Upcoming Events



Attention Seniors! Apply Now for Farmers Market Vouchers!

ATTENTION SENIORS!

APPLY NOW FOR THE 2019 FARMER’S MARKET VOUCHERS

Seniors age 60 or older are encouraged to apply for a benefit administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Farmers Market Authority Section to provide coupons to low income seniors. Each senior will receive five $6 vouchers (total of $30) that can be used to purchase eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) from farmers that grow them and are selling them directly to you at local farmers markets and roadside stands. The St. Clair County Farmers Market in Pell City is an approved market where seniors can spend their vouchers. Eligibility is based on income.

If you do not have access to the internet, the form is also available on all three Extension Kiosks located at the Moody and Springville Public Libraries or in the St. Clair County Courthouse (lower level) in Pell City. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact us at the St. Clair County Extension office at (205) 338-9416.

Click here to apply: http://fma.alabama.gov/seniornutrition/

Seasonal Color Training Series

Seasonal Color Workshop

 

If you’re interested in learning how to have more seasonal color in your landscape, check out this interesting training series being offered in our neighboring county. For more information, please contact Bethany O’Rear, Regional Extension Agent, at 205-612-9524.

Click here for more information: https://www.smore.com/gaz54-seasonal-color-training-series?fbclid=IwAR0T-BWv0-f_fcoviKGGn1FKFhkGsYDOmwO2jgPBGlHoabYzUaiYdaQLgt0

 

Scale Back AL Weigh-In Week of January 22nd

Scale Back AL

The St. Clair County Extension Office is an official weigh-in site for the Scale Back Alabama program again this year & our official weigh-in day is Tuesday, January 22nd from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (If you cannot make it on the 22nd, please call our office at 205-338-9416 to make an appointment anytime the week of Jan 21st-25th)

Registration is NOW OPEN & you MUST register your team of two at scalebackalabama.com/join/ or on the Scale Back Alabama app, which you can download for free from the Apple Store or Google Play PRIOR to weighing in.

Take the first step toward a healthier you – register today! #ItsALifestyle #Drop10

Cottage Food Law Food Safety Course

Cupcakes

COTTAGE FOOD LAW FOOD SAFETY COURSE

When: Monday, February 4th, 2019
Time: 3:00—4:00 p.m. AND 6:00—7:00 p.m.
Place: Pell City Municipal Complex Building Training Room, 100 Bruce Etheridge Parkway, Pell City, AL 

Cost: $25.00 (pre-register online atwww.aces.edu/foodsafety/ )

Certificate will be presented upon passing test.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, January 30th

The Alabama Cottage Food Law went into effect in 2014 and provides guidance and information for cottage food entrepreneurs. The law states that individuals can produce certain nonhazardous foods in their homes. Cottage food cannot be sold to restaurants, novelty shops, grocery stores, or over the Internet. The person operating a food business under the Cottage Food Law must attend and pass a food safety course approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health every 5 years. You cannot exceed $20,000 in gross sales of the food described under the Alabama Cottage Food Law.

This law states that individuals who obtain a Cottage Food Law certificate CAN sell the following food directly to the consumer: candies, jams and jellies, dried herbs, dried herb mixes, and baked goods including cakes, cookies, pastries, doughnuts, and breads. Foods that CANNOT be sold directly to the consumer include: baked goods with a component that requires refrigeration (custard pies, danish with cream filling, and cakes with a whipped topping), juices from fruits and vegetables, milk products, soft or hard cheeses, pickles, relishes, barbecue sauces, canned fruits and vegetables, garlic in oil mixtures, meats in any form, fried pies, fruit butters, candied or roasted pecans, candied or caramel apples, and popcorn (candied, coated, or flavored).

For more information about this course please contact Angela Treadaway at (205) 410-3696 or call the St. Clair County Extension Office at (205) 338-9416. You may also download publication FCS-2058, Cottage Food Law: Basic Rules and Regulations available online athttp://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/F/FCS-2058/FCS-2058.pdf. Certificate will be presented upon passing test.

 — at Pell City Municipal Complex.

Serv Safe Class Offered

REGISTER NOW FOR OUR NEXT SERVSAFE CLASS

A ServSafe class is being offered on February 22nd & March 1st, 2019 at the St. Clair County Extension Office in Pell City, AL, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day. (you must attend both days)

Anyone interested may contact Angela Treadaway, Regional Extension Agent, at: 205-410-3696 or by calling the St Clair County Extension Office at 205-338-9416.

You may also go online to www.aces.edu/foodsafety/and look to the left hand side of the web page, click on Food Service and register online and pay with a credit card, which will allow you to save $5. Registration is $125.00 and includes all materials and test for certification.

Aquaponics Class Draws Large Crowd in St. Clair County

Dr. Jeremy PickenIF YOU MISSED IT, DON’T DESPAIR!

WE’VE POSTED THE ENTIRE PRESENTATION RIGHT HERE! Please visit https://auburn.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=17b14013-55eb-400c-9240-a92600f1fbb6

Dr. Jeremey Pickens, Alabama Extension Specialist, conducted a workshop on July 12th in Pell City on aquaponics which combines the practice of raising aquatic animals in tanks with the cultivation of plants in water without soil. An aquaponics system utilizes waste to nourish the plants, while the plants, in turn, help clean the water.

Over 60 people registered to attend, coming from as far as Huntsville, Thorsby, Montevallo, and Pickens County, to hear more about one of the hottest topics in agriculture right now.

Dr. Pickens is an Alabama Extension Specialist in nursery greenhouse horticulture. He did a great job & we greatly appreciate him coming to St. Clair County to share his knowledge with us about aquaponics! Also, a special thanks to Commercial Horticulture Regional Extension Agent, Gary Gray, for all his help with this program too!

For more information about what’s going on at the St. Clair County Extension Office please visit our Facebook page, St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Office or one of our Extension Kiosks located at the Moody & Springville libraries & in the Courthouse in Pell City.

The “Ins and Outs” of Mole Control

Scalopus Aquaticus - CC Kenneth Catania, Vanderbilt University

Moles are a common occurrence in Alabama lawns and gardens. While not a pest in the traditional sense of the word, moles are more of a nuisance. With long galleries through which they travel, moles can cause more aesthetic damage rather than physical damage to turfgrass, ornamentals, and vegetables.

Moles, Scalopus aquaticus, are a common animal in most areas around our state. Most people associate moles with rodents, likening them to rats, gophers and voles. In actuality, moles are a closer cousin to the carnivorous shrew than the omnivorous rodent. It is quite common for the vole and the mole to be confused, one being a tunnel digger that eats only insects and the other being a path clearer that primarily eats roots and stems of unsuspecting plants. An easy way to differentiate between the two is to remember this- Moles are meat eaters (both start with the letter m) and voles are vegetarians (both start with the letter V). When compared side by side, the two animals are not easily confused. The vole looks like a small mouse with tiny ears and stubbed tail while the mole has a long snout and large webbed feet.

The “damage” from moles is actually nothing more than tunnels being dug in your lawn or garden. Most often, moles prefer moist cool soils to dig in, primarily due to this is also the habitat that grubs and other insects dwell. Those tunnels can become a problem if they wash out when it rains or if you turn your ankle in them while walking the dog at night (I speak from experience on that one…). While some complain that these small animals are destroying their lawns, I encourage the homeowner to step back and think of the big picture. These meat eating animals are voracious predators, often eating 100% of their body weight each day! That is 3-4 ounces of root eating grubs and insects every day, taking away some of the major pests that affect lawn health. So while you deal with the tunnels and mole hills in the lawn, these critters are hard at work protecting your plants from harmful pests. If you are like most of my clients and tend not to look at the world as “glass half full”, then there are certainly a few techniques that you can consider.

A common question from clients when they call about mole control is “What can I spray to kill them?” There really is no chemical that you can apply to your lawn that will eliminate the mole situation, but there are chemicals that can be applied to your lawn that will take away their food source, thus sending them to a nearby pasture (or neighbor’s yard) to look for something to eat. Any insecticide, granular or liquid, that is labeled for use on lawns to control grubs and other insects can be used. Many of these insecticides require adequate water to activate the ingredients, so read the directions carefully before applying. While there are no chemicals that you can spray for the moles, there are a select few toxicants or baits that can be utilized to control these animals. Effectiveness is difficult to judge and getting a mole to accept the bait can be a problem.

The more effective, though time consuming, technique is using lethal control methods (traps). There are three primary trapping systems for eliminating moles; harpoon style, scissor-jawed, or choker designs. All are common, effective and deliver a quick and out of sight dispatching of the animal. The methods of preparing the site for use of these traps are generally the same. Stomp down all tunnels that are present in the lawn. Watch throughout the day or the next morning for those paths that have been re-excavated, showing you the active travel tunnels. Set the trap over the active tunnels and ensure that the device can function properly. Once set, the only thing to do is wait. Once the mole travels down the path and trips the trap, remove the trap and stomp the tunnel down. Watch for more tunnels to appear to know if you have had success or if there is more than one mole present. Generally, with the exception females and young sharing tunnels, moles are considered solitary animals. So, if you have success and dispatch one of the animals, there is a good chance that you can move on to other areas of the lawn.

While there are several techniques that are available for controlling moles, using a combination of techniques may provide more results. Some methods may prove to be more successful that others depending on the environment that the moles live in.

For more information on controlling moles in the lawn and garden, please contact the St. Clair County Extension Office at 205-338-9416.

Hunter McBrayer
Urban Regional Extension Agent