Interview with Jewel Walker-Harps, President of the Griffin, Georgia branch of the NAACP


Jewel Walker-Harps is President of the Griffin, Georgia branch of the NAACP and chairs the Educational Prosperity Initiative, a grassroots engagement and multi-institution initiative to fight poverty and provide a comprehensive system of general supports through services, programs, and activities for all ages. She is President of the South Atlanta Youth Association, a Library Media Specialist, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children, and a member of the executive committee of the Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children, Inc, which was created by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia and designated as the local decision making body for prioritizing the needs of families and children.

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Lettuce is Luscious in a Georgia Community or School Garden

Lettuce is a great cool-season crop to grow in Georgia, especially leaf lettuce.  Growing leaf lettuce means you don’t have to wait for the lettuce to make a head.  You can begin harvesting as soon as the leaves are large enough to eat.  With names like Firecracker, Tango, and Drunken Woman the expectations for flavor are high!

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Rabbits can be Rascally Foes in the Georgia Garden

Rabbits in the Georgia GardenThis week we have Wilkes County UGA Extension Agent Frank Watson as a guest blogger.  Extension agents have gotten many calls about rabbit damage in the garden; gardeners are frustrated!  Frank has some information that could be useful.  Frank says….

While rabbits may seem cute and fuzzy, the common rabbit or eastern cottontail can do considerable damage to flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs any time of the year in places ranging from suburban yards to rural fields and tree plantations.

Controlling rabbits is often necessary to reduce damage, but complete extermination is not necessary, desirable or even possible.

No toxicants or fumigants are registered for use against rabbits. There are, however, chemical repellents available at local garden centers that may discourage rabbit browsing.

Rabbits in the Georgia Garden
A rascally rabbit enjoying a carrot.

Repellents should be applied before rabbit-inflicted damage occurs and after a rain, heavy dew or the occurrence of new plant growth. If rabbits have already started feeding, their attraction to what they have been eating will most likely overcome their fear of the repellent.

Habitat modification and exclusion techniques provide long-term, non-lethal control. Remove dense, heavy vegetative cover, brush piles, weed patches and stone piles in or adjacent to the landscape.

Fencing made from chicken wire, with less than 1-inch mesh, can be placed around herbaceous plants. The fence must be at least 2-feet high and the bottom must be buried at least 3-inches deep. Quarter-inch wire hardware cloth made into 18- to 24-inch cylinders and buried at least 3 inches will protect trunks of young orchard trees or woody landscape plants.

In the winter months, live animal traps can be baited with corncobs, oats, dried apples or rabbit droppings. Traps can be bought at garden centers, hardware stores or from gardening catalogs. Place the traps where rabbits have been feeding or resting and close to suitable cover.

If the trap fails to catch any rabbits within a week, move the trap to a different location.

For more information about managing wildlife in the garden, search for wildlife on  As always, your local UGA Extension office is a great source of information.

Frank hails from cattle country and while farmers use electric fence to keep their cattle in Frank uses electric fence to keep deer out of his garden!

Happy Gardening!


Taking Quality Photos of Your Georgia Garden

We all need to be able to take quality photos of our gardens.  Whether you are promoting your garden to the school administration, bragging on your garden plots to the town council, or applying for grant monies a well taken photo tells the story of your garden.

Today we are excited to have Jeff Martin as a guest blogger.  Jeff has been taking photographs for over 30 years and has considerable experience photographing nature and gardens.  Today he is going to give us some advice for taking quality pictures of our gardens.  Jeff says….

The Best Camera Is the One That’s With You.

I have always liked this quote from Chase Jarvis. It is simple, to the point, and 100% true. Any camera that you have with you, is better than your Nikon sitting on a shelf at home. And what camera so you always have with you? The one that is on your cell phone.
Some will wrongly assume that that cell phone cameras can’t take very good photos. They may feel that their phone is mainly used to take selfies, and photos of their half-eaten dinner. The cell phone camera is a powerful tool, made more potent by the fact that is always ready to capture the moments in time that you want to save.
Taking Quality Photos of Your Georgia Garden
I have always put photos into 2 categories: 1. Photos that show what you saw. 2. Photos that show what you felt. If you are only interested in showing what you saw, just point the camera and and take the photo. This will be good enough in most cases. But if you want to take better photos, photos that are worth a second look, you can do many things to make them more interesting to view.
Taking Quality Photos of Your Georgia Garden
If, for instance, you are trying to photograph a small garden, just changing the height that you are holding the camera can make a huge difference on how your photos look. Most photos are taken from a height of 5-6′. Climb a ladder to take a photo, or place the camera as close to the ground as possible. Either of these changes will give your a photo a look that many other photos lack. Be sure to look for the most interesting plants, and keep your shadow out of the photos.
Taking Quality Photos of Your Georgia Garden
Keep in mind that digital photos are free to take, so always experiment! You might be surprised at how good they come out.
If you have any specific photography questions for Jeff, please leave them in the comments section.  You can follow Jeff on Instagram at jeffmartin2510.
Jeff is not a community or school gardener but his dream community garden plot would include cantaloupe, lima beans, and potatoes.  Sounds good to me!
Happy Gardening!