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Plant sale raises funds for extension service

by Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

The Henry County Cooperative Extension Service concluded its second annual plant sale Saturday, and organizers of the event are calling it a success.

The service sold blueberries, muscadines and blackberries from January through March 3, and plants were picked up from its shade house in McDonough between Thursday and Saturday.

The sale of more than 300 plants was coordinated by Colleen Currie, program assistant for Agriculture and Natural Resources for the University of Georgia.

"She sold in the neighborhood of $3,000," says Frank Hancock, Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for the extension service.

Community response for this year's fund-raiser was an improvement over last year, says Hancock.

"We sold a little bit more than we did last year," he says. "As we go along, hopefully, it will get bigger next year."

The species of blueberry bushes sold were Austin, Brightwell, Climax, Premier, Powder Blue and Tifblue. The muscadine species included Carlos, Tara, Triumph, Black Beauty, Fry, Summit, Scuppernong and Jumbo. The blackberry bushes included Apache, Arapaho, Black Satin, Navajo, Cheyenne, Kiowa and Shawnee.

In preparation for the sale, says Currie, the blueberries and blackberries were trucked in from a nursery in Alma, Ga., 189 miles south of Henry County, and the muscadines were brought in from a nursery in Brooks.

"The purpose of this is twofold," she explains. "It is a fund-raiser for the whole Extension Service Office and the Master Gardeners [program]. It's also to get people involved in the horticultural aspects of growing their own plants."