Food Bank of Delaware, UD to celebrate fifth annual Evening in the Garden

August 15, 2013 under CANR News

Evening in the GardenThe Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community with their fifth annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 6-8 p.m.

The evening will feature wine and beer tastings from local wineries and breweries.

In addition, the evening’s menu includes garden-fresh foods straight from the Garden for the Community. Students from the Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware will serve up eggplant polpettes, ratatouille, spicy grilled chicken with roasted corn salsa, fish tacos, soba noodles with Swiss chard, pine nuts and peppers, assorted desserts and much more. The UDairy Creamery will also serve ice cream.

“It’s hard to believe we are heading into our fifth year for Evening in the Garden,” said Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO. “Each year the event and our partnership with the University grows. Last year guests had a wonderful time touring the garden, enjoying foods prepared by our own students and tasting local wines and beers. We look forward to another successful evening of increasing awareness of the issue of hunger in Delaware and raising money to help alleviate it.”

“We are thrilled to once again partner with the Food Bank of Delaware for the Evening in the Garden event,” said CANR Dean Mark Rieger. “We are very proud of the partnerships we have grown throughout the years with the Food Bank of Delaware and the Evening in the Garden is no exception. This event brings the community together to help support a great cause: the Food Bank of Delaware and their mission to provide food for struggling Delaware families.”

Sue Fuhrmann has attended the event since its inception and said, “Evening in the Garden showcases delicious, creative food, good wines, fun music, bountiful gardens to stroll and fine fellowship. Even better, it supports local agriculture and job training efforts. Not to miss.”

Tickets for the event are $40 per person or $15 per student (must show student ID). The price includes dinner, wine, beer and entertainment. Ticket prices increase by $10 on Aug. 29.

To purchase tickets, contact Kim Turner at 302-444-8074 or kturner@fbd.org.

Online registration is also available at this Food Bank of Delaware website.

Attendees are also asked to bring a bag of canned goods for the food bank’s hunger-relief efforts.

To learn more about the Garden for the Community, visit the website.

Share

Inaugural Blue Hens CAN unified campus food drive tops two tons

November 19, 2012 under CANR News

The inaugural Blue Hens CAN unified campus food drive closed Friday, with the University of Delaware collecting more than two tons of nonperishable food items to stock the Food Bank of Delaware.

Blue Hens CAN — a joint venture of the University’s College of Health Sciences (CHS), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the Food Bank of Delaware — featured a UD food collection bus parked at a different campus location each day of this week to accept items donated by the campus community.

The goods were then transported to the Food Bank of Delaware at the end of each day.

Assisting with collections at the bus on Friday were representatives of the Dietetics and Nutrition Club, the Interfraternity Council, the Occupational Therapy Club and the Food Science Club.

A large donation Friday came from UD’s Sussex County sites in Georgetown. UD students, the Sussex County Master Gardeners, 4-H Club members and staff from the Carvel Research and Education Center, along with participants from Delaware Technical Community College and the Delmarva Poultry Industry, combined to donate 389 pounds of food.

The total for the Blue Hens CAN effort during the week topped two tons, according to a representative of the Food Bank of Delaware.

Blue Hens CAN organizers said additional donations are anticipated and an official final total will be announced in the near future.

Share

Interfraternity Council, 4-H club assist Blue Hens CAN food drive

November 14, 2012 under CANR News

Blue Hens CAN — a joint venture of the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences (CHS), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the Food Bank of Delaware – features a UD food collection bus parked at a different campus location each day of this week to accept items donated by the campus community and transport them to the Food Bank of Delaware at the end of the day.

With the Interfraternity Council accepting donations Tuesday at the drop off location at the Laird Campus, several fraternities and individual members of the UD community combined to donate more than 600 canned goods to the Food Bank of Delaware.

In addition to the contributions made by members of the UD community on the Newark campus, members of the UD community in southern Delaware got involved, as well. The Sussex County Clover Knights 4-H Club pooled their efforts and dropped off their donation to Blue Hens CAN collection site at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.

The total on Tuesday came to 737 pounds of food donated, according to a representative of the Food Bank of Delaware.

“The fact that we are getting donations not only from the Newark campus but also from UD sites in southern Delaware is phenomenal,” said Adam Thomas, communications specialist in CANR. “It really speaks volumes about the UD community’s willingness to give to those in need.”

Blue Hens CAN continues Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with the collection bus to be parked at Mentors’ Circle in the same location as on Monday.

The Occupational Therapy Club will be on hand volunteering to collect donations.

Photo by Bo Waller

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

Blue Hens CAN: Unified campus food drive to benefit Food Bank of Delaware

November 1, 2012 under CANR News

The University of Delaware and the Food Bank of Delaware will launch a weeklong campus-wide food drive called Blue Hens CAN from Monday, Nov. 12, through Friday, Nov. 16, to benefit those state residents who are straining to afford food.

Blue Hens CAN, a joint venture of the College of Health Sciences (CHS), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the Food Bank of Delaware, will feature a UD food collection bus parked at a different campus location each day of the week to accept items donated by the campus community.

The bus will be parked at the following locations on the following days:

  • Monday, Nov. 12: Mentor’s Circle, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: Laird Campus, between Smith and Independence halls, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Mentor’s Circle, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15: South Campus, next to the UDairy Creamery, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 16: Mentor’s Circle, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

University President Patrick Harker and Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO, will be on hand to kick off the event during a ceremony at Mentor’s Circle on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9 a.m.

Said Harker of the event, “I know this active, engaged campus community — a community that lives the principle of service every day — can come together to help end hunger in Delaware. I’m thrilled that we’re partnering with the Food Bank of Delaware — such a vital organization to so many families — and I’m excited to see the outcome of our efforts.”

“The support we have received from the University of Delaware community has been outstanding,” said Beebe. “We are looking forward to a coordinated food drive amongst all members of the University in order to collect more food for Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. We hope the excitement surrounding Blue Hens CAN will bring in not only food, but enthusiasm for helping to alleviate hunger in the First State.”

There will be a raffle with prizes for individuals who donate items, with individuals who donate an item receiving a raffle ticket with a chance to win.

Prizes include:

  • UDairy Creamery ice cream gift basket;
  • $100 iTunes gift card from UD’s Apple Authorized Campus Store;
  • Wool blanket, made from wool of UD sheep, a $100 value; and
  • Ninety T-shirts donated by University Student Centers for the first 30 participants who come to each location. (For Mentor’s Circle, the shirts will only be handed out on Monday).

A separate competition for groups who enter items collectively will also be held. Groups are asked to submit their items together and label them clearly using the group’s full name and not abbreviations. The items will then be taken and weighed at the Food Bank of Delaware.

The group that donates the most food will win a free ice cream social from the UDairy Creamery ice cream team.

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

Unified campus food drive to benefit Food Bank of Delaware

September 19, 2012 under CANR News

According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 22 percent of Delawareans struggle to put food on the table. Only two states have higher percentages of residents who do not have enough money for food.

The Food Bank of Delaware distributed 6.2 million pounds of food last year, providing help to one out of every four residents in the First State.

Many partners helped provide the food distributed by the Food Bank. For example, the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community — a cooperative partnership between UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), CANR Ag College Council, Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the Food Bank of Delaware — donated 16,484 pounds of fresh, locally grown vegetables in 2012.

While these recent efforts by UD and the Food Bank of Delaware have gone a long way to help those in need, there is still more that can be done.

With this in mind, a new program called Blue Hens CAN has been established, to help the entire UD community join forces to meet the needs of Delawareans straining to afford food.

“Over the years, various UD groups and organizations have successfully organized collections of food throughout the year,” says Susan Hall, deputy dean of the College of Health Sciences (CHS). “Our hope is that this unified, campuswide effort will synthesize all of these individual campaigns and ultimately result in a much larger donation for the Food Bank.”

“Blue Hens CAN is our service mission in action,” says UD President Patrick Harker. “I know this active, engaged campus community — a community that lives the principle of service every day — can come together to help end hunger in Delaware. I’m thrilled that we’re partnering with the Food Bank of Delaware — such a vital organization to so many families — and I’m excited to see the outcome of our efforts.”

“The support we have received from the University of Delaware community has been outstanding,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are looking forward to a coordinated food drive amongst all members of the University in order to collect more food for Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. We hope the excitement surrounding Blue Hens CAN will bring in not only food, but enthusiasm for helping to alleviate hunger in the First State.”

The program, a joint venture between CHS, CANR and the Food Bank of Delaware, is scheduled for the week of Nov. 12-16.

“The plan is that — thanks to the help of UD Parking and Transportation Services — each day of the week, we will have a UD bus parked at a different campus location for an advertised period of several hours,” explains CANR deputy dean Tom Sims. “Student volunteers, led by clubs in CANR and CHS, will be on hand to accept and record donations from various groups and help load them into the vehicle.”

The bus will be parked on north, east, west, south and central campuses for one day each during the week, with the exact bus locations to be determined at a later date.

Prizes will be awarded for participation, and the hope is that Blue Hens CAN will become an annual event, similar to the UD campus blood drive, where groups throughout the university join together to benefit a single cause.

“There is so much need, even in our small state,” says Sims, “and this is a great opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to make a difference.”

Article by Diane Kukich and Adam Thomas

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

UD Garden for Community intern helps others while growing job skills

July 30, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Owen Cass wants to be a farmer when he gets out of college. While most people would assume that’s not an unusual aspiration for a student in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, it actually is. Careers in research, agri-business, natural resources management and veterinary science are more typical choices.

What’s even more out of the ordinary is that Cass comes from a suburban background. He doesn’t recall his parents growing so much as a tomato plant when he was a child in Bryn Athyn, Pa.

But this 22-year-old is getting plenty of experience growing tomatoes – and squash, sweet corn, cukes, peppers and much more – in UD’s Garden for the Community.

Cass is a summer intern for this one-third acre garden that produced three tons of vegetables and herbs last year, all of which were donated to the Food Bank of Delaware.

The garden, located on UD’s Newark Farm, is managed by Mike Popovich, a Cooperative Extension associate.

Now in its fourth year, the garden does good things for low-resource Delawareans who may not have the opportunity to eat many fresh vegetables. “We’re so excited to get fresh-picked produce out to our hunger relief partners in the community,” says Kim Kostes, communications director of the Food Bank. “As soon as Owen or Mike arrive with the day’s harvest, we get it right back out the door.”

The garden also does good things for students like Cass, who was eager to show off this season’s crops on a recent 95 degree day. Despite the heat, Cass vigorously strode between the garden rows, pointing out pumpkins he had planted the week before; hibiscus-like blooms on okra plants; Japanese beetle damage on basil; and the “Florida weave” style of staking used on heirloom tomato plants.

(In the Florida weave technique, you drive a stake between every two or three plants and attach a string at the end of each row. You then weave the string between the plants.)

“Even during a bad thunderstorm the other night, the tomatoes stayed upright,” says Cass. “Our peppers fell over but some international students volunteered the next day and helped to get them re-staked.”

Farming requires knowledge not just about combating pests and re-staking plants but also about managing people. Cass hopes to own his own farm, in which case he may have dozens of employees under his direction. This summer, working with 200-plus garden volunteers, he is getting plenty of supervisory experience. A half dozen or so core volunteers show up every Saturday; others, like the international students, help out just once.

“I can’t believe the amount that I’m learning,” says Cass. “Mike lets me make a lot of decisions on my own, whether it’s managing the volunteers or choosing which kind of seeds to plant for our second season of crops.”

“I also get to learn from Extension and college experts,” he adds. “Nancy Gregory [an Extension plant diagnostician] was out in the garden recently because she needed downy mildew samples for a research project. She didn’t have enough in her own test plots but, unfortunately, we had it on our cucumbers.”

Despite a bit of downy mildew and Japanese beetles the Garden for the Community always enjoys high yields. Popovich is the first to admit he has plenty of advantages over the home gardener. “The UD community gets very excited about this garden,” says Popovich. “I’m fortunate to have a steady stream of Cooperative Extension professionals and UD agriculture researchers popping by to give advice and lend a hand.”

“And Owen has been tremendously helpful with planting, weeding, harvesting and other chores,” Popovich says. “He has taken an immense amount of initiative early on.”

“Not one nuisance insect or weedy plant goes unnoticed by him,” he adds. “Owen checks with college professionals — and his smart phone — to identify bug and disease issues. On one occasion, I saw him spend 20 minutes trying to catch a single squash vine borer. That’s the type of dedication I like to see in an intern.”

Cass will be extra busy in the weeks ahead, getting the garden in picture-perfect condition for the Aug. 9 Evening in the Garden, a benefit for the Food Bank of Delaware. Held under a tent, adjacent to the Garden for the Community, the event features fresh-from-the-garden food, fine wine, live entertainment and garden tours.

The meal will be prepared by students from the Food Bank’s Culinary School.  “At the beginning of the season, Mike connects with us and makes sure to plant the crops that the students will need for their recipes,” says Kostes. “This year’s menu includes tri-colored bruschetta, roasted vegetables, salmon with tomatillo sauce, and potato and goat cheese salad.”

Tickets for Evening in the Garden cost $40, or $15 per student with ID. After Aug. 2, ticket prices increase to $50, and $25 per student. Call Kostes at 444-8074 or email her at kkostes@fbd.org.

Article by Margo McDonough

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

Food Bank of Delaware, UD to celebrate harvest with Evening in the Garden

July 12, 2012 under CANR News

The Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community with the fourth annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, Aug. 9, from 6-8 p.m.

The evening will feature wine and beer tastings from local wineries and breweries.

In addition, the evening’s menu includes garden-fresh foods straight from the Garden for the Community. The Food Bank of Delaware’s culinary team will serve roasted vegetable salad, Asian coleslaw, potato and goat cheese salad, Caesar salad with shrimp, salmon with tomatillo sauce, chicken chimichurri with onion rings and assorted desserts. The UDairy Creamery will also serve ice cream.

“We’re proud of our collaboration with the University of Delaware,” said Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO. “Last year’s event sold out with more than 200 attendees. Guests toured the garden, tasted local wines and beers and enjoyed a garden-fresh menu. We hope to sell out again this year. One-hundred percent of proceeds from this event help us to provide emergency food to Delawareans who are struggling to put meals on the table.”

“The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is very happy to continue our wonderful partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Tom Sims, CANR deputy dean. “The Garden for the Community has been a rewarding experience for our students, faculty, and many in the local community who help produce literally tons of fresh vegetables for the Food Bank each year. In 2012, we’ll expand our partnership University-wide as we work with the College of Health Sciences to lead the first unified food drive for UD this fall, collecting food for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Tickets for the Evening in the Garden event are $40 per person or $15 per student (must show student ID). The price includes dinner, wine, beer and entertainment.

Ticket prices increase by $10 on Aug. 2.

To purchase tickets, contact Kim Kostes at 302-444-8074 or via email at kkostes@fbd.org.

Online registration is also available at the Food Bank of Delaware website.

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

UD announces Food Bank effort at employee appreciation picnic

June 6, 2012 under CANR News

The University of Delaware held its fourth annual UDidIt! employee appreciation picnic on Monday, June 4, to celebrate the recently completed academic year. At the event, an announcement was made about a partnership between UD and the Food Bank of Delaware.

Robin Morgan, who is returning to the faculty after 10 years as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Kathy Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, announced a BlueHensCAN partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware.

Morgan said that during the 2012-13 academic year, UD, which already has a wide range of programs geared to assist the Food Bank, will undertake its first coordinated effort. During the fall semester, a Food Bank truck will come to campus to collect and transport donations and UD volunteers will help unload items at the organization’s facilities.

The concerted BlueHensCAN effort “can make a huge impact on the Food Bank,” Morgan said, also inviting employees to the Aug. 9 Evening in the Garden at the Garden for the Community on the CANR campus to support the Food Bank. The college has had an ongoing partnership with the Food Bank through the garden, which produces fresh fruits and vegetables and provides service learning opportunities for UD students.

“We are excited to partner with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in pulling together this food drive,” Matt said, noting that the Food Bank of Delaware serves more than 240,000 people annually, nearly half of them children.

Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO, said the organization could not accomplish its mission without the support of institutions such as UD. “On behalf of the Food Bank of Delaware, we thank you so very much,” she said.

To view the full article on the UDidIt! picnic, visit UDaily

Share

Plant a “Garden for the Community”

May 2, 2012 under CANR News

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware and many others in the community, will “Plant a Garden for the Community” on our Newark farm on Friday, May 11th (10 am to 5 pm) and Saturday, May 12th (9 am to 2 pm). In the event of rain, we will plant the Garden on May 18th and 19th. This is the 4th year for our Garden – to date we have donated over 10 tons of fresh produce grown in the Garden to the Food Bank to help them meet their mission – a community without hunger – by providing Delaware families with fresh, local food.

We need and welcome your help this year as we plant this 15,000 square foot garden on our farm and donate all food produced in the garden to the Food Bank (please visit our website for more details -http://ag.udel.edu/communitygarden). If you would like to join our volunteer team and help with the Garden throughout the year, click on the “Get Involved” tab on our website.

If you can provide a few hours to help plant our “Garden for the Community,” please join us in front of the Wilson Farmhouse (directly behind the Girl Scouts facility on Route 896; see website for directions) on May 11th or May 12th. Please send an e-mail to commgard@udel.edu to tell us which date we can expect you. Tools/supplies will be provided but feel free to bring your own.

Share

Baked kale chips are Delaware’s hottest new snack food

April 3, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Put aside the sour cream and onion chips. Abandon those messy, orange cheese curls. Toss away the nachos topped with gloppy processed cheese. Make way for Delaware’s hottest new snack food – baked kale chips.

If the Delaware Urban Farm Coalition has its way, every Delawarean will soon be munching on this snack sensation. “Kale chips have the crunch and flavor that people love but, unlike most snacks, they’re nutritious, too. Kale is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants,” says Carrie Murphy, a University of Delaware Cooperative Extensive horticulture agent and the interim chair of the Delaware Urban Farm Coalition.

“The Urban Farm Coalition wants to generate excitement about growing local foods and eating local foods. Coalition member Tara Tracy hit on the idea of creating a buzz about kale chips,” says Murphy.

“When we posted a kale chip recipe on the coalition’s Facebook page, we had positive feedback from everyone from mom bloggers to health specialists. The recipe has caught everyone’s attention,” she says.

Kale chips are easy to make (see recipe below) and kale – which is related to cauliflower and broccoli – is easy to grow. Plus, kale is readily available in most Delaware supermarkets and, later in the season, at farmers markets and farm stands.

However, for many residents of Wilmington, it’s not easy to obtain kale and other fresh produce. Large swaths of the city have been termed “food deserts” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because they lack convenient access to a supermarket and limited or no opportunities for residents to grow their own food.

The Delaware Urban Farm Coalition is doing a lot to change that. Since its inception in 2008, the coalition has worked to expand community gardens and on other ways to improve access to healthy foods in the city. In addition, it helps to teach local residents about healthy eating (including how to make kale chips) through programs run by coalition members such as the Food Bank of Delaware.

The coalition is made up of almost a dozen organizations. Key partners are UD Cooperative Extension, Delaware Center for Horticulture and Delaware Department of Agriculture. The coalition’s presence can be felt in dozens of neighborhoods, from a nascent garden in Edgemoor to the thriving “West Side Grows” garden in the Cool Springs area of the city. But the cornerstone of the coalition’s efforts is the 12th and Brandywine Urban Farm, which had its first harvest in 2010.

“What makes the urban farm different from a community garden is its focus on production agriculture,” explains Tracy, who is urban agriculture manager for the Delaware Center for Horticulture. “Our 1,600-square-foot urban farm grows fruits and vegetables – including kale – that are sold at an on-site farmer’s market. In addition, we operate a 1,200-squre-foot community garden at this site, where residents can rent plots for a small fee. And, yes, we do grow kale in the urban farm and sell it at the farmers market.”

Delaware Center for Horticulture staffers and volunteers do the bulk of the planting, tending and harvesting at the urban farm. But a farm apprentice will be hired soon to assist with farm chores and engage more community members in the project.

Tracy is quick to note that East Side residents don’t need to pull weeds to help out. “A working mother who is too busy to volunteer is still helping the farm – and her family – when she purchases produce at our weekly farmer’s market,” she says.

The Delaware Urban Farm Coalition is now growing beyond its city of Wilmington roots.

“I’ve had phone calls from individuals and organizations throughout Delaware who want to get involved,” says Murphy. “The coalition has really become a statewide effort.”

If you want to learn more about the Delaware Urban Farm Coalition, contact Murphy at cjmurphy@udel.edu or Tracy at ttracy@thedch.org.

If you want to buy kale and other produce from the coalition’s farmer’s market, its opening day is May 7. Located at 12th and Brandywine streets, the market is open every Monday in season from 4-7 p.m.

If you want to grow kale yourself, now’s the time to plant this cool-season crop, says Murphy. Seedlings are available at garden stores throughout the state. Plant now and you’ll have fresh kale by early June.

And if you want to make your own kale chips, here’s what to do:

BAKED KALE CHIPS

1 bunch kale (4-5 cups)

1 TBS olive oil (olive oil spray works especially well)

1 TSP sea salt or seasoned salt

1 TSP vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. With a knife or kitchen shears, carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale pieces with a salad spinner. Drizzle chips with olive oil or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with vinegar and seasonings.

3. Bake until the edges are brown, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Gently stir leaves halfway through baking.

Try different seasoning combinations, suggest Murphy and Tracy. Teens may prefer a spiced-up version; cheese lovers may want to sprinkle parmesan cheese on top before baking.

Article by Margo McDonough

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

Share