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    Our list of summer gardening chore lists can be long this time of year, but there’s something else to add to those lists — making more plants. Learn more

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Snapshots: Family Reunions

Submit Your Images! September Theme: “County Fairs” Deadline for September: July 31. Submit photos online:www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124. Rules: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our […]


Three common ways your Social Security payment can grow after retirement

You made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But, did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase? Once you begin receiving benefits, there are three common ways benefit checks can increase: […]


Spay/neuter, microchips help reduce unwanted pets

“The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” Mother Teresa One year ago on a hot July afternoon, we were fertilizing the trees by the fence and the neighbors stopped by the gate to chat. We visited for over an hour. Then the sky started to get dark. We went […]


Catfish industry keeps Black Belt region afloat

Story and photos by Morgan Graham “One of the reasons we have remained viable in the U.S. fish market is because our electrical costs in Alabama remained competitive.” Many Black Belt farms were in financial deep water in the 1980s when low commodity prices and high input costs struck American agriculture. But the area’s unique […]


Fresh, tasty and local: Farmers markets help put a face on our food

By Jennifer Kornegay / All photos courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Market Authority For many of us, the convenience of the closest grocery story is just too much to resist. Even in Alabama – where agriculture is still a flourishing industry, making a variety of fresh produce available – for decades, we’ve chosen to buy […]


Faith in their farm: Barbour County couple revitalize family farm, share knowledge with others

Story and photos by Katie Jackson It takes a lot of faith to believe that a tiny seed can become a mighty harvest. It takes even more faith to plant seeds for the future of farming. But faith, along with energy and knowledge, are things that Barbour County farmers Jewell and Russell Bean have in […]


Farming for life

Jimmy Parnell has been president of the Alabama Farmers Federation and CEO of Alfa Insurance since 2012. He is a fifth-generation farmer who grew up on his family’s Chilton County farm where they raised cattle and grew timber. He is a graduate of Auburn University. He and his family were named Outstanding Young Farm Family […]


A cut above — and below: Propagate plants to add to your garden

Our list of summer gardening chore lists can be long this time of year, but there’s something else to add to those lists — making more plants. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, plant propagation is an easy and affordable way to add plants to your garden. It’s something you can do year-round depending on […]


Is an electric vehicle right for you?

The economics of electric vehicles are affected by geography, climate and how your electricity is generated By Paul Wesslund Should your next car be an electric vehicle? The answer could depend on where you live. Electric vehicles account for just 1.2 percent of the U.S. vehicle market, but sales are booming, growing 25 percent last […]


Fact-checking my parents

By Clay Coppedge My parents and I were going through boxes of old family photographs several years ago when we came across a large glossy photo that a photographer for the Birmingham Post-Herald took either the day I was born, or maybe the day after, of me and my parents in the hospital room. My […]


Beyond the Polka: Accordion aficionados keep squeezebox’s legacy alive

By Aaron Tanner Once a popular and even glamorous instrument, the accordion fell out of favor over the years, as rock ’n’ roll came to dominate the musical landscape. But some Alabama musicians are working to promote the once noble squeezebox by introducing its versatile sounds to some who’ve never heard one performed live. Members […]


South Forty: steaks, burgers and more

By Allison Law Most folks don’t venture into the restaurant industry during their retirement years. But for Don White, the decision to start running a restaurant was rooted in a desire to help his family as well as a commitment to the little community he calls home. White’s investment in the South Forty restaurant, which […]


Taste, don’t waste: Group raises awareness of less popular fish

Growing up in South Louisiana, where people eat anything that doesn’t eat them first and some things that do, I tasted about every fish species found in the Gulf of Mexico or associated waters. Some I only tried once. Some I spit out about as fast as it hit my tongue. But there’s a group […]


Understanding your energy bill can help you save

Q: Every month, I look over my electric bill, but a lot of it doesn’t make sense to me. Is there information included on my bill that can help me save money? A: It’s always a good idea to understand how you’re spending your money. You look over your credit card statement carefully each month, so you […]


Recipes: Chill out with frozen treats

Don’t bemoan the heat. Beat it by whipping up some delicious frozen dishes. By Jennifer Kornegay You can eat ice cream, popsicles and other tasty frozen treats all year long. But there’s an extra layer of pleasure when enjoying one in the heat of summer. The temperature difference alone is a little thrilling. That first […]


Hardy Jackson’s Alabama: Bicentennial Beer, a capital idea

In case you haven’t noticed, Alabama is in the midst of its Bicentennial Celebration. And to mark this historic event, the Alabama Brewers Guild, in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, has enlisted breweries from across Alabama to collaborate in concocting a series of beers, each honoring one of the state’s five capitals. The first […]


Learn to prevent, recognize heat-related illnesses

Alabama’s summer climate with its extreme temperatures and high humidity can lead to heat-related illnesses and deaths if not treated. Heat-related illnesses occur when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. You can learn the warnings and signal help when needed. Heat stroke Heat stroke, sometimes called sunstroke, is the most serious heat-related illness. It […]


Alabama tourism increased by $1 billion in 2017
 

By the Alabama Tourism Department The Alabama travel industry grew by $1 billion in 2017 to a record of $14.3 billion in expenditures, and increased jobs by 7,399 to some 186,906 employees, Gov. Kay Ivey announced recently. She noted that the industry grew by 7 percent and attracted an additional 810,000 visitors to top 26 […]


Shining light on energy savings: With LEDs, the future of bulbs is bright

When it comes to lighting, the potential for energy efficiency is just too great to ignore. Around the home, changing bulbs can change your electric bills, and the monthly savings can add up quickly. “Lighting efficiency upgrades have long been the poster child of energy efficiency,” says Alan Shedd, director of energy solutions for Touchstone […]