Magnolia Club members tour Lamon farm

Posted 6/14/17

The Magnolia Garden Club met May 25 at the Lamon farm on Michigan Avenue for a program on “Farm Gardening.”

Members learned how a strawberry planter works, before enjoying a hayride around the …

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Magnolia Club members tour Lamon farm

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The Magnolia Garden Club met May 25 at the Lamon farm on Michigan Avenue for a program on “Farm Gardening.”

Members learned how a strawberry planter works, before enjoying a hayride around the farm property. The tour was guided by several of the Lamon family children. The farm is owned and operated by Franklin and Sue Taylor and Randall Lamon.

Strawberries are a staple crop at the Lamon Farm. The farm orders 20,000 plants to be planted each year in September. Strawberry fields are plowed and prepared with water tubes and plastic coverings. The strawberry planter passes over the dirt mounds poking holes and injecting fertilizer in each hole. Farm workers sit behind the tractor in seats built low to the ground, planting each strawberry plant by hand.

Samuel Taylor, grandson of garden club member Sue Taylor, started the hayride tour with an introduction to the farm. While Sam doesn’t like to eat vegetables — “except French fries” — he does like to help gather them. He says he “loves to come to the farm to play in the creek and to drive the Gator.” Sam informed club members that corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and okra are among the crops planted in regular rotation on this busy family farm.

Ben Taylor, a grandson of the Taylors, also, educated club members about the beehives at the farm. Beekeeping has been a tradition in his family since his “great-great-granddad had bee hives” on his farm. His great-uncle, Randall Lamon, is the current beekeeper. Ben has watched his uncle feed the bees through the winter and has enjoyed seeing him capture swarms when the hives become overcrowded.

He says there “is a big demand for local honey” even though he doesn’t profess to care for it much himself. Watching the activity of the bees as they make their way throughout the farm pollinating the corn, cucumber and squash crops is something he does seem to enjoy.

Stella Lamon, Lamon’s granddaughter, sayid she loves the strawberries. She likes to pick her own and spends a lot of time searching for the reddest, ripest berries during growing season. Sadly, this year has been difficult with cold temperatures and heavy rain destroying many of the berries. Stella reports strawberry season usually only lasts about five weeks, with berries peaking around mid-May.

After the garden tour, chaplain Sheila Webb gave a devotion on gardening God’s way with a clever play on words. Fresh strawberry shortcake was served by Sue Taylor in the shade of the barn, which also serves as a farm market.

The business meeting was conducted by president Linda Cross. National Garden Week is currently being celebrated (the week of June 4-10) with information posters being shared around the community. Several members reported on their attendance at the 2017 Garden Convention. Recent awards earned by the club were announced, and pollinator seed packets were shared with club members for planting.

Other members in attendance included Annette Stanbery, Sheila Cardin, Ginger Cloud, Patsy Bettis, LuAnn Carey and Elsie Yates. Specimens brought to the meeting included daisies, verbena, Queen Anne’s lace and the various crops in rotation throughout the farm.

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