A public demonstration will take place at 8 a.m. in front of Munford High School on Cedar’s Road, giving the public a hands-on opportunity to learn about the practice known as “plasticulture.”
The plasticulture method of cultivation involves using plastics to create agricultural cultivation and often involves an irrigation system that runs underneath.
Munford High students will also have a chance to get hands-on experience with the demonstration, which will serve as the foundation for their future vegetable garden.
“We expect to have about 25 to 30 high school students there who take agriculture classes at the school,” said Eddie May, executive director of the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council.
May said that vocational teacher Keith Oglesby has served as a liaison between him and the high school.
After Oglesby spoke with MHS principal Anthony Wilkinson and Talladega County Board of Education member Johnny Ponder about doing the demonstration at the school, it was quickly OK’d.
“It’s a good location because a lot of people pass by it on Alabama 21,” May said.
The Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council provides outreach services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There are several outreach initiatives the council conducts to keep local landowners and community members informed about programs and cultivation methods that may be of use to them.
“We do things like this to help people find new ways of doing things,” May said. “We’re trying to get people interested and show them the ABCs of it.”
During the demonstration, a bedding machine that is hooked to the back of a tractor will be used so attendees can see it in action.
“You’ve got your irrigation water there. Once we install everything you just turn on the water for about two or three hours,” May said.
“It’s low maintenance once you’ve got everything installed. You can expect to produce two to three times more than you would conventionally produce,” he said.
May named several important sponsors for the demonstration, including the local Talladega County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council and Munford High School.
“We also want to give special thanks to local Rep. Steve Hurst and Sen. Jerry Fielding,” he said.
Thomas McDaniel, a district conservationist, will keep tabs on the progression of the garden.
“He’s also a partner with us for this project and he’s going to be working very closely with the school,” May said
The demonstration will be two-fold.
The demonstration will not only set the foundation for the school’s new vegetable garden, but also provide an opportunity for the community to gain knowledge about plasticulture and possibly get some work done to their own land.
“It’s going to be a demonstration, but if anyone would like to hire the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, they should contact Larry Raughton at 256-835-0685,” May said.
He said an instillation at a home could cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500 per half-acre.
“We do everything. We hook up the water, provide the supplies, everything,” May said. “They just have to plant the seeds.”
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