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A to P – El Dorado to Clarksville

June 20, 2016
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What a day!  We had a great turnout in El Dorado this morning for our first annual to perennial event, where we hope we have convinced the new “Annual” MG volunteers to become “Perennial” MG volunteers.  My host committee did a great job setting up, serving snacks and making everyone feel welcomed.annual to perennial el dorado (3) annual to perennial el dorado (2) annual to perennial el dorado (23)The gardens at the church were a magnet for the volunteers, drawing MGs to them before they ever came in and registered.annual to perennial el dorado (16) annual to perennial el dorado (15) annual to perennial el dorado (12) annual to perennial el dorado (6)

We had a great session with a brief overview about County 76, then an entertaining and educational talk by Mississippi State’s Lelia Kelly on Plants from Grandmama’s  Garden, followed by some pointers on the MG program and New Plants by me.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the day.annual to perennial el dorado (1) annual to perennial el dorado (25) annual to perennial el dorado (27)

I was also quite pleased that County Agent Robin Bridges gave me a goumi berry plant that he has promised me for years, along with a jar of goumi berry jelly. annual to perennial el dorado (13) I have coveted one of these plants for a long time, and then I accidentally left it behind!  I tried calling Robin when I realized my error, and got voice mail, so I called County 76 member Linda Soffer to see if she was still there and she answered–I have it!  I am so lucky to have people who take such good care of me.

After our session we loaded up and began the trek to Clarksville.  I called good friend and the fruit research station director Dan Chapman to see what time they closed. They normally are gone by 4, and we weren’t going to get there until around 4:30 but he told us to come on. He met us and gave us the grand tour. Lelia had never been there before and we sampled blueberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines and apples till we were about sick.  The fruit crops are LOADED this year and Dan was a gracious host. clarksville fruit substation (10) clarksville fruit substation (11) clarksville fruit substation (13) clarksville fruit substation (20)clarksville fruit substation (22) clarksville fruit substation (24) clarksville fruit substation (25) clarksville fruit substation (28) clarksville fruit substation (30)

We got to see some of the new dwarf blackberries they are trialingclarksville fruit substation (4) It was a great addition to our day.  We finally made it to the hotel where we rested a bit. We decided we better eat some dinner after no lunch and a lot of fruit, and are now ready to rest.  We have two A to P seminars tomorrow. Our first stop will be at the Clarksville Fairgrounds, then on to Little Rock.  Another full day celebrating our new members and their mentors!

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