Upcoming Events



‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ Coming September 29th

We are pleased to announce that our ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will return in September!

After much success in 2014 and 2015, the Tallapoosa County Extension Office and Tallapoosa County Master Gardener Association have decided to host another grand event.  The 2017 event will be on Friday, September 29th at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City.

We are very excited to offer another slate of well-known horticulturists and gardeners that have all agreed to come to Alexander City to speak at our 2017 “Fall Gardening Extravaganza.”  Get ready for this amazing 2017 all-star lineup of speakers as featured in the “2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet:

butterfly adorns the brochure cover for the "Fall Gardening Extravaganza" September 27, 2017 in Alexander City, ALChris VanCleave, speakers at the "Fall Gardening Extravaganza," Chris Van Cleave, Sara L. Van Beck, Felder Rushing, and Carol Reese“The Redneck Rosarian”, is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. His writing is seen at HomeDepot.com and on his popular website, RedneckRosarian.com.

Sara L. Van Beck currently serves as a Corresponding Member of the Royal Horticulture Narcissus Classification Advisory Group. She has recently published Daffodils in American Gardens, 1733-1940 (2015), co-authored, with her mother Linda, Daffodils in Florida: A Field Guide to the Coastal South (2003), and has written articles for numerous other publications.

Felder Rushing is the international founder of Slow Gardening, a highly satisfying approach that focuses on finding and following personal garden bliss. He is author or co-author of 18 gardening books and a former Extension Service urban horticulture specialist who actually started the Master Gardener program in his home state of Mississippi. Felder has written thousands of gardening columns in syndicated newspapers and has had hundreds of articles and photographs published in regional and national garden magazines.

Carol Reese is an Ornamental Horticulture Specialist with UT Extension. She is a contributor to several garden magazines and writes a weekly gardening and nature column for the Jackson Sun in Jackson TN. Her talk – Take a Walk on the Wild Side –  will discuss how to create fabulous habitat and wildlife garden alive with birds, bees, and butterflies, yet have a sense of strong design and year-round appeal for the humans and other critters that enrich and entertain.

The 2017 ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center located on the Central Alabama Community College campus.  Cost is only $25 per person and includes a lunch. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

“2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet


Must Register by calling the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050!

NO ONLINE REGISTRATION or PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD

Registration Deadline is Friday, September 22, 2017

Extension to Host an Outdoor Photography Course

With the availability of today’s technology, taking pictures is more easier and popular than ever.  Just pull out that smart phone and use its camera to shoot a quick photo.  That seems adequate for most people and situations.  Yet capturing that unique moment and getting that outstanding photo, as of today, still requires more skills and better equipment.  Serious amateur photographers demand a higher standard and are always wanting to improve there skills and abilities.

I’ll admit, I am one of those amateur photographers.  Over the last few years, I have become more interested in photography and really enjoy doing outdoor photography.  My camera equipment has expanded and goes along with me on vacations or when such Kodak moments arise.   Not only am I wanting to capture such moments but I want to learn how to do it better.  There nothing so disappointing as when a photo didn’t quite turn out as good as I had hoped.  Recent trips to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks have given me wonderful opportunities to practice my photography skills and have inspired me; but more practice and knowledge is needed.

So if you are like me and can relate, you too need an opportunity to get better.  We need to attend a photography class and learn from other photographers how to improve our skills.   This idea lead me to ask local photographers Kenneth Boone and Fletcher Scott for help and teach an Outdoor Photography Course for our area.  They have happily agreed to do so and Extension will host it.

So mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 18th and join us for an amateur outdoor photography course.  There will be 6 unique classes:

  • Sept.18    –  Basic Photography
  • Sept. 25   –  Wildlife Photography
  • Oct. 2       –  Macro Photography
  • Oct. 16   –   Water Photography
  • Oct. 30   –   Low Light Photography
  • Nov. 13  –   Landscape Photography

Knowledge and use of a DSLR camera,  tripod, multiple lens, and off-camera flash is recommended. This is NOT a beginner course. There will be homework assignments each week.  Cost of the course is $50.  Class location will be in Alexander City on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 8 p.m.  Instructors will be Kenneth Boone and Fletcher Scott.  Hosted by the Tallapoosa County Extension office.

Registration is required!  To participate or for more information, contact the Tallapoosa County Extension Office at 256-825-1050.

-Shane Harris, County Extension Coordinator

Let’s Go Fishing! 4-H SportFishing Day is Friday, May 25th

Tallapoosa County 4-H will host this year’s 4-H SportFishing Day at Camp ASCCA on Friday, May 25th.   The day and fishing starts early at 7 a.m. and will conclude around 11:30 a.m. with lunch. Participants will learn about:

  • Fishing Equipment
  • Casting
  • Types of Fish
  • Baits
  • Harvesting & Cleaning
  • Pond Fishing

The event location:  Camp ASCCA, 5278 Camp ASCCA Dr.,  Jacksons Gap, Alabama.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Event Fee: $5 for 4-H Youth ages 9-18 (includes lunch)

To participate or for more information, contact the Tallapoosa County Extension Office at 256-825-1050. Event is limited to 50 participants.

Other Upcoming Summer 4-H Events

  • June 2 & 3 – 4-H CampOut at Wind Creek State Park
  • June 27 & 28 – 4-H RiverKids Kayaking Kamp along Sandy Creek in Dadeville
  • July 11 – 4-H Sewing Class
  • July 17 & 18 – 4-H Great Outdoors Camp

2018 4-H Camp Out at Wind Creek State Park

Tallapoosa County 4-H is partnering with Wind Creek State Park to host a camp-out. See the flyer below for more details and give us a call if you have any questions!

Other Upcoming Summer 4-H Events

  • May 25 – 4-H SportFishing Day at Camp ASCCA
  • June 27 & 28 – 4-H RiverKids Kayaking Kamp along Sandy Creek in Dadeville
  • July 11 – 4-H Sewing Class
  • July 17 & 18 – 4-H Great Outdoors Camp

Managing Fire Ants Workshop to be held April 27th

Every year, homeowners and farmers square off with fire ants to go to war against each other for the rights to own the lawn, pasture, and garden. When warmer weather sets in, fire ants become more active and begin building new mounds and starting new colonies.  At the same time, the homeowner starts spending more time outside and begins doing yard work and gardening. When each other eventually meet, another battle breaks out, and the annual war begins.

Red imported fire ants are originally from South America and accidentally came to the Southeastern United States on a ship through the port of Mobile in the 1930’s.  Since then, this ant species has had an enormous effect on the southeastern United States, and continues to spread into areas of North America with mild climates and adequate moisture and food.  Approximately 270 million acres in the southeastern United States are infested, including all of Alabama’s sixty-seven counties.

Winning the battle, not the war, against fire ants is the most important game plan a homeowner should have. Unfortunately, there is not a control method that will permanently eliminate fire ants despite all the numerous efforts to get rid of them. They are here to stay and will continue to be a pest problem until new, more effective, and long-term control methods are found.

However, there are a few strategies and methods that will help control fire ants in the lawn and garden areas. These temporary control strategies depend on factors such as the size of the site, its uses, how frequently and by how many people it is used, and the availability and expense of labor, as well as personal preferences. Generally, fire ant mounds can be eliminated on a site at any given time; the problem is that reinfestation from surrounding, unmanaged areas cannot be prevented. In fact, once fire ants and other predatory insects, including other ants, are eliminated from a site, reinfestation can occur without competition. Therefore, the battle of controlling fire ants on a site usually involves an ongoing effort.

Managing Fire Ants Workshop

To help you know how best manage fire ants on your property, the Tallapoosa County Extension office will host a “Managing Fire Ants Workshop” in Alexander City on Friday, April 27th.  This event will be held on the campus of Central Alabama Community College in the mutli-media room located in the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center.   Extension Agents and Specialists will be on hand to talk and show you how to control fire ants as well as update you on the latest pesticide products and control techniques.   The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include some product application demonstrations.   Cost is $5;  No Lunch. Participants may mail in the registration form off the Event Flyer or contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050 to register.

*This workshop has been ADAI Approved for 10 pesticide re-certification points for Alabama categories: D&R, OTPS/OTPC, and HPC/HPB.

 

2018 Chick Chain Registration

Registration for our 2018 Chick Chain Project is going on now! Registration is $40. See this pamphlet for the registration form.

What is Chick Chain?

The 4-H Chick Chain Project teaches young people the recommended management practices for growing and raising chickens. Participation will help you do the following:
• develop poultry management skills
• learn to produce healthy chickens
• develop awareness of business management
• develop record-keeping skills (income and expenses)
• contribute to your home food supply
• realize the pride of accomplishment

Who can Participate?

Any young person ages 9 through 18 as of January 1 of the project year can participate.

What will Participants Do?

After initial registration, you will attend a mandatory meeting on the designated date. You will then receive 10 pullets (female chicks) of two different breeds that you choose on the scheduled pick-up day. You will care for your chickens for approximately 20 weeks. At some point during this time, you must schedule a home visit with us. At the end of the 20 weeks, you will bring 2 of your chickens of the same breed to the Chick Chain Show and Auction on October 6, 2018. You will show your 2 birds and auction them at the end. If you meet all of the requirements, you will receive a full refund of your registration fee ($40).

What are the Requirements?

  • Be enrolled in 4HOnline.
  • Attend the mandatory meeting and take the pretest.
  • Schedule and participate in the home visit.
  • Help publicize the Show and Auction by distributing a flyer that will be provided to you.
  • Attend and participate in the East Alabama 4-H Chick Chain Show.
  • Participate in the 4-H Chick Chain Auction.
  • Take the posttest.
  • Submit a completed 4-H Chick Chain Record Book.
  • Complete the program evaluation.

There are three breeds available to choose from! (You choose two)

Rhode Island Red
Barred Plymouth Rock

Buff Orpington

Please have the $40 fee along with the registration form to the Tallapoosa County Extension Office no later than March 19, 2018. There will be no late additions, so get it in on timeMake checks payable to ACES.

Tallapoosa County Extension
125 N. Broadnax St., Room 23
Dadeville, AL 36853

Do Your Research Before Buying Fruit Trees

Don’t you just love eating those fresh picked ripe peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, and grapes. Having a home orchard with lots of fruit trees and eating fresh, home-grown fruit in the summer is a dream for many people. However, wanting a home orchard and having a home orchard is two different things. It can be a wonderful thing if managed right or it can turn into a nightmare if done wrong.

Much of the success or failure of having a home orchard lies primarily on your first decision – the variety of the fruits chosen.  Simply going out and buying just any type of fruit tree from just any source is easy enough and sounds like a good idea, right?  Wrong.  Doing just that and not doing your homework can result in a very bad investment.

Before you select a fruit tree and take it home and plant it, find out what varieties of fruit trees and small fruits grow best in our area. The truth is that it is very difficult to grow most of those types of fruits you see in the grocery store.  Alabama climate conditions of hot and dry summers and mild winters just won’t let you have that perfect orchard full of fabulous fruit. That is why other states are known for growing certain fruits. Peaches tend to grow better in Georgia, oranges do well in Florida, apples are perfect in Washington, and everything grows well in California.  But don’t worry, fruit can be grown in Alabama and be grown successfully.  You just have to know which varieties will work in Alabama.

If you want to grow apples, then try these varieties: Gala, Fuji, Rome, Gingergold, Jonagold, Cumberland Spur, and Granny Smith.  There are hundreds of commercial varieties of peaches, but gardeners might wish to try Redhaven, Sweethaven, Cresthaven, Fireprince, Contender, Georgia Belle, Jefferson, and Redskin.  If you like pears, then you might want to try Orient, Kieffer, or Moonglow (soft).  AU Producer, AU Roadside, and AU Cherry are great varieties of plums.

You won’t go wrong with varieties of figs like Brown Turkey, Celeste, Alma, LSU Gold, and LSU Purple.  Our traditional blueberry varieties are Tifblue, Premier, Brightwell, and Climax but some news ones worth planting are Alapaha, Vernon, and Yadkin.  Cardinal, Earliglow, and Chandler are a few suggested types of strawberries.  Navaho, Kiowa, Ouachita, Arapaho, and Apache are examples of blackberries that will do great.  If you like grapes, go with muscadines such as Ison, Pam, Darlene, Fry, Black Beauty, and Supreme since they will do much better than bunch grapes.

Also keep in mind where you purchase your fruit trees and small fruit crops. Always buy from a local reputable nursey, garden center, or specialty catalog source.  Many of the variety choices shipped in and sold by retail stores do not grow or do well in Alabama.  Nor are they usually labeled and named properly; you will have no idea what you are getting or what size it will be.

Regardless of what fruits you like to eat and are consider growing, pay close attention to the maintenance requirements. Having a home orchard is not a simple and easy task and can be very labor some and time consuming.  Almost all fruit plants take 3-5 years to get established before they begin producing their first crops. Many fruit trees like apples and peaches, require a strict and weekly spray program to prevent diseases and insect pests.  Almost all require yearly pruning and training, especially muscadine vines.  And if all goes well, you still have to keep the deer, squirrels, and crows at bay from eating the precious harvest before you do.

– by Shane Harris, County Extension Coordinator for Tallapoosa County.

Alabama 4-H Summer Camp Registration Now Open

Registration for Alabama 4-H Summer Camp is open NOW! Tallapoosa County’s Summer Camp date assignment is June 20-22, 2018.

A deposit of $25 and the required forms are due upon registration, but no later than February 20th. But remember, space is limited to the first 35 and registration is first come, first served! **We will not reserve summer camp spots without the 3 forms due with registration and the deposit**

Total cost for Summer Camp is $125. That includes the $106 State fee and $19 for travel to and from camp. Cost includes lodging, all meals, snacks, a t-shirt and all of the fun activities at camp!

See below for links to a flyer and the required forms and a short promotional video.

Summer Camp Flyer

Required Health History Form (due at time of registration)

Required Youth and Parent Consent Form (due at time of registration)

A copy of the camper’s Blue Immunization Form is also required upon registration.

Required Physician Referral Form (this form is not due with registration but is required before camp)

Space is limited, so call us at 256-825-1050 ASAP to get on the list and get your required forms and deposit in to reserve your spot!

Decorating With Nature

 

camellia blossoms on the shrub

November 14th from 9 am  to 11 am in the Extension Auditorium. 

Learn to collect plant clippings and materials from nature to create beautiful décor.

Demonstrations on Garland and wreath making along with other ideas.

Bring a bucket of your own clippings from your yard or just come and watch Mallory work her magic. Click on the link below for more information and registration.

Decorating with Nature- Tallapoosa

Master Naturalist Course Returns October 26th

UPDATED – New Starting Date.

After a well received and highly successful initial program last year, the Tallapoosa County Extension office will again offer the Alabama Master Naturalist Course beginning October 26, 2017.  The eight session course will be hosted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension and be held on Thursdays either once or twice a month.  Classes will be held at Wind Creek State Park in Alexander City from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Alabama Master Naturalist (AMN) program is a statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect for 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.

To become a fully certified Alabama Master Naturalist typically takes 1 full year, but it may take longer depending on the training regiment and track each participant chooses to follow.  A participant starts by completing a 40-basic training course that is offered through Extension.

In addition to the 40-hours of basic training, participants are also required to complete 30 hours of volunteer service during the first year (these hours will be split between a class project and other volunteer opportunities that meet the programs requirements). Once the basic training and the volunteer hours are completed during the first year, each participant will be identified as an Alabama Master Naturalist in Training.

During the next three years, an additional 30 hours of advanced training will also be required to become a fully certified Alabama Master Naturalist.  In addition, each AMN will be encouraged to complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service as described in the AMN program per year.  AMN’s that complete and report their 40 hours of volunteer service per year will be eligible for special benefits associated with the AMN Program.

Classes topics will include:

  1. Taxonomy, Botany and Native Plants
  2. Freshwater Ecosystems and Living Streams
  3. Invertebrates (including Insects)
  4. Birds and Mammals
  5. Amphibians and Reptiles
  6. Alabama’s Cultural Landscape
  7. Geology, Soils and Weather
  8. Forests and Ecosystems

More details can be found in the 2017-18 East Central Alabama Master Naturalist Course Pamphlet. Cost of this course is $30 per day or $200 for all 8 sessions.

Alabama full or part-time residents who are interested in nature, enjoy the outdoors, and have a desire to help with natural resource management and conservation in Alabama are the perfect candidates to become Alabama Master Naturalists.  The AMN Program is open to adults who reside or work in Alabama for at least part of the year.  It is open to all adults regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.

If you are interested in participating in the 2017-18 Master Naturalist Program, participants should call the Tallapoosa County Extension office at (256) 825-1050.  Space is limited.