March 2021 Clarke Washington

Page 1

Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News March 2021



Gardening how-to’s

Getting started Where to get help



2/18/21 1:49 PM

AL STATE MAR21.indd 2

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Hansen 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. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

AREA President Karl Rayborn Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Production Coordinator Brooke Echols


340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: For editorial inquiries, email: NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

Pleasing pets worldwide

Red Bay, Alabama, is a small town with a giant industry: pet food from Sunshine Mills. From what started in a 1961 wheelbarrow is now a company shipping pet food around the world. The Red Bay plant produces about 750,000 pounds of dry pet food every 24 hours.

22 F E A T U R E S

Printed in America from American materials

almost as much as their family members. Take a look.

Good boy! 26 Consistency and positive rewards can help you train a new pet.

That’s my jam! 44 More of us are making jams and

jellies than ever before. Why are homemade versions better? Because they’re fresh and we know what’s in them. Check out our reader recipes and start jammin’.


D E P A R T M E N T S 11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 44 Cook of the Month 48 Outdoors 49 Fish & Game Forecast 54 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: Warmer temps soon will draw many of us to our gardens to grow and share food. At least 20 million first-time gardeners were estimated to have picked up the hobby last year and more are expected to join them in 2021. Stories, Page 12.


ONLINE: EMAIL: MAIL: Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Get our FREE monthly email newsletter! Sign up at MARCH 2021  3


MARCH 2021

My tractor 9 Our readers value their tractors

ON THE COVER Look for this logo to see more content online!

VOL. 74 NO. 3


2/18/21 1:49 PM

Office Locations Jackson Office 9000 Highway 43 P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 (251) 246-9081 Chatom Office 19120 Jordan Street P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 (251) 847-2302 Toll Free Number (800) 323-9081 Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

Payment Options Mail P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 Office During normal office hours at our Chatom and Jackson offices. Phone (855) 870-0403 Online Night Deposit 24/7 at Jackson & Chatom CWEMC App Available from the App Store and Google Play

Governor announces funding for CWEMC turn lane project If you have traveled around Alabama in the past couple of years, (although you may not have due to COVID), you may have seen a blue sign like the one pictured here which indicated another road project being constructed in Alabama. Hopefully, you’ll soon see signs like this posted near CWEMC’s office on Highway 43 north of Jackson. We started working to get a center turn lane installed at the CWEMC office long before we ever started construction on the project. Although the building project was completed more than two years ago, we never gave up on our efforts to get a center left turn lane constructed at the site. Thanks to the efforts of local leaders and elected officials including the Clarke County Commission, Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation, the center left turn lane project for CWEMC has been approved for funding through the ATRIP II program. I look forward to the construction of this project and I’d like to express my appreciation to all those who worked to get the project funded. The official press release published on January 12, 2021 from Governor Ivey announcing the projects funded by the program is printed below and a rendering of the project is shown on page 5.

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced that more than $45 million in funding is being awarded to cities and counties for various road and bridge projects. The funding is made available through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II (ATRIP-II), a program created under the Rebuild Alabama Act. The Rebuild Alabama Act requires ATRIP-II to be an annual program setting aside a minimum of $30 million off the top of ALDOT’s share of new gas tax revenue for projects of local interest on the state highway system. “In Alabama, across our country and around the globe, we are all still working to get

Photo: Governor of Alabama Newsroom COVID-19 behind us, but here at home, we have not forgotten other priorities. Even as we are overcoming new challenges with the virus, we remain ever committed to making needed improvements to our infrastructure,” Governor Ivey said. “I am proud that Rebuild Alabama continues making these investments possible in areas all across our state. Alabama continues to show progress and tangible results for the people of our state.” There were 27 projects selected for funding for a total of $45.99 million. Of those awarded projects, 20 were from cities and counties putting forward local funds, for a total of approximately $15.7 million. However, matching funds were not a requirement to be eligible. The projects were selected by the ATRIP-II Committee created by the Rebuild Alabama Act. It is anticipated that a number of projects will be under contract during the 2021 fiscal year, however all projects are required to move forward within two years of the awarding of funds.

http s : / / g over n or. a l ab am a . g ov / n e wsroom/2021/01/governor-ivey-announcesatrip-ii-projects-for-2021/

Steve Sheffield General Manager

Bank Draft CheckOut Pay where you shop at any Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens. 4  MARCH 2021

009_CVR.indd 4

2/18/21 2:21 PM





Levelized Billing Want to make your electric bill fit your monthly budget? Alabama weather is very unpredictable. Constant weather changes often cause fluctuations in power bills during heating and cooling seasons. Clarke-Washington EMC has a program to help members budget for these fluctuating bills. There are no surprises with levelized billing. A levelized bill is based on the average billing for 12 months of your electricity use. Then we bill you for the average amount, so you pay about the same amount every month. In order to start levelized billing, you must have a zero balance and complete the levelized billing application. Give us a call at 1-800-323-9081 or fill out the form on our website at Alabama Living

009_CVR.indd 5

MARCH 2021  5

2/18/21 2:21 PM

WE ARE NOW ON FACEBOOK Members of ClarkeWashington EMC and the local communities can now utilize social media to find helpful information, updates and important events taking place in the cooperative 24-hours-a-day.

Electric Cooperative Foundation provides assistance to CWEMC employee On Saturday, January 2, 2021, the home of Allison and Greg Taylor in the Stave Creek community was completely destroyed by fire.The couple, two sons and granddaughter lost everything in the fire. Allison has worked at Clarke-Washington EMC for over 18 years. The Electric Cooperative Foundation of Alabama has a disaster relief fund available for cooperative employees. Electric cooperatives and employees across the state contribute to this fund. Two of the seven cooperative principles are Cooperation Among Cooperatives and Concern for Community to work together and help out one of our own. The Electric Cooperative Foundation was able to make a donation to Allison and her family to assist them during this time.



009_CVR.indd 6

2/18/21 2:21 PM

| Clarke-Washington EMC |

Three electrifying kitchen appliances to save time and energy By Abby Berry

Whether your oven and stove top are powered by gas or electricity, it’s no secret that they consume more energy than smaller countertop appliances, like slow cookers and toaster ovens. In addition to efficiency, smaller kitchen appliances can provide faster cooking times and less hassle with cleanup. If you’re looking for convenient cooking methods with the added bonus of energy efficiency, here are three electrifying appliances for your kitchen:

Air Fryers

Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular, and consumers have a lot of good things to say about these handy little appliances. Air fryers use convection to circulate hot air and cook the food––this means little to no oil is required, resulting in healthier meals than those from traditional fryers. Air fryers are fairly small, so they won’t take up much of your counter space, and with everything cooked in the fryer, cleanup will be a breeze. Air fryers are available in a variety of sizes, and prices range from $40 to $200+.


Greg royed ything MC for bama oyees. ribute Coopnity to Coopn and

Air fryers circulate hot air (convection) to cook the food. This means little to no oil is required, resulting in healthier meals than those from traditional fryers. Photo Credit: Hamilton Beach

Electric Griddles

Electric griddles have certainly been around for a while, and they offer several benefits for any home chef (beyond bacon and eggs!). Griddles are convenient because you can cook everything at once––like a “one-pan” meal, and the possibilities are endless. From fajitas to sandwiches to French toast, griddles can help satisfy any taste buds. They consume small amounts of energy and provide quick cooking times, so your energy bill will thank you. Prices and sizes for griddles vary, but you can typically find one for about $30 at your local retail stores.

Electric griddles consume small amounts of energy and provide quick cooking times, so your energy bill will thank you. Photo Credit: Hamilton Beach

Pizza Maker

Pizza brings people together, so why not consider a pizza maker for your kitchen? These compact, countertop machines are an inexpensive alternative to a costly brick oven, and they use less energy than your traditional oven. Choose your own fresh ingredients to whip up a faster, healthier pizza at home. Plus, most pizza makers are multifunctional and can be used to cook flatbreads, frittatas, quesadillas and more. You can purchase a pizza maker for about $30 to $150+ online or at your local retailer. Pizza makers are compact and inexpensive, and they use less energy than your traditional oven. Photo Credit: Hamilton Beach Alabama Living

009_CVR.indd 7

MARCH 2021  7

2/18/21 2:21 PM

8  MARCH 2021

009_CVR.indd 8

2/18/21 2:21 PM

| Alabama Snapshots |

My tractor

Amy E. Mosley. SUBMITTED by Amy Mosley, Loxley.

Our son, Nathan, and one of our Anderton Farms’ family tractors. SUBMITTED by Tammy Anderton, Moulton.

Raybon Waters and his Massey Ferguson about to disk a turnip patch. SUBMITTED BY Myrtle Waters, Repton.

Submit “I grew this” photos by March 31. Winning photos will run in the April issue.

SUBMIT to WIN $10! Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 9

Online: Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Those overgrown azaleas are no match for Sherry, using my trusty Kubota. SUBMITTED BY David Deloney, Ozark.

Case tractor from the 1930’s. SUBMITTED by Bill Fuller, Prattville.

RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to have photos returned.

MARCH 2021  9

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Spotlight | March Archives continues Food for Thought lecture series Alabama’s unique history continues to be brought to life with the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s popular lunchtime lecture series, Food for Thought. Lectures are always free and are held at 12 p.m. Central Time on the third Thursday of the month. Upcoming topics and dates: March 18, “I will not move: The story of Alabama suffragist Indiana Little,” presented by Briana Royster (this lecture is virtual only); April 15, “African Americans and higher education in Alabama, 1867-1881,” presented by Bertis English; and May 20, “Gone with the land: Environmental history of the Civil War in Alabama,” presented by Erin Mauldin. The in-person lectures are held at the Joseph M. Farley Alabama Power Auditorium at the Archives, 624 Washington Ave., Montgomery. For more information on these and the other lectures planned for 2021, visit

Whereville, AL Fred Braswell, left, retiring president and CEO of AREA, congratulates new President and CEO Karl Rayborn.

Electric cooperatives welcome new president and CEO The Board of Directors of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives has named Karl G. Rayborn as its new president and CEO. Rayborn, who had been serving as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at AREA, will replace retiring President and CEO Fred Braswell, who has served in that position for the past 22 years. AREA is the statewide trade association serving Alabama’s 22 electric distribution cooperatives, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The board’s Executive Committee conducted an extensive nationwide search process to fill the president’s position after Braswell announced his retirement in 2020. The committee’s choice of Rayborn was then approved by the full AREA board. “The goal of our board was to identify, screen and interview as many qualified candidates as possible in order to ensure our organization will continue to maintain its great leadership,” says Board Chairman Daryl Jones, general manager of Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation. “After more than eight months the task is complete and I congratulate Karl.” “I look forward to leading the association to support the electric cooperatives of Alabama through the changing times ahead,” Rayborn says. Rayborn, a Brantley native and Auburn University alumnus, has served the association for the last 25 years. Prior to his career with AREA, he worked with Jackson Thornton & Co. Certified Public Accountants. Braswell has served the organization since 1999. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the members of Alabama’s electric cooperatives through AREA,” he says. “This is a great program with good people and I will miss serving them.” Alabama’s 22 rural electric cooperatives deliver power to more than 1 million people, or a quarter of the state’s population, and they maintain more than 71,000 miles of power line. 10  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 10

Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by March 5 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the April issue. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving. coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. 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. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25. February’s answer: Jake and Elwood Blues may be on a “mission from God,” but for now these replicas of the characters from the 1980 movie “The Blues Brothers” are content to entertain passers-by in front of the Almost Anything collectible store, 221 South Ninth St. in downtown Opelika. (Photo contributed by Sarah Grace Tucker of Tallapoosa River EC.) Many readers guessed that the sculptures are in Gadsden, on the patio of the former Rue Bourbon Blues Club. Gadsden’s statues are similar to the ones in Opelika, but note that in the photo from the February issue, the name of the Almost Anything store is partially visible behind Elwood. The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Susan Ledbetter of Tallapoosa River EC.

2/17/21 2:18 PM

March | Spotlight Letters to the editor

E-mail us at: or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

She was a ‘polio pioneer’

I was interested in Hardy Jackson’s article on the COVID-19 vaccine (January 2021). I was a “polio pioneer” in 1954. I am enclosing excerpts from the Alabama Journal as I received my polio vaccine. My grandchildren were shocked to see that first graders were test subjects and met at school by doctors and nurses with needles. I remember feeling proud to be of service to our country as we battled our own epidemic of polio. I am a member of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and enjoy Alabama Living each month. Jan Byrne, Prattville

Take us along!

Find the hidden dingbat! Sponsored by

The sneaky groundhog may have seen his shadow last month, but not before he decided to hide on a kitchen countertop on Page 40 in the February magazine. As reader Phyllis Fenn of Montgomery put it, “Standing in the corner of the countertop by the cutting board could prove to be dangerous for it.” Several readers said they spotted him in a few other places, however, including in the woods in an ad, and lurking outside Lucy’s Restaurant in Auburn. Remember, the dingbat will never be in an advertisement, and it won’t be on Pages 1-8. John Fender of Foley said he checked the ads just to be sure, but correctly found “that little feller” on Page 40. “If it wasn’t for those two little paws, it would have been just another object in the kitchen,” he wrote. Gayle Ashworth of Guntersville was moved to write us a poem after being frustrated not being able to find the groundhog. Gayle eventually did find the groundhog, but said she had more fun writing about NOT finding it! Congratulations to Arab EC member Joyce Schutt, our randomly drawn winner. This month, we’ve hidden a leprechaun, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. We’re also excited to announce that, beginning this month, Alabama One Credit Union will be sponsoring each “Find the Dingbat” contest and the winner will receive a $25 Alabama One VISA gift card! Learn more at Deadline to submit your guess is March 5. We hope the leprechaun will bring you luck! By mail:

Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

By email:

We’ve enjoyed seeing photos from our readers on their travels with Alabama Living! Please send us a photo of you with a copy of the magazine on your travels to: Please include your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo. We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month. Vicki Graham of Foley, a member of Baldwin EMC, took her magazine on a visit to the famous Moonlight Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro, Kentucky. Johnny Hassett, left, of Hope Hull got a photo with his friends Howard Green of Auburn and Dave Stewart of Miramar Beach, Florida, while at Hole Number 8 at the Links Golf Course in San Destin, Florida. Johnny is a member of Dixie Electric Cooperative.

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 11

Ronnie Waldrop of Bryant and a member of Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, got his photo made at Mount Airy, NC, with statues of Andy Griffith (as Sheriff Andy Taylor) and Opie.

MARCH 2021  11

2/17/21 2:18 PM

March Madness in the garden

Preparing for the 2021 growing season By Katie Jackson


hen COVID-19 curtailed last year’s basketball playoff season — not to mention countless other spring activities — a different kind of March Madness swept the nation as millions of new players joined Team Gardening. Hopes are high that those gardeners will return for a second season and bring along new recruits to “play the garden,” not just in 2021 but for years to come. Though exact numbers are still being crunched, a Scotts Miracle-Gro survey revealed that, during the early months of the pandemic, 55% of all U.S. adults spent time outdoors gardening and caring for their lawns, and another 20% were seriously contemplating doing the same. Bonnie Plants estimated that at least 20 million first-time gardeners picked up the hobby last year and more are expected to start this year.

The reasons people turned to gardening in 2020 were diverse — some were interested in creating Victory Gardens to grow and share food; others wanted a distraction during lockdown. Others wanted to improve the habitat of their yards and outdoor spaces for themselves and for wildlife. Whatever the reasons, as more and more people picked up the gardening game, the demand for gardening resources also increased, which created a vegetable seed shortage that reached toilet paper-hoarding proportions. But the most valuable resource, especially for first-time gardeners, was access to gardening coaches, which were in abundant supply through organizations such as the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. In fact, ACES employees were inundated with questions about everything from growing vegetables to caring for the land-

Volunteers help maintain a strawberry plant garden at George Washington Carver Elementary School Garden in Tuskegee. The garden is funded through the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service at Auburn University SNAP-ED program directed by Dominguez Hurry, left, and the Macon County AlProHealth Coalition. Interns from Tuskegee University, led by County Agent Terrance Jackson, help plant the garden, and volunteer Harold McLemore helped lay the plastic and set up irrigation. Students like Bashiru Brownlee enjoy harvesting the fruit of their labors.



12  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 12

2/17/21 2:18 PM

scape, says Bethany O’Rear, a Birmingham-based regional ACES agent whose job focuses in part on home gardening issues. Auburn-based Kerry Smith, who coordinates the state’s Master Gardener program and ACES’s Home Grounds Team, had a similar experience, and they were both thrilled! Smith and O’Rear are cheerleaders for the many physical and mental benefits of gardening — fresh air (and often fresh food), exercise and a break from life’s other stresses among those benefits. It’s also a hobby anyone can pick up, regardless of physical limitations, access to land, past experience, age or other factors. “There are no barriers in gardening,” O’Rear says. She is also a fan of gardening because it helps people reconnect to nature and to their food systems. “The more we can get back to our roots — no pun intended — the better,” she says. “Anything I can do to help bring that back, even if on a very small scale, and to get people gardening, that’s what I want to do.”

Becoming a successful gardener

But O’Rear and Smith don’t want to simply recruit new gardeners, they want to keep them on the team for years to come. Key to that is giving beginning gardeners confidence in their abilities, and confidence is built through success, which is achieved through developing a smart game plan and lots of practice. Successful gardening does require access to basic needs — good soil (or other growing medium) and sufficient water and sunlight (a minimum of six hours a day for many vegetables). Having enough space to garden is also important, but that space need not be big. In fact, Smith and O’Rear encourage starting small by using a few containers (such as decorative or leftover nursery pots or even a five-gallon plastic bucket with holes drilled in the base), a raised bed (which can be made from repurposed items such as scrap lumber and concrete blocks) or a small bed in the yard (4 x 4 feet or smaller is ideal) for the first year or two. Clockwise from top, Glenn Houvinen discusses clover ground cover with Bionca Lindsey; Deborah Boutelier tends the herb garden behind historic Prattvillage; volunteers working in Prattville’s victory garden next to the Prattville Public Library; parsley, one of the many herbs at Prattvillage. PHOTOS BY MARK STEPHENSON

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 13

MARCH 2021  13

2/17/21 2:18 PM

According to Smith, starting small alleviates a lot of novice gardening stress when things go wrong, and things always go wrong whether it’s too much or too little rain or an infestation of pests. “If only a few things are going wrong in a small space, they can be fixed,” she says. “But if you have a 20 x 20 garden and everything is going wrong, that is disappointing, frustrating and overwhelming.” Choosing a small number of plants is also helpful. “Gardening is like going to a buffet,” Smith continued. “You want to try everything. But if you pick a few things you really enjoy, the experience is much better.” Starting small also reduces waste — fewer plants dying as you get your green thumb into shape, for example — and it’s a great way to put fresh food — or herbs or flowers — on your table. Growing your own vegetables has many other advantages, too, such as allowing you to control what chemicals are used on your food. But it’s not necessarily a money-saving endeavor. “There’s no way with current food prices that it will be cheaper to grow your own vegetables,” O’Rear says. “But the satisfaction of harvesting your dinner or lunch is priceless.” “Fresh just tastes better,” Smith agreed, adding that gardening is a great way to get children interested in healthy food, and it’s educational. “Look at all the things they can learn. There’s math, science, colors, flavors and textures.” There’s so much to be gained from gardening, which is why O’Rear and Smith hope last year’s gardeners will stay in the game and new gardeners will join the team in 2021. And she and Smith are just two of many coaches ready to help. “Whether it’s growing lettuce in a pot or tomatoes in a five-gallon bucket, if we can get you to grow one something, that’s one more something you haven’t grown before,” O’Rear says. And from there, the madness begins.

For master gardeners Robbie and Sheila Allen of Auburn, tending to their home gardens is a year-round job. At top, Robbie Allen tills the vegetable garden in early February. Above, a selection of wildflower seeds the Allens will plant soon. Below, Sheila Allen clears out a garden. PHOTOS BY JULIE BENNETT

14  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 14

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Extension agents answer questions on gardens — and more


pparently, staying at home raises questions. Lots of them. That’s certainly what happened this past March and throughout the rest of 2020 as pandemic-bound folks focused all their cooped-up energy and curiosity on their immediate surroundings. Luckily, experts with answers to those questions were just a click or call away through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. ACES, which was officially established in 1915 to offer science-based information aimed at improving the livelihoods and lives of farmers and rural residents, is the outreach arm of Alabama’s land-grant institutions — Auburn and Alabama A&M universities in cooperation with Tuskegee University. For more than 100 years (Tuskegee’s outreach program dates back to the 1890s) Extension has made its information available to rural and urban Alabamians alike using a network of county and state offices where experts are ready with guidance on topics as diverse as gardening and farming, food safety and financial literacy, wildlife and quality of life. While always busy, ACES experts saw an exponential rise in calls, emails and texts last year from people asking about topics ranging from backyard wildlife to food preservation and much more. Lawns and gardens, however, were a major topic of interest as stay-at-home orders made yards and outdoor spaces the go-to places for exercise, stress relief and fun. One of those experts was Birmingham-based Regional Extension Agent Bethany O’Rear, whose phone was lighting up and dinging with calls and texts almost as soon as the state shutdown, mostly from people asking questions such as “I’ve never grown vegetables before, what do I do?” As she and other agents across the state fielded calls, so did master gardeners — ACES-trained volunteers who provide horticultural information to their communities. Several master gardeners saw an opportunity to not just educate people about gardening but also share the wealth of a garden with others in need. Soon, their ideas and the obvious need for a central source of ACES gardening Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 15


information came together in Grow More, Give More, a web-based resource filled with links to myriad publications, videos, blogs, lists and even helpful phone apps that can be used by beginning and experienced gardeners alike. The site also offers suggestions for sharing garden bounty with neighbors, including links to area and regional food banks and pantries. According to O’Rear, the Grow More, Give More site was a way to make gardening as easy as possible — “We even compiled shopping lists,” she says — for new gardeners by providing research-based Extension information in one location. And she stressed that this information is based on rigorous scientific studies, which is important because “You know, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” In addition to this online resource, real live human help is also available through ACES agents located in all of Alabama’s 67 counties. Their contact information, including cell phone numbers, is available on the ACES website. “We have our cell phones with us all the time,” O’Rear says. “You can call us. That’s what we do.” Answers are also available through the master gardener helpline at 1-877-ALAGROW or at And, O’Rear notes, if ACES doesn’t have the answer you need, Extension organizations in nearby states with similar growing conditions are fabulous resources, too.

Here’s a list of links to ACES’s resources: • Alabama Cooperative Extension System site, including links to county offices and thousands of other resources: • Grow More, Give More: blog/topics/products-programslawn-garden/grow-more-givemore/ • ACES YouTube channel, which has videos on myriad subjects, from gardening to baking to controlling invasive species: alcoopextensionvideo/playlists • ACES soil testing and insect and plant disease diagnostic services: • SOW-A Planting Companion app, which can help identify the optimum planting dates for vegetable crops • Farming Basics app, which is geared for small and beginning farmers but has valuable information for gardeners, too: topi cs/ipm-farming/farmingbasics-mobile-app/ • The Alabama Master Gardener Program: • Alabama Public Television’s “Spotlight on Agriculture” episode on ACES and 4-H, which offers an overview of Extension’s many roles and services: spotlight-agriculture/ MARCH 2021  15

2/17/21 2:18 PM


Enjoying your garden’s harvest all year long

By Pamela A. Keene


16  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 16

2/17/21 2:18 PM


here’s nothing better than using home-canned tomatoes eration for choosing the proper canning technique depends on in an Italian recipe or pulling out a quart of fresh-frozen the acidity of the food you’re canning. For instance, higher-acid foods like fruits can be processed in a water-bath canner. But peaches to make a bubbly cobbler. However, if the only foods with a lower acid content, such as meats and soups, must be thing you know about food preservation is your grandmother’s preserved using a pressure canner.” jam-making on a hot summer afternoon, you’ve got a whole lot of Some foods, such as tomatoes can be preserved using a wacatching up to do. “People have been preserving food for centuries, but as we learn ter-bath, but it’s important to add citric acid or lemon juice to more about foodborne acidify them. Pickles, because of the added vinegar, illness and spoilage, and can also be canned using a changes in our food supply water-bath if a tested reciand developments in canning equipment take place, pe is followed. recommendations are up“For a beginner, we sugdated frequently to provide gest canning peaches or reliable ways to safely reap making applesauce to become comfortable with the the bounty of our garden’s equipment and the proharvest,” says Elizabeth Andress, Ph.D., director of the cess,” Andress says. “Both National Center for Home use the water-bath method, which involves placFood Preservation and ing filled containers into a food safety specialist with large pot of boiling water the Georgia Cooperative that covers the whole jar Extension. “Food preservation knowledge and techand lid and boiling them Fruit are a favorite for homemade jams and jellies. See more on our related recipe niques need to be based pages, 44-47. for the exact time shown on sound food science for COURTESY NATIONAL CENTER FOR HOME FOOD PRESERVATION-UGA in the recipe. Whenever safety; we’re still targeting canning, we recommend the same bacteria in canning as we have for a long, long time.” using a tested recipe from a reliable source, such as the National From the garden to the table, food handling and kitchen hygiene Center for Food Preservation.” standards are crucial to successful food preservation. Because onYellow peaches can be peeled, cut into halves or slices, packed going research reflects updated methods, Andress strongly suginto jars then covered with water or sugar syrup before putting on gests that consumers use the most recent information available. the lids and placing into the boiling water. “Choose between raw pack or hot pack when you fill the jars,” Canning basics she says. “With the raw pack, put the freshly peeled and slice Preserving food by canning presents several options. “Each has peaches into a clean hot jar, then cover with hot syrup. Hot-pack its benefits and drawbacks, but in any case, it’s important to follow canning means that you cook the peaches in syrup first, the instructions exactly and familiarize yourself with each before then fill the jars with the hot fruit and liquid before attempting to can at home,” Andress says. “An important considprocessing.”

Applesauce can be processed using a water bath as well. Use the hot-pack method for filling the jars. “When putting on the lids, be sure to wipe the jars’ sealing edges with a clean, damp cloth to remove bits of food that may prevent the jars from sealing properly,” Andress says.


“If you grow basil or oregano in the summer, just chop the fresh leaves and put them into ice-cube trays covered with water,” she says. “Once they’re frozen, package them in a freezer-safe container, then when you need some herbs for soup or a sauce a recipe, take out the frozen cube and add it to the sauce. You can also do this for smaller quantities of hot peppers or onions.”

Certain foods freeze Getting back to better than others. “Many kitchen basics Canning and freezvegetables are not suited ing have long been used for freezing, such as cucumbers, radishes, raw poto preserve food. Today’s tatoes or onions,” Andress conveniences have made it says. “On the other hand, easier to enjoy the rewards vegetables like green beans of growing your own food and asparagus, and fruits long after the harvest is like blueberries or peaches over. are easy to freeze.” “Because of the pandemic, more and more people Green beans, corn, carrots and broccoli need to are turning to home food be blanched—submerged growing and preservation,” in boiling water for the she says. “Just be certain prescribed time on the recto follow all the guideipe—before freezing. Then lines and recipes exactly. Red bell pepper and corn are reacy to made into canned relish. they can be transferred to COURTESY NATIONAL CENTER FOR HOME FOOD PRESERVATION-UGA Don’t take any shortcuts or an ice bath for rapid coolchange ingredients or timing, drained and packed into containers. ing. The recipes we provide through the National Center for Preservation have been extensively tested. The key is to be meticulous, “Once they’re blanched and drained, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually,” Andress says. whether you’re canning or freezing. That way you can be assured “Then pack into freezer-safe containers, label and store.” of the freshest flavors and the safest results.” Fruits such as blueberries, cherries, grapes, fresh sliced peaches and strawberries can simply be placed on cookie sheets and alResources: lowed to freeze individually before packing. Remove as much air Alabama Cooperative Extension System, The Extension System has a number of videos on food preservation as possible before sealing. and often does live events on its Facebook page at facebook. “Fruits can be frozen with or without added sugar or liquid, decom/acesfoodsafety. pending on what you plan to use them for,” she says. “Freezing can USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, be an easy way to preserve food. However, the same safe-handling publications/publications_usda.html guidelines apply. Keep your work surfaces clean, wash your hands National Center for Home Food Preservation, how-to inforoften and carefully label the packages with the date processed and mation, plus recipes for canning, freezing, making jams, jellies the contents.” and pickles, Herbs can be frozen as well. Left to right, pears ripe for picking; after peeling and slicing, pears are boiled with sugar for several hours; finished product – pear preserves.



Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 17

MARCH 2021  17

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Before you plant, know your soil


efore you start to plant your garden, trees, shrubs or lawn, it’s important to know what kind of soil you’re dealing with. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has detailed instructions on its website to help the home gardener take a proper soil sample, which can then be sent to Auburn University’s Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis. Because every square foot of soil can be different, and the acidity and nutrients of your soil can vary, it’s important that you take a composite sample of the area to be tested. A composite sample is a collection of 15 to 20 uniform cores or slices of soil taken from random spots in a garden, lawn, or shrub bed. For an accurate test, place the samples from a given area into a clean bucket. Then mix this soil well and place about 1 pint of the mixture into a soil sample box. Soil sample boxes, information sheets, and other supplies for soil testing are available from your county Extension office or garden center.

The following recommendations can help you collect the proper soil samples: Gardens, new lawns, and other cultivated areas. Take a uniform core or slice of the soil to the depth that the soil was tilled. Use a zig-zag pattern of sampling. Mix 15 to 20 of these cores or slices for the composite sample. Lawns and established turf. Take a uniform core or slice 2 to 3 inches deep from 15 to 20 spots in the lawn. Take separate samples for the front lawn, back lawn, and other areas where soil may differ or where a different type of grass is grown. Trees and shrubs. Take uniform cores or slices 6 inches deep from around the drip-line of plants (outer edge of branches). Mix individual cores into a composite sample. Fill in the information on the soil sample box and the information sheet as completely as possible. You must also indicate which plants are to be grown so that fertilizer recommendations can be made.

Follow these guidelines: Vegetable garden. A general recommendation will be made that will be adequate for most garden vegetables. If you have an “organic” vegetable garden and would like a recommendation that does not include chemical fertilizers, please specify “organic vegetable garden.”

Home orchard. A general recommendation will be made for common fruit crops grown in Alabama (peaches, plums, pecans, pears, apples, figs, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries). Lawn. List the specific type of grass to be fertilized (bermuda, zoysia, St. Augustine, centipede, bahia, fescue, bluegrass, carpetgrass, etc.). Shrubs and perennial flowers. These include most evergreen and deciduous shrubs and small trees as well as flowering shrubs such as azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, and gardenias. Perennial flowers such as irises and daylilies will also fit into this group. Some shrubs such as azaleas, camellias,and gardenias need an acid soil to prevent iron deficiencies while others need a higher soil pH for best growth. A list of some of the shrubs to be grown will help the laboratory make the best liming recommendations. Roses, mums, and annual flowers. This group of ornamentals receive slightly higher fertilizer recommendations. Potted plants. Soil testing is not recommended for potted ornamentals for the homeowner. A diagnostic service is available for large-scale commercial growers of potted plants. When mailing your samples, enclose the filled soil boxes, the information sheet, and a check or money order ($7 per sample) to cover service charges in a cardboard shipping box. You may also pay by credit card by calling 334-844-3958. Tie the box securely and prepay by parcel post to: Soil, Forage and Water Testing Laboratory 961 S. Donahue Drive Auburn University, AL 36849-5411 After you submit a soil sample, you will receive a report that includes the test results and recommendations based on those results. The appearance of the report will depend on the number of samples you submit and the type of plants you are growing. The report will include information on your intended crop(s), the soil group your sample belongs to, soil pH, results/extractable nutrients, nutrient rating, lime and fertilizer recommendations, as well as comments specific to your crop. Information provided by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Watch a helpful video at: 18  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 18

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 19

MARCH 2021  19

2/17/21 2:18 PM

| Consumer Wise |

Tips for planting an efficient, no-till garden By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen


It’s almost time to plant our garden, and we’re wondering if there are steps we can take to save energy when planting. How can we make our home garden more efficient?

beds. Start by laying weed-blocking material on top of the old dirt. Sheets of cardboard are often used because they will decompose over time. Then spread at least 4 inches of weed-free soil or compost on top. We’re glad you asked! One approach to gardening we’ve been If the soil under the cardboard is reasonably loose, you can excited about lately is no-till, also known as no-dig. No-till probably start planting right away. Your garden may be less productive the first year, but will grow healthier and have less weeds gardens have been gaining ground with farmers in recent years, every season from then on. If the ground is heavily compacted or partly because of the energy savings. The principles behind no-till clay, you may have gardening work well to till in some comfor large farms, as post or healthy soil well as smaller home before laying down gardens. No-till can the cardboard and be done without give it a year for the chemicals. Research new mix to get loosshows that this approach can produce er. more fruits and vegIn the fall, you can etables within a few cut the dead plants years, and they get at ground level and better over the long leave the roots in the term. Best of all, this ground to decompose over the winter. approach to gardening takes less time You may also want and effort––and you to plant a cover crop, won’t even have to like peas, fava beans fire up the rototiller! or barley late in the Two ideas are at growing season. Setting up a no-till garthe heart of no-till den takes a fair bit gardening. First, of work, but it will don’t break up the No-till growing can be done on commercial farms as well as home gardens. require less maintesoil. We usually PHOTO COURTESY USDA nance in the future think that by breaking up the soil and mixing it up, we keep weeds from growing. and get healthier every year. But tilling can bring weed seeds that are deep in the soil to the If you’re ready to try your hand at planting a no-till garden, top where they can germinate and grow. Tilling also destroys mimany colleges and universities offer extension classes for folks crobes in the soil that bring nutrients to the plants. who are not enrolled as students. You can also watch a variety of The second idea is to spread thick layers of compost and other videos online that can guide you through setup and long-term mulch on top of the soil. When compost and other mulch are care. spread on top, they feed the soil from above, the same way leaves Here are a few additional tips that can help you reduce energy in a forest fall to the ground, decompose and turn into rich soil use related to gardening: over time. When you build up the soil by spreading layers of com• Drip systems lose less water to evaporation. post and other mulch on top, the weed seeds are kept dormant. • Timers are a convenient way to control irrigation, but be sure Mulch keeps the soil moist, so less water is used to irrigate, which to override the timer and shut off watering cycles when a rain means less electricity use for pumping water from your well or shower can do the job. community water system. • Consider purchasing a rain barrel for energy efficient watering. Your no-till garden can be planted at ground-level or in raised • Learn how to store your produce to reduce waste. Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs • Make sure your freezer is energy efficient.


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. Write to for more information.

20  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 20

We hope these tips will help you prepare for a more energy efficient garden this season. Happy planting––and eating!

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 21

MARCH 2021  21

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Sunshine Mills continues to please pets around the world

By Emmett Burnett


ith a population of about 3,000, geographically near the with Kellogg’s Cornflakes misfits.” top of the state, you may be unfamiliar with Red Bay, From basic beginnings, the recipe was tweaked, tested, and dogs Alabama. But your dog would love it. Red Bay is small loved it. The Bryan brothers of Tupelo, Mississippi (today known town with a giant industry – pet food from Sunshine Mills. To caas Bryan Foods) could not supply pork cracklings fast enough. nine companions it is synonymous with Crunchin’ Bones, Meaty Sunshine added commercialization equipment, refined ingredients, and expanded product lines commercially and geographically Treats, Pup Corn Plus, and more – much more. and in pellets. From Red Bay’s corporate headquarters, Sunshine Mills employs 900 workers in 6 states. It produces dozens of pet food prodFred’s sons, John and Alan Bostick, joined the team. John came ucts under the company name and for private brand labels. It starton board in the 1970s. He helped develop the company’s economy ed with two men, a dream, dog foods into more complete lines. Alan Bostick became CEO and a wheelbarrow. and president in 1984. The duo was Omer What started in a J. Bullen and his son1961 wheelbarrow is in-law, Fred Bostick Jr. now a company shipping pet food around Omer began the company in the 1940s as the world. Red Bay a wholesale grocery alone produces about business with a small 750,000 pounds of animal feed trade. Fred dry pet food every came on board in 1947. 24 hours. In 1961 they took the “That’s with food for dogs business all lines running by the collar. which is most of Ralston Purina was the time,” says getting into the dry plant manager pet food game and so Chris Seahorn. would Fred, albeit on “Most of the a smaller scale. “My time everything father made the first is going.” batch of Sunshine Seahorn noted typically the Mills dry dog food plant runs 7 in a wheelbarrow,” days a week in company president the winter but and CEO Alan Bostick recalls. “It was a less in summer combination of pork – consumer demand falls in hot cracklings, animal Pup Corn Plus dog treats, left, are low in fat and made with real chicken, salmon months but refat-oil, and salt, mixed or bacon. The Evolve brand is Sunshine Mills’ super premium pet food line. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUNSHINE MILLS

22  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 22

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 23

MARCH 2021  23

2/17/21 2:18 PM

says. “It reflects the humanization of pet food. Pet owners want fine meat, gluten- and GMO-free ingredients. They want it to be more like human food.” Its brands Evolve Pet Food sold in grocery stores, Triumph Pet Food in pet specialty stores, and Sportsman’s Pride in farm & feed stores have a passionate fanbase locally and on social media. According to the Humane Society, the U.S. has 86 million dogs and 78 million cats. They are potential customers. The huge four-legged customer base is partly Feeding finicky felines why Sunshine Mills has grown since the In 1984, Sunshine Mills took on a new first batch of pet food poured from Fred client – cats. “Producing food that a cat Bostick’s wheelbarrow. likes is almost an art from,” Bostick says His son Alan refers to the growth as “one with a smile. “They are finicky and require stepping stone at a time.” In addition to the more research.” At times, cats are frustrattwo Red Bay locations, other Sunshine sites ing. include Tupelo, Mississippi, Dublin, Georgia, Greenville, N.C., Halifax, Virginia, and “We can test a new product on 10 cats,” Elkhart, Indiana. Sunshine Mills also ships the CEO continues. “Eight may love it but product to 30 countries. two will hate it. Then you tweak it and the With its significant strides in the pet food two former haters love it but now the other industry, corporate headquarters could be 8, don’t like it.” anywhere but remains in Red Bay. “This is Sunshine Mills’ production is about 80 where we started,” Bostick says. “I grew up percent dog food and 20 percent cat food, here and my dad lived here. This is home.” simply because dogs are bigger and eat Sunshine Mills employs 900 workers in six Pets from China to Guatemala have enmore. states, but its headquarters remains in Red Bay, joyed Sunshine Mills products but none exOne might think once a pet food recipe Alabama. emplify “lucky dogs” and “cool cats” more for main meals or chewy treats is established and the finished product tested, eaten, and endorsed by hapthan Bostick’s pets. “I have 5 dogs and 9 cats. They usually receive py wagging tails, everyone lives happily ever after. But the pet food something from the mill every day.” business has two customers: First, dogs have to love it and they Recently one of his cats took a liking to a company product intended for his dogs. “We are going to study this,” he notes. do. But unless you are Scooby Doo, dogs have little discretionary Perhaps another new Sunshine Mills product development is in income. People do. the works, only this time, without a wheelbarrow. “Today’s customers want premium pet food foods,” Bostick turns in the winter. The reason? Dogs eat less in the summer. “Pet food is a seasonal business,” Bostick adds. “During warmer weather, dogs develop shorter coats, shed fur, and lose appetites. During winter, the opposite occurs. Days grow shorter which triggers a dog’s instinct to eat more and gain weight to get through winter.” However, business spiked in the early days of COVID-19 as customers stockpiled pet foods just as they did human food.

Alan Bostick, son of one of Sunshine Mills’ founders, became CEO and president in 1984.

24  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 24

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 25

MARCH 2021  25

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Good boy! Persistence, positive rewards help train man’s best friend By Pamela A. Keene


it. Off. Stay. Roll over. These seem like fairly simple pet commands, and in many cases your dog is more than happy to oblige, as long as you, the pet owner, are willing to work with him consistently and reward him appropriately. “With a persistent approach, short verbal commands and positive rewards, it can be easy to train a pet, whether you’re teaching him new tricks or working to replace bad habits with good ones,” says Kitty Thompson, owner of South Paw Obedience Training in Arab, Ala. “The key is to work with him regularly and remember that you’re the alpha in charge of the relationship.” Thompson prefers to start training from the time a pet is a puppy. “All puppies like to bite and chew; it’s part of their inherent play behavior with their litter mates, not aggression,” she says. Here’s what she recommends: “If the pup starts nipping at you, make a growling sound like its mama would make. That will get his attention. Then say, ‘Leave it,’ or ‘No bite.’ Choose one of these short commands and use it consistently. Repeat the low growl then the same verbal command each time,” she says. “If you need something stronger to get his attention, do a high-pitched yelp, like a puppy would make. Then say, ‘Good. No bite.’” Use this correction and praise pattern every time it happens. Soon the pet will associate the words with the action of not biting. Giving a kibble is a great way to reward and reinforce behavior, as long as it’s associated with the positive behavior. By no means should an owner ever strike a dog to get its attention. “A dog will respond to sounds, but some dogs may take longer to learn commands,” she says. “Again, you need to be consistent and persistent. Physical reprimands can instill fear or aggression in a pet; instead use verbal commands and praise.” Start with basic commands, such as “sit,” “off ” to avert jumping up, “stay” and “no bark.” “Use a reward system, sometimes called lure-and-reward training, involving a treat as the reward,” she says. “As the dog stands in front of you, hold the treat near his nose, then move your hand upward still holding the treat, and say ‘sit.’ There’s no need to physically move the dog into the sitting position. His rear will naturally sit as you raise your hand with the treat. Then give him the treat and say, ‘Good dog.’” Keep the treat close to the puppy’s nose/mouth to keep him from jumping to grab at the treat. Go through this exercise several times, and repeat it in multiple sessions. Teach one command in a session. Training should be short and fun. Be mindful of the pace of training. Trying to teach a dog too much at one time can be confusing for her. “If you’re feeling frustrated, there’s a good chance that your dog will too,” she says. “Know when to take a break. Be affectionate and positive with your dog as you end the session, then come back later to try again. It’s best for both of you.” 26  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 26

Kitty Thompson, owner of South Paw Obedience Training in Arab, shows PHOTO COURTESY KITTY THOMPSON how to teach a dog not to jump.

Thompson’s technique for teaching a pet not to jump up is straightforward. “Stand with your hands clasped and fingers laced just below your waist, arms hanging down. As the dog starts to jump up, turn your hands palms down so that the dog’s nose hits the palms as he jumps, push back with your hands and say ‘Off.’ Then give them a positive job to do, such as the command ‘Sit.’ Reward them with a treat for the ‘Sit.’” You’re correcting the jumping with the “Off ” command, then rewarding the positive action of the “Sit” with the praise and the treat. When you’re training, it’s important to use a stern/firm tone in your commands. “If you are whiny or begging the dog will not take you seriously. I’ve even had to use more gruffness in my voice or add a deep gravelly sound, like an alpha dog will do.” Taking a dog out for a walk requires training, too. Thompson teaches her canines to sit quietly once they’re leashed, then follow her outside. “Never let your dog go through the door before you,” she says. “Not only are you keeping your dog safe from possibly running into the road or wandering off, you’re establishing that you’re the alpha, the person in charge.”

A word about crate training

Dogs are den animals and their crate is their den, their sanctuary, not a place of punishment, and it should be treated as such. Give him a treat when he goes in his crate and praise him, every time, regardless of the reason for putting your dog in his crate. “You can use the crate to help with housebreaking by putting the dog in the crate, then giving him a walk to relieve himself every two to three hours on a schedule,” she says. “He may not need to relieve himself every time, but when he does, verbally praise him for doing his business. Over time, he will be trained to know that the appropriate place for potty is on his walks.” Crates are the best ways to transport a dog for trips to the vet or when traveling with the family. “Dogs should not be put in a vehicle without a crate that’s secured in place, because crating can reduce the chance of injuries from sudden stops or collisions. Your dog may love to hang his head out the window to enjoy the breeze, but the risk of objects from the road flying into his face or eyes is far too great.” Thompson, who’s been training dogs for several decades, says that the owner/pet relationship should be clear from the beginning. “You, as the owner, are responsible for the health, safety and well-being of your canine and it’s a big undertaking,” she says. “But from the very beginning, establish that you are the alpha, the person in charge. Your pet will look to you to provide for his needs, take care of him and love him. And by doing that, you’ll reap many years of happy and contented pet ownership.”

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 27

MARCH 2021  27

2/17/21 2:18 PM


What is a Social Security representative payee?


illions of people get monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Some need help managing their money. When we receive information that indicates you need help, we’ll assign a representative payee to manage your benefits for you. We try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. A representative payee receives your monthly benefit payment on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs, including: • Housing and utilities. • Food. • Medical and dental expenses. • Personal care items. • Clothing. • Rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled). Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at


If you need help managing your benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone you want to be your representative payee. They should be someone you trust and see often, and who clearly understands your needs. Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact us. You can write to us within 60 days of being assigned a representative payee if you don’t agree that you need one or if you want a different representative payee. We also offer an option, called Advance Designation, which allows you to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event you can no longer make your own financial decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal my Social Security account at, by telephone, or in person. You can find more information


Across 1 Creates new flowers 5 Lamb sound 8 Tranquil 9 Early spring flowers 13 Spring month 14 Bowls over 15 Clear day descriptor 17 Melting as ice on a spring day 18 Come alive again after hibernation 20 Early spring bloomer 24 Prepare to propose 26 Scale note 27 “In spring a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of ___” Tennyson 28 Nuptials words 31 Going public letters 32 Lush as vegetation 33 Renaissance, for one 34 Chartreuse, for example 35 They show themselves in spring

Answers on Page 53

by Myles Mellor

25 Stir memories of 29 The in German 30 Festive charity event

Down 1 Flower starter 2 On vacation 3 Ostentatious, as spring flowers 4 Wet, like dew in the morning 5 Disney deer 6 __ __ carte 7 Youngest of Alcott’s March sisters 10 Ardent devotee 11 ___ Lorean car 12 Like a clear night sky 15 Shining like sun hitting a river’s surface 16 Bulls and Heat org. 19 Put more zest into 21 Chuckle softly 22 Pleasant odors 23 Flowery 28  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 28

2/17/21 2:18 PM

March | Around


Opp, The 60th annual Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo, ChannelLee Stadium. Arts and crafts and concessions vendors, snake handling and demonstrations, children’s rides, a 5K run/walk, pageant and more. The featured entertainers are Shane Owens and The Oak Ridge The annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee will be a virtual event this year. PHOTO BY ART MERIPOL Boys. Tickets are $10 in advance, and individual teams competing MARCH and $15 at the gate; children 6 and in several categories. Food, music, under are free. RattlesnakeRodeo. children’s activities and a raffle. Monroeville, com or search for the event on Fundraiser for the South Baldwin Monroeville Literary Facebook. Chamber Foundation. Gates open at Festival. Registration is open 11 a.m., or for this virtual event, which was call 251-943-5590. formerly the Alabama Writers APRIL Symposium. Speakers for this Orange Beach, event will explore the writing, music Prattville, Wilson Pickett Festival of Art. 10 and art of the literary South. Visit Music and Arts Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pratt Park, with a to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Orange for schedule and registration. concert at 5 p.m. This is a free family Beach Waterfront Park, 26389 Canal festival featuring art, entertainment, Road. Free. The festival celebrates Selma, 56th annual Bridge demonstrations, kids’ activities, food the visual, performing, musical Crossing Jubilee. For the vendors and more. 334-595-0850 or and culinary arts, with more than first time, this event, a celebration visit 100 vendors and a kid’s art alley. of the victories of the voting rights movement, will be hosted virtually. Fort Deposit, There will be interactive workshops, 50th annual Odenville, The storytelling by the foot soldiers of Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair. Cozy Nest Rustik the movement, awards ceremonies, This outdoor show features more Bucket Vintage Market. This vintage a virtual expo floor and a concert. than 100 exhibitors on six acres, inspired biannual event is held in the along with children’s activities and spring and fall and features more entertainment. Visit than 50 artisans and food vendors. Mobile, Festival of for more information. St. Clair County Arena, 1050 Blair Flowers, LoDa Style Farm Road. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., $5 in Cathedral Square, is a community Guntersville, 60th admission. Search for the event on event presented by the Providence annual Art on the Facebook or call 256-504-6144. Hospital Foundation. Eight to ten Lake. Features more than 120 booths teams will create living sculptures with fine arts and craftsmen from Dothan, Spring Farm Day at representing the theme. Teams will across the Southeast and beyond. Landmark Park. Experience go head-to-head as they compete Food vendors, outdoor games and life on a Wiregrass farm in the for the people’s choice award. rides and a bake shop. 10 a.m. to 1890s. Watch plowing with horses Proceeds will be used to purchase 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and mules, spring planting, arts and critical care monitors for the cardiac Sunday. $2 ages 13 and older; crafts, pottery, textile work and more. care unit at Providence Hospital. event is rain or shine. 1500 Sunset $8 adults; $6 for seniors and military; Drive, Guntersville. Artonthelake$4 for children; free for park members and children 2 and under. 10 a.m. to Foley, BBQ & Blues Cook-off, 4 p.m. downtown Foley’s Heritage Park. This cook-off attracts corporate













Orange Beach, Bama Coast Cruisin’. This annual event will return to The Wharf, with vendors, a swap meet and a show and shine, among other family-friendly activities. Free. (The 2020 event was postponed until September due to COVID, and then canceled due to Hurricane Sally.)


Jemison, Antiques in the Garden, Petals From the Past, 16034 County Road 29. 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Variety of vendors selling antiques, crafts and collectibles. Food vendors will be available.


Troy, TroyFest Art Festival, on the square in downtown. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Find the event on Facebook.


Calera, 10th annual Strawberry Festival, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Oliver Park, 9758 AL-25, Calera.



Decatur, Greater Morgan County Builders Association 2021 Home and Garden Show, Ingalls Harbor Pavilion. 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. or call 256318-9161.


Auburn/Opelika, Lee County Master Gardeners Association 2021 Garden Tour. This year’s tour, Spring Stroll, will showcase 12 unique gardens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets are $35; children under 12 admitted free. Lunch included, as is a bonus garden at the Auburn University president’s home. Rain or shine.


Pell City, 10th annual Logan Martin LakeFest and Boat Show, Lakeside Park. Live music all weekend. For more information, follow the event’s page on Facebook.

Call or verify events before you make plans to attend. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some events may change or be canceled after press time. To place an event, e-mail or visit 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.

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 29

Like Alabama Living on facebook Follow Alabama Living on Twitter @Alabama_Living

MARCH 2021  29

2/17/21 2:18 PM


Holistic management of arthritis, joint pain in pets

Symptoms of arthritis in animals include a reluctance to run or play and stiffness or lameness.


n January’s article, I discussed medications that can help treat arthritis in pets; this month, I’ll talk about holistic management. Supplements for joint pain have been around for decades. It is hard to find a veterinary office that does not carry a few joint supplements. They are here to stay. It will be difficult to address all the available “non-drug” supplements and their scientific merits in this short space. But I will try to address the broad categories. I firmly believe that the medicines are the most potent pain control tools available to us and if used with care and judiciousness, they are quite safe. But maybe adding supplements will reduce the need for medicines.

first because of the slight inconvenience of having to return to the clinic for treatments at regular intervals. But when all else fails, like major back problems or hind leg paralysis in dachshunds, acupuncture becomes our primary go-to modality. We recommend once a week for 4 weeks, followed by once a month for 5 months, and then as needed.

Herbs: We tend to reach out for herbs as soon as the initial “wound-up” pain gets under control. At least in the initial phases of arthritis, we will maintain control with the regular use of herbs and occasional use of medications on an as-needed basis. There are numerous herbs that can be fine-tuned to your pet’s individual problem and can address chronic muscle tightness (talk about minerals), chronic inflammation, and hyperresponsiveness of the brain to pain signals. Herbs have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and are generally considered to be safe. The general wisdom is that combination herbs may be more useful. My favorite combinations include Solomon’s seal, prickly ash, boswellia, and oh, the list goes on!

Prolotherapy: Prolotherapy, also called regenerative joint therapy, promotes long-term, often permanent pain relief by stimulating the body’s ability to repair itself by injecting a solution into the affected ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules. This solution acts not as a nutrient but acts by stimulating the body’s natural ability to repair these tissues, encouraging the growth of new ligament or tendon fibers.

Acupuncture: This is a hugely powerful modality! There have been hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles published on the benefits of acupuncture. Although it is very effective for almost all back pain, we tend not to reach out for acupuncture at Goutam Mukherjee, DVM, MS, Ph.D. (Dr. G) has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He works at his home as a holistic veterinarian and is a member of North Alabama Electric Cooperative. Send pet-related questions to

30  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 30

Chiropractic/veterinary orthopedic manipulation, massage: Depending on the situation, “re-aligning” the back can be of great help. On top of that, almost anyone can do some massage on their pets at home to supplement the benefits of manual adjustment.

Nutrition and supplements: Along with adjusting the diet, there are numerous nutritional supplements that help with arthritis and inflammation and can be safely used with other treatments. The most well-known nutritional supplements are glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Calcium and magnesium work great for muscle spasms. Even though many scientists do not believe that these are useful inhibitors of pain, quite a few clients feel that they work very well. The proof is in the pudding, right? Homeopathy, biopuncture: Sometimes we use a combination of homeopathic remedies for chronic arthritis. In some cases, it has been very effective, and the need for pharmaceutical drugs has been kept to a minimum! As always, work with your local veterinarian to find the best course of treatment for your pet.

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 31

MARCH 2021  31

2/17/21 2:18 PM

| Alabama People |

Jennifer Horne

A public face for importance of the arts Many Americans were impressed by Amanda Gorman, national youth poet laureate who dazzled the audience at the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. But did you know Alabama has its own Poet Laureate? She’s Jennifer Horne, the 12th person to hold the honor, named to the four-year post in 2017. The daughter of a poet and a lawyer, she grew up in a family of readers in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has lived in Alabama since 1986. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College, and three master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. The author of three books of poetry and editor or co-editor of four anthologies, she has been a teacher, workshop leader and journal, magazine and book editor. She is married to writer, editor, and literary interviewer Don Noble (featured in Alabama Living in August 2019). Follow her on her blog, “A Map of the World” at; on Facebook, where she reads works by Alabama poets every Wednesday; and on Twitter at @ALPoetLaureate. – Lenore Vickrey When did you first start writing poetry? Do you still have some of your early work? With a mother who wrote poetry and read poems for children to us, I was encouraged early to try writing. I loved writing poems from the time I could read and write and found it exciting to be able to express emotions and convey images through language that was different from ordinary speech. I do still have a notebook that I wrote my early poems in and a poster I painted to go with a poem on “Art” entered in a contest sponsored by the Arkansas Poets’ Roundtable, which my mother belonged to and which had annual contests for both adults and children. Why is it important for a state to have an officially designated Poet Laureate? I believe that people need art—poetry, stories, theater, music, dance, painting and other visual arts—as much as they need those basics of food, shelter, and clothing, along with human connection. It’s a different kind of need, but no less strong. One of my favorite poems, taught to me by my mother, who was taught it as a child by her older sister, is: “If thou of fortune be bereft / And in thy store there be but left / Two loaves, sell one, and with the dole / Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.” Having a poet laureate—and for that matter a state Arts Council and a state Humanities Alliance—­is a way for a culture to recognize the importance of the arts in our lives, and to affirm that literature helps us understand what it means to be human, in all our complexity, to understand ourselves and one another better, and to live more fully and empathetically as a result. As poet laureate, I’ve tried to be a “public face” for that affirmation. 32  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 32

What did it mean to you to see Amanda Gorman, the national youth poet laureate, speak at the inauguration? Like so many other Americans, I was bowled over by her presence, talent, and optimism. Her beautiful, powerful poem illustrated the possibility of poetry to bring us together and inspire us. Tell us about your anthology Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets. Working the Dirt was my first book; it came out in 2003 and was published by NewSouth Books, which has kept the book in print and continued to support it. I enjoy gardening, and as we know I love poetry, and the idea just came to me one day that a book of garden poetry might be something people would enjoy. A conversation with Randall Williams of NewSouth came at just the right time; at a conference dinner, he asked what I was working on, and when I told him he suggested I consider poems to do with farming as well. That sent me to a much deeper level with the book, drawing the connections between the South’s rural and agricultural history and the desire of so many people now to have a garden, whether it’s ornamental or a kitchen garden in the sideyard. Who is your favorite poet, and what is your favorite work of that poet? It is so hard to say that one poet is your favorite, because you go to different poets for different things and in different moods. In college and graduate school, I studied both American and British poetry, and I’ve also tried to educate myself about poets from other countries, especially Ireland and Russia. In the past three years I’ve read almost exclusively books of poems by Alabama poets—and there are a wealth of such books!—so that I can better represent and advocate for poets within our state borders. I tend to love individual poems as much as individual poets. I’ve memorized Millay’s “Recuerdo,” Seamus Heaney’s “Digging,” Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking,” Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” and a lovely little poem by Emily Dickinson, “To make a prairie it takes a clover, and one bee. / One clover, and a bee. / And reverie. / The reverie alone will do, / If bees are few.” That poem speaks volumes to me about the power of the imagination. What three poets, living or dead, would you like to have over for tea/coffee? As someone who’s long been interested in women’s voices and women’s rights, I’d love to have three women from different time periods sit down and talk about their lives and their poetry. Here’s one possible trio: from classical times, the Greek poet Sappho (sixth century B.C.), from early American literature, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), and from the 20th century, the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966). How did they see their work? Where did they stand in relation to male poets of their time? What would they have to say to 21st century women?

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 33

MARCH 2021  33

2/17/21 2:18 PM

| Worth the drive |

Serving coffee and eats – not time – in a former jail By Allison Law


Preston came up with the idea for the business after visiting Haiti for two summers and seeing how coffee is grown and harvested. He started researching the process, and while he was living in a small apartment in Tuscaloosa, he started roasting coffee beans in a popcorn popper, selling coffee to his friends. He talked to his dad about a potential coffee business. Jesse’s background was in insurance and economic development, but he was intrigued with the coffee idea. The two took a roasting tour in Minnesota, learned how to use a commercial roaster and earned the necessary certifications. Father and son considered starting a business in Tuscaloosa, but the expense

34  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 34


From the ground(s) up

Jesse Quillen talks about the new American-made coffee roaster they acquired last fall. The Quillens can roast roughly 60 pounds of coffee in less than an hour. PHOTO BY ALLISON LAW


ou might be distracted by the unmistakable aroma of fresh coffee and the familiar coffeehouse chalkboard, filled with all kinds of iced and hot drinks, frappes, teas and specialty drinks. Or, depending on the hour, by the food – scones, pastries and Conecuh sausage pigs-in-a-blanket in the mornings, or loaded baked potatoes, salads, tacos and nachos around lunchtime. But did you notice the bars on the jail cells? Yep. You’re in the old jail in Jackson, Ala., now given a new post-incarceration life as Bigbee Coffee Roasters. The restaurant/coffeehouse gets a number of visitors who’ve heard of its storied past (a famous music group spent a little unintended time there – see Page 36), but most patrons are local folks eager for a caffeine jolt, some tasty eats and personal service. “The few things we try to do well are quality, product, whether that be coffee or food, and great service,” says Jesse Quillen, co-owner of Bigbee with his son, Preston Quillen. “I figure, if we can do those things, even if we mess up, they’ll forgive us. We love people, we love our community, and we want to make a difference. I know it’s old-fogey, old-school stuff, but that’s true.”

Bigbee Coffee offers an assortment of familiar coffee drinks – lattes, pourovers, Americanos, cold brews, French press – as well as specialty drinks, like iced coffees and frappes.

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 35

MARCH 2021  35

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Bigbee Coffee Roasters 118 College Ave. Jackson, AL 36545 (251) 262-1231; find them on Facebook @bigbeecoffee, for daily specials Hours: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

 Jackson

The Greek shrimp salad.

Some ramblin’ men pay a visit to Jackson’s jail

The former city jail that is now home to Bigbee Coffee Roasters has had its share of intrigue over the years, but its most famous visitors left a mark on the place. Really. On March 22, 1971, members of The Allman Brothers Band were travelling between Tuscaloosa and New Orleans and stopped at a Jackson truck stop. Already big names by that time, the appearance of the long-haired band and crew in a small town didn’t go unnoticed. The whole group was arrested and booked on various drug charges, according to an story, quoting from the book Midnight Riders by Scott Freeman. They bonded out the next day and were eventually able to reach a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to disturbing the peace, and paying a few thousand dollars in fines. Jesse Quillen says in the cell where they stayed, “there’s a little heart carved into the brick wall in there that says Allman Brothers Band, and right below it says ‘Red Dog was here.’ Red Dog was their roadie. I learned that from a guy that was through here, doing an Allman Brothers tour kind of thing.” Visitors can enter and view the cell, and some of the other cells are open for dining. The interrogation room still has the carpet on the walls and the one-way glass used by officers. “The whole intrigue, it allows us to get that conversation started and tell stories about that,” Jesse says. 36  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 36

Tacos made with brisket, left, and shrimp.



of a commercial space for a start-up there was daunting. At the time, Jesse was working in business recruitment, and had connections. He knew of a place right in the heart of downtown Jackson, a building that had been vacant for more than a decade and had a rather colorful past. Bigbee Coffee Roasters opened in June 2017 with in-store coffee sales only, but has expanded to an online and a subscription coffee business, and now does wholesale business as well as supplying regional coffee and doughnut shops. All roasting is done by the Quillens on site, with coffee beans imported from countries in Africa and Central and South America. A long-term plan to renovate the entire building (Bigbee Coffee Roasters now occupies only part of the space) should allow the Quillens to start holding coffee cuppings, where Preston can teach people about different brew methods and how to appreciate varying flavors. They hope to offer traditional coffeehouse seating, and perhaps a small room for meetings. Preston says the plan is to continue building the atmosphere of community that has been a hallmark of the business from the beginning. Pre-COVID, Bigbee hosted Mission Mondays, donating some of the day’s proceeds to local charities and churches. “We’re trying to get back there, but COVID has taken a toll,” Preston says. “That’s something we’re passionate about – community, and trying to make a change and trying to help people.”

After a two-week shutdown, the Quillens entered survival mode. They started doing short-order items and quick foods, like sandwiches. Jesse was inspired by watching a food truck operator who once set up nearby. “He had like a dozen items on his menu. It amazed me, as I watched him serve people, how efficient he was. Right? You could get any one of those 10 or 12 things on his menu, and it was step one, step two, step three, and you’re on your way.” The menu has continued to evolve and expand since those early days. They now serve brisket and pulled pork, which they smoke on site, as well as chicken and shrimp – as salad toppers, on baked potatoes and in sandwiches, sliders and paninis. Because the menu changes almost daily, Bigbee has no printed menu, much to the frustration of some customers. But Preston updates their social media channels frequently, and coveted specials can make an appearance with short notice. Beignets appeared recently, in a nod to Mardi Gras. Loaded breakfast burritos make an occasional appearance, and chicken wings have in the past. Homemade soups warm up a chilly day. One constant is Saturday mornings, when Bigbee does a full breakfast, with pancakes, sausage, French toast, hashbrown casserole and more. They’ve even catered a Christmas meal for 500 at a local paper mill. And in November, they opened a second location in Chatom that serves coffee beverages only. “We’re still young, still growing, still trying to probe and find our way,” Jesse says. But one thing will be consistent: Customers are like family. “You could have stopped at several other places up the way, but you wouldn’t have gotten the interaction that you get here,” Jesse says. “I’m old school, but I still believe that has value to people.”

No ordinary jail food

The emergence of COVID-19 in March 2020 changed everything for businesses, and Bigbee was no exception. The state health order mandated that restaurants were essential and could remain open for curbside service. But Jesse’s interpretation was that since Bigbee served coffee drinks only, it wasn’t a true restaurant.

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 37

MARCH 2021  37

2/17/21 2:18 PM


Bookshelf In this periodic feature, we highlight books either about Alabama people or events, or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions to Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to feature all the books we receive.

Underground Birmingham: Images From Birmingham’s Iron Ore Mines, by Jeff E. Newman and Josh Box, Arcadia Publishing and the History Press, $23.99 (photographic history) The book takes readers on a pictorial journey deep into the cold, dark and long abandoned mining tunnels that are now buried and hiding along the ridge of Birmingham’s Red Mountain. See the rooms and passages where miners of all backgrounds spent their lives, literally carving out a living for their families and to make their city successful.

Live As If: A Teacher’s Love Story, by Frye Gaillard, Negative Capability Press, $21.99 (memoir) The author reflects on the life and work of his wife Nancy, who died of leukemia in 2018. Partly the memoir of a vibrant marriage, the book tells the story of Nancy’s work as a public school teacher, principal and professor during a time of education under siege. Gaillard is a journalist and author and is a writer in residence at the University of South Alabama. 38  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 38

Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution, by John Archibald, Knopf, publisher, $26.95 (religion/memoir) Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald grew up watching his Methodist preacher father as a moral authority, a moderate and moderating force amid the racial turbulence of the 1960s. But was that enough? Can a good person remain silent in the face of discrimination and horror, and still be a good person? The columnist writes of this difficult, at times uncomfortable, reckoning with his past. The book will be released March 9, 2021.

Let’s Eat Snails! By Barbara Barcellona Smith, illustrated by Karen Lewis, NewSouth Books, $18.95 (children) The book celebrates Italian-American culture through a story that introduces kids to its familial and culinary traditions. When Margie visits the Barcellona family home, she isn’t ready for what the Sicilian family is bringing to the table: snails! The book recognizes our differences and shows that what sets us apart also brings us together.

Surviving Savannah, by Patti Callahan, Berkley, publisher, $23.40 (historical fiction) This dual timeline novel centers around the sinking of the steamship Pulaski, known as the “Titanic of the South.” Alternating between modern day and 1838 when the ship sank, Callahan weaves an intricate and evocative tale bringing to life two very special parts of Savannah — past and present — and asking questions about survival, sacrifice, loss, legacy, fate, and choice. The author lives part-time in Mountain Brook; the book will be released March 9, 2021.

The Incredible Winston Browne, by Sean Dietrich, Thomas Nelson, publisher, $26.99 (fiction) This latest work from “Sean of the South” reminds readers that sometimes the most extraordinary things in life come from ordinary people. The well-meaning Winston Browne finds romance, family and love in unexpected places. This feel-good book offers a rich and nostalgic tale about community, kindness, and the meaning of the everyday incredible. The book will be released March 2, 2021.

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 39

MARCH 2021  39

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Can I recycle that?

Find your way through the rules of recycling By Paul Wesslund


an I recycle my Think like an acmail with the countant: You stapled paper might be thinking, it and plastic envelope sounds like I’m dowindows? Do I need ing the work for the to break down cardrecycling program. board boxes before And you are. You putting them in the could just dump anyrecycling bin? Or thing and everything should I just give up in your recycling bin on recycling because and let the workit’s way too compliers sort it out. They cated? would do that––for Three of every five a price. You can help U.S. households have keep recycling costs curbside recycling low by following the pickup, according to rules. a study by the Sustainable Packaging Here are some of the most-wonCoalition. Another dered-about recy14% have curbside cling rules: service available but do not subscribe. Recycling offers environmental and financial benefits for our local communities. PHOTO BY PHILLIP JEFFREY Mail: With one exReasons to recycle ception, all mail can are both environThink local: There are about 300 Materimental and financial. Recycling 10 plastic go in the bin. Staples and plastic windows als Recovery Facilities around the country, bottles, for example, saves enough energy get sorted out by the machinery. The exand many of them have different equipto power a laptop computer for more than ception is magazines wrapped in plastic— ment, meaning every community has its 25 hours, according to the Environmental that kind of shrink wrap is better handled own set of rules for what can be recycled. Protection Agency. by supermarkets, which specialize in Find out who handles recycling in Recycling can also help out with your recycling bags and other plastic “stretch your community, and they will have a list tax bill. Local governments pay for diswrap” around food, paper towels and othof what can be recycled. And of course, posing home and office waste, traditioner products. there’s an app for that. Two popular apps ally by burying it in a landfill. But if some are Recycle Coach and ReCollect. Just type of that waste could be sold for reuse, Food containers: When you’re done with in your zip code to learn how your local the income would reduce the cost of the the peanut butter jar, no need to rinse it recycling program treats individual items. waste management program. out. It can go right in the bin.

The list of recycling rules is long and complicated, but a way to help master them is to try three different types of thinking:

Cardboard boxes: The only reason to break them down is to save space in your bin. They’ll get well crushed in the truck that picks them up.

Think like a sorter: When your curbside bin gets emptied, it’s taken to a Materials Recovery Facility where it is dumped onto a conveyor belt where workers pull off items that will gum up the next step in the process, a large screen that jiggles items into a different bin. Think about items that might cause problems with sorting.

Pizza cartons: Don’t leave crusts or garlic butter containers in them, but recycling equipment can handle a greasy pizza box just fine.

40  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 40

According to a study by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, 14% of American households that have curbside recycling pickup do not participate. PHOTO BY BILL SMITH

Plastic bottle caps: Screw the lid back on, and recycle both the bottle and cap. Labels: You don’t need to remove them. Continued on Page 42

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 41

MARCH 2021  41

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Buying land: What you may have missed Owning rural land, whether it’s for agricultural or recreational purposes, is a dream of many people. And, much like buying a house, buying land can quickly become complicated. It’s crucial to understand your real estate goals prior to any purchase. Here are some important factors you may want to consider.

Access to modern conveniences

You may think electricity, running water, cell phone service, and internet are a given, but there are many areas that do not have access to these modern conveniences. When you are searching for land, ask if these utilities are available. For example, you may find that access to water and sewer services are not readily available and you need to consider a well or septic system.

Conduct a survey

Obtaining a land survey prior to purchase can provide vital information necessary to understanding

Continued from Page 40 Plastic straws: Can be recycled, but smaller items tend to fall off the conveyor or through the screen sorters and onto the floor, where they get swept up and hauled off to a normal landfill. If you want to take the next step in recycling, think about the big picture—the point is to reduce the waste from your home into the world. First, reduce—if you

the value of the property and determining whether it aligns with your goals. Surveys not only give you the land’s precise boundaries and measurements, but also provide geographical information that will help determine potential uses for the property.

Deeded access and mineral rights

Proper access and mineral rights are just some of important details that need to be considered when searching for land. These are details that can create major headaches down the road if not addressed during the purchasing process. Legal access to the property should always be addressed, during due diligence, as it can become problematic after the transaction is complete.

RT Floyd 205-609-8338

If land ownership is your dream, our experienced TEAM is ready to help you through the complexities you may face. Let’s talk about your vision. Ryan Stallings 205-562-2342

don’t really need to buy something, don’t buy it. Second, reuse—bags and wrapping paper, for example, can have more than one life. Remember, recycling helps our environment but can also reduce the cost of local waste management programs. Check with your local waste management program to learn more about recycling rules in your community.

Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.

EPA Link to Local Waste Programs Information: Check with your local waste management program to learn more about recycling rules in your community. PHOTO COURTESY MERIWHETHER LEWIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

42  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 42

2/17/21 2:18 PM

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 43

MARCH 2021  43

2/17/21 2:18 PM

| Alabama Recipes |


Strawberry Margarita Marmalade

ith more Alabama residents staying and working at home this past year, many of us turned to growing our own food and then figuring out what to do with what our gardens produced. Many, predictably, turned to home canning fruit jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades. “Oh, my goodness, everyone wanted to grow a garden and then everyone wanted to know how to can,” says Angela Treadaway, regional extension agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Her office was overwhelmed with calls and hundreds of people registered for the system’s online virtual workshops on canning and food preservation. Why is making your own jams and jellies better than store-bought? “Because you know what’s in it,” she says. “There are no preservatives, and the freshness of it… there’s really no comparison.” “The biggest problem is getting jars,” Treadaway says. The surge in home canning in 2020 led to a shortage of jars and lids in stores and online. “I hope it’s been solved by now.” Some of her most-asked questions on jelly and jam-making: • If mold appears on the top of my jelly, is it OK to scoop it off and use it? No, that’s not a good idea. If it’s on the top, it’s in the whole product. It’s best to toss. • What about paraffin wax to seal my jars? This is not recommended and does not meet USDA standards. Even though the lid may seal, it’s not a permanent seal. • Do I need a water bath canner? You can use a large stock pot as long as it’s tall enough to have an inch of water at the top. You can use a towel or a rack on the bottom to hold the jars. • For more help, including video tutorials, visit: The Extension System also offers “Tuesday Table Talks” workshops on the first Tuesday of the month on its Facebook page at • You can reach Angela Treadaway at 205-410-3696. – Lenore Vickrey 44  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 44

2/17/21 2:18 PM

That's my jam! Food styling and photos: Brooke Echols

The Buttered Home Some of our favorite things are always made better by jams, jellies, marmalades and chutney! Biscuits, fried veggies, cornbread, you name it! Heck, Brooke Burks you can drizzle some pepper jelly over cream cheese and eat it on a cracker, and it will be one of the best things you will ever eat! What if we took that sweet concept and made it savory? This Bacon Chutney recipe does that and it will be all you ever wanted and MORE! Chutney is different from jam. Jam has only one means of preservative and that is sugar. Chutneys are cooked and preserved with some savory ingredients along with the sweet. For example, jam is sugar-based with granulated sugar and/or pectin. Chutney’s base does include sugar, but also incorporates some type of vinegar. For this recipe, we use apple cider vinegar. We love this chutney on fried squash and zucchini! Truthfully, it’s also great on a cracker or just by the spoonful. Give it a whirl today and see what we mean. A little twist with a whole lot of flavor!

Bacon Chutney 1 pound of bacon, cut into small pieces 1.5 cup chopped onion 3 tablespoons minced garlic 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup 3/4 cup brewed coffee 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Photo by The Buttered Home

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 45

Cook bacon until well done. Drain using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in large skillet. Heat skillet and grease and add in onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on low/medium heat, stirring often to prevent garlic from burning. Add apple cider vinegar , brown sugar, syrup and coffee carefully to onion mixture. Bring to a boil and scrape the pan to deglaze all those yummy bits of bacon. Continue to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add bacon and lower heat to low for just a slight simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes until it begins to thicken. You will know when it is ready as most all of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a thick syrup consistency. Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container. I love keeping mine in a jelly jar in the fridge. Allow to cool completely and store in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, if it lasts that long!

MARCH 2021  45

2/17/21 2:19 PM

Not-Too-Sweet Pear Jam

Strawberry Margarita Marmalade ½ lime ½ lemon 6 cup strawberries, sliced + 1 cup sugar Orange peels, several Box of Sure Gel Sugar, to taste (amount recom mended in the Sure Gel instructions) Slice 6 cups of strawberries, mix with 1 cup sugar, cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Boil canning jars and lids to sanitize. Juice (reserve juices) and finely slice the lime, lemon and orange peels. Simmer until tender. When the peels are tender, add the sugared strawberries to the pot. Cook for approximately 15 minutes so the fruit will reduce. Then following the Sure Gel preparation instructions, combine the remaining sugar and the gel. Heat until the juice sheets off a large spoon. Remove and fill jars, place lids snugly, wait until cool. Makes twelve 4-ounce jars. Keith Ford Boaz

Not-Too-Sweet Pear Jam

Kentucky Jam Cake

-8 cups ground pears (about 12 pears) 7 3-4 cups sugar 2 apples, reserve peelings 1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1 cup shortening) 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup blackberry jam 1 tablespoon cocoa 2 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon allspice

Peel and grind pears in food processor in two or three batches. Pour into saucepan, add sugar, boil 8-10 minutes. Make a bag of cheesecloth, add apple peelings, tie with kitchen string, add to pears and boil 3 more minutes. Remove peelings, which have provided natural pectin to help the jam jell. Add vanilla and stir well. Pour into sterilized jelly glasses. Fills nine 8-ounce jars. Dewana Green Baldwin EMC

Easy Fig Jam 2 small boxes Jello (choice of flavor) 3 cups ripe figs, mashed 3 cups sugar Mix all together, stir while you bring to a boil in a heavy pot. Boil 4 minutes while stirring. Skim off top, if needed. Pour jam in sterilized jars and seal down. Makes 8 half-pint jars. Cook’s note: strawberry Jello makes the figs taste like strawberries were used. I have used less sugar and boiled it a few minutes longer; but be careful, it will be too thick. Ida Thomas Joe Wheeler EMC

What’s the difference? Jelly – Made with juice, is translucent and firm enough to hold its shape. Jam – Made with crushed or chopped fruit, is cloudy and softer than jelly. Preserves – Made with crushed and sliced or whole fruit, and is chunky with pieces of fruit. Marmalade – Made with citrus fruit, it’s jelly with visible pieces of fruit peel and rind. Conserve – Fruit mixed with spices, liquor or nuts. Chutney – Made with fruit or vegetable, vinegar and spices. Its flavor can be sweet or tangy.

Caramel Frosting: ½ cup butter, melted 1 cup brown sugar, gently packed ¼ cup milk 3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted Cream the oil with sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time; add jam. Mix dry ingredients together. Add half sugar mixture, half of buttermilk and dry ingredients. Blend all well. Add remaining half and blend again. Bake in three 8-inch or 9-inch round pans which have been sprayed with vegetable spray. Line bottom of each pan with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Let cake cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven. Then, remove cake from pans and allow to cool on wire rack. Frost cake as soon as it is cool. Caramel Frosting: Melt butter, add brown sugar. Boil; stir 1 minute or until slightly thick. Cool slightly. Add milk; beat until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar until spreading consistency. Frost cake completely. Peggy Key North Alabama EC

Learn more about making jams and jellies at home:

Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension System 46  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 46

2/17/21 2:19 PM



Cook of the Month Sharon Tucker, Cullman EC


haron Tucker created her winning recipe for Bacon Jam when she was invited to a party and needed to make something for a charcuterie board (a wooden board or platter with an assortment of meats, cheeses and often nuts, fruits, pickles and other condiments). She decided to make Bacon Jam, so she went online for a recipe and found six. “I wrote down everything that was the same and that was different in each one,” she says, and then she created her own version by picking and choosing the ingredients she liked. Plus some extra touches, like the cocoa. “One recipe called for coffee,” she says. “Well, I hate coffee but cocoa complements coffee, so I used that instead.” She’s also a fan of balsamic vinegar, so that went in, too. So she took her newly created Bacon Jam to the party “and everyone loved it!” She’s emphatic about the need to use three pans while cooking the bacon: “You need one for crispy, one for chewy and one for ‘just right.’” Sharon uses cast iron skillets for her perfectly cooked bacon, and advises to keep an eye on it when it’s cooking to avoid burns. Describing herself as a creative person, she keeps busy as a hairdresser, substitute teacher and photographer in and around Cullman. “And I love to cook!”

Bacon Jam 1½ pounds bacon (high quality), cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons olive oil (as needed for moist onions) 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon bacon drippings 1 tablespoon black pepper 2 large sweet onions, halved and sliced 1/3 cup American Honey Bourbon 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon cocoa 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you're heat sensitive) 11/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Cook bacon over medium heat in 3 batches, one tender, one crispy and one in between. Remove bacon and set aside. Use bacon drippings, olive oil and butter to sauté onion with black pepper until caramelized, stirring often. Don't over-cook onion. Spoon out excess oil. Add bourbon to caramelized onions to deglaze pan. Add brown sugar, cocoa, cayenne pepper and garlic, stirring well to coat onions add bacon pieces and cook until thick on a low simmer about 10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, stir until well blended and simmer a few more minutes. Serve warm. Pairs well with feta cheese.



to the winning Cook of the Month! Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members. 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. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and coop name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.

Themes and Deadlines:

3 ways to submit:

June: Blueberries | March 5 July : Cucumber | April 2 August: Seafood | May 7

Online: Email: Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 favorite recipes from Alabama’s largest lifestyle magazine

Mail order form and payment to: Best of Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014 COOKBOOKS @ $19.95 EACH: TOTAL ENCLOSED: $

Name: Address: City:



Phone Number:

Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 47

MARCH 2021  47

2/17/21 2:19 PM

| Outdoors |

Hunt the shallows to tempt spawning bass


nglers usually catch the largest bass of the year just beScroggins, a professional bass angler. “I prefer a more subtle apfore and during the spring spawning season when large proach. My number one bedding bait is a soft-plastic crawfish females swell with roe. An egg-laden bass could weigh sevthat looks like a natural predator. A drop-shot is another good eral pounds more just before spawning than during the summer. bedding bait, especially for fish that are hard to catch. I cast past Largemouth bass begin spawning when water temperatures the bed, crank the bait over the surface and drop it so it flutters reach about 63 to 68 degrees. In southern Alabama, they could down into the bed. I let it sit there as long as I can.” begin spawning in February. Farther north, they might start in After finding nests, some people thrust a stick or other subMarch. Spawning usually peaks in tle object into the bottom to mark April, but could extend into June. it. After the boat leaves, fish quickWhen spawning, male bass wally return to the bed. Anglers can low out saucer-shaped nests in shalgo elsewhere for a while and then low waters. Many people roam the return to fish that area. Stop at exshallows looking for bedding bass. treme casting distance to avoid They might spend hours casting to spooking the bass and throw at the one particularly large fish. marker. “Sight fishing is like hunting,” “Most people get too close to the says Shaw Grigsby, a professional fish,” Scroggins says. “If anglers can bass angler. “The challenge is findsee the fish, the fish can see them. In ing the fish. Once we find them, we clear water, fish may spook so back can often get them to bite. Bass on away and make long casts. Somethe beds don’t feed. They grab baits times, I mark the bed with a tomato instinctively to protect their eggs stake and come back to it.” and fry.” From a distance, Scroggins tosses While on the nests, bass eat very finesse worms, craw-worms or othlittle, but males vigorously attack er temptations behind the anything that might pose a threat nest and drags them into to the eggs or fry, such as crawfish, the bed. He leaves baits bluegills, aquatic salamanders and motionless for long periother predators. Therefore, throw ods, occasionally giving baits that mimic these egg raiders. the rod a little shake. Even Some good lures for bed fishing inwith no other action, tenclude soft-plastic creatures that retacles and appendages on a semble crawfish and salamanders. soft-plastic bait twitch and Baits that mimic small fish like undulate slightly with any bluegills can also work. water movement. Just that “Bed fishing can be highly probit of subtle action could provoke a ductive in the right spot,” says Terry Above, a soft-plastic bait flies through the air, landing near strike or force the fish to remove the Segraves, a professional bass angler. thick woody cover that could hold a bass in the Mobile-Tensaw bait from the nest. “I’ve caught bedding fish with ev- Delta near Mobile, Ala. Bass often spawn in shallow beds After laying her eggs, the female along shorelines. Right, Garrett Dixon of Citronelle, Ala. shows erything from finesse worms and off a bass he caught on a jig tipped with soft-plastic creature moves off the nest until next spring. jigs to lipless crankbaits. To get a re- bait while fishing the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. She rests for a while to recuperate action, sometimes I let a bass look from the rigors of spawning then PHOTOS BY JOHN N. FELSHER at the bait and then jerk it away just starts looking for prey to replenish before it eats it. Do that several times and it’ll murder it when it her energy supplies. After the spawn, throw lures that resemble gets aggravated enough.” bluegills. Bedding bass typically won’t chase baits out of the nests. Re“After bass spawn, bluegills spawn in the same area,” says Alton peatedly drag soft-plastic lures through the beds. Sometimes, Jones, a former Bassmaster Classic champion. “Then, it’s payback leave lures in the bottom of the nest for long periods. Bass routime. In the spring, I throw a lot of baits that mimic bluegills, like tinely pick up foreign objects to remove them from the bed. shallow-running crankbaits in a firetiger pattern or chartreuse “Many people try to aggravate a fish into biting,” says Terry with a blue back. I also throw a lot of golds and reds.” A healthy female largemouth in her prime can produce about 5,000 eggs per pound of body weight. During spawning season, John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer who lives in don’t keep bass off the beds very long. Always handle bass with Semmes, Ala. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM care, especially large females swollen with roe, and return them Talk 106.5 radio station in Mobile, Ala. Contact him at j.felsher@ or through Facebook. to the water as quickly and gently as possible to protect future generations. 48  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 48

2/17/21 2:19 PM


WE SELL: Steel Trusses • Hay Barns Lumber • Equipment Sheds Building Material Packages Painted Metal • Work Shops Insulation • Kneebraces Galvalume Metal


256-747-8178 • FAX: 256-747-8760




We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31


Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr

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


2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 A.M.

2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54



3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 PM

3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 NEW MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18


9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 AM

9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51


9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 PM

9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 40 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA, a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. To order the 2021 Moon Clock, go to Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 49

MARCH 2021  49

2/17/21 2:19 PM

50  MARCH 2021

LOCAL ADS MAR21.indd 10

2/15/21 2:58 PM

ALABAMA GARDENER’S CALENDAR Information provided by The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. Find more at

March Fruits and Nuts • Continue strawberry and grape plantings.

Lawns • Plant bermuda, zoysia, and centipede in south Alabama.

• Bud apples and peaches.

• Seed bluegrass and grass mixtures in northAlabama.

• Start planting blackberries. Remember, if weather conditions prevent prompt planting, heel the plants in by placing the root system in a trench and covering the soil. Shrubs • Fertilize shrubs (except azaleas and camellias) according to a soil test. • Late plantings may be made, particularly if they are container-grown. • Watch shrubs for harmful insects.

• Fertilize established lawns. Roses • Watch new growth for aphids. • Begin a spray or dust program. • Begin fertilizing. Annuals and Perennials • Tender annuals may be planted in south Alabama. • Check garden centers for bedding plants.

Bulbs • Plant gladiolus every 2 or 3 weeks if a long blooming season is desired. • Plant tuberous begonias in pots. Plant dahlias. Miscellaneous • Check and repair sprayers, dusters, and lawn mowers.

February. • After danger of frost is past, plant tender vegetables. Vegetable Plants • Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in north Alabama; plant tomatoes and peppers in lower South Alabama.

• Control lawn weeds with chemicals. • Delay pruning of fruiting shrubs such as cotoneasters, pyracanthas, and hollies until after flowering. Vegetable Seed • Plant hardy crops recommended for January and

April Fruits and Nuts • Season for strawberry planting continues. • Start spray program for all fruits. • Plant raspberries and blackberries and continue budding apples and peaches. Shrubs • Prune spring flowering shrubs after flowering. • Fertilize azaleas and camellias. • When new growth is half completed, spray all shrubs with a fungicide.

Alabama Living

009_CVR.indd 43

Lawns • Planting continues. • New lawns may need supplementary watering. • Also, fertilize at 3- to 6-week intervals. • Keep ryegrass cut low, particularly if overplanted in bermuda lawns. Rose • Watch for insects and diseases. • Keep old flower heads removed. • Plant container-grown plants from nurseries or garden centers.

Annuals and Perennials • Plant early started annuals or bedding plants from nurseries or garden centers. • Divide mums or root cuttings. Dig and divide dahlias. Bulbs

• Plant gladiolus, fancy-leaved caladiums, milk and wine lilies, and ginger and gloriosa lilies. • Feed bearded iris with superphosphate and spray for borers. • Avoid cutting foliage of narcissus or other bulbs until it has turned brown naturally.

Miscellaneous • Spray camellias, hollies, etc., for scale insects. • Carefully water new plantings of shrubs and trees. • Pinching out tips of new shoots promotes more compact shrubs. Vegetable Seed • Plant tender vegetables such as beans, corn, squash, melons, and cucumbers. • Plant heat-loving vegetables in lower south Alabama. Vegetable Plants • Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes, and parsley MARCH 2021  51

2/18/21 2:21 PM

| Our Sources Say |

Apocalypse Never T

his month I offer a different format. None of this article is my content or opinion. The article is entirely composed of quotes from President Biden; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; and Michael Shellenberger, a self-proclaimed environmental activist. President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Schumer should be familiar to you. Michael Shellenberger has been a climate and environmental activist for more than 30 years. At age 17, Shellenberger lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. He helped expose poor working conditions at Nike factories in Asia. He became an environmentalist at 16 when he held a fundraiser for the Rainforest Action Network. He saved the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. He advocated for renewables and helped persuade the Obama Administration to invest $90 billion in renewables. He recently published his latest book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. The day after he was inaugurated, President Biden fulfilled his pre-election promise and recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement. In making the commitment, he said, “We’re in a crisis. Climate change is the number-one issue facing humanity. And, it is the number-one issue for me.” In another interview, President Biden said, “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity. Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real. And we have a moral obligation.” Senate Majority Leader Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “It might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency. He can do many, many things under the emergency program – that he could do without legislation. Trump used this emergency power for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one.” Mr. Shellenberger provides different thoughts on climate change and environmentalism: “On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. “I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. Some people will imagine I am some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30. “As an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

“Here are a few facts few people know: • Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction.” • Climate change is not making natural disasters worse • Wildfires have declined 25% around the world since 2003 • The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests -not climate change -- explain why there are more and more dangerous fires in Australia and California • The amount of land we use to produce meat – humankind’s biggest use of land – has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska • The Netherlands have become rich, not poor, while adapting to life below sea level • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970’s • Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels • Preventing future pandemics requires more, not less, “‘industrial’” agriculture “The above-listed facts come from the best available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and other leading scientific bodies. “The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to. “The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land. “The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium. “Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped. As a result of the climate change media barrage, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change. Whether or not you have children, you must see how wrong this is.” “… it is going to actually bake this planet.” “But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one.” “On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years.” I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

52  MARCH 2021

SOURCES MAR21.indd 2

2/12/21 1:32 PM

Give a 12 ISSUE gift subscription to

for only



an issue.

Recipient’s Name:___________________________ Street:___________________________ City:_____________________________ Zip:______________________________ Phone:___________________________ RETURN WITH $12 CHECK PAYABLE TO


MAIL TO: Alabama Living 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): May 2021 Issue by March 25 June 2021 Issue by April 25 July 2021 Issue by May 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

Miscellaneous WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA - SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE – Outdoor Rockers, Gliders & Swings, HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 - ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025,, FREE MATERIALS: SOON CHURCH / GOVERNMENT UNITING, suppressing “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY”, enforcing NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, Be informed! Need mailing address only. POB 374, Ellijay, GA 30540 – thebiblesaystruth@, (888)211-1715

Vacation Rentals MILITARY / SERVICE DISCOUNTS on dozens of rentals. No Booking Fees. (251)333-6500, Alabama Living

AL STATE MAR21.indd 53

METONE CABIN with POND – Sleeps Six. $145 Nightly, $85 Cleaning – (256)601-6854 OWNERS – Join the fastest growing regional site in Alabama. Low annual fee. Verified Owners, no booking fees or commissions. Alabama Vacation Home Rentals. Locally Owned and Operated. (251)333-6500, GULF SHORES / ORANGE BEACH / FORT MORGAN – Choose from hundreds of beach houses and condos! Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. DESTIN BEACHFRONT CONDOS – 1 Bedroom / 1.5 Baths. Sleeps up to 4 people. View condos at For discounted rates, email ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 –, (256)599-5552

PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000,, www.theroneycondo. com LAKE HOMES / CABINS – Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. PET FRIENDLY – Save $$$ by booking directly from Verified Owners.

Land, Lots & Real Estate REAL ESTATE SERVICES of ALL KIND in ALABAMA and GEORGIA! I have buyers for land, hotels, motels and businesses. American Property Brokers #71809, (256)602-4565, QUALITY CUSTOM HOMES BUILT ON YOUR LOT! Watermark Builder offers Affordable pricing and amazing standard features. We make building easy! Schedule your FREE design consultation now! Call (334)512-9866 or visit

AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL – Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners – Lowest Prices on the Beach!, (251)752-2366, (251)656-4935


MENTONE, AL LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN COTTAGE RENTALS – Best brow views, River Front –, Call or text (504)4818666

Fruits / Nuts / Berries

GULF SHORES GULF FRONT – 1BR / 2BA and also a 2BR / 2BA condo. Both are directly on the beach, great views, easy check-in (256)352-5721,

FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673

GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants. Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 MARCH 2021  53

2/17/21 2:19 PM

| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

The Florida Panhandle:

Illustration by Dennis Auth

What might have been


ook at a map. It doesn’t take a geographer to see how the region known as the “Florida Panhandle” could and should be South Alabama. Well, it almost was. Back in January 1901, representatives from the seven Florida counties between the Apalachicola and Perdido Rivers met in Jacksonville, Florida, “for the purpose of considering ways and means of effecting the transfer of (that) territory” to Alabama. The whole thing was reported in the Atlanta Constitution, which noted that if secession and annexation took place, some 194,000 Floridians would become Alabamians. That would give Alabama a population of 1,928,000, while Florida, or what was left of it, would have been reduced to a paltry 434,165. On top of that, by adding the Panhandle’s 10,000 square miles to Alabama, it would have become the largest, territory-wise, east of the Mississippi! Apparently sentiment for such a move had been growing in West Florida. A few years earlier, a legislator from Escambia County had drawn up a bill that would allow Panhandle residents to vote on the issue, but East Florida interests killed the plan. Yet the dream did not die. Shortly before the Jacksonville meeting, the Young Men’s Business League of Pensacola passed a resolution favoring annexation and other groups were joining them. Pro-annexation arguments were simple enough. West Florida had been settled by Alabamians, so family and cultural ties between the two were strong. Trade connections reinforced this kinHarvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at

54  MARCH 2021

AL STATE MAR21.indd 54

ship, for commerce to and from the region flowed north and south, not east and west. Adding the Florida folks to Alabama would increase the size of Alabama’s congressional delegation, which in turn could do a better job of looking after West Florida’s coastal interests. Pensacola especially liked this, for once the annexation was complete, Alabama’s steel and iron industries would make good use of that city’s harbor. The article also noted that there were those in East Florida who would be happy enough to let the Panhandle go, evidence of a feeling that fewer Alabamians would mean a better Florida – an early example of the Sunshine State’s look-down-the-nose-at-Alabama attitude that became more pronounced as time went on. There was also talk that if the Panhandle was sent packing, then the rest of Florida could move the capital out of Tallahassee – “a small town and not likely to become a large one” – to a more central, more promising location. Meanwhile Alabama interests, aware of the prize that might be theirs, persuaded their legislature to make “an appropriation for the purpose of working up sentiment in the territory affected in favor of annexation” – nothing like fishing in troubled waters. Then what happened? Nothing. Instead of using energy and influence to annex the Panhandle, and all that came with it, Alabama leaders devoted energy and influence to something else. And today we are left to wonder what might have been. (Ed. note: For an entertaining look at an insider’s history of the Florida-Alabama coast, we recommend Hardy Jackson’s The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, 2012, University of Georgia Press.)

2/17/21 2:19 PM

AL STATE MAR21.indd 55

2/17/21 2:19 PM

AL STATE MAR21.indd 56

2/17/21 2:19 PM

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.