Fresh strawberries

Fresh strawberries are sold in several locations at the festival.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the North Alabama Agriplex is helping kids say “thank you” with a special hand-crafted gift that’ll be truly one of a kind.

On Saturday, May 7, kids can join in the handmade fun at the Agriplex for a Mother’s Day Make & Take program to give mom a tasty present with a personal touch. The program is for children ages 5 and older (accompanied by an adult), and it kicks off at 9 a.m. The early start is worth it, though: Everyone will be making their own homemade strawberry jam, just in time to arrive fresh on Mother’s Day morning.

The $15 per-child course is part of the Agriplex’s monthly Farm Kids Club learning series, but it’s just one of several fascinating springtime courses and hands-on programs the nonprofit has set for the month of May. Here’s a preview of everything the Agriplex has planned from now until the end of the month:

Programs for Adults

May 11 at 6 p.m. — Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program: Laying Plastic & Drip Irrigation Demonstration

This course for adults will cover all the basics of learning how to lay plastic and drip irrigation. The monthly Farmer & rancher series targets beginning and small farmers to teach relevant skills, encouraging peer-to-peer learning, and offering mentorships with experienced growers.

The course is free, but registration is required: Contact Tony Glover to register at gloveta@aces.edu or 205-568-0005.

May 16 at 6 p.m. — Learn to Sew: Applique

Bring a T-shirt and learn how to add a decorative fabric applique at this month’s installment in the Agriplex’s Learn to Sew series. Guests are required to have their own working sewing machines and accompanying manuals; a supply list for the class will be sent out upon registration. Class size is limited to 14 participants; to register for the $15 program, call 256-297-1044.

May 17 at 6 p.m. — Heritage Skills: Water bath Canning Class

Learn which foods can be safely preserved using the water bath canning method. The class will cover the complete canning process, including the selection of produce and preparation of jams, jellies, canned fruits, and tomatoes. Registration is required for this $10 class.

May 18 at noon — Lunch & Learn: The Thrifty Garden

This month’s free Lunch & Learn lesson will feature County Extension coordinator Kira Sims, and will focus on the mileage you can get from the foods that grow in your own backyard. Lunch begins at 12 p.m. at the Agriplex; please call ahead to reserve your seat.

Programs for Kids

May 5 at noon — Heritage Homeschool (Secondary grades): Foraging

Learn about wild edible plants with expert Darryl Patton. This hands-on program costs $10 per student, and will help them in identifying useful local plants. The course serves local homeschool students from grade 7 through 12, and runs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Agriplex. Registration is required.

May 7 at 9 a.m. — Farm Kids Club — Mothers Day Make & Take

Kids will make strawberry jam for Mother’s Day morning. Course cost is $15 per child, with no maximum per family, and the class runs from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Agriplex.

May 10 & May 17 — Library Storytime: Peter Rabbit

Kids can sit in on a reading of the classic Beatrix Potter tale at two locations on two separate May dates: At the Cullman County Public Library on May 10 (start time is at 10 a.m.); and at the Guy Hunt Library at Holly Pond on May 17 (with a start time of 10:30 a.m.) The Library Storytime program is free for local kids and their accompanying adults.

May 12 at 9 a.m. — Heritage Homeschool (Elementary): Nature Notebooks

Nature notebooks encourage exploration while helping kids notice the smallest details and beauty of the outdoors. This class is aimed at local homeschool children (and their parents) from kindergarten through 6th grade, and costs $15 per student, with no maximum per family. Class time runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and registration is required.

May 13 at 10 a.m. — Little Farmers: Pancakes

Pancakes are yummy — but where do all the ingredients come from? Join in at the Agriplex to find out! This monthly program is for children ages 3-5 with an accompanying parent, and the cost for this month’s pancake class is $5 per child. Class time runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and registration is required.

Visit the Agriplex at agriplex.org for information on how to register for the course of your choice, and for more information on all current and upcoming programs. You can also contact the Agriplex at (256) 297-1044 and via email at cullmanag@gmail.com.

Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 234.

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