Do you have suggestions for this page? See Contribute.
- Extension — Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) — provides free and low-cost education, events, permitting, and services related to gardening, farming, food, health, trees, and water.
- If you'd like to sell your homegrown & handmade goods, be aware of the state's requirements that apply to your item(s), such as for a Grower's Permit or a food safety certification to sell Cottage Foods, as described at Selling Your Goods.
- Most of Alabama's snake species are not venomous; this guide identifies those that are. Got snakes? Contact Tony for free removal. See Landscape Services.
- Extension's food preservation section covers pressure canning; jams and jellies, pickling; how to freeze eggs, vegetables, and fruit; dehydration of fruit, herbs, and vegetables; and more. Also see Pick Your Own's canning resources.
- Free pressure cooker gauge testing is available from Extension. Call first to check availability or (for some offices) to make an appointment.
- Raetta is glad to help with food preservation — in person (like at the Canning Skillshare), and with her recipes for pepper sauce and canned green beans. A couple of Raetta's canning hacks:
- When the flat lid of a canning jar is tightly sealed, use a bottle opener to dislodge it.
- Steam tomatoes and place on ice: skin will come off easily.
- Lids, which are also known as tips, are one-time-use only. The jars can be reused. The experienced canners at the skillshare have found the Golden Harvest brand, produced by the same parent company as Ball and sold at discount stores and Walmart, to be just as reliable as the main line, for a lower cost.
- Sue & Jon recommended the book Beginner's Guide To Canning by Diane Devereux. Kim H. recommends the FB group Just Can It!
- A canning skillshare was held on June 30, 2022 at the Community Center (and was featured in the Blount Countian). If you would like to learn or to share your knowledge of canning, please be in touch.
- Some home-preserved items, including jellies, jams, fruit preserves, dehydrated items, and pickled and fermented foods can be sold under Cottage Food Law.
- Gardening advice is available from Alabama's Master Gardener Helpline, 1-877-ALA-GROW, and classes and documentation are available from Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES).
- Auburn University's Soil, Forage & Water Testing Laboratory provides analysis of soil ($7 per sample), forage & feed, plant tissue, water, chicken litter, lime, manure, and compost. SoilKit is another option.
- Auburn University's water sample analysis evaluates irrigation systems, wells, and ponds; the laboratory is not EPA certified for drinking water analysis.
- Live and let live: free snake removal is available.
- The Grower’s Permit allows you to sell your vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, eggs, transplants, or ornamentals anywhere in Alabama and without owing sales tax.
- Cawaco RC&D Council supports Alabama school gardens and community gardens with Free Seeds, available to all. Nonprofits and municipalities may also apply for RC&D Grows Gardens mini-grants of $500 to $1500.
chickens, horses, other animals
- Heather offers her chicken processing equipment for rent.
- For equine hoof care, Jennifer Arnold of Driftwood Ferrier is recommended by Katherine and Raetta. Jennifer is based in Montevallo and travels to Pine Mountain and Springville. 205-895-5813.
- Blount County Animal Adoption Center can reduce spay/neuter costs for low-income Blount County residents. Call 205-625-6026.
- Local beekeepers' groups include Alabama Beekeepers Association, Alabama Master Beekeepers, Blount County Beekeepers' Association (with updates at their FB), and Jefferson County Beekeepers' Association.
- Freddy is glad to be a resource for beekeepers, or come talk to Mike at Trade Day! Our many local beekeepers include Bobbie, Jamie, Raetta, and the folks listed in Homegrown's Honey section.
- Foxhound Bee Company, Birmingham, offers supplies and education.