UD students raise food items and sculptures for the Food Bank

March 14, 2012 under CANR News

Medical Technology Club

NTDT Club

Student groups gathered in the Townsend Hall Commons on Tuesday, March 13, to participate in BlueHensCAN, a creative way to collect much-needed food items and create a spirited competition among UD students in an effort to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

UD student teams that registered for BlueHensCAN held food drives and then competed against one another by creating sculptures out of the food items they collected. The teams had the opportunity to work on their structures all day on Tuesday in the Townsend Hall Commons, with judging taking place at 4:30 p.m.

The Medical Technology Club was able to raise 604 pounds for the Food Bank of Delaware, while the NTDT Club raised 148 pounds.

In the end, the NTDT Club took home the awards for “The Best Use of the Food Bank’s Most Needed Items” and the “Best Meal.” While the Medical Technology Club received the “Best Use of Labels” and the “Best in Show” awards.

There is still a chance for the participating clubs to win the “People’s Choice” award, with voting taking place on the CANR Facebook Page until 4:30 p.m., Friday, March 16. The winner will be determined by the group with the most “likes” on their sculpture’s photo.

The team that wins the “People’s Choice” award will receive an ice cream social for their entire group at the UDairy Creamery.

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Master Gardeners see increased demand for vegetable workshops

February 28, 2012 under Cooperative Extension

From the time he was a young boy, Clyde Roberts grew tomatoes, cantaloupes and other produce on his family’s farm in Kansas. He earned agronomy degrees at Kansas State and Cornell and worked for DuPont Ag Products. Since retirement, the Hockessin resident has been a UD Master Gardener, teaching vegetable workshops and other gardening classes.

Roberts has long and deep ties to agriculture but he meets other Delawareans who are disconnected from their food source. They know they can find the first tender asparagus of spring at the supermarket but they aren’t quite sure how it got there.

“In our beginner vegetable gardening workshop, I’ve had people who were surprised to find out that carrots and potatoes grow underground,” says Roberts. “They assumed that every vegetable grows on a bush, like tomatoes.”

Roberts is delighted to help the rank beginner as well the more experienced gardener learn the ins and outs of growing their own vegetables and fruits. The only problem he and other Master Gardeners have is keeping up with the demand.

“There has been a surge in interest in vegetable gardening workshops in the last four or five years,” says Carrie Murphy, the horticulture agent for New Castle County Cooperative Extension.

Delawareans aren’t the only ones getting excited about growing their own produce. Nationally, vegetable gardening is on the rise, according to the National Gardening Association, which attributes the trend to rising food prices and health-conscious consumers.

In 2011, an estimated one in three American households grew vegetables, whether that meant a solitary tomato plant on a deck or a large garden, such as Roberts’ five plots, where he harvests veggies from April (radishes and lettuce) until the first frost (bell peppers and tomatoes).

Edibles take center stage in the New Castle County Master Gardener spring workshop series, which kicks off March 6.  While you’ll still be able to learn about such topics as pruning and ornamental container gardening, more than half of the classes are devoted to some aspect of vegetable gardening.

“For the third year in a row we’ll have separate classes for novice and experienced gardeners,” says Murphy. “We’re also offering specialized sessions, such as a workshop devoted exclusively to growing tomatoes and another on growing vegetables in containers.”

Classes get underway in less than two weeks and continue through May. Half of the workshops are in March, when gardeners are finalizing their plans, and in the case of some crops, starting to plant.

In Sussex County, spring Master Gardener classes began last Tuesday and continue through late June. Edibles take center stage in several workshops, including Feb. 28, when Darrell Hager explained how to use the web and software to plan and design a vegetable garden. Grape growing will be the focus of a workshop on March 21.

Roberts will teach a tomato class on April 5 that was created last year due to popular demand. Tomatoes top the list of the most commonly homegrown vegetables (even though technically they’re a fruit).  But they’re not always easy to grow, especially the heirloom varieties.

“Heirlooms are all the rage but they’re more challenging,” says Roberts. Heirlooms aren’t disease-resistant, like most hybrids, and they’re more susceptible to cracking and bruising.

“I encourage brand-new gardeners to grow half of their plot with heirlooms and half with hybrid varieties,” says Roberts. “I don’t want new gardeners to give up and get discouraged if they have a crop failure.”

A great way to solve problems before crop failure happens is to attend a Garden Day, held in the Master Gardeners’ Native Teaching Garden on the second and fourth Wednesday from April through September.

From 9 a.m. to noon on these days, Master Gardeners work in the garden, all the while explaining what they’re doing – from scouting for pests to the right way to weed. They’re happy to answer specific gardening questions, too.

Roberts doesn’t contend with crop failure often; instead he usually has an overabundance of veggies. If your harvest is equally successful, do what Roberts does and donate the excess to the needy.

The Master Gardeners participate in Plant a Row for the Hungry, a national program that encourages gardeners to plant an extra row at the beginning of the season and donate this produce to a local food bank. The Food Bank of Delaware is always in need of fresh produce to supplement the canned and packaged foods it receives.

Check out the spring Master Gardener workshops online. New Castle County classes can be found at this website or by calling 302-831-COOP.

For information on Sussex workshops, go to this website or call 302-856-7303.

Article by Margo McDonough

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

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UD students invited to join BlueHensCAN competition, assist Food Bank

February 13, 2012 under CANR News, Events

University of Delaware students who want to earn service hours and prizes through teamwork, creativity and competition while working to make a difference in the community are invited to become part of the BlueHensCAN effort to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

Delawareans continue to struggle with the current economic situation. Higher prices have left thousands with the difficult decision – pay the rent or mortgage or buy a bag of groceries. Food drive donations are down while demand is up.

In an effort to help stock the shelves and ensure that hungry Delawareans have access to healthy foods, the Food Bank of Delaware proposes to assist with the creation and facilitation of BlueHensCAN, a creative way to collect much-needed food and create a spirited competition among UD students.

UD student team that register for BlueHensCAN will hold food drives and compete to create sculptures and structures out of the food items collected.

The food drives will take place through Monday, March 12, and all structures will be built at the Trabant University Center during the day on Tuesday, March 13. Judging will take place that evening and awards will be given at an event open to the entire UD community from 6:30-8:30 p.m., March 13.

In addition to prizes, team members can earn service hours for their involvement in BlueHensCAN. Maintain a log of your time on the project and the contest sponsors will sign off on that log during the awards reception. Hours count as service to the Food Bank of Delaware.

Student teams do not have to be comprised of an official UD Greek chapter, registered student organization, athletic team, etc. While participation from the aforementioned groups is encouraged, any assembly of students wishing to create a team is welcome to participate. Official UD student groups may form several teams internally.

For guidelines, rules or requirements, or to register a team, visit the BlueHensCAN website.

Interested teams must register by Thursday, March 1. Questions regarding the competition may be directed to Katy O’Connell, communications manager, UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at kvo@udel.edu or (302) 831-1355.

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UD’s Food Science Club bakes sweet potato pies for Food Bank of Delaware

November 21, 2011 under CANR News

To help those in need, the University of Delaware Food Science Club teamed up with the Food Bank of Delaware to bake delicious sweet potato pies for the Thanksgiving holiday. Those pies will be distributed as part of the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile food pantry taking place at Eisenberg Elementary School in New Castle from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Club members estimate that they baked close to 80 pies this year using sweet potatoes grown in the Garden for the Community and ingredients bought through the Food Science Club budget.

The Garden for the Community is located on one-third of an acre on UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) campus and provides a steady stream of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits to Delaware’s hungry. The garden is a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and the CANR faculty and staff, undergraduate students and graduate students. Last year, the Garden for the Community donated three tons of vegetables, fruits and herbs to the Food Bank of Delaware.

Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO, noted the importance of their relationship with the University. “As we work to feed more Delawareans, the importance of fresh, sustainable produce cannot be emphasized enough. The pie project is a perfect example of farm to table — sweet potatoes grown right here in Delaware to feed residents of our state. Last year the families who received these freshly-made pies were incredibly appreciative.”

About 20 students, mostly from the Food Science Club but also from the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, helped out this year, doing prep work and baking pies from 12:30-4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov.16, through Friday, Nov. 18.

Kali Kniel, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, helped coordinate the event and Melinda Litvinas, manager of the UDairy Creamery, helped the club by ordering all of the ingredients necessary to bake the pies.

Teresa Brodeur, a CANR junior and president of the Food Science Club, said she wanted to get involved with the Food Bank of Delaware after attending service events with her service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, last spring. “One of the service events that I attended weekly was at the Food Bank where we helped to organize the different donated food items. I really enjoyed the people who were in charge there and they made the experience both educational as well as enjoyable.”

Having missed out on baking the pies last year due to a schedule conflict, Brodeur, who one day hopes to open her own bakery, said that she was really looking forward to taking part in the event this year because “everyone seemed like they had so much fun last year.”

For more information on the Food Bank of Delaware, visit the website.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily > >

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Week of Oct. 24: Food Day events

October 22, 2011 under CANR News, Events

The University of Delaware community is invited to join the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Food Science Club, Dining Services, Food Bank of Delawareand millions of Americans in celebration of national Food Day on Monday, Oct. 24.

Food Day is a national campaign to draw attention to celebrate healthy, affordable foods produced in a humane, sustainable way and to fix the food system by:

  • Reducing obesity and diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods.
  • Supporting sustainable family farms and cutting subsides to huge agribusiness.
  • Ending urban and rural “food deserts” by providing access to healthy foods.
  • Protecting the environment and farm animals by reforming factory farms.
  • Promoting children’s health by curbing junk-food marketing aimed at kids.
  • Obtaining fair wages for all workers in the food system.

The Food Science Club will host two events on Monday, Oct. 24.  From 12:30-2:30 p.m., club members will be at Trabant University Center with information about Food Day’s mission, signing up students to volunteer with the Food Bank of Delaware.

Also on Monday, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Townsend Hall Commons, the Food Science Club and other food-related clubs at UD will host a panel discussion about important food related issues.  After the discussion, participants will be invited to stay and carve local pumpkins and enjoy local UDairy Creamery ice cream. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the event to donate to the Food Bank of Delaware.

In addition, throughout the week, bins will be available at all residential dining halls for students to drop off non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Delaware.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, UD Dining Services will host Local Garden Harvest dinners in Kent, Pencader, Russell and Rodney dining halls from 5-7:30 p.m. featuring local and sustainable ingredients.

The UD Dining Services menu for the Local Garden Harvest dinner includes:

  • Butternut squash and apple soup made with locally grown butternut squash, roasted and blended with apples and farm fresh cream.
  • Chicken, potato and kale soup made with locally grown kale served in a tomato base soup.
  • Carved apple glazed pork loin served with a side of caramel apple bread pudding.
  • Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch approved flounder seasoned and encrusted, served with sweet and tangy cabbage slaw and fresh Old Bay chips.
  • Homemade herb infused biscuits topped with exotic local mushroom ragout.
  • Zucchini, squash and onion sauté.
  • Locally grown, baked sweet potatoes with toppings (honey butter, cinnamon and sugar, marshmallows).
  • Chicken and waffles drizzled with UD’s own farm fresh Dare to Bee honey.
  • Organic whole wheat pasta served in a light tomato sauce.
  • Bacon, apple and cheddar panini on eight-grain sliced bread.
  • Succotash salad.
  • Mixed green salad with apples, cranberries and candied pecans topped with a Chaddsford Winery vinaigrette.
  • Assorted dinner rolls.
  • Gooey pumpkin cake.
  • Cranberry and apple strudel with maple glaze.
  • UDairy Creamery taste testing (and voting) of final two contest flavors: Blue Hen Tracks and All Nighter.
  • UDairy Creamery Pumpkin Roll ice cream.
  • Spiced hot apple cider.

Sponsored by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day is sponsored nationally by more than 50 organizations including Slow Food USA, the Sierra Club, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Farmers Market Coalition.

View this article on UDaily.

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Bringing the harvest home

July 13, 2011 under CANR News

Volunteers spent the morning of July 12 harvesting a cornucopia of fresh peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, tomatillos and more from the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community. Once they finished harvesting the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry truck was loaded and headed to Sparrow Run Park in Bear where volunteers distributed fresh produce, 30-pound meal boxes, chicken, fresh bread and other food items to 387 individuals.

“Working with the food bank’s mobile pantry allows our volunteers to experience theresult of their hard work in the garden and connect with the community,” said Dr. Tom Sims, University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Deputy Dean.  “Our students not only gain valuable lessons in what it takes to produce food, they start on a path of service.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have a steady stream of fresh, locally-grown produce from the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community,” said our President and CEO, Patricia Beebe. “Because of the garden and other local partners we are able to provide families with healthy foods that they otherwise may not be able to afford.”

Renee Connor, a University of Delaware student and intern for the Garden for the Community said that contributing fresh produce to our  mobile pantry is important because it provides those in need with healthy foods. “Obviously feeding people in need is an important part, but it’s also important to give families healthier food, like fresh-picked produce. We’re giving them basil, peppers, eggplant, okra, squash, zucchini and tomatoes,” she said. “The partnership is a good way for people in the community to get involved and do something helpful for people who are in need of assistance.”

Through the mobile pantry program, a  truck travels to an underserved area during hours when clients find it easier to receive assistance. Thirty-pound meal boxes filled with enough nutritious food to feed four people for up to five meals are distributed.

For more information about the Garden for the Community efforts visit www.ag.udel.edu/communitygarden.

To celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community, in partnership with our friends at the Food Bank, we will hold our third annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, August 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will be held outside the garden. Tickets are $40/person. The price includes dinner, wine and entertainment. For more information or to attend the event, please visit www.fbd.org

For photos of the event please click here.

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Sussex County Master Gardeners Open House set for July 16

July 8, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The Sussex County Master Gardeners, of Delaware Cooperative Extension for both the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, 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 and visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event and join Master Gardeners in supporting the Food Bank of Delaware’s “Delaware Does More” program, a program aimed at growing food and raising funds for neighbors in need.

Highlights of the day will include touring the Sussex County Extension Office gardens, seeing all the tools and gardening aids, and learning how to preserve food grown in your garden. For those new to gardening, there will be chances to learn about Square Foot Gardening, using raised beds and containers for growing vegetables. There will also be plants available for purchase.

Kids will have all sorts of fun opportunites, including seeing the garden drama “Peter Rabbit’s Adventures in Farmer McGregor’s Vegetable Garden,” going on a scavenger hunt or enjoying the butterflies, frogs and goldfish, as well as getting the opportunity to see what it’s like inside a teepee trellis.

For more information, contact Tracy Wootten at (302) 856-2585, ext. 538, wootten@udel.edu or Tammy Schirmer at ext. 544, tammys@udel.edu or visit the Carvel Research and Education Center website.

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Food Bank, CANR to offer second annual mobile pantry

July 7, 2011 under CANR News

The Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will hold the second annual Harvest to Home mobile pantry starting at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 12.

Volunteers from UD and the Food Bank of Delaware will harvest vegetables from the University’s Garden for the Community, located in front of the Wilson Farmhouse directly behind the Girl Scouts facility on Route 896 in Newark.

The volunteers will load the vegetables from the Garden for the Community into a Food Bank of Delaware van, and the produce will then be transported to the Sparrow Run community off Route 40 in Bear for a mobile food pantry. The mobile pantry begins at 11 a.m., and prescreened individuals will receive fresh produce and 30-pound meal boxes of nonperishable foods.

The Garden for the Community project is a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and the CANR faculty and staff, undergraduate students and graduate students.

For more information, visit the Garden for the Community website.

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

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CANR, Food Bank of Delaware will hold Evening in the Garden benefit

June 24, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the Food Bank of Delaware will hold an Evening in the Garden from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 11, at UD’s Garden for the Community, which is located off South College Avenue near the Girl Scouts building.

All proceeds from the event will help the Food Bank in its hunger relief efforts.
To celebrate the bounty of the Garden for the Community, those who attend will enjoy garden-fresh food prepared by the Food Bank’s Culinary School students, fine wine and beer from local establishments, and live entertainment.

Located on one-third of an acre on the University’s CANR campus, the garden provides a steady stream of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits to Delaware’s hungry.

During 2009 and 2010, the Garden for the Community produced more than three tons of fresh produce for the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger-relief efforts. The hope is to have an even more bountiful harvest in 2011.

The Garden for the Community project is a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and the CANR faculty and staff, undergraduate students and graduate students. Volunteers from the University and surrounding community help plant and maintain the garden.

Registration for the event is $40 per person. A student discount is available for $15 per person, but a student ID must be shown to get the discount.

Those who attend are encouraged to bring a bag of non-perishable goods for the Food Bank of Delaware.

To attend, RSVP by Aug. 4 to Kim Kostes at 302-444-8074 or kkostes@fbd.org. Online registration is available at the Food Bank of Delaware website.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

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Volunteers needed to plant Garden for Community

May 11, 2011 under CANR News, Events

Volunteers from the University of Delaware and the Food Bank of Delaware will plant a Garden for the Community from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

The planting will take place in the front of the Wilson Farmhouse, which is directly behind the Girl Scouts facility on Route 896 in Newark.

Located on one-third of an acre on the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) campus, the garden provides a steady stream of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits to Delaware’s hungry.

During 2009 and 2010, the Garden for the Community produced more than three tons of fresh produce for the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger-relief efforts. The hope is to have an even more bountiful harvest in 2011.

The Garden for the Community project is a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware, the CANR faculty and staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and is led by the Agriculture College Council, the Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program, the Delaware Department of Agriculture and others in the community.

The rain dates for the plantings are Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, taking place at the same times.

For more information or to volunteer, visit the Garden for the Community website or email commgard@udel.edu. If volunteering, indicate the date on which you would like to participate.

Full article can also be seen on UDaily

Photo by Danielle Quigley

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