Need a Gift that Keeps on Giving? Think Landscape for Life

     Do you need a special gift for someone who is new to gardening or a gardener new to Southside?  Have you ever wanted to take the Master Gardener course but are still working or don't want to commit to the volunteer obligation?  The Southside Master Gardener Association's Landscape for Life may be just what you need.  Landscape for Life is based on sustainable landscape practices.  Think of it as a mini-Master Gardener training.  The six classes will start on January 16 and be held on every other Friday in January, February and March from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum

     The Landscape for Life series starts off on January 16 with an introduction to soils by Kathy Conner Cornell.  Most times we don't give soil any thought.  Soils are everything to the plant.  It is through the interaction of roots and the soil that plants receive their nutrition and water.  Healthy soils are the basis of a beautiful garden.

     Bear Clark will discuss water quality on January 30.  Stormwater management is very important no matter where you live.  We need to garden and manage runoff in ways that protect our waterways.  You will learn special techniques to properly manage rainwater in your landscape.

     On February 13th Kathy will review choosing the right plant for the right place.  It is important to avoid invasive alien plants that disrupt our natural habitats.  Native plants can often be a good choice in the sustainable garden but not necessarily the only choice.  You will learn what to consider as you make the best plant selections for your garden.  Also as a special treat, Herb Thomas, Nelson County Master Gardener, will show the class the steps to make a wildflower meadow.

     We will have a special treat on February 27.  A strong design is the backbone of any landscape.  You shouldn't put a shovel in the ground until you've assessed your space and determined what functions you want your landscape to serve such as play area, private area or entertaining.  The design development will be an ongoing project but to help with the plan Bob Jones, Master Gardener Coordinator and Extension Agent from Charlotte County will guide you through the basics of planning a landscape.

     Materials, normally thought of as hardscape, will be discussed on March 13th.  In the landscape, hardscapes are often used for things such as fencing, arbors, trellises or pathways.  This will be a fun session chock full of ideas on how to use repurposed/recycled materials to define areas in the garden.  A main way we can recycle and repurpose is to compost.  Ben Capozzi, Master Gardener and Permaculturist, will guide you through the steps to create black gold that is so important to our soils.  Kathy will lead a presentation on Integrated Pest Management.  Using pesticides should be the last resort for garden pest problems.  The IPM method details the steps to be taken before ever reaching for a pesticide and what improper pesticide use is doing to our wildlife especially bees.

     The last class on March 27 will be devoted to each member's personal design and their specific issues.  Some designs will be discussed in the class and everyone will have the opportunity for a personal consultation.  You will leave the program feeling confident that you can have the landscape of your dreams and help protect the environment for enjoyment of future generations.

     There will be a $25 fee to cover the materials for the 6 sessions.  Participants are encouraged to attend all sessions to get the maximum value out of the classes.  However if this just doesn't work into your schedule, individual classes will have a $5 fee.  The fee is for a family - husband and wife, parent and MATURE child or friends.  The family must be discussing the same landscape.  This would make a great Christmas gift!

     Advance registration and payment is required.  Space is limited.  To register go to the Halifax Extension Office to pick up an application form or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request an application form.  Mail completed form and check made out to SSMGA to Halifax County Extension Office, PO Box 757, Halifax, VA  24558.  The six classes will be held on 1/16, 1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/13 and 3/27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum, 1540 Wilborn Avenue, South Boston.  For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the extension office at 434-476-2147.

Native plants such as this Baptisia australis, False Blue Indigo, are part of a sustainable landscape.  If you are interested in learning how to garden with nature, sign up for the Landscape for Life being offered by the Southside Master Gardener Association.


Permaculture & Composting featured at the Museum

     The Southside Master Gardener Association will offer Friday classes at the South Boston - Halifax County Museum on November 14th and 21st from 11 am to 1 pm.  These classes are free and open to the public.

     Rev Dele will present "Climate Reality through a Permaculturist's Eyes" on November 14th.  Rev has spoken at the museum in the past on the basic premises of permaculture, a system of creating a more positive environment going back to things that indigenous people did.  This time she takes a more philosophical approach showing graphs that illustrate where we are headed and how through permaculture we receive "important lessons of ecological balance which we can repeat in our personal yards as well as public green spaces".  These permaculture lessons will help us thrive whatever the climate.Rev-Dele-

     Rev Dele is a renaissance woman who has lived and worked on the prophetic edge of social change in California, Oklahoma, Washington D.C. and Virginia.  Dele earned her B.A. from UC-Riverside and her Masters of Divinity from Howard University.  Ordained in the United Church of Christ she has dual Baptist affiliations.  A permaculturist, storyteller and meditation teacher, her ministries always empower communities in wholistic ways.  "Redemption of the soil is inextricably linked to redemption of the soul", says Dele.  She issues a clarion call to faith communities to become hubs of sustainability which solidify local food sovereignty and water security.

     On November 21st Master Gardener Ben Capozzi will discuss the "Importance of Composting" as a way to recycle ben-capozziwhat we might be throwing in the landfill, how easy it is to make and how it nourishes our soils and therefore nourishes our plants that nourish us.  Following the class, we will take a field trip to Ben's yard and garden to see compost in various stages, the Berkley 18 Day technique and a pet waste composting bin.  Dress for the weather.

     Ben Capozzi is a freelance designer, gardener, and educator.  He is a Virginia Master Gardener, permaculture artisan, and plant enthusiast.  He is the part-time educator for the Natural History collection at the Danville Science Center and Butterfly Garden.  He also writes around the web and for local papers, shoots microstock photography, and shares his ongoing garden projects at his blog,

     Although there is no charge for the classes, registration is required.  To register e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147.  For more information visit  The South Boston - Halifax County Museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.  Hope to see you at these exciting presentations.


Local Holiday Events & Shopping!

The following is a listing of local holiday events & shopping taking place in the Town of Halifax

Saturday November 29th, Shop Snall, Shop Local!

Visit participating businesses in the Town of Halifax where you will find great buys all while supporting your local community!


Saturday November 29th, Dec. 6th & 13th!

Town of HalifaxFarmers Market, 2nd annual Indoor/Holiday market will be open 9am-3pm, where local market vendors and crafters will showcase great holiday products and gifts!


Sunday November 30th, Christmas Open House!  1pm-until

Letters to Santa ready?  Hand deliver them to Santa himself when you visit with him at Cozy Cottage! (1-4 pm, and bring your camera), Kidsw Scavenger Hunt at participating businesses!  Register to win the worlds largest Christmas stocking at The Peddlers Market! 

FREE Children's craft workshop:  kids can make a Snowman gift giving bucket & a holiday picture frame.  Gift wrapping will be available for donations, which will support the Community Clock project

Hungry for lunch?  Pino's pizza will have pizza by the slice available along with regular menu items!


Friday December 12th, 6:30pm!

5th Annual Children's Christmas Parade Theme "It's Better to Give Than to Receive"  sponsored by the Halifax Village Association & the Town of Halifax.  The Town of Halifax tree lighting ceremony will also take place during this event.

Keeping your community unique is what makes it yours!

Solarize Halifax

Planning for Christmas Open House