July 2011 archive

Sussex Master Gardeners all a flutter for August 9th workshop and garden walk

Sussex Master Gardeners invite the public to explore their butterfly garden


A Black Swallow Tail Butterfly enjoys a Verbena. Photo by MG Bobbie Ranney

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to invite the public to a presentation on Butterfly Gardening followed by our Second Annual Butterfly Walk at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011

Linda Peters will be presenting the Butterfly Gardening workshop at 1 p.m. at the Carvel Research and Education Center- Sussex County Cooperative Extension, Meeting Room 3. Please pre-register for this workshop by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302)856-2585, ext. 544 or tammys@udel.edu.

Following the workshop the Master Gardeners will host the Butterfly Walk in the demonstration garden from 2 – 4 p.m.    The garden is located behind the Carvel REC, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown. The event is free.

Master Gardeners will feature a look at an August garden filled with flowers and butterflies.  In addition to enjoying the garden and butterflies, a number of Master Gardeners will be available to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Sussex County Master Gardeners annouce summer/fall workshop schedule

Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce their summer/fall schedule of workshops for 2011. Pre-registration is required for all Master Gardener workshops.  Please email or contact Tammy Schirmer at 856-2585 ext 544 to register.  Click here to register online! If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Download the Master Gardener brochure here for summer/fall 2011

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. In 2010 Sussex County Master Gardeners provided outreach to 5, 315 participants via 59 workshops.  Collectively, in 2010 Master Gardeners donated 5,631 hours of expertise to local Sussex communities.

Delaware State Fair, July 21-30, 2011 – Visit us at the Fair!

Cost: Free. Every year we make ourselves available to meeting with fair goers and answer any gardening questions they may have. Please visit us at our gazebo near the grandstand…even if it’s just to stop and say, “Hello.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 – Tomatoes

Presenter -Ingrid Hetfield
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3
Cost: Free. Tomatoes; the vegetable gardener’ favorite, but real prima donnas when it comes to growing them successfully!  Join us to learn the “how” of a good start and the “why” of the problems that can plague tomatoes.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011 – Butterfly Gardening

Presenter-Linda Peters
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. Learn the basics of gardening to attract these creatures to your garden. We will talk about the food, water and habitat requirements they need to thrive. Join us for a Butterfly Walk in the garden following the workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 – The Harvest

Presenters-Linda Peters and Ana Dittel
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. We planted a wide variety of vegetables in our demonstration garden. come to the harvest workshop to learn about what was planted and what worked and what didn’t. We will also sample some of the vegetables that have been harvested.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – Composting

Presenter-Fred Silva
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3.

Cost: Free. Learn how to make your yard and garden waste work for you as a home compost or pay to have someone else deal with clippings and sell them back to you as compost.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 – Putting Your Garden to Bed

Presenter-Cherie Dorfman
Noon, Carvel Meeting Room 3.

Cost: Free. “Get rid of debris; get rid of disease.” Learn how to clean up your garden and prepare for the next growing season.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 – Garden Information Resources

7:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. Master Gardeners will share their favorite resources for gardening information including books, journals and websites. Bring your favorites to share!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 – Gifts from the Garden

Presenter-Tracy Mulveny   LIMIT 25 PARTICIPANTS
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: $5.00 per person. We will demonstrate several simple crafts you can do using materials from your garden. The results will make thoughtful gifts for your garden-loving friends. Materials will be provided for a project you can take home.


Register for any or all workshops here!

Safe Kids Day’s Safe Summer Fun returns to Sussex County August 10.

UPDATE: See photos of 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day here!

The Sussex County chapter of Safe Kids is pleased to partner with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Sussex Tech High School and other organizations in presenting the 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day on Wednesday, August 10 at Sussex Tech High School.  The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon and admission is free.  Download a pdf Safe Kids Day flier here.

Always a popular event among children, parents,  caregivers and youth clubs, the Sussex County Safe Kids Day had been on hiatus the past two years, to allow renovations to Sussex Tech’s athletic complex.

“We are very excited to return to our neighbors at Sussex Tech and offer this terrific event,” says Mike Love, UD safety Extension agent. Love, whose office is next door at the Carvel Research and Education Center is also a board member of Safe Kids- Sussex County and organizes Safe Kids Day. “There will be about 25-30 exhibitors and activity displays representing many partner organizations, such as Beebe Medical Center. We are appreciative of the response and teamwork,” Love says.  Incentives and giveaways are a popular feature. A limited number of safety information kits will be available to the earliest arrivals.

Cheryl Littlefield, chairperson of Safe Kids- Sussex County is all about getting the word out in a big way about injury prevention.  An registered nurse   and Emergency Management Coordinator with Beebe Medical Center, Littlefield is “thrilled that so many organizations are coming together for the benefit of Delaware’s children.”  In addition to individual families, children involved with youth clubs and camps, and day care centers are welcome. Littlefield says. “We can reach a large number of children with this one event.”

Young visitors, carrying their yellow safety kit bags make the rounds at the various exhibits and displays at a past Safe Kids Day

As in past years, children will be the VIPs at this year’s Sussex County Safe Kids Day.  The theme for this injury prevention exhibition is Safe Summer Fun!  The efforts of several exhibits and activities will be to inform and teach parents, caregivers and children alike about the ways to stay safe during the summer and throughout the year.

The program identifies risks associated with popular summer activities and the unfortunate escalating number of recreational and sports-related injuries.  Parents and children think of summer as the season for fun and relaxation, but emergency room doctors know it as “trauma season.”  In fact, children will be rushed to the emergency room nearly 3 million times this summer.  To help kids learn to play safe, the 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day will include focused exhibits and activities on bicycles, motor vehicles, water safety, fire safety, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and the many other activities that can lead to injuries.

Sussex Technical High School athletic complex is located on Route 9, between Georgetown and Laurel. For more information contact Mike Love at 302-856-2585 ext 583 or by email: mlove@udel.edu.

Safe Kids- Sussex County challenges every parent and caregiver to join us in protecting America’s most precious resources—our children.



Sussex towns selected to Engage Youth, Serve Communities

University of Delaware 4-H has received funding from National 4-H Council to help strengthen rural communities in Seaford, Laurel, Indian River, Kimmeytown and Milford in Kent County.   The multi-year Engaging Youth, Serving Communities (EYSC) program will help four communities in Sussex County and one in Kent County by providing leadership, service and educational opportunities and resources to rural youth.

The individual communities have been chosen because of the challenges surrounding the needs of rural youth.  Delaware Cooperative Extension and 4-H have received funding for EYSC programs since 2006 and successes include educational outreach on the topics of Internet safety, illegal drug use, and reducing violence in the schools in Lake Forest and Cape Henlopen, the building of a community trail and fitness course in Bridgeville, and increased healthy living education in Middletown and Georgetown.

Karen Johnston

“I love working on this project because of the youth and adult partnership,” says Karen Johnston, UD 4-H Extension educator who will administer EYSC in Sussex County. “By conducting the community issues forums together, we engage the talents and ideas of all generations to discuss and work on solutions for today’s problems.  I enjoy watching both youth and adults grow in their respect and knowledge of each other and diverse cultures and ideas, and seeing the action that results from all the ideas that are generated.”

Johnston will join other 4-H educators from throughout the state and will work with FFA advisors, other adult volunteers and high school aged youth to build on existing relationships and budding youth-adult partnerships.  Youth will learn valuable skills and will improve their communication and leadership as well as learning about the larger issues facing their communities.  Adults will learn to value the perspectives of youth and their methods of problem solving.

Delaware, along with a handful of other states has benefited from EYSC programs

A core team, who have been trained in Washington D.C., will help train local action teams how to select and frame a topic that they feel is an issue in their community, assess the needs and various solutions to the problem, and host an issues forum for other members of the community to garner input.  Once these processes are completed the team is awarded a $2,000 mini grant towards solving the issue discussed.

Possible outcomes of these action plans include improved health and fitness, engagement with the environment, increased involvement in science and technology activities and improved psychological health in the communities. EYSC programs also bring new opportunities for youth leadership to these communities, as each community will create an annual cycle that brings new youth and adults into the planning and action process each year.

EYSC is funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2008-45201-04715, Amendment 2.  To learn how you can get involved or for more information contact Karen Johnston at krjohn@udel.edu.

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension System. Delaware 4-H is supported by University of Delaware and Delaware State University. 4-H welcomes the participation of all individuals. No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex. disability, age or national origin.  For more information about becoming a part of Delaware 4-H please visit their website: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/4h/index.php

Sussex 4-H celebrates ‘excellence’ in volunteer leaders

At a recent Sussex County 4-H Leaders’ Meeting, Delaware 4-H and Sussex County staff and members recognized Kathy DiSabatino of Frankford, and Bo Waller of Georgetown, as Sussex County recipients of the 2011 4-H Salute to Excellence Award.  The National 4-H Salute to Excellence is supported by National 4-H Council and is sponsored by the Monsanto Corporation.

Kathy DiSabatino, right, 2011 Sussex County Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Bo Waller, left, 2011 Sussex County and Delaware 4-H Volunteer of the Year, receive congratulations from Ernie Lopez, Delaware 4-H volunteer coordinator and Extension specialist, at a recent 4-H Leaders' meeting.

Each year, through the submission of heartfelt essays authored by their 4-H volunteer peers, individuals are nominated for excellence in 4-H volunteer service and are sent to the Delaware 4-H Office who determine the finalists for the county and state honors.  The 4-H Salute to Excellence recognizes exemplary service in two categories – “Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer” for service over 10 years, and “Volunteer of the Year” for individuals who have served as 4-H leaders for 10 years or under. In Delaware, a total of six county winners have the chance to represent Delaware as a state winner. In addition to his county honor, Bo Waller was also named 2011 Delaware 4-H Volunteer of the Year.

All 4-H volunteers are treasured assets of the Delaware 4-H program. With more than 120 volunteers to rely on, Sussex County 4-H staff readily concur that their volunteers are “the engine that runs the successful 4-H program.”

For the past 18 years, Kathy DiSabatino has been a 4-H leader of the Lord Baltimore Helping Hands which serves the greater Delaware southeast communities of Ocean View,  Bethany and Frankford.  An elementary school teacher, DiSabatino’s dedication to education made her a natural for 4-H’s experiential learning programs. DiSabatino first became involved with 4-H as a parent of two young 4-H members. With more than 140 project areas to choose from, DiSabatino gravitated to leadership in 4-H’s Clothing and Textiles and Food and Nutrition projects.  Subsequently, DiSabatino became a co-organizational leader of the club, a member of the 4-H alumni organization- Sussex Order of 4-H Links, a representative of Delaware 4-H during a unique exchange trip with students in Bosnia/Herzegovnia, and much more. As her nomination letter sums up, “her tenacity, faith, organizational and interpersonal skills, and love of youth development have been the cream that has made her rise to the top.  Problem solver, excellent role model, dedicated 4-H leader- Kathy DiSabatino is a great example and very deserving of the 2011 Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award.”

Bo Waller’s dedication to 4-H is multi-faceted, providing Sussex County 4-H youth with a positive role model and enthusiastic cheering section for 4-H’s wildlife, ecology, small animals and fishing projects.  Waller synthesized all of these interests into the formation of a new Friendz, Finz, Furz and Featherz 4-H Club. Waller is also a certified archery instructor and teaches 4-H archery on a regular basis.  If it involves the outdoors, Waller is usually involved as well!  Waller also serves as organizational leader of the Clover Knights 4-H Club in Georgetown, and is a committed parent-partner in the 4-H Bike Club and teaches several wood science workshops at the county and state level. His endless zest for 4-H is matched by an equally bottomless reserve of green energy – the four-leafed clover kind.  As his nomination noted,”Bo Waller is a treasure for our county, for our state and for the national 4-H program.” Waller is the facility manager of the Carvel Research & Education Center and is instrumental in the set up of many 4-H events.

DiSabatino and Waller’s nomination letters were released in a recent 4-H newsletter.  Please read more about Kathy DiSabatino and Bo Waller here: STE_bio

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension System. Delaware 4-H is supported by University of Delaware and Delaware State University. 4-H welcomes the participation of all individuals. No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex. disability, age or national origin.  For more information about becoming a part of Delaware 4-H please visit their website: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/4h/index.php


UD Master Gardener’s “A Day in the Garden” and plant sale returns on Sat. July 16.

Where: Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. 19947. Look for the blue and gold tent behind the Carvel Center.  Carvel is one quarter mile west of Sussex Tech H.S. and on the same side of the road.
When: Saturday, July 16, 2011
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
Parking: Ample and free
Website: For more details about A Day at the Garden

Sussex County Master Gardeners, of Delaware Cooperative Extension for both Delaware State University and University of Delaware, invite the public to their Open House on Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sussex County Extension Office in Georgetown. Admission is FREE. Visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event and join Master Gardeners in supporting the Delaware Does More Program – growing food and funds for neighbors in need. Visit the Open House website here.

This year’s highlights include:

Plant Sale: Back by popular demand, Master Gardeners will have a plant sale with proceeds benefiting their educational outreach programs

Accessible Gardening.Tour our gardens to get ideas for quick and easy ways to make gardening enjoyable for all. See tools and gardening aids, raised beds, containers and much more.  Receive tips from a visiting physical therapist for staying fit and working in the garden at any age.

Farmer McGregor explains how he and Peter Rabbit get along. Showtimes are 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand! Sussex Master Gardeners will have annuals and perennials for sale!

Children’s Garden. Enjoy the garden drama “Peter Rabbit’s Adventures in Farmer McGregor’s Vegetable Garden.” Meet Farmer McGregor and Peter and hear their story.  Go on a scavenger hunt or enjoy our butterflies, frogs and goldfish. What’s it like being inside a teepee trellis? Come and find out! Bring your camera for great photo opportunities.  Come enjoy all our children’s activities – from learning about insects, to potting your own plant and more!

New to Vegetable Gardening? Learn about Square Foot Gardening, using raised beds and containers for growing vegetables.

Save your Harvest! Learn how to easily preserve what you have grown in your garden!  Demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

New to Vegetable Gardening? Learn from years of Master Gardener experience and tour our vegetable garden. Learn about the Plant A Row Program to help those in need enjoy fresh produce

Rain barrels are great ways to catch rainwater for use in the garden… Learn how to make your own!

Tool Sharpening. Bring yours and learn how to sharpen them properly.

Sussex County Master Gardeners share gardening tips with participants. Master Gardeners donate fresh produce to the Plant A Row For the Hungry Program from their garden each year.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. Visit our native plant, herb, shade, bog, annual, perennial, pond, butterfly and children’s gardens.  Get ideas for gardening with limited space using raised beds and containers. What varieties grow well in Sussex County?  Tour our azalea, hydrangea and annual trial gardens to find out.  Plus…container gardening, vertical gardening, square foot gardening, raised beds, native plants, backyard habitat, soil testing, composting, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs!  Have a plant problem? Bring it to our plant clinic for identification and recommendations.

Have a plant problem? Bring it to our plant clinic for identification and recommendations.

For More Information: Contact Tracy Wootten at 302-856-2585, ext. 538, wootten@udel.edu or Tammy Schirmer at ext. 544, tammys@udel.edu. Please visit our website for detailed directions, photo gallery and more information: http://www.rec.udel.edu

Update: See photos from the 2011 A Day at the Garden!