Upcoming Events



Visit Your St. Clair County “Pell City” Farmers Market Soon!

Farmers Market Crew

 

(l to r) Rod Goode, Farmers Market Steering Committee member and St. Clair County Conservation District Technician; Cori Harris, St. Clair County Extension SNAP-Ed Educator; and Farmers Market Manager, Worth Barham, greet visitors at the Market

 

Buy Fresh from the Farm at the St. Clair County “Pell City” Farmers Market

The family farm is an American tradition but unfortunately it is in danger of fading away as there are now less than a million people in the U.S. that claim farming as their primary occupation. This represents a loss of almost 5 million farms since 1935. Family farms, exhibiting self-sufficiency, are the foundation of rural communities. Communities benefit from the local farmers when they purchase their goods from local merchants and provide jobs which enhance the local economy. This is a win-win situation for everyone.

 

A few years ago we started seeing a revival in farmer’s markets as health conscious consumers looked for ways to get the freshest produce possible. This is good news not only for local farmers but for consumers and communities. Farmers markets can enhance our spirit of community by creating a family-oriented gathering spot to reconnect with our friends and neighbors while helping to promote and enhance the economic vitality of local farmers.

 

Usually sold within 24 hours of being harvested, fruits and vegetables produced locally are fresher and taste better than produce which has been shipped for a long period of time. When eaten at the peak of ripeness, consumers can reap the benefits of the exceptional flavor and nutrients the produce provides.

 

With the summer growing season now in full swing, virtually any fruit or vegetable you need for your picnic or barbeque can be found at our local farmer’s market. In its 9th year, the St. Clair County Farmers Market is open every Wednesday from 2—5:30 p.m. until August 29th. It is located in the gravel parking lot on Hwy 231 North, just past the post office in Pell City.

 

Because it a producer-only state-sanctioned market, it qualifies and is a Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher Program redemption site.

 

If you haven’t had a chance to visit our local farmer’s market yet, we welcome you to stop by soon. Be sure to say hello to Mr. Worth Barham, Farmers Market Manager and Cori Harris, St. Clair County Extension SNAP-Ed educator, who is set-up there weekly offering food tastings, handouts and other special goodies. Also, when you are there, be sure to register for the weekly drawing for your chance to win!

 

Your support will allow the St. Clair County Market to continue to improve and bring not only the same great products to you next year, but many more new products as well. For updates each week on what will be available at the Market, be sure to join the St. Clair County “Pell City” Farmers Market page. To learn more about all the happenings going on at the St. Clair County Extension Office, be sure to “like” our page too, St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Office.

 

We hope to see you at the Market next Wednesday!

St. Clair County Farmers Market Open Every Wednesday Through August 29th

Peaches and Strawberries

The St. Clair County “Pell City” Farmers Market opened Wednesday, June 6th from 2–5:30 p.m. and will be open until August 29th. It is located on Hwy 231 North, just past the Pell City Post Office, in gravel parking lot in front of Mary’s Mini Warehouses. It will be open EVERY Wednesday from 2–5:30 p.m. until August 29th. We are even open this year on the 4th of July!

 

Here is what you will find at the Market this year:

¨ Locally grown produce, grass-fed beef, and honey

¨ Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher Program Redemption Site

¨ Weekly Drawings

¨ Special Event Days

¨ Cooperative Extension publications, cooking demos, pressure canner testing, gardening info, and much more

 

This is one of only 2 state-sanctioned Farmers Markets in St. Clair County. The other one is in Steele.

 

To find out what will be available at the Market each week, be sure to “like” our Facebook page, St. Clair County “Pell City” Farmers Market.

 

Mr. Worth Barham is the Farmers Market Manager this year.

 

 

 

AL Beekeepers Association: Dedicated to Helping Alabama’s Honeybees

St. Clair County Beekeepers LogoIf you are interested in the art of beekeeping and have 100 hives of bees or just one, the St. Clair County Beekeepers Association invites you to come and be a part of their association. Dues are only $10/person and are used to fund local activities such as special speakers and other various community events open to the public.

 

The St. Clair County Beekeepers Association was founded on October 12, 2012 to educate and organize local beekeepers all the way from hobbyist to the professional level. They meet at 7 p.m. on the 4th Thursday of the month at the St. Clair county Farmers Federation (ALFA) building located at 32775 US Hwy 231, Ashville, Alabama.

 

For more information about joining this association, please contact Ragina Swindeall at (205) 368-9112 or email stclairbeekeeping@gmail.com. Also, be sure to visit www.alabamabeekeepers.com.

 

 

 

 

Aquaponics and Hydroponics Workshop

Hydroponics

Interested in learning more about aquaponics or hydroponics? We have just the workshop for you!

 

Make plans now to join us on Thursday, July 12th from 1-3 p.m. at the St. Clair County Extension Office for an introduction into the practice of growing plants in a soil free environment. We will be covering the basics of soil-less culture and hydroponic techniques as well as an introduction into growing plants with the help of fish. This workshop is intended for hobbyists but the information can easily be transferred to commercial production. Topics to be discussed include: hydroponic systems; recirculating fish production; combining fish with plant production; the ends and outs of greenhouses; and where do I begin?

 

Space is limited! Cost is $5/person. You must pre-register to attend by calling the St. Clair County Extension Office at (205) 338-9416 no later than Thursday, July 5th. Materials and refreshments provided.

 

Become a Master Gardener This Year

Garden Shed

Have you always wanted to become a Master Gardener? Well, now’s your chance! Don’t miss out on our upcoming class which will be held every Wednesday at the Extension Office beginning August 29th—November 14th from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. We are only able to offer this course once every 2 years.

 

You must complete & submit an application to be considered for the class. This form can be accessed online at http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1155/ANR-1155.pdf or we will be glad to email or mail you a copy. For more information, please contact the St. Clair County Extension Office at 205-338-9416.

 

Registration fee is $125 but is not required until closer to class time! Happy Gardening!

 

Stay Informed with the Extension Newsletter

Image of Printed Extension Newsletters

The Extension Newsletter is published bi-monthly. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please email Lee Ann Clark, County Extension Coordinator, or call our the St. Clair County Extension Office at (205) 338-9416.

Current Issues

July/August, 2018 Extension Newsletter

May/June, 2018 Extension Newsletter

March/April, 2018 Extension Newsletter

January/February, 2018 Extension Newsletter

 

2017 Past Issues

November/December, 2017 Extension Newsletter

September/October, 2017 Extension Newsletter

July/August, 2017 Extension Newsletter

May/June, 2017 Extension Newsletter

March/April, 2017 Extension Newsletter

January/February, 2017 Extension Newsletter

2016 Past Issues

November/December, 2016 Extension Newsletter

September/October, 2016 Extension Newsletter

July/August, 2016 Extension Newsletter

May/June, 2016 Extension Newsletter

March/April, 2016 Extension Newsletter

January/February, 2016 Extension Newsletter

Outreach Support for St. Clair County Veteran Community

St. Clair County Extension Veterans Outreach Agent Assistant
St. Clair County Extension Veterans Outreach Agent Assistant, Wayne Johnson

Outreach Support for St. Clair County Veteran Community

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s St. Clair County office has received continued funding to support a grassroots outreach program for the county’s veterans.

Lee Ann Clark, St. Clair County Extension coordinator, says the funding, which was secured through the St. Clair County Commission, has enabled her office to continue providing outreach support to the veteran community.

“For more than a century, Cooperative Extension has been about providing effective, face-to-face outreach to people where they live and work,” Clark says. “And for this reason, we think we are especially well-suited to serve our county’s veterans, especially those in critical need of assistance.”

Clark’s sentiments are shared by St. Clair County Commission Chairman Paul Manning, a strong supporter of the program.

The effort has also earned the full support of Alabama Extension Director Gary Lemme.

“The partnership between St. Clair County, the state of Alabama, and Alabama Extension, which is directed to assisting active military, National Guard and veteran families, reflects our combined commitment to those who provided our nation’s defense,” Lemme said. “Helping the families of these heroes access Veterans Affairs benefits that they have earned and providing resources to help them cope with the unique stresses of deployment and returning to home life will benefit not only those directly involved but also the entire community.

Veterans Outreach for St. Clair County will be the duties of Wayne Johnson, newly hired to lead these efforts.

“There is a critical need to connect veterans within communities, especially in small communities, to resources that can improve their financial well-being and their employment prospects. In many cases, it can be as simple as putting money in their pockets to tie them over as they make their transition back to civilian life,” Johnson said.

The challenges of transitioning to civilian life often prove even more daunting, if not insurmountable, for those veterans suffering from serious combat-related conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Among those veterans, timely effective outreach can mean the difference between successful transition to civilian life and one plagued by chronic unemployment, debt and, in many cases, substance abuse.

One of the main goals of the St. Clair Extension outreach effort is to reach these veterans with critical assistance before these patterns of behavior become self-destructive.

“My vision is to get out into the community and find veterans and widows of veterans that we don’t know about. I want to make them aware of the benefits that are available to them and hopes to make all veterans more aware of the numerous services and benefits available to them,” Johnson said.

“I plan to visit all the nursing homes,” he said. “Also, I not only want to talk to the elderly and middle-age veterans, but I also want to reach out to younger veterans.”

Considering the number of veterans in St. Clair County alone — some 7300 — an outreach program that presents veterans with viable treatment options potentially could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This unclaimed assistance not only would benefit the returning veterans but also the local economies where they live and work.

Any questions concerning this program or if you are a Veteran in need of assistance, please contact Wayne Johnson, Veterans Outreach Agent Assistant. He can be reached at the St. Clair County Extension Office by calling (205) 338-9416 or email wjj0006@auburn.edu.

Agri-Tourism in Alabama

zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, beans in the foreground, people buying and selling under umbrellas in soft focus in the background

Agri-tourism can take many forms. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets offer farm-fresh produce and interaction with growers. Farms may open to the public for wildlife watching and hunting. Ag tours, on farm bed-and-breakfasts, and dude ranches give tourists the fresh air, open space, and relaxation of country life.

U-pick operations, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, hay mazes, farm-animal petting zoos, wine tasting, ag heritage museums, festivals, and fairs all attract visitors.

Find your Agri-Tourism destination today!

Alabama Master Naturalist Program

egret standing on driftwood in a wetland area

The Alabama Master Naturalist program is a new statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors. In addition, the AMN program will also develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Learn more about how you can participate today!