivate  Osmanthus for use as tea, wine, or medicine. Claims of improved complexion and ridding bodies of compounds linked to cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, in addition to providing a major component for “Osmanthus wine”, only add to the lure of this plant. Its other attraction is for honey bees, as they visit its blooms during periods when nectar and pollen are being stored to feed “baby” bees or when adults are tucking away stores for the winter.

Awesome Osmanthus?  You bet!

Garden Talk is written by Sallie Lee of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). She is housed at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticultural and Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. Email questions to Sallie at leesall@auburn.edu or call 205-879-6964 x11. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

2017 4-H Sweet Potato Fundraiser

40 lb. box-$20 

Download ORDER Form: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/08/SweetPotatoFlyerHLE.pdf

Pre-orders only. Deadline to order is November 1st, 2017.  Make checks/money orders payable to Alabama 4-H Foundation when you place your order. Checks or money orders preferred. Pick-up from November 16-17 at the Marion County Extension Office 7th Avenue SW, Hamilton, AL 35570.

The 4-Her with the most sales will win a cash prize!

Drop by the Marion County Extension Office to place an order or you may mail your order to the Extension Office (payment in the mail by October 27th).

For more information call or email the 4-H Agent at (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu . Office Hours Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm Address: 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570.

All proceeds go toward educational programming for 4-H in-school clubs and 4-H Events (RiverKids, Shooting Sports, Pet Show, Etc.).