Posted By Tony Melton Florence County Extension Agent

 I am brokenhearted.  Unless something miraculous happens, this will be my last week to publish this article, work as a County Agent, and serve the great people of the Pee Dee.  I am retiring from the best job on earth and the   memories flow like the Great Pee Dee River. One of my Dad’s favorite sayings was, “If I have done it one time, I have done it a thousand times.”   When I was young all I could think about was the thousand rows of crops he had for me to hoe and harvest, but I really didn’t understand the meaning of his words.  Now, after teaching a thousand Master Gardeners, writing a thousand news articles, and making a thousand presentations to community groups, I think I am beginning to understand a little.  Each endeavor is so very important, but with each event you learn much, improve a little, and continually move to another. 

            Doesn’t this sound a little like gardening?  Each plant is cherished, nurtured, and really babied but there is always more to plant, care for, and harvest.  Some are annuals, biennials, or perennials, while others, like the Angel Oak, are thousands of years in age.    My sometimes feeble attempt at gardening always includes picturing or placing myself into the life of the plant itself.  In other words, if I were this plant what would I require, want, and need to flourish?  Just like people, each plant has its own requirements to excel.  Azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and camellias like a lower pH than most plants; however, tomatoes and peppers prefer a fairly high pH of 6.5. Turnips, mustard, cabbage, collards, and sweet potatoes require more boron while peanuts require more calcium.  We could continue in this vein for eternity, and this is one of the reasons I tell all the folks who take the Master Gardener Course that they will truly never be a master of gardening.  I have worked with plants all my life and every day I still learn.

            To mark my retirement, the great people in my office are giving me a party.  After all these TV shows, articles, and presentations over the years, many people introduce themselves to me and say that they feel like they’ve personally known me.  Well, I feel like I also know you, and, in fact, through all my appearances at many civic and community organizations we may have actually met.      Therefore, this is my invitation to you to come to my retirement party which will be held on   June 5th from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Schoolhouse Restaurant in Scranton.  $7.50 is the cost of the meal, which you can pay at the door.  You may call my office at (843) 661- 4800 for more information. I hope to see you there.

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.


 
2 Comment(s):
Flossip said...
Will someone else take over the blog?
June 28, 2009 11:56 PM
 
JEANETTE ROBERTS said...
TONY, I'll MISS YOU ON MAKING IT GROW. BEST OF LUCK! JEANETTE ROBERTS
June 2, 2009 10:58 PM
 
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