Weather Alert-Carvel Center in Georgetown

October 26, 2012 under CANR News

Due to the possibility of weather effects from Hurricane Sandy, we post the following information from the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown:

If events or programs have been cancelled, it is the policy of the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgeown’s policy to notify local news outlets (WBOC-TV, WMDT-TV).

In addition, if the Carvel REC facility experiences a weather related delay or closing, it will be recorded on their main phone number (302) 856-7303. Please be mindful that telephone service may be interrupted.

Cancellations referring to Carvel facility will specifically state “Research and Education Center.”

We do not necessarily follow closing schedules of UD’s Asscociate of Arts program or other UD locations.

Please check with the following news organizations regarding any weather-related closures. There will be no classes at Carvel on Tuesday, October 30.
Master Gardener Demonstration Garden Cleanup scheduled for Tuesday, October 30 is cancelled.

For other University of Delaware storm information, please visit the University’s main website.

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New Poultry Extension Blog

January 26, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The UD Poultry Extension blog has officially launched at http://sites.udel.edu/poultryextension!

The blog is maintained by Bill Brown, state poultry extension specialist, and Stephen Collier, poultry research manager, both at Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.

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Hurricane Irene: Carvel REC in Georgetown

August 26, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown will be closed from 2pm on Friday, August 26th through Monday, August 29th.  Due to possible power outages, updates to this schedule will be made available via their main phone line at 302-856-7303.

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Sussex MGs offer garden walk

June 13, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to invite the public to a Garden Walk at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on, Thursday, June 16, 2011, 5 – 7 p.m. The garden is located behind the county Extension office, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown. The event is free.

Master Gardeners will feature a look at a June garden filled with flowers. In addition to enjoying the garden, a number of Master Gardeners will be available to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics including an exhibit of Accessible Gardening Tips and Tools.

Following the Garden Walk, Master Gardener Vicki Thompson will be presenting a workshop on ‘Hostas’ at 7 p.m. in Conference Room 3 of the Extension Office. Pre-register for this workshop by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585 ext. 542 or tammys@udel.edu

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.

Article submitted by Michele Walfred.

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For the love of limas

May 5, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Pole lima beans are a Delaware staple.

April 20 was National Lima Bean Respect Day but in Ronald Dodd’s eyes, limas deserve kudos every day of the year.

The Georgetown septuagenarian has been growing pole limas since he was a boy and says that his father and grandfather grew them before he did. Dodd’s 55- by 147-foot garden, on land he owns one block off Georgetown’s Circle, features 42 to 45 hills of pole limas each season.

Come harvest time, he’ll enjoy pole limas in succotash accompanied by baking powder biscuits, just like scores of other native Delawareans.

But head a couple hundred miles from the First State, or talk to new state residents, and you may get puzzled looks at the mention of pole limas. “At conferences, I’ve met people in the agricultural industry who have never heard of pole limas,” says Emmalea Ernest, aUniversity of Delaware Cooperative Extension associate who specializes in lima bean research. “But there is a long tradition of growing pole limas here; there is a real lima bean culture in Delaware.

“As a plant breeder, the most interesting thing to me about pole lima beans is that it is still possible to find people in Delaware who are growing local landrace varieties that they have selected themselves or that have been passed down in their families.  For other vegetables, even though there are lots of people out there growing heirloom varieties, they got the seed from Burpee, not their grandmother.”

Lima beans are a big business in Delaware. Limas are grown on more acres in the state than any other vegetable crop. However, the commercial market is made up almost entirely of baby limas and Fordhooks, not pole limas. These baby limas and Fordhooks are grown for processing, which, nowadays, means flash-frozen, not canned.

If you want to eat fresh lima beans this summer, you’ll need to be on the look-out for pole limas at farmers’ markets, particularly markets in Sussex or Kent counties. Or, better yet, you can grow them yourself, suggests Ernest.

She knows, though, that some folks may need convincing that it’s worth the effort to grow limas, pole or otherwise. Maybe they weren’t paying attention on National Lima Bean Respect Day. Or, more likely, they still have vivid memories from childhood of mushy, over-cooked canned limas heaped high on dinner plates or school lunch trays.

There’s nothing worse than a soggy canned lima but these days, flash-frozen baby and Fordhook limas are tasty and have a nice, firm texture, says Ernest.

And there’s absolutely nothing better than a fresh-picked pole lima, she says. “The taste of a pole lima is delicious and the pole lima isn’t starchy, unless you leave it on the vine too long. My four-year-old daughter, Irene, just gobbles them up.”

As an added bonus, pole limas – and limas in general – are nutritional powerhouses. They’re rich in fiber, potassium, iron, copper and manganese.

In her own Ellendale garden, Ernest doesn’t bother growing baby limas or Fordhooks – “I am able to get enough of them at work,” she says. But she has devoted 400 feet of trellis to pole limas.

If you want to grow pole limas this summer, now’s the time to prepare. Pole limas have a long growing season and should be planted between mid-May and early June. Pole limas can be grown on teepees but Ernest prefers trellises because teepees can blow over in windy conditions. Pole limas can tolerate New Castle County’s heavy, clay soils as well as Sussex’s sandy conditions.

Ernest starts her pole lima plants from seed. You can buy seeds online; pole lima plants are available at some independent nurseries and farmers markets. One of the most popular varieties is Dr. Martin, an heirloom that features 16- to 20-foot-long vines bearing large, flat pods. Big Mama and King of the Garden are other local favorites. For something different, try the Christmas Lima, sporting a red and white speckled bean that has a butter-like texture and a subtle chestnut-like flavor.

Pole limas need a lot of room and should be planted four to six feet apart. To keep your pole limas happy, Ernest says to go heavy on the watering and light on the fertilizing. Keep an eye out for spider mites and stink bugs; the two most common lima pests. Pod development should start occurring in mid- to late-August, with mature beans ready to pick about three weeks later. Pods will continue to develop into September.

If you have a bumper crop of pole limas you can freeze them or, like Ronald Dodd, you can give the excess to friends and neighbors. “I have plenty of ‘customers’ who like to get some of my pole limas,” says Dodd. “But last year was not a great season; I didn’t have any extra to give away.”

Plenty of native Delawareans – and Delawareans in the know – will be hoping for better pole lima yields this growing season.

Article by Margo McDonough

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily by clicking here.

 

 

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2011 GAP/GHP Training Sessions Announced

February 18, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will offer voluntary food safety Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GH’s) training sessions for fruit and vegetable growers in 2011.

The training includes certification issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

According to Gordon Johnson, extension specialist and assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, “For wholesale growers, this training certification program satisfies some wholesale buyer requirements that growers attend GAP/GHP training. For those expecting to go through an audit this year, this program will help you to know what is covered in an audit and how to develop your farm food safety plan.”

Smaller growers that do not market wholesale are also encouraged to become trained and learn about the best ways to keep produce safe from food borne pathogens.

Limited or no wholesale, mostly direct market growers will need to complete only 3 hours of training, while significant wholesale growers must attend 6 hours of training in order to receive certification.

Training sessions in 2011 include:

Kent County

Wholesale growers: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, March 3.

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Monday, April 4.

Both sessions will take place at the Kent County Extension Office, UD Paradee Building, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901.

Call (302) 730-4000 to register, and contact Phillip Sylvester (phillip@udel.edu), Kent County cooperative extension agent, for more information.

Sussex County

Wholesale growers: This will be broken up into two sessions. Session 1 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 10 and Session 2 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 17.

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, April 14.

All sessions will take place at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Call (302) 856-7303 to register or contact extension agents Tracy Wootten (wootten@udel.edu) or Cory Whaley (whaley@udel.edu) for more information.

New Castle County

Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 26.

The session will be held at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE , 19716

Call (302) 831-2506 to register or contact extension educator Maria Pippidis (pippidis@udel.edu) for more information.

Trainings are also sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware.

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Extension agent encourages winter exploration

January 13, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

This is the season when many nature-lovers page through seed catalogs, polish their binoculars and dream of warmer and brighter days. But then there are the hardy types, like Dot Abbott, who consider winter the perfect time to get outside.

“During the cold-weather months, I appreciate aspects of nature that I take for granted at other times of the year,” says Abbott, a renewable resources agent for University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. “With the foliage gone, it’s a lot easier to see animal habitats and to notice wildlife. For example, a male Northern cardinal will really stand out amid the browns and grays of the forest in January.”

Abbott is responsible for Extension’s forest conservation education program, which teaches Delawareans about forest ecosystems. Much of the programming takes place at the outdoor woodland classroom located at UD’s Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown. Abbott also utilizes woodland classrooms at Delaware State University and Blackbird State Forest.

Abbott works with both adult and youth groups but especially enjoys training childcare providers because they help very young children become attuned to nature.

“Exposure to the natural world is an essential part of growing up,” says Abbott. “It increases a child’s awareness and improves observational skills.”

“In the winter, I do an activity with childcare providers and other visitors that encourage them to fully utilize their senses,” adds Abbott. “Without the visual distractions of green leaves and bright flowers, they may find it easier to tune into auditory stimuli — the crunch of dry, withered leaves under foot, the whistle of the wind, the calls of noisy blue jays or the high-pitched, whistling call of the Eastern screech owl.”

She encourages visitors to fine-tune their sense of smell, too. Though most of us don’t think of winter as being a particularly fragrant time of year, Abbott says to think again. Decaying leaves give off an earthy, musky scent; fox dens offer pungent smells and pine trees have a crisp, clean scent that’s synonymous with the holidays.

Abbott uses those pine trees, as well as other trees, to illustrate different textures found in nature. Some bark is smooth, such as on the American beech; some is ridged, like on a tulip poplar; some is peeling or flaky, like that of the yellow birch or sycamore.

As for pine, the texture depends on the species. While most pines have thick and scaly barks, a few species have thin, flaking barks.

To Jimmy Buffett, a change in latitude brings about a change in attitude. For Abbott, as she leads her woodland classrooms tours, it’s all about a change in altitude.

She’s not talking anything drastic, though, just the change in altitude found when one squats or kneels rather than stands erect. “Get down low and you’ll notice all sorts of things on the forest floor,” says Abbott. “If you’re near a riverbank you may see small black insects — these are stoneflies, one of the few insects that are active during a Delaware winter. You may see chipmunks, a cache of nuts under a tree, animal tracks or scat. If you had remained standing, you may not have noticed any of these things.”

And if you hadn’t braved the cold and ventured out, you definitely wouldn’t have seen any of these things.

Abbott offers free, one-hour guided tours of the outdoor woodland classroom to groups, individuals and families. She also offers a forest ecosystem lesson to groups who are not able to travel to the outdoor classroom. For reservations and more information, call Abbott at 302-730-4000 or email her at [dotad@udel.edu].

Article by Margo McDonough

This article with accompanying photos, can be viewed online on UDaily by clicking here.

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Sussex County Master Gardeners Announce “A Day in the Garden”

July 6, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Sussex County Master Gardeners, of Delaware Cooperative Extension for both Delaware State University and University of Delaware, invite you to their Open House on Saturday, July 17 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.

The Sussex County Extension Office is located at 16483 County Seat Highway, Route 9, west of Georgetown (west of Sussex Tech High School and on the same side of the road).  Look for the blue and gold tent in the Sussex County Demonstration Garden, immediately behind the office building. Ample parking is available.

A Day in the Garden Highlights – 2010

Accessible Gardening: Tour our gardens to get ideas for quick & 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.

New for 2010! Plant Sale!

Children’s Garden: Enjoy story time in our Peter Rabbit’s Garden. New for 2010 – Meet Mr. McGregor and Peter at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go on a scavenger hunt or enjoy our butterflies, frogs and goldfish. 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 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.

Love Trains? Love Gardening? Enjoy watching our train in the garden. Learn how to add interest and greater enjoyment with both hobbies.

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.

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

Door Prizes will be awarded to visitors. No rain date is set for this event.

Bring a brown bag lunch and eat in our shaded picnic grove!

Just added! What’s wrong with my plants? – A garden walk focusing on pests will immediately follow the Open House event. This free workshop runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and does require pre-registration. Learn about the most common landscape pests in Sussex County. Learn how to use IPM (Integrated Pest Management) to spray less and save money. Learn how to identify beneficial insects that help keep the “bad” insects in check. What makes your garden attractive to beneficial insects. For more information, contact Karen Adams or visit the Master Gardener workshop page.

For More Information: Contact Tracy Wootten at 302-856-2585, ext. 538, wootten@udel.edu or Karen Adams at ext. 540, adams@udel.edu.  Please visit our website for detailed directions, photo gallery and more information: www.rec.udel.edu.

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Carvel Research and Education Center beats the heat with UDairy Ice Cream

June 30, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Making a three hour trip just to get ice cream may seem a bit over the top, but after hearing and reading great reviews about the delicious ice cream from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ UDairy Creamery, Barbara Stephens didn’t mind the round trip from Georgetown to Newark to share the best of Townsend’s sweet cuisine with her colleagues. Stephens works at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, home of Sussex County Cooperative Extension and satellite agriculture research campus.

And the Carvel staff, many of whom work outside in the research fields, were very happy she did!

Stephens suggested to Carvel Director Dr. Mark Isaacs that an Ice Cream Social might be a nice alternative to their recent practice of getting together each summer for a staff – family picnic. The change to tradition couldn’t have been timed better, considering the persistent heat wave.

“Barbara’s idea of an ice cream social was excellent!” said Isaacs. “It gave our staff an opportunity to sample the delicious UD ice cream from our college, and provided a much welcomed treat from the heat and humidity.”

All three flavors featured at the ice cream social – chocolate marshmallow, strawberry, and traditional vanilla, were a big hit. Several people tried a three scoop sampler – most took advantage of the wide variety of toppings – but some enjoyed their ice cream in its pure, delicious state.

The creamy, cool delights, made from UD’s 100 Holstein cows, were a welcome respite to those who have been working outside in temperatures nearing 100 degrees in the past week. Thursday, June 24, the day of the social, was the hottest day of the week.

UD alumna Corryn Barnes, currently a science teacher in Harrington, is working her second summer with Extension IPM Specialist Joanne Whalen. Barnes enjoyed the break in her outside duties and for the opportunity to relax.

“This was the perfect day for a nice summer treat,” Barnes said. “It’s very nice to get together with the different departments and meet people you normally don’t get to meet. Are they going to have it again?”

That seemed to be the question on everyone’s mind. The general consensus among the 60 or so in attendance was the hope that the ice cream social would be repeated often during the summer. Some even suggested once a week would be ideal.

“I’ll take that into serious consideration,” Isaacs said, with a wink.

For photos of the ice cream social visit the REC’s Flickr page by clicking here.

Article by Michele Walfred

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Sussex County Master Gardeners invite the public to their garden

May 10, 2010 under CANR News

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce the dates of several events to be held in their Demonstration Garden this spring and summer.  The garden is located behind the county Extension office, 16483 County Seat Highway (Route 9), Georgetown, Del., approximately ¼ miles west of Sussex Tech High School. All events are free to the public.

Garden Walks will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7 p.m. and on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 7p.m.    In addition to enjoying the garden, a number of Master Gardeners will be available to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics including:  lawns, vegetable gardens, perennial gardens, shrubs and insects. 

The Master Gardeners Annual Open House will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This ‘Day in the Garden’ event features, in addition to the garden, information stations on a number of gardening subjects, a plant clinic, activities in the Children’s Garden, and a plant sale.  Details of this event will be available on the website in June.            

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are the volunteer arm of Delaware Cooperative Extension for both the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin. Delaware Cooperative Extension welcomes and encourages participation of all individuals.  If a member of the public has special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event at 302-856-7303.

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