Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News September 2016
Black Warrior Electric MEMBERSHIP CORP.
Redeveloped Toomerâ€™s Corner ready for Auburn fans
Manager Daryl Jones Co-Op Editor Dawn Quarles ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.
Happy birthday, Joe Wheeler The Alabama plantation home of General Joe Wheeler, known as Pond Spring, hosts a celebration of the general’s 180th birthday Sept. 10.
VOL. 69 NO. 9 n September 2016
POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Griffin Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Advertising Coordinator Brooke Echols Communications Coordinator Laura Stewart Graphic Designer Tori McClanahan
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Printed in America from American materials Alabama Living
Worth the drive
Experts recommend vaccine for adults older than 60.
Graves Grocery in Lacey’s Spring invites guests to come sit a spell.
Venerated as a “super food,” pomegranates may soon become a prized crop in our state .
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9 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 32 Gardens 40 Outdoors 43 Fish & Game Forecast 46 Cook of the Month 54 Snapshots ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop
ON THE COVER: Auburn fans will once again flock to the intersection of College and Magnolia as the treasured tradition of rolling the famous Toomer’s Oaks returns. PHOTO: Mark Stephenson
SEPTEMBER 2016 3
Weather affects your power Daryl Jones, Manager of Black Warrior EMC
OFFICE LOCATIONS Demopolis Office
1410 Hwy. 43 South Demopolis, AL 36732 P.O. Box 779 Demopolis, AL 36748 1-800-242-2580 Butler Office
403 East Smith Street. Butler, AL 36904
That summer heat keeps hanging in there. It seems like it has been hot for the whole year. I remember writing about those mild months of March, April and May when the weather was nice and everyone’s bill was nice also. How fast did that change? We had a summer peak in demand in July and again in August. Those air conditioners barely got a break. Our wholesale purchases for the summer have far exceeded those of the winter months. Our members who used these kilowatt hours also noticed a significant increase in their bills because of the large need for the usage. I can again proudly state that Black Warrior EMC can continue to maintain our remarkable low rates for the residences we serve. A recent survey of our customers revealed that many were not aware just how low our rates are. Time after time I boast about having some of the lowest rates in not only the state but in the southeast and nation. Just back in June, I provided a graph showing how Black Warrior’s rates were lower than those of several other
providers in Alabama. Apparently I need to do a little more “advertising” to our members about their benefit compared to other utilities. With this in mind, I reached out to our Consulting Engineering firm and others to assist me in putting together another comparison for use in educating our members about our rates. I decided to utilize the data that all utilities like Black Warrior submit to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and additional data that all rural electric co-ops submit to the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). Below you will find a chart showing how Black Warrior EMC ranks among the median and average rates residents pay locally in Alabama and nationally. The Board of Directors, management and employees of Black Warrior EMC are committed to continuously providing reliable, economical electric service to West Central Alabama, just as we have since 1939.
Eutaw Office BLACK WARRIOR EMC
Finches Ferry Road Eutaw, AL 35462
RESIDENTIAL RATE COMPARISON (CYS 2015-2016) 0.1300 0.1280
647 Centerville St. S Greensboro, AL 36744 Main Street Linden, AL 36748
Ofﬁce Hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
0.1220 0.1210 MONTHLY COST per KWH
ALABAMA (ALL UTILITIES)
U. S. COOPERATIVES
U. S. (ALL UTILITIES)
4 SEPTEMBER 2016
| Black Warrior EMC |
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Find the information card attached in this magazine and send us your updates! Black Warrior EMC is in the process of implementing the automated outage reporting system we’ve been talking about. Before we can bring it on-line we must have the data entered correctly. There are 3 pieces of information it can use to identify your account when you report your power outage: § A valid phone number § Or your account number
§ Or your meter number Also, for your convenience, an information card has been attached in this magazine for you to mail back or drop off at any of our locations. A sample bill and picture of a meter are included this month for your reference to help locate this information. This will enable BWEMC to quickly notify our crews of the outage. Please see the images below
which show the locations on the meter as well as on your monthly bill. Hopefully by next month we will be ready to give everyone an idea of how the system will operate.
Bank Draft Available If you haven’t signed up for our convenient bank draft method of payment — do so now. Many members are enjoying the ease of ACH banking by allowing Black Warrior EMC to draft their account on the 10th of each month. By obtaining all of our meter reads through AMR, there is no need to return a bill stub if you use the bank draft. Please call one of our friendly representatives today to receive an authorization package.
WEBSITE UPDATE Great progress has been made in replacing Black Warrior EMC’s “static” information page on the Internet with a member friendly web page! We are still in the process of gathering information and hopefully the website will be available by the end of the month. Our IT and communications group are also working to ensure that this venture will allow for future enhancements.
HOLIDAY CLOSING: Black Warrior EMC ofﬁces will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2016 in observance of Labor Day. Please refer to the emergency contact numbers for your area on the following pages should you experience an outage during this time. Alabama Living
SEPTEMBER 2016 5
What’s the difference? The differences between overhead and underground power lines By Tom Tate There are two methods of installing the power lines that carry electricity to your home, overhead and underground. Black Warrior EMC members sometimes ask why we use one versus the other, or more to the point, why all power lines are not installed using the underground construction method. Isn’t one method better than the other? These are great questions, and the answer is that each method has its place. Overhead line construction starts with the setting of utility poles. Poles can be set in nearly any type of terrain, even rocky. In the case of heavy rock, special equipment is used to augur out the hole. If placement occurs in boggy or wet terrain, many techniques are available to set poles securely. Once the poles are in place, wires can be strung and then equipment — like transformers, fuses and reclosers — are installed. Power can now flow. Underground line construction requires digging a trench that is deep enough to keep the lines well away from surface activities. Where the terrain is extremely rocky, underground lines may not be an option. Next, wires are laid in the trench directly or placed in conduits for protection. The trench is filled in, and the surface is restored to its original condition. Padmount transformers and additional equipment are installed as needed, now the system is ready to deliver electricity. The image to the right illustrates some the advantages and disadvantages of each construction method, beginning with overhead. Tom Tate writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives.
6 SEPTEMBER 2016
Prepare to stay safe after a natural disaster Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors National Preparedness Month to help Americans be prepared for and able to respond to a variety of emergencies—including those Mother Nature brings to our doorsteps. From tornadoes to floods, storms can cause destruction and power outages. It is important to be prepared with needed supplies, a plan, and safety knowledge. Put together an emergency preparedness kit that contains the essentials, including a first aid kit, flashlights, and batteries as well as enough food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Keep your kit somewhere handy in case you have to evacuate your home in a hurry. Get a weather radio to stay up-to-date on changes in the weather. Sign up for alerts to know if storms are coming your way. It is a good idea to utilize different forms of media, including following local news stations on social media. Some stations may even have an app that can be downloaded. Make sure you are aware of the different weather terminology, such as the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a warning. In a 2013 survey by FEMA, only 55 percent of the respondents were familiar with local warning systems. A watch means there is the possibility of storms, and a warning means a storm has been reported and you should take cover.
Create a family plan for emergencies. Identify the responsibilities of each member of the family and places to meet in case you are separated. Ensure everyone knows what they need to do to stay safe. Also be armed with important electrical safety knowledge should a severe storm or flooding occur: • Do not step into a flooded basement or room if the water is covering electrical outlets, appliances, or cords. • Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box or touch an electrical appliance if you are wet or in standing water. Call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter. • If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced. • If the smell of gas is apparent or if there is a suspected leak in your house, leave immediately and call your gas utility. • If power lines are on the ground, stay far away from them and warn others to stay away. Contact the local electric utility because the lines could still be live. • If driving, never get out of the car if there is a downed power line, and never drive over one.
Electrical safety tips for contractors Whether framing, roofing, or working with electricity, contractors have an inherently dangerous profession. In 2014 alone, 802 contractors died from work injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and exposure to electricity rates the fourth highest cause of death. BLS reports that between 2011 and 2014, nearly 250 contractors died due to electricity. Safe Electricity shares tips to help contractors stay safe when working with or around electricity. When working with and around electricity, follow all safety precautions. Always maintain situational awareness and identify the location of overhead power lines before working on outdoor projects. If an object you are holding, such as a metal ladder, comes into contact with a power line, you risk injury from electrical shock or even electrocution. Always look up and out before moving tall objects near overhead lines, and keep equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines in all directions at all times. Always call 811 a few business days before beginning any project that involves digging. The project area will be surveyed and marked for public utilities within two to three days. When digging, respect the marks, and keep at least 2 feet away from the utility line markings to provide a safety zone. If any digging must
be done within that zone, excavate by hand with extreme caution. If using a generator for a job, always read and follow instructions in the operator’s manual before starting work. Your generator should have more output than the wattage of the equipment you will plug into it. Make sure there is nothing plugged into the generator when turning it on. Operate the generator in a well-ventilated, outdoor area to avoid breathing in toxic fumes. Follow safe practices when using extension cords. Always use properly rated and laboratory certified extension cords to avoid the risk of shock and fire. Never remove the grounding pin (or third prong) from an extension cord to make it fit into a twoprong outlet, and replace any cords that are damaged. Never use power tools in wet conditions. When water and electricity mix, the result can be deadly. Whether you plan on working on a project indoors or outdoors, plug your equipment into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to protect against electrical shock. A GFCI constantly monitors the flow of electricity through a circuit and will shut the circuit down if it senses a ground fault. Know and follow relevant federal and state safety regulations. When it comes to electricity, don’t take any chances.
SEPTEMBER 2016 7
| Black Warrior EMC |
BWEMC Data After hours and weekend emergency numbers to report outages by district: Butler District 205 459-3886 205-459-2968 334-624-7218 334-295-5345
334-289-4182 334-289-1460 334-624-7218 334-295-5345
Eutaw District 205-372-9703 205-372-4914 205-372-3254 334-624-7218 334-295-5345
Uniontown Marion Junction
Greensboro District 334-624-3893 334-624-0329 334-624-7218 334-295-5345
Linden District 334-295-8338 334-295-0110 334-624-7218 334-295-5345
8 SEPTEMBER 2016
September | Spotlight Wine Spectator honors Alabama restaurants
Cyclists take to the roads to find a cure for MS
Several Alabama dining spots were recently honored as part of Wine Spectator’s 2016 Restaurant Awards, which highlight restaurants around the world that offer the best wine selections. The winners in our state: • Auburn/Opelika: Acre, The Depot, Maestro 2300, The Warehouse Bistro • Baldwin County: Bill’s By the Beach, Cobalt The Restaurant, Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar, Sunset Cork Room, Villagio Grille, Voyagers • North Alabama: Cotton Row Restaurant (Huntsville), 360 Grille (Florence) • Montgomery: The A&P Social • Birmingham: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Galley and Garden, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Seasons 52, Shula’s Steak House, Village Tavern
More than 350 cyclists are expected for the annual Bike MS: Tour de Beach event, Sept. 17-18 in Orange Beach. Bike MS is hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is the premier fundraising cycling series in the U.S. for anyone seeking a personal challenge and a world free of multiple sclerosis. Proceeds will support cutting-edge MS research and life-changing services for people living with MS. Several participants are from Baldwin County, including Team Mobilians on Bikes (or Team MOB, as they like to be called). Each morning, cyclists will start at the waterfront and ride 25, 45 or 75 miles. All routes are well supported with rest stops every 10-12 miles. For more information on participating or volunteering, visit www.bikeMS.org, or call 205-879-8546.
Whereville, AL In this feature, Alabama Living readers are asked to identify and place an Alabama landmark or scene. The winner is chosen at random from all the correct entries and will receive $25. Multiple entries from the same person
will be disqualified.
If you know where this landmark is, send your answer by Sept. 8 with your name, address and the name of your electric cooperative. The winner and the answer will be announced in the October issue. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public and easy to identify. A reader whose photo is used in the magazine will also win $25. Submit: By email: email@example.com By mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124
Guess where this is and you might win $25!
The Fort Payne Depot Museum was erected in 1891 and is housed in a Richardsonian Romanesque building of locally quarried pink and white sandstone. The building served as a depot for the Alabama-Great Southern Railroad for about 85 years. It opened as a museum in 1986, and today it serves 2,500-3,000 visitors annually and houses several permanent and rotating exhibits. Congratulations to Stephanie Gonzalez of Cullman EC, the correct guess winner.
SEPTEMBER 2016 9
| Power Pack |
Focus on retirement planning; it’s your future
hen most people begin their career, retirement is the farthest thing from their mind. Instead, they focus on trying to purchase a home, starting a family, or perhaps saving money for travel. Retirement seems so far away for many younger people that they delay putting money aside. However, it’s very important to save for the future — if you want to enjoy it. An employer-sponsored retirement plan or 401(k) can be a useful way to set aside funds for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching funds on what you invest. If you don’t work for an employer that offers this type of plan, there are many other plans designed to help you save for retirement. From solo 401(k)s to traditional and Roth IRAs, there are programs designed to fit a multitude of budgets. The earlier you start to save, the more funds you’ll have ready for retirement. In addition to traditional programs, the U.S. Department of the Treasury now
offers a retirement savings option called myRA. There’s no minimum to open the account, you can contribute what you can afford, and you can withdraw funds with ease. To learn more about myRA, visit www.myra.gov. And, as always, there is Social Security, which is funded by taxes you pay while you work. To get estimates of future benefits and check your earnings record for accuracy, you can create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount. Prepare for your future and start saving — and planning — today!
Letters to the editor
E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Loving our pickups, but which ones? First off let me say that both myself and my husband enjoyed the article about the pickup trucks you had in the Alabama Living magazine (August 2016). I’m a “good old gal” that would rather drive a truck than a car any day! Now settle a disagreement we are having about what kind the trucks are in the drawings. I say all Fords but my hubby says that second from the top is a Chevy. Which of us is right? Phyllis Lavender Troy
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Editor: We checked with the artist, Dennis Auth, and he says your husband is correct: The truck that is second from the top is indeed a Chevy. The rest are Fords. He noted that maybe he should have added a Dodge in there to break up all the Fords!
Electric utilities launch unified voice for energy
new nonprofit organization has been established to research, educate and advocate for Alabama’s energy industry. The Energy Institute of Alabama (EIA), chaired by Alabama Speaker of the House Emeritus Seth Hammett, brings together experts from the energy sector who will work to ensure strong, commonsense policies are put into place to protect the consumer, good-paying industry jobs and the future of clean, reliable, and affordable energy. “We want to encourage public support for the energy industry in our state,” Hammett said. “Our group intends to be a clearinghouse for strong research that will separate political fancy from reasonable policies that benefit the consumer 10 SEPTEMBER 2016
and the industry.” The Institute’s website – EnergyInstituteAl.org – will be a source of materials for students, the general public, policy makers, and those involved in the industry. EIA also intends to sponsor events that shine a light on Alabama’s robust energy sector, bringing industry leaders together to share information that can move the state and the industry forward. The EIA board is made up of representatives from six major energy entities in Alabama: The Alabama Rural Electric Association (which publishes Alabama Living), Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Alabama Power Company, Electric Cities of Alabama, PowerSouth Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority.
Energy Institute of Alabama Chairman Seth Hammett, right, talks with Joe Wheeler EMC Manager George Kitchens about the institute at the AREA Summer Conference. www.alabamaliving.coop
| Power Pack | HEALTHY LIVING
Shingles vaccine recommended for those over age 60
he painful skin rash shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of getting shingles. One of every three people 60 years old or older will get shingles, and one of six people older than 60 who get shingles will have severe pain. The pain can last for months or even years. As people grow older, they are more likely to develop long-term pain as a complication of shingles and the pain is likely to be more severe. Shingles may also lead to serious complications involving the eye. Very rarely, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, encephalitis, or death. Commercial advertisements about the sometimes debilitating and long-lasting pain of shingles abound in the broadcast and print media, and compelling spokespeople urge us to get the shingles vaccine. Often these graphic ads fail to inform the public that a person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister phase. But is the vaccine effective? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a single dose of zoster vaccine for all adults age 60 years and older, whether or not they report having had chickenpox. Persons with chronic medical conditions may be vaccinated unless a contraindication or precaution exists for their condition.
In a clinical trial involving thousands of adults 60 years old or older, the vaccine reduced the risk of shingles by about half. While the vaccine may not prevent shingles in everyone, the study found that it can still reduce the chance of having long-term pain. The shingles vaccine underwent years of testing before being licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA continue to monitor vaccines after they are licensed. Shingles vaccine is safe for most people unless they have a weakened immune system or allergies to certain components of the vaccine. Vaccine side effects are usually mild, temporary, and seldom cause serious side effects. Some people have mild reactions that last up to a few days, such as headache or redness, soreness, swelling, or itching where the shot was given. While it is safe for people taking most prescription medications to get this vaccine, be sure to ask a healthcare profession-
al if you have any questions. Being immunized can be an important way to protect your health.
Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Alabama Living photo wins top award
cover photo of Fort Payne hot glass blower Cal Breed was named the Best Photo in a cooperative magazine at the recent Willie Awards banquet of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Statewide Editors Association. Alabama Living Art Director Michael Cornelison took the shot at the studio of Orbix Glass in Fort Payne, and the photo was featured on the cover of the June 2015 magazine. The judge for the competition said he “liked this photo for a number of reasons, chief among them for the reflection in the end of the bulb, and…. Alabama Living
the colors. But this photo also is very well composed. It is technically perfect (very sharp) and artistically well done. A very fine entry.” The annual awards are nicknamed the Willies, a tribute to the legendary cooperatives mascot Willie Wiredhand. The awards honor excellence in publication designs, writing, illustrations, photography and website design. The National Electric Cooperative Statewide Editors Association represents 32 statewide magazines.
SEPTEMBER 2016 11
A TRADITION CONTINUES:
Rolling returns to Toomer’s Corner this fall By Lindsay Miles Penny
“The tradition of rolling Toomer’s Corner means so much to our university because it symbolizes our collective love of Auburn.”
Aubie anticipates the first rolling of Toomer’s Corner in 2016. PHOTO BY MARK STEPHENSON
12 SEPTEMBER 2016
his fall, one of Auburn’s most treasured traditions returns as fans will once again flock to the intersection of College and Magnolia to roll the famous Toomer’s Oaks. Just over three years have passed since the iconic Toomer’s Oaks’ final rolling in April 2013, when thousands of members of the Auburn family said goodbye to the original oaks. Pounds of toilet paper lined the streets, reaching far into campus, as the trees turned solid white in a matter of minutes. The two 80-year-old trees were poisoned following the 2010 Iron Bowl, and though the iconic oaks did not survive, the tradition at Toomer’s Corner carries on. Although the loss of the original oaks was a devastating blow to the Auburn family, fans and alumni have much to look forward to as the university completes its multi-year redevelopment project on Toomer’s Corner. “Since the removal of the original Auburn Oaks, there have been significant changes to Toomer’s Corner and Samford Park, beginning with the remediation and redevelopment of the corner in 2014,” says Ben Burmester, design project manager in Auburn University’s Office of University Architect. This opened up the university’s corner of the intersection and included a circular seat wall behind the gates, as well
as the location for the new oaks that were planted in February 2015. Almost four years to the day that Auburn announced the lethal poisoning of the historic oaks, two 35-foot-tall replacement trees were rooted. The trees were hauled in from a nursery in Ehrhardt, S.C., on Valentine’s Day 2015. The tainted soil from the previous trees was replaced with a sand-based soil similar to the new oaks’ natural coastal plains habitat. The new trees were also provided a larger root-growing area than the original oaks. The Magnolia Avenue tree did not effectively leaf out, and was replaced by a tree from a Florida nursery, which had been dug 16 to 18 months prior to planting at Auburn, allowing the tree to recover from the initial shock of transplant. The corner underwent a major facelift earlier this year when a new walkway
was developed and 10 descendant oaks of the original Toomer’s trees were planted, bringing the multiyear project to a close. “Descendant trees from the original Auburn Oaks were planted in March 2016, completing Phase II of the Samford Park redevelopment, and is the last active proj-
Students roll the corner in 1985. PHOTO COURTESY OF AUBURN UNIVERSITY
Toomer’s Corner as it appeared around 1900. PHOTO COURTESY OF AUBURN UNIVERSITY
This aerial photo was taken during the “final roll” on A-Day in 2013. PHOTO COURTESY OF AUBURN UNIVERSITY
SEPTEMBER 2016 13
PHOTO BY LINDSAY PENNY
PHOTO BY MARK STEPHENSON
PHOTO BY LINDSAY PENNY
Samford Park, which leads from Toomer’s Corner (below) to Samford Hall, has undergone an extensive facelift, including the planting of the new Auburn Oaks, the removal of overgrown landscaping that obscured walking paths and a decorative brick arcing walkway. The redevelopment provides more green space for recreation, gatherings and photo opportunities.
One of the new oak trees planted at Toomer’s Corner.
14 SEPTEMBER 2016
PHOTO BY MARK STEPHENSON
ect currently in place for Samford Park,” Burmester says. The descendant oaks, approximately 15 years old and 15 feet tall, were grown from acorns by the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences starting in 2001, in an attempt to preserve the Auburn Oaks’ legacy. “The descendant trees were growing offsite, and in the last couple of years were prepped for moving operation,” said Burmester. The young oaks adorn both sides of the new walkway from the heart of Toomer’s Corner toward Samford Hall, which will one day provide a canopy framing the view from the corner to campus. Although the origin of rolling Toomer’s Corner is debatable, the tradition is said to have begun at Toomer’s Drugs, a small business adjacent to the corner, and an Auburn landmark for more than 130 years. During away games, when drugstore employees would receive news of a win from the only telegraph in the city, they would throw the ticker tape from the telegraph onto the power lines outside the store. As the years passed and celebrations ensued, toilet paper began to be thrown and the oak trees became the target. “The tradition of rolling Toomer’s Corner means so much to our university because it symbolizes our collective love of Auburn,” said Gretchen VanValkenburg, vice president for Alumni Affairs at Auburn University. “It is absolutely amazing to watch multiple generations of the Auburn Family participate in such a cherished tradition. I look forward to joining thousands of Auburn alumni and friends this season to continue this time-honored tradition.”
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 15
Beloved college coaches reflect on their legacies
Gene Stallings University of Alabama “Can you call back in about two hours?” says Gene Stallings, whose cell phone voice sounds uncannily like Coach Paul Bear Bryant. “I’m right in the middle of baling hay.” Another day on the ranch in Paris, Texas. “After retiring, Ruth Ann and I moved to Texas,” noted the former University of Alabama head coach, whose 1992, 13-0 season ended with a Sugar Bowl win over the University of Miami. “I have a big garden, about three thousand onions and 54 tomato plants, and we raise cattle, lots of cattle.” A Texas native, Coach Stallings still has Crimson allegiance. “I watch most Alabama games on TV because it’s a 10-hour drive to Tuscaloosa from here,” he says. “But I still speak there on occasion.” Actually he speaks everywhere on occasion. Coach Stallings is a much sought-after lecturer. The Stallingses devote time to charities including the Down Syndrome Association, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and groups working to feed and provide medical needs to poor and underprivileged. His coaching record at Alabama, Texas A&M, and pro football teams is epic, but on this interview, not epic enough to compete with hay baling season. “Thanks for calling,” the 81-year-old rancher says, before returning to work. “And thank you for remembering us old coaches!”
By Emmett Burnett
In life and football, great teams, skilled competitors, and excellent coaches are never coincidental. Nor is it happenstance the state of Alabama has an abundance of winners – leaders of college football, developers of athletes, directors of champions. Here are six college football coaches, where they are now: some retired and some still active in the game. Collectively, they’ve made impressions on thousands. 16 SEPTEMBER 2016
Larry Blakeney Troy University With 24 seasons at the helm, Troy University’s Larry Blakeney is one of football’s longest serving coaches at one college. Even after retirement, he can be seen at Veterans Memorial Stadium, enjoying the contest, gazing on Larry Blakeney Field, named in his honor. But he is moving on – to Auburn, and closer to family. “Troy has been a great home for me and Janice,” says the coach and former Auburn quarterback. “We have made many friends and have seen athletes continue growing after leaving the playing field. I had the opportunity to coach some wonderful young men.” At this writing, Blakeney’s move is not just a job, it’s an adventure. “Most of our stuff is in Auburn, but we have a bare-minimum Troy house,” he says. “And even after the move, we will always be close to Troy.” As for the town he leaves behind, he adds, “It is a great community offering excellent football. I am looking forward to watching Troy University’s continued success.”
Willie Slater Tuskegee University Willie Slater was named Tuskegee University’s head football coach in January 2006. He starts season 11 with a 92-24 record. Almost every year, the Slater trophy case requires extra storage space. But he quickly diverts attention from personal achievements to what he says is the greater reward, his team. “I enjoy being around these young men,” Slater says. “Too many times lately, college football players and students in general are labeled negatively. But I beg to differ.” He feels that young people in today’s academia want to be led and learn to lead. “They want to do the right thing,” Slater says. “And I think they see wrongs that are taking place, are fed up with it, and want to make changes for the good.” When not coaching or recruiting, and that’s not often, Slater enjoys attending and working with Bible Fellowship Apostolic Church in Montgomery. The resident of Shorter is an avid golfer, but presently, his golf clubs are not in full swing. Football season is. “Unfortunately, right now I can’t play golf as much as I want to.” Putting greens can wait. The gridiron can’t.
Bill Burgess Jacksonville State University With the 1985-1996 years at Jacksonville State University, Bill Burgess’ career includes three Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year titles and a 1992 NCAA Division 2, National Coach of the Year recognition. In 1988 the Gamecocks won the Gulf South Conference with a 7-1 record. The next year, the team won the GSC with an 8-0 record, finishing the NCAA as runner- up. Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium is named for him. “It should have been called ‘Burgess-Snow And a Whole Bunch of Assistant Coaches Who Made All of This Happen Field,” laughs Burgess. “But they just don’t seem to do that.” Though a man of many honors, JSU’s coach maintains his self-effacing humor, “I’m retired, I work on the side for Hibbett Sports, but I don’t do much – I’m sure they’ll tell you that.” He is a devout JSU football follower – from a distance. Referencing his namesake football field, he says, “I don’t go over there much. Mainly, I attend home games, as a fan. It would be butting in. As a coach, my time has come and gone.” As for the sport, he offers sage advice: “No matter the techniques, training tools, or programs, football will always be a fundamental game. Make the blocks on offense, tackle on defense. It never changes.” SEPTEMBER 2016 17
Pat Dye Auburn University The life and times of Pat Dye include helping the Tide Roll, War Eagles soar, and Japanese maple trees grow. He maintains an Auburn office, has written books, hosts a radio show and is a public speaker in demand - and no wonder. Dye coached under Alabama’s Paul Bryant, was head coach of Auburn University, and a major driver for sharing the Iron Bowl on Auburn’s turf. Today he brings Alabama, Auburn, and other fans together through hunting. “I am more of their social director,” smiles the coach, referring to his hunting preserve and lodge, Crooked Oaks, in Notasulga. “At the hunt’s end, we will sit around, and I tell stories – but things I want them to hear,” he laughs. “I don’t give anyone a chance to ask questions.” He also raises and sells Japanese maple trees from nearby Quail Hollow Gardens. “I love to plant and watch the maples grow,” he says. “Trees are a lot like people. Both need attention, especially when young. And to survive, both must have a little sunshine and endure a little rain.” When asked, “When did you leave Auburn,” Dye pauses, then replies, “I have never left Auburn. I may no longer live there, or actively coach there, but I will always be there.”
Bobby Wallace University of North Alabama Bobby Wallace retired from football in 2010, but not for long. He returned to the University of North Alabama in 2012, and he’s loving it. “One day I will retire,” says the Lions’ head coach. “Sharon and I have a place on Lake Martin, grandkids, and sure, I’m looking forward to retiring, one day.” But not today. Wallace originally coached UNA from 1988-97, racking up three straight NCAA Division II National Championships and an 82-361 record. He left in 1997, coaching Temple University and then the University of West Alabama. But the Lions of Florence called him home. “Of course, I love football,” he says, from the UNA campus. “But it is so much more – the camaraderie with other coaches and players, the competitiveness, all of us working to achieve a common goal. That’s college football to me.” He adds, “I know I can’t do this forever, but as long as I am in good health, and we are successful, I will continue, and enjoy what I do.” As fans, we will continue enjoying what our state’s coaches do, too.¢ 18 SEPTEMBER 2016
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 19
Help keep kids safe during fall sports By Allison Griffin
Physical exercise and team sports help young people develop friendships, learn about teamwork and encourage healthy lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime. But an emphasis on safety is a must for any young athlete. More than 2.6 million children ages 19 and under are seen in emergency departments for injuries related to sports and recreation each year. This includes sports, such as football and basketball, as well as activities, such as playing on a playground, scooter riding and jumping on a trampoline, according to a 2015 20 SEPTEMBER 2016
fact sheet from Safe Kids Worldwide. The fall sports season is a perfect time to review some safety tips and guidelines.
Heat-related illness Though practices for fall sports are under way, heat-related injuries should remain a concern until the cooler months arrive.
• Avoid scheduling workouts and exercise during the hottest times of the day – schedule them for early in the day or later in the evening. • Have them take frequent, longer breaks. Stop about every 20 minutes to drink fluids and try to have them stay in the shade. • Those in charge should reduce the amount of heavy equipment athletes wear in the extremely hot weather. • Dress athletes in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored cotton tee www.alabamaliving.coop
shirts and shorts. • Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely. • Athletes should inform those in charge if they are not feeling well.
Brain-related injury A concussion is a brain injury that affects how the brain works. It can happen when the brain gets bounced around in the skull after a fall or hit to the head. The potential for brain injury isn’t just for those who play football. Parents and kids involved in soccer, baseball, softball, cheerleading, lacrosse, volleyball, and more should learn about prevention and care of brain injuries. You may have a concussion if you have any of these symptoms after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body: • Headache • Feeling dizzy, sluggish or foggy • Are bothered by light or noise • Have double or blurry vision • Vomit or feel sick to your stomach • Have trouble focusing or problems remembering • Feel more emotional or “down” • Feel confused • Have problems with sleep If you think you or someone else has a concussion: • Report it. Tell a coach or parent, because playing with a concussion is dangerous. • Get checked out by a doctor. Don’t return to play on the day of the injury. • Give the brain time to heal. Most athletes with a concussion get better within a couple of weeks. For some, a concussion can make everyday activities, such as going to school, harder. Be sure to update parents and the family physician about how the athlete is doing.
In general Many school-related sports teams require a pre-season physical examination, but some recreation leagues may not. If your young athlete hasn’t had one, make an appointment for him or her and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Some other general sports safety guidelines: • Warm-up and cool down properly with low-impact exercises like walking or cycling. • Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching. A good stretch involves not going beyond the point of resistance and should be held for 10-12 seconds. • Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize muscle cramps. Waiting until you are thirsty is often too late to hydrate properly. • Keep an eye out for unsafe play surfaces. Playing grounds should be in good condition. • Don’t play through the pain. Speak with an orthopedic sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer if you have concerns about injuries. • Make sure kids wear protective gear such as cleats, pads, helmets, mouth guard or other necessary equipment for the selected sport. Be sure that sports protective equipment is in good condition, fits appropriately and is worn correctly all the time — for example, avoid missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer the best protection. • Practice makes perfect. Have children learn and practice skills they need in their activity. For example, knowing how to tackle safely is important in preventing injuries in football and soccer. Have children practice proper form – this can prevent injuries during baseball, softball, and many other activities. Also, be sure to safely and slowly increase activities to improve physical
fitness; being in good condition can protect kids from injury. • Encourage athletes to play multiple positions and/or sports during the off-season to minimize overuse injuries. • Pay attention to weather conditions such as wet, slippery fields that can lead to injuries. • Avoid the pressure to overtrain. Tell children to listen to their bodies and decrease training time and intensity, if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid “burn-out.” • Be a good model. Communicate positive safety messages and serve as a model of safe behavior, including wearing a helmet and following the rules.
Additional stats • Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than games. • The most common types of sport-related injuries among children are sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness. • More than 90 percent of sports-related concussions occur without the loss of consciousness. Note: This information is not a substitute for medical or professional care. Direct specific questions or concerns about your or your child’s health to a physician or other health care provider. Sources: American Red Cross, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Safe Kids Worldwide
SEPTEMBER 2016 21
‘Fightin’ Joe’ Wheeler home to celebrate general’s 180th birthday Story and photos by David Haynes
ivil War cannon firing and mounted home is also decorated in the period style cavalry drills by re-enactors will be for the Christmas season and in March among the featured activities when hosts the Annie Wheeler Plant Sale, the Alabama plantation home of General named for the general’s daughter. Joe Wheeler, known as Pond Spring, hosts Joseph Wheeler was born near Augusta, a celebration of the general’s 180th birthGa., on Sept. 10, 1836 and was a military day on Sept. 10. man for most of his nearly 70 years. An Located on Alabama Highway 20, 1859 graduate of the United States Mili17 miles west of Decatur, the house and tary Academy at West Point, the dimingrounds are open to the public five days utive Wheeler was given the nickname each week. They are owned and main“Fightin’ Joe” early in his military career, tained by the Alabama Historical Comfollowing a skirmish with Indians in New mission, and the site’s power is delivered Mexico. The name stuck. by Joe Wheeler EMC. During the Civil War, Wheeler rose to Site Director Kara Long said visitors to the annual celebration, which begins at 10 a.m., will see Civil War re-enactors firing a cannon, demonstrations of cavalry drills by re-enactors on horseback, a pit-fire cooking demonstration, handmade quilts and a beekeeping seminar. And there will be birthday cake, made using the general’s favorite recipe (while it lasts). Barbecue will be available for lunch, and at 1 p.m. a country music band will perform. Long said the annual birthday cel- A canopy bed in one of the bedrooms at the Joe ebration is one of three major events Wheeler Home. All furnishings in the home are the hosted at Pond Spring each year. The actual ones owned by the Wheeler family.
22 SEPTEMBER 2016
the rank of lieutenant general in the Confederate Army, commanding the cavalry for Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Mississippi. His Civil War resumé was impressive, fighting in more than 500 skirmishes and 127 battles. He was wounded more than once and had 16 horses shot from under him during the war. Wheeler, for whom Wheeler Lake, Wheeler Dam and Wheeler National Wildlife Preserve are all named, moved to Alabama following the Civil War, where he married the widow Daniella Jones Sherrod in 1866. He and Daniella raised their six children at Pond Spring, which was Daniella’s property from her first marriage. He practiced law in nearby Courtland during the 1870s before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served almost 20 years. Wheeler re-entered military service as commander of the 5th Corps Cavalry in 1889 during the Spanish-American War and mustered out of the U.S. Army as a brigadier general in 1900. Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” were under Wheeler’s command during the pivotal battle at San Juan Hill, Cuba. www.alabamaliving.coop
Besides the Wheeler family house, the Pond Spring complex includes 12 historic buildings and three family cemeteries.
The two-time general died of pneumoued to live in this house until her death nia while visiting his sister in New York in in 1955. 1906 and is buried in Arlington National Open for tours since 2012 Cemetery. He is one of only two former The house was placed on the National generals of the Confederacy to be interred Register of Historic Places in 1977, and in in Arlington, and his obelisk monument 1993 General Wheeler’s descendants dothere is one of the cemetery’s tallest. nated the home and all its contents to the Today’s Pond Spring consists of 50 Alabama Historical Commission. acres of land, 12 historic buildings surRenovation by the Historical Commisrounded by formal boxwood gardens and sion of the house and property took more three family cemeteries. Though Wheeler than a decade to complete (2000-2012) is buried nearly 1,000 miles to the north and the home opened for tours in 2012. outside Washington, D.C., an identical Tours are scheduled hourly Wednesday obelisk to the one at Arlington towers over all others in the Wheeler family plot. The oldest building on the property is a “dog trot” log cabin built in 1818 by the original owners of the 1760-acre plantation, the John P. Hickman family. The next owners, the Sherrod family, expanded one of two log houses into a clapboard-covered, Federal-style home, which still stands today as well. After Wheeler and Daniella married they built another house, which adjoins the earlier Sherrod home via a covered walkway, from 1868 and 1874. Wheel- Harold Capps, left, and Matthew Poole, right, listen as er’s daughter Annie, who served as a Pond Spring site director Kara Long explains some of volunteer nurse in three wars, contin- the artifacts on display in the home. Alabama Living
through Sunday beginning 9 a.m. for a fee of $8. Souvenirs are available at a small gift shop on the grounds as well. Site Director Long explained that the Wheeler family’s gift of the home and contents ensured that General Wheeler’s artifacts will be preserved for future generations, adding that the site is as much a museum as it is a historic home. Long’s tours allow a visitor to step backward in time to late 19th century Alabama as she describes and explains what life was like for the residents of Pond Spring. Her encyclopedic knowledge of every detail of the home, grounds and Wheeler family is evident on the tours as details of each artifact found in the house, its history and how the family might have used it seem always on the tip of her tongue.¢ For more information on Pond Spring, including directions and hours, visit its website at preserveala.org and click “visit our historic sites.” Pond Spring is at the bottom of the menu. They also have a Facebook Page; search for “General Joe Wheeler Home.” Or call 256-637-8513. SEPTEMBER 2016 23
It’s back! Once again, Alabama Living readers have a chance to vote on the places and things that make our state great! We’ve got some new categories this year. So check out the questions, pick an answer for each one, or tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama!” Best non-franchise place for ice cream Best themed trail Peach Park (Clanton) Tasty Dip (Heflin)
Trowbridge’s (Florence) (Other)
Best non-franchise place for fried chicken
Crowe’s (Troy/Sylacauga) Dot’s Soulfood Diner (Hillsboro)
Martin’s Restaurant (Montgomery) (Other)
Civil Rights Trail Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
Alabama Food and Wine Trail (Other)
Best family outing location Alabama beaches Zip line tour
Barber Marina (Bamahenge, dinosaurs) (Other)
Best football player to play in Alabama
Best “spur of the moment” weekend trip
Bo Jackson Joe Namath
Rent a cabin (Northeast Alabama) Alabama wineries
Bart Starr (Other)
Gulf State Park Joe Wheeler State Park
Wind Creek State Park (Other)
Best state park Gulf State Park Cheaha State Park
Oak Mountain State Park (Other)
Best small town art Murals in Dothan & Andalusia Fairhope’s downtown galleries
Studios & museums in the Shoals area (Other)
Best prehistoric/archeology site Russell Cave National Monument Rickwood Caverns
Best waters to fish
Lake Guntersville Pickwick Lake
Old Cahawba (Other)
Gulf beaches (Other)
Best sports venue Bryant-Denny Stadium Jordan-Hare Stadium
Talladega Superspeedway (Other)
Best waterfall DeSoto Falls Noccalula Falls
Little River Falls (Other)
Best Native American site Moundville Archaeological Park Fort Mims State Historic Site
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park (Other)
Best wildlife park or sanctuary Harmony Park Safari (Huntsville) Oak Mountain State Park
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (Other)
Best thing about living in Alabama
Best waters to play Lake Martin Lake Guntersville
Best compliment you hear about Alabama
Best outdoor annual festival/jubilee National Shrimp Festival Jubilee Hot Air Baloon Classic
National Peanut Festival (Other)
What was your favorite article you read in Alabama Living this year?
FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN EXTRA $100
Name: _______________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________ City: ___________ St: ___Zip: ________ Phone Number: __________________Co-op: ______________________________
Mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.
24 SEPTEMBER 2016
Cast your vote for the Best of Alabama for the chance to win
Deadline to vote is Oct. 31, 2016.
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 25
The power o Story by Allison Griffin, Photos by Michael Cornelison
he trucks rolling out of To Your into a living plant. Health Sprouted Flour’s produc“All those nutrients that were dormant tion site, located in rural Bullock inside the seed, when we break the barriCounty, could be carrying the company’s er down in the soaking process, it breaks sprouted grains and flours to a nearby that down and allows all those nutrients retailer – perhaps a farmer’s market just to start multiplying,” Sutton says. off U.S. 231, or a grocer up the road in The nutrition is much higher in the east Montgomery. sprouted versions of everything, she Or the trailers full of organic products says, noting that some studies have could be headed for more exotic locales: found that the levels of vitamin C can go The company exports bulk orders to up as much as 700 percent, and beta carCanada, Mexico, Australia and England. otene and B vitamins are actually proIt just recently picked up New Zealand. duced in the sprouting process. On one recent July day, workers were Another benefit to sprouting, she says, preparing a shipment for Denmark. is that a portion of the starch is broken They just shipped an order to Mongolia. down into simple sugars, so it burns easAll this from the company’s home ier as energy. near Fitzpatrick, popIntrigued with her reulation 80. Owner and search, Sutton took some founder Peggy Sutton was Mason jars, sprouted born and raised in Bullsome grains, dried them, ock County, and her heart milled them into flour is there. and made bread. She was And there it will reblown away by the taste; main: Her company just she says sprouting brings opened its third building, out a grain’s natural flawhich will allow its provors and takes away its duction to increase from bitterness. Compared to 50,000 pounds of sproutregular bread in stores, ed flours per week to even bakery-fresh bread, 120,000 pounds per week. Peggy Sutton, on the porch of she says the sprouted flour It will have the capacity to her barn near Fitzpatrick, loves bread’s taste “is just phegrow into about 250,000 coming up with new products. nomenal.” pounds a week. An idea is sprouted And it all grew from Sutton’s home Sutton started sharing her goods kitchen, with some Mason jars and an baked with sprouted flours with friends idea to find a healthy way to return to and family, who clamored for more. She a simple, traditional preparation of food. put out samples at farmers markets, and A healthy alternative thanks to her marketing background, a Around 2004, Sutton started redown-home demeanor and some delisearching more healthful methods of cious products, people took notice. cooking and baking, and uncovered the Business for the baked goods was time-honored tradition of sprouting brisk, but soon home bakers and small grains to maximize nutritional benefits bakeries wanted to buy her sprouted and improve digestion of food. flours. By 2009, she transitioned out of Sprouted grains are made from whole baked goods and into the flours, which grains and seeds, which have a natuwas less labor-intensive. ral barrier to protect the nutrients. The Then the big guys came calling. Whole sprouting process turns a dormant seed Foods wanted to buy her sprouted flour
26 SEPTEMBER 2016
The barn, where To Your Health first began, behind Peggy and Jeff Sutton’s house.
To Your Health Sprouted Flour remains committed to rural Alabama by the pallet, which is 2,000 pounds. “That’s when I said to (her husband) Jeff, ‘Honey, you know my little hobby could become a business, if you’ll help me with it.’” Jeff supported his wife’s vision and came on board with the new company. The growth has been rapid ever since. She quickly outgrew her kitchen and took over Jeff ’s new barn (he didn’t even get to use it for the first three years after he built it, Sutton says). After opening in 2010, the company opened a second building in 2013. Now the newest building, with an additional 30,000 square feet, has just opened; Jeff was in charge of the construction project and continues to be in charge of bulk sales. Thinking back on the days of Mason jars and sprouting in the barn, she couldn’t have imagined her future success. She was simply thrilled to have found a vocation that paired her love of healthy food and passion for baking with providing a product that her customers have come to love. Even now, she’s on the job, every day. “I tell people, this is God’s plan,” she says. “We’re just trying to be good stewards of it. My vision, I just wanted everybody to have an opportunity to bake with sprouted flour, because I was just blown away when I discovered it. God has seen a way to make it happen.”
Making an investment
To Your Health, which is served by Dixie Electric Cooperative, is deeply invested in rural central Alabama. Thirty-two of the company’s 35 employees live in the county, which creates a large economic impact. Within the next two years, thanks to the new building, she hopes to create another 15 to 20 jobs. “The best place for my business would be in the grain belt, for transportation reasons and easy access to the grains,” Sutton says. “But growing this business, right here in Bullock County, Alabama, has not been a hindrance whatsoever.
And we’re thankful for that.” Sutton would like to see other agricultural opportunities sprout and flourish in rural Alabama. She thinks the state, and the market, is ripe for an organic farming cooperative, and that the younger generation, which seems to be taking an interest in where their food comes from, could sustain it. She has a bit of a selfish motive; she would like purchase her grains from farms in the Southeast, and of course in Alabama. Most of her grains must come from the Midwest, the Northwest and Canada. The cooperative model, upon which rural electric cooperatives are based, would work well, she thinks. She envisions a young farmer who has the drive and the skill to farm organically; a cooperative could help with irrigation, fencing, shared equipment, etc. To Your Health would buy everything he can pull off the field at market price. Sutton would save money on the shipping costs of the grains, but would also be able say that she “buys local.” For now, Sutton continues to sprout in her kitchens and loves coming up with new products. Now, the company is manufacturing granola, which she used to make when she was still baking. And To Your Health is supplying the key ingredients in the new Kashi Organic Promise Sprouted Grains Cereal, and Sutton is even featured on the box. Asked if she could have imagined her future success when she was sprouting in her home kitchen, Sutton laughs, “No! I was excited to put my samples out at farmer’s markets. I was like, ‘Y’all have to try this!’ I thought I was on top of the world. “But with running a business, it’s not all fun and games. But it gives me a purpose, and what a nice one it is. We’re providing a good healthy product, and I’m able to employ good folks in Bullock County who need to work. It’s still a winwin situation.”
SEPTEMBER 2016 27
Thelma Bradley, mother of AREA Quilt Competition coordinator Linda Bradley Partin.
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Alabama Rural Electric Associationâ€™s
Our 2017 theme is:
In Honor of Mom
Design your quilt square recognizing what makes your mom special to you!
Mail, E-mail or Fax form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is January 27, 2017. Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ E-mail: ________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)
Mail to: Linda Partin AREA 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 or Phone: 334-215-2732 Fax: 334-215-2733 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of the Red Door Theatre.
September | Around Alabama
The Red Door Theatre presents “The Red Door Revue,” a night of musical entertainment, Sept. 29.
Cullman, Smith Lake Park is planning its 20th Annual Sweet Tater Festival, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 403 County Road 386 in Cullman. Food vendors, arts and crafts, a car show and sweet taters. cullmancountyparks.com
Ider, Ider Mule Day. Annual event showcases Sand Mountain’s rich agricultural heritage. Enjoy a parade of mules, horses, carriages, and antique tractors. The event will also feature arts and crafts, food, children’s games and a car show. 9:30 a.m. 256-6574184, discoverlookoutmountain.com
McCalla, Labor Day Celebration and Moon Pie Eatin’ Contest at Tannehill Ironworks. Celebrate Labor Day with Alabama’s largest moon pie eating contest and compete for prize money. The United Mine Workers will also hold their annual Birmingham District Labor Day celebration with BBQ and musical groups. Tannehill.org
Birmingham, Birmingham Artwalk features more than 100 visual artists, live musicians, street performers, food and drink vendors and children’s activities. Free. Birminghamartwalk.org
Nauvoo, The Alabama Folk School, 105 DeLong Road, presents Acoustic Guitar and Crafts Workshop. Students will learn skills in pottery, hand marbling paper, and photography in an encouraging atmosphere while others immerse themselves in acoustic guitar, in classes taught by master musicians, jam sessions, concerts and group performances. Partici-
pants register for one class that includes four in-depth sessions in that discipline. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 and ends after lunch on Sept. 11. alfolkschool.com
Hartselle, 36th Annual Depot Days Festival, held in Downtown Hartselle, features the 7th Annual Depot Days Pageant, a community worship service, concerts and the Depot Days Festival on Saturday. Food, art show, tractor and gasoline engine show, live entertainment, and a children’s area. Free. hartsellechamber.com
Huntsville, Fall Craft Show, Von Braun Civic Center, 700 Monroe St. Over 150 craft vendors featuring dolls, doll furniture, pottery, ornaments, wood toys, jewelry and more. $20 gift certificate given away every two hours. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m. Free. For more information, contact Annie Hannah, 256-880-7967.
Baldwin and Mobile Counties, 29th Annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup. “Get the Trash out of the Splash” 8 a.m. –12 p.m. Volunteer for the largest one-day clean up event on the coast. Thirty registration sites across Mobile and Baldwin Counties. T-shirts and cleanup supplies provided. alabamacoastalcleanup.com
Fairhope, Fairhope Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 349 Fairwood Blvd., is celebrating its 120th Anniversary. As the oldest church in the city of Fairhope, it will host an open house with
food, circa 1896 games, people in period dress, and an unveiling of a historical marker commemorating the church’s history. For information, contact the church office at 251928-8495.
Orange Beach, Hundreds of cyclists are hoping to raise $215,000 to stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever at Bike MS: Tour de Beach. Each morning, cyclists will start at the waterfront and ride 25, 45 or 75 miles. All routes will be supported with fully stocked rest stops every 10-12 miles and safety provided by medical personnel, HAM radio operators, law enforcement and motorcycle escorts. Visit bikeMS.org, call 205-879-8546 or email Jennifer.Ely@nmss.org.
Collinsville, Collinsville Quilt Walk begins at 151 Main St. at the Collinsville Public Library. The tour includes a walking tour of historic Collinsville and tram rides. The quilts are displayed in old homes and churches along the walk. Tickets are $10 and are available the day of the Quilt Walk. Friday, 12-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. collinsvillequiltwalk.com
Oxford, Lick Skillet Quilt Guild presents the 2016 “Quilts by the Lake” Quilt Show. More than 200 professionally judged quilts will be displayed including an “Idioms” guild member challenge. AQS Certified Appraiser Alma Moates of Pensacola will give bed turning presentations and will also be available for quilters to schedule appraisals
To place an event, e-mail email@example.com. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
of their antique, vintage and new quilts. The 2015 Hoffman Challenge Exhibit’s “Pomegranate and Gold Collection” will be on display. Opportunity quilt and themed baskets will be displayed and tickets sold for drawings; proceeds to benefit charities and support guild community service efforts. Other features include vendors, demonstrations and door prizes. Admission is $5, children 10 and under free. Free parking and handicap accessible. Lickskilletquiltguild.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dothan, Syrup Making Workshop, sponsored by the Alabama Syrup-Makers’ Association at Landmark Park, 430 Landmark Drive. Each segment will include hands-on experience from stripping the cane, cutting the cane, squeezing the cane, filtering and cooking cane juice and bottling the syrup. Lunch will be provided. Each person will receive a bottle of cane syrup for their labors. $25 for adults, and $12 for children 12 and under. 8 a.m. To register, call President Earl Stokes or Vice President Thomas Moore at 334-4943037. landmarkparkdothan.com
Cullman, 19th Annual Echota Cherokee Festival will be at Sportsman Lake Park, 1544 Sportsman Lake Road NW. Food, handmade art, native crafts, demonstrations and dances. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Adults $5, Children ages 6-12 $3. For more information, call the Tribal Office at 256-734-7337.
Union Springs, The Red Door Theatre will present “The Red Door Revue,” a night of musical entertainment, on Thursday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Tyson Hall, this second annual event features artists from throughout central Alabama singing selections ranging from contemporary to gospel to country to Motown. Although the musical styles differ, these performers all have one common experience--each has appeared in previous Red Door Theatre productions over the past 13 years. Call the Tourism Council of Bullock County office at (334) 738-8687. Tickets are $15. reddoortheatre.org.
Ozark, 26th Annual Claybank 5K Run, Walk and Fun Run supporting the Friends of Vivian B. Adams School. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at Ed Lisenby Lake. Aid stations available at each mile and snacks at the end of the race. $20 for 5K if registered before Sept. 23. $25 on race day. Fun Run registration $10. Contact Susan Owens, 334-618-5189, vivianbadams.org.
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SEPTEMBER 2016 29
| Worth the drive |
BLTs and grilled cheese: Come sit a spell at community’s ‘rest stop’ Story and photos by Jennifer Crossley Howard
pon first arriving at Graves Grocery in Lacey’s Spring, one would be forgiven for assuming Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison are inside frying green tomatoes. Graves Grocery is a dead ringer for Fannie Flagg’s fictional Whistlestop Cafe. Inside the simple white frame restaurant, Pam Graves is grilling BLTs and grilled cheese for the lunch crowd. A humble wooden sign welcomes you to the “community rest stop,” and inside, past a front porch adorned with tables and knockout roses, is a rough-hewn place to sit a spell that would please granny, her granddaughters and the pickers from TV. Besides word of mouth, the aroma of coffee, bacon and fudge that greets visitors is Graves Grocery’s best advertising. The people of Lacey’s Spring, located at the base of Brindley Mountain between Hartselle and Huntsville, had been waiting for a hangout to call their own for a while. The only other restaurant, a Hardee’s, is 5 miles away. “Oh mercy, it’s such a blessing,” Graves says. “Honestly, I just opened the doors, and they came. Sometimes I feel like Kevin Costner from ‘Field of Dreams.’ If you build it, they will come.” She serves breakfast and lunch, five days a week. Biscuits and gravy are popular for breakfast and lunch diners favor grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, but Graves takes off-menu requests as well. “If I’m not swamped, I’ll cook it,” she says. On a recent summer afternoon, regulars sit across from Graves, who has run this grocery for three years, and her friend, Donna McMahan, who is helping fill orders. Streamers and balloons celebrating Graves’ 50th birthday complement eclectic decor that marries homespun art, a vintage deli display case and shelves of mementoes, including a General Electric TV and dried hydrangeas. The women fried hamburgers behind the counter and chitchatted with customers about kids, school and whether their food is good. It is. 30 SEPTEMBER 2016
Only real butter
“I only use real butter,” Graves says. She doesn’t skimp on condiments either. “I always thought it would be good to be noted as the place that puts mayonnaise on both sides of the bread. That’s what we do.” Graves was a stay at home mother to five kids before working at two Huntsville restaurants and never dreamed she would revive this grocery and sandwich shop. But she longed to be immersed in her community while using her new business skills. “There was nowhere in this community for anyone to sit and drink a cup of coffee,” she says.
The restaurant was decorated with balloons and streamers on a recent afternoon to celebrate owner Pam Graves’ birthday.
The second time the building became available, Graves got it. This summer, a church group from Huntsville will likely move the kitchen closer to the counter and maybe replace flooring. But this place will never be mistaken for a trendy bistro. Graves Grocery is the restaurant equivalent of a child’s well-worn teddy bear. It serves familiar comfort food, and that’s the way customers like it. “The food is good, and they do so much for the community,” says Bridgett Howell
The simple, white frame structure that houses Graves Grocery is part restaurant, part community hangout.
of Huntsville, who eats lunch here with her children. Graves expands Graves Grocery’s role beyond food by projecting free movies onto the side of the building and hosting a summer concert series on the lawn. Kids dance and Graves serves a Low Country Boil and pork tenderloin. “It’s kind old fashioned,” McMahan says. “It takes you back.” The grocery served a free Thanksgiving dinner last year, and has hosted quilt and pottery classes. For at least 35 years, the Atkinson family ran a mercantile and sandwich shop in this house, Graves says, and cooked food to go. The 100-year-old building has been moved twice, once to a field down the road. In the back, Southern gems like Golden Flake potato chips and bottles of Coke fill shelves as do tagged consignment items. Graves sells meat and cheese by the pound from Hillsboro, just like the Atkinsons. Most desserts, including pecan pie and coconut creme pie, are from the Dutch Oven Bakery in Falkville. The best compliment a diner ever gave Graves was that eating at her restaurant was like eating in her own kitchen. “If I’ve had a rough day or a hard time with my kids, the minute I step in here everything is fine,” Graves says. “When you serve something with a gracious spirit, it really makes people feel good.” Graves Grocery 10034 Highway 36 East, Lacey’s Spring, AL 35754 256-885-3717 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday www.gravesgrocery.com
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| Gardens |
Alabama pomegranates: A past and future treasure ‘Wonderful’ pomegranates, the ones we typically see in grocery stores, are as beautiful and decorative as they are tasty. But they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the types of pomegranates in the world, including cultivars with rinds and arils that range in color from reddish, orange and pink to a deep purple-black and in ﬂavors from lemonade to watermelon.
32 SEPTEMBER 2016
hen Old World settlers arrived in Alabama several hundred years ago, many brought along the fruits from their homelands, including the fabled pomegranate. While those early settlers are long gone, many of those pomegranate trees, or at least their offspring, still remain in the state, and Shane Jennings of Baldwin County is on a mission to find these remnants of Alabama’s horticultural past and perhaps make them part of the state’s future. Pomegranates (Punica granatum) are native to Iran and on into the Himalayas and India, but they have been cultivated across the globe for thousands of years and treasured for their flavor, nutritional and medicinal value and even their mystical properties. Today they are a venerated “super food,” and if Jennings has his way, they may soon become a prized agricultural crop for Alabama. Jennings, an avid plant collector, discovered the potential of pomegranates a bit by accident when he set out to add a few pomegranates to his personal collection. “Everything you hear and read about pomegranates talks about this one cultivar named ‘Wonderful,’” Jennings said. ‘Wonderful’ pomegranates are the ones we typically see in grocery stores, which have leathery, reddish rinds and medium-hard seeds encased in juicy, sweet-tart tasting arils. While ‘Wonderful’ poms do have wonderful attributes, Jennings found that there are many other pomegran-
ates available in a wide variety of colors, degrees of sweetness and even flavors, such as watermelon and lemonade. With some 500 varieties and cultivars to choose among, Jennings had a hard time picking which ones to buy, but he finally settled on six cultivars representing several different flavors. He also began to learn more about pomegranates through a somewhat unexpected source — his day job running an ice cream delivery route. Lots of proprietors at the small convenience stores along Jennings’ route are immigrants hailing from countries where pomegranates are a dietary staple, and they were thrilled to learn he was growing one of their favorite fruits. “Every one of them said they would love to buy pomegranates, but the ones in grocery stores don’t taste like the ones from their home countries,” Jennings says. “They told me, ‘If you will grow them, we will buy them.’” So Jennings expanded his collection (he now has some 100 cultivars on his land in Robertsdale) and also began attending pomegranate grower meetings in Florida and Georgia. He soon realized that Alabama’s pomegranate potential was too great to keep to himself and he set out to spread the word about these amazing fruits (which are technically considered berries) by creating an Alabama Pomegranate Facebook page, an educational
Pomegranate arils have many culinary uses. They make tasty, crisp snacks and can be sprinkled on dishes to add ﬂavor and beauty to salads, desserts and other dishes. They can also be pressed to release their healthy, delicious juices or cooked down to make a rich, luscious syrup. www.alabamaliving.coop
and networking resource for home gardeners and commercial growers alike. He also founded the Alabama Pomegranate Association, an organization committed to promoting education, research and pomegranate varieties best suited for the state. The APA’s first annual meeting, open to both association members and non-members, will be Oct. 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope. As he began to promote pomegranates at meetings and in chats with local residents on his route, Jennings discovered another source of pomegranate cultivars — heirloom pomegranate trees planted generations ago. “People kept telling me that their granny had a pomegranate tree,” he says, and many of those people knew right where that tree was located. Though pomegranates are typically long-lived plants, some
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
Whether you want to grow them commercially or just for your personal use, pomegranate trees such as this two-year-old tree in Opelika are great additions to the landscape as both fruiting and ornamental plants.
trees are 100 or more years old and have likely survived because they possess exceptional cold, disease and pest resistance specific to Alabama. Jennings is collecting cuttings from these trees to root in hopes of preserving their genetic history and also using them in a breeding program to develop new, commercially viable pomegranate cultivars for Alabama’s growing conditions. There is much work to be done before Alabama’s pomegranate potential is fully realized, but Jennings hopes that more and more people will get involved and make that happen. To report old trees or learn about growing pomegranates, check out the Facebook page (search Alabama Pomegranate Association) or alabamapomegranateassociation.com where you can register for the APA meeting. Or contact Jennings directly at (251) 725-2184 or shanejennings07@yahoo.
com. He’s always happy to talk about pomegranates!
Remove dead plants and debris from landscape areas and garden beds. Compost that lawn and garden waste, along with organic kitchen waste. Plant fall and winter vegetables and root crops, perennials, biennials and spring-ﬂowering bulbs. Fertilize azaleas and camellias. Continue to mow and irrigate lawns as needed and sow winter grass seed on bare areas. Divide and transplant perennials, irises and daylilies. Keep bird feeders and birdbaths clean and filled to attract resident and migratory birds this fall.
In an effort to get more people interested in growing pomegranates, Shane Jennings has been taking an Alabama Pomegranate Association exhibit to fruit and vegetable grower meetings across the state, such as this exhibit at the Farm, Home and Wildlife Expo held at the Chilton Research and Extension Center in Clanton in August. The APA will hold its first annual meeting Oct. 14 at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope, a meeting open to APA members and non-members.
SEPTEMBER 2016 33
Making coal more environmentally friendly Innovation could put coal use in a whole new light By Paul Wesslund
ince coal generated more than half the nation’s electricity as recently as 10 years ago, that share has fallen to one-third as of last year. The decline of coal generation will continue as new environmental rules are set in place and prices for natural gas remain relatively low. So it’s curtains for coal, right? Not so fast. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan still calls for more than one-fifth of our electricity to come from coal by its 2030 target date. Even President Obama’s Energy Secretary sees a future for coal. “We are talking about a progressively lower-carbon future, but we have not abandoned coal as part of that future,” Secretary Ernest Moniz told the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader in April. “Coal can play a major role in a low-carbon economy.” A role for coal is important, says Daniel Walsh, senior program manager for generation, environment and carbon at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Citing the huge coal supply in the U.S., Walsh sees coal as a key to energy security. “We need to use this valuable resource we have in this country.” Achieving that brighter future for coal could depend on huge improvements to a technology called carbon capture. Carbon capture seeks to solve a top environmental complaint about coal, which is that burning it releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has been linked to climate change. Grabbing the carbon dioxide before it leaves the power plant would keep it out of the atmosphere. Carbon capture is still a developing technology, with 15 test plants in the world and seven more coming online by 2017, according to an international industry group. One of the main holdups to that development is that the technology is expensive to build and operate. Really expensive. Running carbon capture equipment at a power plant uses about one-third of the electricity produced by that power plant. As daunting and inefficient as that sounds, Moniz cites $6 billion spent on carbon capture research by the Department of Energy as proof of his optimism. NRECA’s 34 SEPTEMBER 2016
Walsh believes in the power of researchers to make carbon capture costs competitive. “We will continue to see innovation,” says Walsh. “We’re going to be successful.” One reason for that sunny outlook comes from a 35-year trend of finding cleaner and more efficient ways to burn coal. Since 1970, electric utilities in the U.S. have reduced pollution regulated by the federal Clean Air Act by more than 60 percent. Techniques have ranged from washing coal with water, to burning it at lower temperatures to release less harmful chemicals, to large and expensive flue gas desulfurization equipment, also called scrubbers. Over the decades, those technologies improved, says Kirk Johnson, NRECA senior vice president for government relations. He says those improvements can be a model for carbon capture. “We didn’t start out with scrubbers that achieved a better-than 90 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide removal, but we ultimately got there,” says Johnson. “The future has got to be in continued research.” Electric co-ops launched a drive to that success with the April groundbreaking for the Integrated Test Center in Wyoming. Operation is scheduled for summer 2017. The state of Wyoming is funding $15 million of the center, which will be built at the site of the existing Dry Fork Station, a coal plant owned by Basin Electric Cooperative, a regional co-op based in North Dakota. Another $5 million of support will come from another regional co-op, Denver-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and $1 million from NRECA. The test center aims to advance carbon capture research by focusing on a looming question about the technology—once you capture the carbon dioxide, what do you do with it? The test center focus will be on a new area of carbon capture work that is even changing the name of the technology. For years the process has been referred to as CCS—for Carbon Capture and Storage (or Sequestration). Geologists looked for
underground formations where the carbon dioxide could be stored safely and permanently. An evolving terminology refers to CCU, for Carbon Capture and Utilization, or CCR, for Carbon Capture and Recycling. The idea is that one way to make carbon capture more cost-effective would be to find commercial or other uses for the carbon dioxide that produces a better return on investment than burying it underground. Researchers at the test center will be able to use carbon dioxide from the Dry Fork Station to run tests. Among the first researchers, the test center will host teams competing for part of $20 million in XPRIZEs on ways to use carbon dioxide (CO2) at power plants. The XPRIZE Foundation supports innovation in several areas, and its recent call for entries reads, “Do you have what it takes to turn CO2 emissions into valuable products?” There’s reason to believe that lofty challenge might succeed at the test center, says NRECA Communications Manager John Pulley. He describes the plans as bringing researchers in to develop their ideas in the “real-world” setting of a power plant. “Once you have a facility like this in place that will allow people to test their great ideas, the sky’s the limit,” he says. “People might look at coal in an entirely new light.”¢ Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. www.alabamaliving.coop
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 35
Space invaders Act quickly to eliminate, discourage wildlife from your home By Gail Allyn Short
labama is blessed with an array of wildlife, from the squirrels, raccoons and skunks to the white-tailed deer. They’re adorable on television, in books and from a distance. But when members of the animal kingdom crawl, climb, dig, gnaw and leap into your dwelling to snag a meal and some shelter, they’re not so cute anymore. You want them away from your home. Fast. Here’s what the experts say you need to know to keep these wildlife invaders out of your space.
Habitat: They can live almost anywhere. How they invade your home: Rats can get in your home through openings around the foundation of your home, entry holes around water and gas pipes and even around the roofline. “They can get in your house anywhere from the ground up,” says Lance Moore, owner of Critter Control in Huntsville. “They like to come in when the weather gets cold and during the summer months.” The problem: Rats can transmit dangerous diseases with scary names like leptospirosis, hantavirus, lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, rat bite fever and bubonic plague. What you need to do: “Close any holes around your home’s foundation, vents and pipes going in and around your air conditioning unit,” says Moore, “and close up any other dime-size holes.” Pest control experts say you also can plug up holes with steel wool and put down glue boards and traps perpendicular to walls.
Their natural habitat: They love hanging around nut-bearing trees, pastures and yards. How they invade your home: “Squirrels normally get in through the roof return or eaves,” says Stephen Weeks, a wildlife consultant with Conserv Wildlife Services. “It’s any weak spot in the construction of your house. They can chew their way into a corner of your roof, get into your attic and run around.” The problem: “Once they get into the attic, they’ll dig out spots in your insulation or get into the small, nooks and crannies of your attic and build their nests,” says Weeks. “They can tear up your insulation and ductwork, which is expensive.” They also like chewing on electrical wires, which can start a fire. What you need to do: “Keep your trees trimmed back from your house several feet because they can jump pretty far,” says Weeks, “and keep your gutters clean and pine straw off of your roof because that’s going to attract the animal.” Weeks also suggests hiring a contractor to close up openings in the eaves and roofline.
Their natural habitat: They live around wooded and waterfront properties. What attracts them: The smell of leftovers emanating from garbage cans. They can enter through garage door openings, chimneys, crawl space access doors and roof vents. The problem: “Sometimes they get into the attic where they eat and run around. They can tear up your insulation,” Weeks says. They can also be aggressive and carry rabies. What you need to do: “Don’t leave trash outside,” he says. “Keep it inside until trash day.” Also, be sure to keep your trees trimmed to keep branches as far away from your roof as possible. 36 SEPTEMBER 2016
Natural habitat: They live around forest edges and in urban areas. “Seventy percent of my wildlife work is skunks,” says Steve Crawford, owner of SGH Pest Management Inc., in Cullman. “They’re everywhere.” How they invade your home: In late fall, the females look for warm nesting sites, which can include the crawl space of your house. The problem: The smell. “January and February is when people realize they have skunks,” Crawford says. “No product on the market will eliminate that smell, and if you have ductwork in your crawl space, when the heat comes on, the smell will get in your home.” What you need to do: Be sure to seal up the entry points around your home’s foundation, says Crawford. Other experts suggest using repellants such as homemade or commercial castor oil or capsaicin.
Natural habitat: The most common bats found in Alabama include the brown bat and the evening bat. They live in trees, caves and buildings. How they invade your house: They can squeeze in through the gable vent, and they like hanging out in attics, along rooflines, in chimneys, behind shutters and inside walls. The problem: Besides causing anxiety, bats’ fecal matter can transmit bacteria to humans, damage sheetrock and emit a powerful and unpleasant odor, says Crawford. The upside: Bats eat mosquitoes and other bugs. What you need to do: Make sure all of your windows are screened. Crawford also recommends hiring someone to place a galvanized metal mesh outside of roof and gable vents.
Natural habitat: Wooded areas, but overpopulation and encroaching development push them closer to urban and suburban areas. The problem: Deer will graze on most anything green and can destroy ornamental shrubs, flower beds and vegetable gardens. Bucks will also rub their antlers on woody saplings, which can kill the plant. What you need to do: Perimeter fences are a good (if potentially costly) solution, Weeks says. A backyard dog can help. And certain plants, such as onions, garlic, chives, mint, catnip, lavender, sage and thyme can be planted to deter feeding in gardens, according to information from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.¢
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 37
| Consumer Wise |
Is a geothermal heat pump right for you? By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless
I am planning to replace my current heating system with a geothermal heat pump. It is comparatively pricey to other options, but it seems like an efficient option, and I like the fact that it includes air conditioning. Would a geothermal heat pump be a good choice for me?
In most areas of the U.S., space heating and cooling account for a large percentage of overall home energy use, so upgrading to a more efficient HVAC system is a great way to reduce your monthly energy bill. A geothermal heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump, is among the most efficient types of heating and cooling systems you can consider installing in your home. Even when it is extremely hot or cold outside, the temperature a few feet below the surface of the ground remains relatively constant and moderate. A geothermal heat pump system uses this constant ground temperature to help heat and cool your home. As a result, geothermal heat pumps are quite efficient. For example, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heat pumps use up to 44 percent less energy than traditional air-source heat pumps, and up to 72 percent less energy than electric resistance heaters combined with standard air conditioners.
A geothermal heat pump system is made up of three main components: The collector, or loop field, which is in the ground
and cycles a liquid, like antifreeze, through dense plastic tubing
The heat pump that is in your home The duct system that distributes the heated or cooled air throughout your home.
During the winter, the collector absorbs the heat stored in the ground and the liquid carries that heat to the heat pump, which concentrates it and blows it into the duct work, warming your home. In the summer, the heat pump extracts heat from the home and transfers it to the cooler ground.
Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@ collaborativeefficiency.com for more information.
38 SEPTEMBER 2016
A horizontal loop field can be less expensive than vertical drilling, but requires more space, as shown at this larger installation at an electric co-op. PHOTO CREDIT: FEDERATED RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION (MN)
The collector that exchanges heating and cooling with the ground can be set up in one of three main ways: Horizontal system: Plastic tubing is placed in trenches four to six feet below the surface of the ground. This system works well when a home or business has sufficient available land, as these systems may require up to 400 feet of trenches to be dug. Vertical system: If the site does not have sufficient space for a horizontal system, a collector can be placed vertically. In this system, a drill digs 100 to 400 feet below the surface and places the tubing. This system can be more costly than a horizontal system, but will have less impact on any existing landscaping and can be used on smaller lots. Pond system: If a home has access to a pond or lake, a pond system (also known as a water source heat pump) may be possible. The loop field is connected to the heat pump and then placed at least eight feet below the surface of the water. If a homeowner has access to a pond that is sufficiently wide and deep, this option can be the lowest cost. Geothermal systems typically cost more than other heating systems, largely because of the collector and the associated digging or drilling, but their high efficiency can help reduce the payback time. The cost will vary based on whether new ductwork is needed and the type of collector you install, among other factors. However, there are incentives available for those who install qualified geothermal heat pumps. Most notably, there is a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing an ENERGY STAR-rated system before the end of 2016—so, if your system and installation cost $20,000, you could take $6,000 directly off your federal tax bill. Some states also offer tax incentives, and your electric co-op may www.alabamaliving.coop
offer rebates or financing to help you pay for the system. For those with high energy bills resulting from heating and cooling, an efficient geothermal system is a good option to consider. In addition, those building new homes should consider at the outset whether to install a geothermal heat pump. With new construction, the system can be included in the mortgage and installing it before the home is completed means no disruption to your landscaping. Talk with a qualified energy auditor who can help you evaluate the different heating and cooling options that would be best for your home.Â˘ This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Amy Wheeless of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on geothermal heat pumps, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/ energytips. A geothermal heat pump can have many different connections to the ground. DEVELOPED BY PNNL, ORNL, NATIONAL LABORATORIES
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 39
| Outdoors |
provide fast action “Shoot,”
I yelled as birds exploded in all directions from thick reeds just a few feet from us. “There’s another one. Fire! Here comes a straggler. Get him!” In seconds, my son pumped out three rounds from his 20-gauge shotgun, scoring a double. More birds flushed from the dense cover of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta marshes while others raced into the canes to escape as Daniel quickly tried to reload. Hastily dropping one shell into the chamber, he downed another bird struggling to get airborne. Fortunately, the birds that were flushed didn’t travel far. We watched where most were headed, picked up our game and took a brief break. Minutes later, after the initial adrenaline rush, we found them again for another round. Repeating this procedure during the next two hours, Daniel fired a box of shells before bagging his limit.
Alabama sportsmen can target abundant game birds that frequently go unnoticed by others Alabama sportsmen can target abundant game birds that frequently go unnoticed by others, but provide incredible action. Common and purple gallinules both bear a resemblance to coots. One of the most striking North American game birds, purple gallinules exhibit blue and green body feathers, purple heads, long yellow legs, white rumps and red bills with yellow tips. Bright blue forehead patches distinguish purple gallinules from their more drab red-patched cousins. People can also bag king rails, the largest of the rail species. Sora rails almost
40 SEPTEMBER 2016
Daniel Felsher takes a shot at game while hunting from a canoe in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta near Mobile, Ala. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER
SEPTEMBER 2016â€ƒ 41
look like quail with short, powerful bills. Gallinules and these rail species typically prefer freshwater systems with abundant thick vegetation growing in or near the water edge or matted on the surface. Alone among the rails, clappers like salty marshes. Also called marsh hens, clappers look like skinny chickens with long bills. They often walk mudflats in coastal marshes looking to snatch invertebrates to eat. People often hear their clack, clack, clack calling. Rail and gallinule seasons generally run concurrent with duck season, but sportsmen can get an early jump on these birds during the September teal season. Some people hunt teal at first light and then go looking for rails and gallinules later in the morning. A limit of gallinules can turn a humdrum teal hunt into an exciting adventure, especially for young children or novice sportsmen.
Most hunting done from boats
Since rails and gallinules do not respond to decoys or calls, sportsmen must go looking for them. Because soft mud in places like the Mobile-Tensaw Delta can make walking the marshes difficult, most people hunt them from small boats. Federal law prohibits shooting at migratory birds like rails and gallinules from boats under power, but sportsmen can paddle, drift or pole through the marshes or along a lake shoreline to hunt them. Some people hunt alone, paddling canoes or other craft with their shotguns ready in a safe, convenient place, but sportsmen can hunt more effectively in teams. One person in the bow keeps a gun ready while the other person paddles, positions the boat and acts as spotter. Paddling up rails and gallinules makes a great way to introduce children to hunting. They don’t have to sit long hours in a deer stand keeping quiet. They might see many birds in a good area so enjoy great action. In addition, hunters can easily carry snacks and refreshments in an ice chest and take occasional breaks if they wish. John N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who writes from Semmes, Ala. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com
42 SEPTEMBER 2016
A drake purple gallinule tiptoes through the reeds along a shoreline. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER
Look for these birds along shorelines of sloughs and small channels with abundant matted vegetation and tall reeds that provide significant cover. At low tide, scan exposed mudbanks and grassy edges. At high tide, scrutinize any tall canes. Unlike loner rails, gallinules sometimes congregate in flocks in shallow coves with patches of matted aquatic grass. With their long toes, gallinules nimbly walk over floating lily pads, water hyacinths or other vegetation. Rails and gallinules can fly and swim,
but prefer to run into thick weeds to escape their enemies. When they do flush, they seldom fly far, usually dropping into a nearby clump of dense canes to hide. Hunters can frequently relocate them rather quickly. The marshes of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta near Mobile probably offer the best opportunities to hunt rails and gallinules in Alabama, but people can also hunt many reedy lake or river shorelines throughout the state. Just about any freshwater system with tall reeds might hold gallinules.¢ www.alabamaliving.coop
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Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time.
a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major
SEP. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 OCT. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
-07:22 08:07 08:52 10:07 11:22 ---02:22 03:37 04:22 05:22 ---07:52 08:22 09:07 10:07 11:07 ---12:52 02:52 03:52 04:52 11:52 --08:07 09:07 10:07 11:22 ---02:22 03:37 04:37 05:22 11:37 --07:52
06:22 01:07 01:37 02:22 03:22 04:07 05:22 06:52 08:22 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:37 05:52 06:37 07:07 01:22 01:52 02:22 02:52 03:22 04:22 05:22 06:52 08:22 09:22 10:22 11:07 05:37 06:37 07:22 01:22 02:07 02:52 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:37 08:52 09:37 10:22 11:07 05:52 06:37 07:07 12:52
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| Alabama Recipes |
Go grape! Alabama’s only native grapes are as full of valuable nutrients as they are ﬂavor. By Jennifer Kornegay
uscadine grapes (of which scuppernongs are one variety) are the native grape of the Southeast and have been growing wild all over the region for centuries. Their verdant vines produce round, plump fruit that once nourished Native Americans, and they were discovered growing freely, climbing up trees and tangling over brush, by Europeans colonizing North Carolina. Today, this grape variety is cultivated all over Alabama in backyards, on farms and at wineries, and wild vines still twist around trunks tucked away in forests and tumble and crawl over fence posts on the edges of fields. When I was a kid, my mama’s daddy had four lines of scuppernong vines off to one side of his backyard. On any late summer or early autumn visit, my attention was fixed on the sun-warmed, speckled golden orbs that hung from the vines, almost hidden beneath wide green leaves. I’d pick as many as I could reach and pop them in my mouth, devouring their distinct sweetness, earthy and woodsy. The grapes’ thick, sinewy skins make you work for even the tiniest taste; you have to chew through that rubbery exterior while your teeth dodge slippery, bitter seeds. But boy, is it worth it.
Cook of the Month
Sue Wiley, Joe Wheeler EMC Sue Wiley and her husband Tom love muscadines. They’ve grown two rows of muscadine vines they started as a hobby into a 220-vine, you-pick operation. Tom enjoys the growing process. “And my pleasure comes from eating them, especially the black varieties, and visiting with our many repeat customers,” Sue said. She started making basic muscadine jellies, but Tom encouraged her to make some that included the hull, so she did, and this version quickly became his favorite. “He really likes the texture,” she said. “It just adds something extra.”
I still like eating muscadines straight out of hand. No muss. No fuss. Just a cup for spitting seeds in. They also hold up well to cooking and lend their sweetness to this month’s reader submitted recipes.
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Muscadine Hull Jelly
5 pounds muscadines (black or bronze) 6 cups sugar Water 1 box Sure Jell
21/2 13/4 1/3 1
Prepare jars and flats before starting jelly. Keep both in hot water. Wash muscadines. Cut muscadines in half and remove hulls. Cut up hulls. Place hulls in a pan and just cover with water. Cook on medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. If water gets low, add more. When tender, remove from heat and set aside. Place pulp in pan and cover with water. Cook about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and press through sieve to remove seeds. Mix hull mixture and seedless pulp mixture together. You will need 6 cups of this. Place in large pan and add Sure Jell. Mix well and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, mix well and return to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour into hot jars to ¼ inch from the top. Wipe jar top and cover tightly with lid. Place in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on towel-covered counter to cool. When cool, press on top of lid to check if it’s sealed. If it’s sealed, it won’t spring back. Refrigerate any unsealed jars. Yield 5-6 pints, or 10-12 half-pints. Sue Wiley Joe Wheeler EMC
Muscadine Juice 4 cups freshly washed muscadines 2 cups sugar Place in bottom of a sterilized hot gallon jug. Pour into it a gallon of rapidly boiling water. Seal with hot sterilized lids. Let set 4-6 weeks before using. Cook’s note: Sugar can be reduced to 1 cup. Barbara Woodard Joe Wheeler EMC
Muscadine Cobbler Filling: 2 1/2 pounds muscadines ¹⁄4 cup plain flour 11/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Cobbler: Basic pastry dough for 2-crust pie, unbaked 1 quart prepared muscadine pie filling 2 tablespoons unsalted butter To prepare filling, wash muscadines and squeeze pulp from hulls, reserving hulls for later use. Heat pulp with juice over low heat until seeds begin to separate (about 45 minutes). Press pulp through a colander to remove seeds; save the pulp and juice and discard seeds. Combine pulp and juice with reserved muscadine hulls and cook over low heat, covered, until hulls are tender, 30-40 minutes. Add flour and 11/2 cups sugar (more or less, depending on sweetness of muscadine). Cook until pie filling consistency is reached. Add fresh lemon juice. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out 1/2 pastry dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into strips. Arrange in lattice pattern on top. Sprinkle with sugar and bake 10 minutes at 400. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 25-30 minutes longer. Serve hot. Delicious right out of the dish and also with homemade vanilla ice cream. Note: Muscadine pie filling freezes well. When using frozen filling, add lemon juice for freshness or sugar for sweetness. Ashley Parkman Smith Tallapoosa River EC (from the alabamaliving.coop archives)
pounds muscadines (about) cups sugar cup corn syrup tablespoon lemon juice
Wash and crush muscadines. Cook over low heat 10 to 20 minutes. Put muscadines through a sieve. Discard hulls and seed. Measure 11/2 cups muscadine puree in a sauce pan. Add sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice. Bring to a full boil for about two minutes. Remove from heat. Skim off foam with a spoon and pour quickly into sterilized jars. Leave 1/4-inch head space. Cover with lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yields about 11/2 pints. Annette Lackey Coosa Valley EC (from the alabamaliving.coop archives)
Muscadine Compote 2 1/2 cups muscadines 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped shallots 1 teaspoon brown sugar Pinch salt 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary Take 1/2 cup of the grapes and cut them in half. Remove the seeds with the point of your knife. Set aside. Put the remaining 2 cups of the grapes in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and cook over medium-high heat until the grapes break down. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash all the grapes in the pot. Pour the contents of the pot through a fine strainer over a bowl, pushing on the grapes to get all the juice. Discard the seeds and skins. Put the juice back in the saucepan with the halved grapes, the balsamic, the shallots, the rosemary, the salt and the sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until the compote is reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Jennifer Kornegay, recipe editor
Use Muscadine Compote as a simple sauce to jazz up roasted meats or a cheese plate!
SEPTEMBER 2016 45
Good & Good For You • Muscadines have 20 pairs of chromosomes while all other grape varieties have 19. This extra pair is why muscadines boast a higher antioxidant content than any other grape.
• There are multiple varieties of muscadines (including the popular scuppernong).
• They also have far more resveratrol, a component believed to possess some potent cancer-fighting properties.
• They come in both red and gold. • They are thicker-skinned and more bulbous than other grapes.
Send us your recipes! Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. Share a story about your recipe! Whether it’s your grandmother’s best cake or your uncle’s camp stew, every recipe has a story behind it. We’ll pay $50 for the best recipe-related story each month.
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• Muscadines are a great source of the trace mineral manganese and have more dietary fiber than oat bran.
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Biscuits Sept. Christmas Cookies Oct. Comfort Food Nov.
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Calling all cooks!
Alabama Living is sponsoring a cooking contest at the Alabama National Fair! The Creative Living Center is hosting our crockpot cookoff Nov. 4. Prizes are $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. Enter your original recipe that includes at least one Alabama-made ingredient and, of course, a crock pot! For rules, and to register, visit alnationalfair.org.
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48 SEPTEMBER 2016
FREE BOOKS / DVDs – Soon government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo. com, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – Buy / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)459-2148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www. sawmillexchange.com LUMBER FOR SALE: Circular Saw Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) 18X21 CARPORT $795 INSTALLED – Other sizes available - (706) 226-2739 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139; MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.59/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739
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| Alabama Snapshots |
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1. A few teammates from the Royals cheer on friends at Johnson Park during Opening Day. SUBMITTED BY Shelli Smith, Andalusia. 2. Will Brock saying “War Eagle” from Samford Hall at Auburn University. SUBMITTED BY Jennifer Brock, Boaz. 3. Coach David Miller gets drenched after winning a regional all-star tournament. SUBMITTED BY David Friedrich, Falkville. 4. Jeff, Kyndall, Leyton, Amber Sterling and Bryson Seal on campus at the University of Alabama. SUBMITTED BY Kristi Seal, Cullman 5. J.T. Haynes, age 6, at Turner Field, Fourth of July weekend 2016. SUBMITTED BY Wil & Susan Haynes, Lineville. 6. Team members helping paraplegic triathlete, Chad Rutledge, out of the water. SUBMITTED BY Lisa Rutledge, Gulf Shores.
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