Upcoming Events



Beginner Beekeeping Course Returns in January

Over the last few years, there has been a strong interest in honey bees and backyard beekeeping.  So much so that in 2014, Tallapoosa County Extension hosted a Beginner Beekeeping Course.    Over 70 people from all across the area participated in the first course.  Such success lead to another event in 2015 which resulted in over 50 folks attending the course. Classes were offered again in 2017 and 2018 to train new prospects and beekeepers. Beekeeping is in high demand.

Another Beginner Beekeeping Course is being planned and will be offered in January 2019.  This educational opportunity will again be hosted by Tallapoosa County Extension and taught be the Tallapoosa River beekeepers Association. The course will begin January 17, 2019 and be held on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.   Classes will be held on Thursdays – from January 17th through February 21st.  All two hour classes will be held in Dadeville; facility location to be determined.

During the 6 classes, participants will learn basic knowledge to begin keeping bees, acquire and assemble the necessary equipment for the bees, and have the opportunity to obtain bees to go in the equipment.   Class topics include:

  1. Introduction to Beekeeping, Honey Bee Biology
  2. Diseases and Pests
  3. Installing Bees and Hive Management
  4. 2nd Year Management, Products of the Hive
  5. Hive Construction, Using Equipment
  6. Plants and Review

Cost of the Course is $45, and includes one book.

Our hope is the Beginner Beekeeping Course will increase the interest and importance of beekeeping with both youth and adults. If you would like to become a beekeeper or have any questions, please contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050 or mail in the Registration Flyer.

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Farming 101 Class: Vegetable Production in Alabama

We receive many calls and visits at the Extension Office from people who have land and do not know what to do with it. “What can I grow?” is a very common question, and “It depends” is the most common answer. It depends on how much time you will have to work on the land, water availability, slope of land, location, available equipment, market, etc. Extension conducts many meetings every year discussing production practices for many different areas of agriculture including horticulture, forages and livestock, agronomy, pond management, wildlife management, etc. for the beginning or experienced grower.

This Farming 101 program is specifically designed for the beginning grower, but anyone can attend. A beginning grower does not mean you have never grown anything. You may be a very experienced grower of peach trees, but a beginner at greenhouse lettuce. This program is to teach you the basic practices of growing certain crops. We have other meetings with more detailed information that are available for more experienced growers.

The Farming 101 program will held on Fridays during the month of October at the Tallapoosa County Extension office. The first meeting will be October 5th, and the last meeting will be October 26th. The classes will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will end at 12 noon. Pre-registration is required, and the cost per class is $10 or $40 for the entire course. Please mail the registration fee to the Tallapoosa County Extension Office, 125 N. Broadnax Street, Room 23, Dadeville, AL. 36853. If registering for individual classes, please indicate which class(es).

Classes

  • October 5th – Soil Health
  • October 12th  -Vegetable Production
  • October 19th –  Greenhouse and Hydroponic Vegetable Production
  • October 26th – Vegetable Insect Pest Management

If you have questions concerning the Farming 101 program, please contact Shane Harris at 256-825-1050 or Chip East at 256-846-0314.

Farming 101 Registration Flyer

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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

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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 in Macon County. 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

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!