Pike County Master Gardeners ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ at the Pioneer Museum

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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The Pioneer Museum of Alabama always needs and appreciates volunteers. And, it seems that the Pike County Master Gardeners are always Johnny-on-the-Spot, said Barbara Tatom, museum director.

“The Master Gardeners always seem to appear just when needed,” Tatom said. “And, when it’s time to plant, they appear in good spirits and eager to do whatever outdoor work needs to be done. We greatly appreciate their dedication to the museum and the work they all do to make the museum a great place for homefolks as well as so many others.”

Several members of the Master Gardeners were on-hand at the museum Monday to prepare the garden soil for the fall growing season and to put a few plants in the ground.

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Tatom said the fall season at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a very busy and interesting one.

“The fall is a great time to be outdoors and on the Pioneer Museum grounds,” Tatom said. The grounds feature a variety of old-time structures, a steam-driven train, a cotton gin, a rolling store, and a picnic area. And, of course, the museum is wall-to-wall with artifacts and historic displays.”

And, the museum’s fall feature is Pioneer Days which is the best way to experience an Alabama Pioneer homestead, Tatom said.

And, with the leadership of the Pike County Master Gardeners and their willingness to turn the soil, the museum’s homesteads will be “ripe and ready” for visitors on Pioneer Days on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14.

Nell Haigh, president of the local Master Gardeners and Master Gardeners Samantha Rouse and Amy Baker were on hand for several tasks at hand.

David and Sharon Hart came tractor-ready to hang a dinner bell that has been in Haigh’s family for many years.

The dinner bell belonged to Haigh’s dad and she remembered her mother ringing the bell, and calling the family to, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime!”

“I remember that so well,” Haigh said. “So, I wanted to donate the bell to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.”

Haigh’s hope is that the bell will be a welcoming sound to those who visit the museum.

Rouse and Baker prepared the way for a successful harvest of heirloom Small Sugar pumpkins.

Not only do the small pumpkins have smooth textured, bright orange flesh, they make mouthwatering pies.

The small pumpkins area a culinary delicacy, the Master Gardeners said.

Tatom expressed appreciation to those who braved the hot Dog Days of summer and dedicated their time and talents to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama with pioneer spirit.