Three University of Delaware New Castle County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners—Suzanne Baron (of Middletown), Gail Hermenau (also of Middletown), and Eva Rotmann-Oehler (of North Wilmington)—and Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener Coordinator, Carrie Murphy, attended the International Master Gardener Conference in Charleston, West Virginia, October 11 – 14, 2011. During the conference, Gail Hermenau accepted the 2011 International Search for Excellence Award presented to the Master Gardeners for their small scale Grow your own Food themed home gardener workshops, demonstrations, and tours in the teaching gardens.
In 2009 and 2010, the New Castle County Master Gardeners responded to community need for information on how to grow your own food. Master Gardeners worked together with their coordinator to develop opportunities that responded directly to this need. The topics that Master Gardeners developed as part of their workshops and demonstrations included site and soil preparation, composting, plant selection, seeds and transplants, tips for growing vegetables, companion planting, beneficial insects, integrated pest management (IPM), fall gardening, harvest to table, growing berries, and putting your garden to bed. In total, there were more than 20 events focused on the Grow your own Food theme, educating more than 300 community members.
This is the third Search for Excellence Award presented to the New Castle County Master Gardeners at the International Master Gardener Conference in just four years.