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The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







Feb '09 Contents

Feb '09 Cover


For Better, For Worse
'Til Death do us Part
By Gert Slabach

The Perfect House
By Tammy Tillotson

The Play's The Thing!
Michael Ray Tries Out for a Halifax Little Theatre Play
By Michael Ray

-Special Section-
Southside Bride

Planning Your Wedding
Advice from Wedding Professionals


The Perfect Wine for the Perfect Day
Wine & Champagne for Weddings
By Robin Caldwell


Wedding Marketplace
Advertiser Listings



South Winds
(Contemplating a Bath Mat) By FCOIT

Southside Gardener
(February Tips for the Gardener)
By William H. McCaleb

Ask Bubba - Advice
Bubba the Wedding Planner


Editor's Page
(Love is in the Air)

V & B Comics
(Verrnack & Blupirk - Love in space)

Press Release
(Opportunities for Greenhouse Owners in Southside Virginia)

Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.



VA Cooperative Extension - Press Release

Opportunities for Greenhouse Owners in Southside Virginia

William H. McCaleb
Program Assistant, ANR
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Halifax, VA 24558


   On March 2, 2009 there will be an informational meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Agriculture Development Center (ADC) at Farmway Lane (Rt. 922). This is at the old Halifax Landfill site. This will be an opportunity for you to learn what it takes to get a greenhouse ready for horticultural liner production. The ABC�s of Propagation approaches, liner growing do�s and don�ts, current market trends of ornamental plants, marketing and promotion efforts of our Beautiful Gardens� program (formerly known as the Virginia Plant Introduction Program). Last but not least, what the benefit for tobacco growers participating in our program could be.

   Some of you may remember the news stories that appeared in local Southside newspapers, at the onset of the Evaluation Site going in at Paul C. Edmunds Park. As they say, �We have come a long way baby�. Having evaluated over 100 different plants in the trials for the past four years, since our start up in early 2005, we now have several plants that have been selected to go on the market. It is now time to give greenhouse growers opportunities for alternatives to growing tobacco. If you are a greenhouse owner who has an empty useable greenhouse, or wish to switch a greenhouse over to horticultural production, we will be having an informational meeting at the ADC on March 2nd from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

   Five years ago, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), and Virginia Master Gardeners (VMGA) both joined in the evaluation program to assist the Virginia Green Industry in evaluating plants that are suitable for growing throughout the Commonwealth. Through the partnership, which also includes Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech�s Horticulture Department, Lynchburg College, The Institute for Sustainable and Renewable Resources (ISSR), Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA) sites were chosen from all of the different USDA growing zones in Virginia. This was all made possible by grants from the VNLA, VT, VCE, ISSR, and the largest grant from the Tobacco Commission, as well as the hard work of our local Southside Master Gardeners and VCE staff.

   This partnership, with a goal to introduce plants that are suitable for all parts of the Commonwealth, as well as the Central Atlantic States, was born out of a desire to offer alternative land use as well as economic improvement opportunities. The VNLA has been working on plant introductions for many years but without sufficient capital investment, the scope needed would never be obtained alone. In late 2004 an application for a grant through the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification & Community Revitalization Commission (VTICRC) was made and the rest is history. The Halifax County Board of Supervisors, at that time endorsed this effort and Halifax County was chosen as one of the five evaluation sites. Much hard work went into getting the site ready and the program off the ground. One acre of ground was set aside at Edmunds Park to install all the equipment necessary, including a solar powered weather station. Action came fast with planning, layout, soil preparation fencing, shade structures, irrigation and the weather station all taking place in that first year. At the time, similar actions were taking place at the other sites, NBG, VT Horticultural Center, Glade Springs, and Bedford.

   The plants that were selected were grown at all test sites under the same conditions, just different soil types and climatic conditions. As Virginia has a wide variety of temperatures and varying rainfall amounts it was important to see that all USDA growing zones were represented in VA (6 � 8). The first plants arrived in August 2005 and our Master Gardeners at all of the sites went to work in laying out the plots, planting, and caring for those first new plants. Since program inception, several plants have been eliminated from all five sites because of poor performance in regards to growth, flowering, hardiness or tolerance to extreme heat/cold as well as extreme soil moisture tolerance. Others have also been added and those outstanding plants that have gone through four years of evaluations and scored high have now been selected for production. Evaluators have seen extraordinary performance and/or disease/pest resistance in these certain species and cultivars. Through many evaluating meetings, the Plant Selection Committee has gone over the data compiled and conferred with the Master Gardeners who have cared for these plants.

   As previously stated, there are several outstanding plants that have been designated as worthy for production and marketing and will start hitting the market as early as late 2010. Selections have already been made for both 2011 and 2012; the �Beautiful Gardens�� now needs to grow plants in greater quantities to meet industry/consumer needs.

   If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please call the Halifax Virginia Cooperative Extension Office at 434-476-2147 by February 27th to register. There is no cost to attend, but we do need a head count.


   If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Halifax Extension Office at (434) 476-2147/ TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations.

   Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.









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