Gardens, fishponds the focus of two Extension sessions

Published 6:37pm Saturday, March 23, 2013

As spring makes its debut in the Black Belt, residents with green thumbs everywhere are beginning to plant flowers and perfect their gardens. And with the help of the Dallas County Extension Office, residents can make sure their gardens — and even their fishponds — are healthy and beautiful by attending two free workshops. 

A workshop on recreational fishpond management will be held Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-op. Topics will include basic pond construction, the importance of liming, harvest rates, fish management and many others. Greg Whitis, an expert on fishpond management, will speak at the workshop.

Callie Nelson, county extension coordinator, said this workshop will be a great opportunity for residents who have fishponds or who are looking to make one.

“We have a lot of residents in the county who have recreational fishponds that they just use for family fishing,” Nelson said. “This class will act as a basic refresher for them.”

For residents who don’t have fishponds but are looking to create one, Nelson said this class will still be beneficial.

“You don’t have to be an expert on fishponds to attend this,” she said. “Beginners are more than welcome too.”

Other than fishponds, the extension office will also offer a workshop on home-grown backyard gardening and food preservation on Monday, April 8 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Farmer’s Co-op.

Speakers will discuss soil fertility, vegetable production, plant disease, insect control, pest management and basic food preservation.

Nelson said the great thing about this workshop is that it will be broken into two segments so residents who work late can come in later and learn about gardening.

“Now that it’s spring, a lot of residents have been calling in about gardening questions so we thought it would be beneficial to them if we held these workshops,” Nelson said.

Besides gardening, residents will also learn about food preservation — which Nelson said is a common question.

“A lot of people don’t know how to properly preserve the food they grow so this will be a great opportunity for them,” Nelson said.

Both workshops are free to attend. There is a $5 charge for those who wish to have their fishpond water tested and $7 charge for dinner at the gardening workshop.

“There will be a lot of great information available, and I encourage everyone who loves gardening and the outdoors to attend,” Nelson said.

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