February 2011 archive

Extension scientists review soil moisture sensors with area farmers

James Adkins, associate scientist for Irrigation Engineering demonstrates the pros and cons of various soil moisture sensing equipment available to farmers. The 3-hour workshop is one of several held at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown. After the demonstration, Adkins and Cory Whaley, Sussex County agriculture Extension agent, discussed how to interpret the data collected by the various instruments. For more information about soil moisture equipment and irrigation topics, please contact Adkins at 856-2585 ext 588.

Delmarva Safety Association announces Mike Love as new executive director

The Delmarva Safety Association (DSA) is pleased to announce that Mike Love, Extension safety agent at the University of Delaware, Research and Education Center in Georgetown has accepted the position as Executive Director for organization.  Love will be assuming responsibilities held by former Executive Director Ron Jester, who retired after 35 years of service to DSA. In his new role, Love will spend 15 percent of his duties with DSA in addition to his Extension safety agent responsibilities.

DSA is a non-profit educational organization formed in 1976 through leadership of the University of Delaware, Cooperative Extension,

Love's role as Executive Director of DSA will be an addition to his position as UD's Extension safety agent

the Delaware Safety Council, poultry integrators and leading companies on Delmarva.  Their mission is to reduce injuries and fatalities in the workplace through education, promotion and advocacy of safety in the workplace and communities.  DSA hosts bimonthly luncheons and sponsors two safety workshops – one in Dover in the fall and in Salisbury, Md. in the spring.  The current membership exceeds 125 members.

DSA is managed by nine officers and six boards of directors representing all major industries on the Delmarva.  Current officers in addition to the University of Delaware represent Perdue Farms, NASA, Chesapeake Utilities, Nemours Foundation, Dover Air Force Base, Kraft Foods Global, Mountaire Farms, Delmarva Power, MOSH, and Maryland Fire and Rescue Institutes.

Love has been with the University of Delaware since 2002 and has served as the community traffic safety program leader and most recently as Sussex County Extension safety agent.  He brings a wealth of experience to DSA with a background in truck transportation, emergency services and injury prevention. A volunteer firefighter for 30 years, Love is also a registered EMT in Delaware, and has served as an instructor for defensive driving, child passenger safety, and tractor and machinery operation.

Mark Isaacs, director of the Carvel Research and Education Center sees significant value in the partnership with DSA. “I am elated that we will be able to continue the strong relationship between the UD and DSA. With Mike’s experience and background he is an excellent fit to provide leadership for the association,” Isaacs said. Love’s dual role will provide Delawareans with greater opportunities and access to safety educational programs and activities that impact farms, businesses and industries not only in Delaware, but throughout the peninsula, Isaacs said.

To learn more about the Delmarva Safety Association and safety educational opportunities offered through the organization, please call Mike Love at (302)856-2585 ext 583 or visit their web site at http://delmarvasafety.com/index.htm.

Sussex Master Gardeners offer a variety of garden workshops this spring

In case you didn’t hear, a rather famous groundhog did not see his shadow this year, meaning that Spring 2011 is just around the corner! That news sits well with Sussex County Master Gardener volunteers, who planned in advance of the Punxsutawney rodent’s long -awaited prediction! Sussex Master Gardeners are pleased to present the opportunity for the public to get their spring garden in gear and in style! Are you new to Delaware? Are you curious what can grow well here? Can your home garden be an economics asset?  Can you easily access and harvest the great vegetables you have grown from seed to produce?   All these topics and more await at the Carvel Research and Education Center, home to Sussex County Cooperative Extension and our dedicated gardening expert volunteers.

Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free. They fill up fast, so pre-registration is required.  Come with a family member or friend and learn together how much fun a productive garden in southern Delaware can be! All are welcome. For directions and any special needs you may have, please visit the page links adjacent to the “home” page above our header.

Thursday, February 17, 2011 – Planning/Journaling in the Garden

Presenter-Jessica Clark
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Planning your physical garden is more than obtaining a soil sample, adding compost and fertilizer, planting in the right seasons. Your garden should be a place where the feeling of your hands in the dirt offers a deep, primordial connection with the earth, where you learn what can work for you in the physical garden and where it can work for you in your emotional garden as you journal your thoughts and feelings in the peaceful oasis that you create. Bring a notebook, some photos of your garden, and some ideas. We will be using some ideas from Digging Deep by Fran Sorin. Register here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 – Vegetable Gardening

Presenter-Linda Peters
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. We will discuss the basics of starting the garden from scratch and will cover topics such as: location, soil, fertilizing, watering, etc. This workshop is a good basic discussion for new gardeners and a good review for experienced gardeners. Register here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – More Bloom for Your Buck  (This workshop is full. Thank you!)

Presenter- Tracy Mulveny
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 1

Cost: $5.00 per person. LIMIT 30 PARTICIPANTS. A hands-on class to demonstrate simple techniques to grow more plants for your garden from seeds and cuttings. Please bring clippers or heavy scissors and gloves. Register here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 – Gardening on the Cheap

Presenter-Miguel Pirez-Faber
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Who does not want to learn some money-saving ideas for gardening in Delaware? Register here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 – Native Plants

Presenter-Brent Marsh
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Songbird populations have been declining for years because habitat is declining. You can help by adding native plants to yards and gardens. Non-native plants do not nourish local birds and beneficial insects. Native plants do nourish the habitat and they are attractive and interesting additions to the garden. Register here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 – Water Wise Container Gardening

Presenter-Marjorie Lewis
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. The spring is too wet and the summer is too dry. Do you want to know how to really plant attractive containers? Then attend this workshop to find out! Register here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 – New Gardener in Delaware?

Presenter-Panel of Master Gardeners
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. New to Delaware? Ask about gardening in the sand, salt air, humidity and heat in Delaware. Register here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Accessible Gardening

Presenter-Bob Williams
10:00 a.m., Carvel

Cost: Free. Do you enjoy nature? Do you think all gardening tools are the same? Learn what tools and techniques are available for the gardener as we age or develop mobility issues, and visit our garden to see how they are used. Make garden enjoyable for all. Register here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 – Hostas

Presenter-Vickie Thompson
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. A perennial favorite workshop (no pun intended). If you want to learn about Hostas, this is the time and place! Register here.

Master Gardeners are people who enjoy gardening, have gardening experience, want to learn more about gardening, and have a desire to help others in their community. They have all completed an intensive training program and volunteered a minimum of 45 hours during their first year of membership. Please visit the link to learn more information about the Master Gardening Program in Sussex County, where you may also download a PDF brochure of the upcoming workshops.

Delaware senators Carper and Coons thank 4-H volunteers

Delaware 4-H paid tribute to more than 100 of its volunteer leader force, with a luncheon at Dover Downs Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

Sen. Tom Carper smiles as he receives a 4-H chorus of "Happy Birthday."

4-H Leaders were honored by special visits from U. S. Senators Thomas Carper and Chris Coons, who spoke before the 4-H gathering and praised the volunteers for their years of service and dedication to Delaware’s youth.

After making their way around tables, greeting and thanking volunteers personally, Sen. Carper and Sen. Coons spoke individually, acknowledging the countless hours served in 4-H. Carper had high praise for the 4-H youth development program and the positive effects on Delaware children.

Sen. Carper, echoing Albert Einstein’s quote that from adversity comes opportunity, pointed to America’s tradition of rising to those challenges. Carper noted that while families are again experiencing hardships,  4-H had seized the opportunity to make a difference.

Sen. Chris Coons also acknowledged the impact of volunteering. He met his future wife as

U.S. Senator Chris Coons stops by to say hello to Robert and Ruth Ann Messick, long time 4-H volunteers from Kent County,

an  Americorps volunteer and praised the room of 4-H staff and adult leaders for their instrumental role in enriching and building the self-confidence of Delaware’s children. He noted that Delaware enjoyed one of the highest per capita of 4-H participation in the nation.

State 4-H Extension Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator Ernie López commented how fortunate Delaware 4-H was in having both of their U.S. senators appear and spend time with 4-H volunteers and staff.

“We were pleased that Senator Carper and Senator Coons both took time out of their busy schedules to help us honor our leaders,” López said.   “Delaware 4-H has the most dedicated volunteers in the country and while all of us on staff appreciate and know this, it was great to see both members of Congress express their thanks and admiration for the work our leaders do day in and day out with 4-H youth.”

Each year, one of Delaware’s counties hosts a 4-H Leader Forum, which traditionally includes a full day of leader training workshops, lunch and award recognition. In November, Delaware hosted a three-day regional workshop for 13 state 4-H programs, two days of which included intensive training. As a result, Delaware 4-H modified its own local forum to an appreciation luncheon in January.

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. They are supported by volunteer leaders and Delaware Cooperative Extension through the joint efforts of the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. For more information about 4-H, please visit the Delaware 4-H website or contact Ernie López about becoming a 4-H volunteer leader – 302-856-2585 ext 561. Visit our photo gallery for more pictures of this event.

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Sussex 4-H youth wake up early to cook and compete

Georgetown Middle School will serve as host for the annual Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods Contest and Foods and Nutrition Judging Contest, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. More than 80 Sussex County youth from the ages of 5 to 18 will wake up early on their day off and present their knowledge of food groups, menu planning, food and nutrition basics, food safety and healthy food choices. An estimated 250 visitors are expected to attend in support of 4-H youth contestants.

The Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods and Judging Contests presents a terrific opportunity in a fun learning environment, and children receive tools of the trade and valuable experience in making wise consumer and healthy choices that will last a lifetime.

Highlights of planned events include:

  • Children prepare a food item of their choice provide the recipe. They suggest a meal plan to accompany that recipe, which is showcased before judges and visitors.
  • Contestants learn to properly preserve and display their food entry for judging and interviews. Food safety is stressed.
  • Youth design a presentation place setting for maximum appeal.
  • Judges sample the prepared food and interview each contestant.
  • In a separate Foods and Nutrition Judging Contest youth test their knowledge in such areas as consumer education, cooking terms, MyPyramid and measuring math.
  • Workshop stations designed to educate and entertain, and staffed by experienced professionals, 4-H Junior Leaders and other 4-H volunteers will present:

o   Make it and take it crafts
o   Judging Training Station for  upcoming Wood Science and Photography competitions will also be available to keep youth engaged while they are waiting for the awards
o   Kids Corner – Community service and children’s activities

Sussex County 4-H Extension Educator Mary Argo and 4-H Volunteer Chairpersons Gina Anger and Marian Carey coordinates the day’s events, judges, presenters,  educational materials and volunteer base to make this contest a great success.

Awards, presented in different age and food categories, will be presented at 1 p.m. All attendees afterward are invited to sample the delicious recipes the children have prepared and participants take home a cookbook of all submitted recipes.  Awards are sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Foundation and ribbons are sponsored by the Sussex County Leaders’ Association

When so many children sleep in late and have developed fast food and junk food preferences, these motivated Sussex County 4-H youth act as terrific role models for other children. The Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods and Food and Nutrition Contests provide the opportunity for youth to learn that many factors go into our food choices – and learning all the components of making wise choices can be presented in an educational and entertaining way.

4-H is a community of young people in America who are learning leadership, citizenship and important life skills. For more information about this event contact 4-H Educator Mary Argo at 856-2585 ext 559.