Category Archives: Feature

Fruit Pruning Workshop

Saturday, March 4, 2017
9 a.m. – noon
Ernest Fruit Farm, 15092 S Union Church Rd, Ellendale, DE  19941   Directions

plums growing on branchesAt this workshop we will be demonstrating pruning and training techniques for stone fruits (peach, plum, cherry), apples, Asian pears, grapes, blueberries and brambles. Pruning for young plantings versus mature plantings will be discussed. The focus will be on central leader and open pruning for trees, floricane pruning for brambles and various pruning systems for grapes. Small growers and Master Gardeners welcome!

Please email Karen Adams to preregister for this workshop or call 302-856-7303.  Free.

Food Safety Course for Food Entrepreneurs

farm-kitchenAgricultural entrepreneurs who want to produce certain foods in their on-farm kitchens can receive food safety training and become certified under Delaware law at an upcoming workshop jointly sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

The eight-hour “Food Safety for Entrepreneurs” program presented by Dr. Sue Snider of the University of Delaware will take place Saturday, March 25, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover. The class will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants should arrive by 7:45 a.m. for registration and bring a bagged lunch.

Register by March 17 by contacting Debra Whitmore at or 302-698-4540.

Participants will learn how to identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand foodborne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of foodborne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items.

Non-potentially hazardous items include such things as baked breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, non-chocolate candy, jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit pies, herbs in vinegar, honey and herb mixtures, dried fruit and vegetables, spices or herbs, maple syrup, sorghum, popcorn, caramel corn, peanut brittle and roasted nuts.

The training, certification and inspections of farm kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2006, and apply to farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at DDA-listed farmers’ markets, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm. On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment after participants complete the training and pass a written test.

The “Food Safety for Entrepreneurs” program is also one of the recommended trainings in the Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection Cottage Food Establishment Producer program.  The Cottage Food program is meant to regulate the preparation of a limited type of food products made in residential kitchens.


2017 Mid Atlantic Precision Ag Day

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension in cooperation with University of Maryland will hold a  2017 Mid Atlantic Precision Ag Day  on March 2, 2017 at the UD Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.  Space is limited.

The event is free.  Click here to >>> REGISTER ONLINE

10:00 a.m.       Application Technology Session Welcome – Mark VanGessel

10:05 a.m.       Importance of droplet size, Herbicide performance, Drift / Off-target movement – Kurt Vollmer, Ph.D., UD

10:35 a.m.       Nozzle types and achieving different droplet size – Mark VanGessel, Ph.D., UD

10:50 a.m.       Blended Pulse Application Benefits – Stephen Mount, Capstan Ag

11:05 a.m.       Herbicide application strategies – how will our application strategies change as we try to included multiple herbicide mode of actions – Mark VanGessel, Ph.D., UD

11:25 a.m.       Other factors to reduce off-target movement – (Wind speed & direction, Sprayer Speed, Temp Inversions & Humidity) – Mark VanGessel, PhD, UD

11:45 a.m.       Proper spray system cleanout – (Risk & how to Prevent injury) – Cory Whaley, Ph.D., UD

12:00 p.m.       Lunch/Visit with Exhibitors

1:00 p.m.         Tile Drainage Session Welcome – James Adkins

1:02 p.m.         Legal Considerations for Tile Drainage – Jayme Arthurs – DE NRCS

1:20 p.m.         Basic Soil, Elevation and Outlet Components to a Successful Design – Rich Gorlich, DE NRCS

1:40 p.m.         Experiences with tile drainage design, installation and efficacy – Chris Pugh – Hoober Inc.

A discussion of the design software options, installation equipment and methods by an former installer of 1+ million ft. per year

3:00 p.m.         Panel Discussion Q and A – Speakers and Experienced Farmers

REGISTER ONLINE to RSVP by February 28, 2017 or email  Karen Adams at or call 302-856-2585 ext. 540. Space is limited.

For more information email: Karen Adams or call (302) 856-2585 ext 540
The Carvel Research and Education Center is located at 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Governor Carney praises 4-H volunteers at annual forum

4-H Salute to Excellence winners for 2016 announced

4-H group shot
Governor John Carney poses with Delaware 4-H leaders at their annual conference

On Saturday, Feb., 4, 2017 Gov. John Carney visited Delaware volunteers at the annual  4-H Leader Forum, held at Polytech High School in Woodside.

Carney praised the gathering of more than 100 4-H volunteers, known as leaders for their impact on the First State.

“What you do every day lifts all of us up and makes all of us better” Carney said. “I don’t think there is any greater feeling than to teach a young person to do —whatever it is—and to see them successful at it. As a teacher, as a volunteer, that is what you do every day.”

“We are not going to be successful as a country, or as a state unless we are able to instill in that next generation, the values, the skills and the leadership they need to takeover for us.”

After his remarks, Carney remained during the lunch hour, going from table to table talking with 4-H leaders and 4-H state teen officers and happily posed for photographs.

>>>Read more of the story  and Salute to Excellence winners continues on >>> UDaily!

2017 Produce Food Safety Trainings

2017 Produce Food Safety Trainings for Direct Marketers and Small Growers

Dates and Locations: 

  • March 11, UD Carvel Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE
  • March 18, UD Paradee Center, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE
  • March 25, Fischer Greenhouse, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Time:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. each day listed above

Registration:  Click here to register online. Or email Karen Adams  or call 302-856-7303

Who Should Attend?

Growers who sell primarily through direct market channels (farmer’s markets, farm stands, restaurant sales, CSA’s), growers that require yearly training to sell at farmer’s markets, and small growers who sell less than $25,000 of produce.

What to Expect at the Produce Food Safety Trainings for Direct Marketers and Small Growers?

There will be 4 hours of instruction covering the following areas:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training;
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water use in the Field and Postharvest
  • Postharvest Produce Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the University of Delaware that verifies they have completed the training course.

For more information please contact Gordon Johnson 

Food Safety Modernization Act training set for March

Delaware Food Safety Modernization Act Product Produce Rule Training, Produce Food Safety Updates, and Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop.

Dates: March 16-17, 2017    Time:  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day   Location:  Delaware State Fairgrounds

Cost:  The Delaware Department of Agriculture will cover the cost of attending for eligible Delaware growers.

Registration:  To register, please fill out the online registration form, or email Karen Adams.

Lunch and Breaks: Will be provided

Who Should Attend?

Wholesale fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor from the farm must complete food safety training at least equivalent to the standardized curriculum recognized by the FDA’. 

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course:

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time to cover content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training;
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

On day one, the course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm, how to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm, and parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one.

On day two, there will be updates on produce food safety research and findings and a produce food safety plan writing workshop.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork.

Click here for information on training for smaller growers, farmers markets, CSA, U-Pick

For more information please contact Gordon Johnson or Holly Porter

Become a Master Food Educator

Cooperative Extension offers Kent/Sussex Master Food Educator Volunteer Training in Sussex County

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Science Program will host their annual Kent/Sussex volunteer training this spring in Georgetown on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, March 21, 2017 through April 27, 2017, at the Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, about a half mile west of Sussex Tech High School.  Sessions will run from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm.

Master Food Educators are food or nutrition professionals or individuals without professional training who have an interest in nutrition, food preparation, health, wellness and the education of youth and adults.  Provided with training, these individuals help to expand the nutrition education efforts of the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension by working in their communities and organizations and by assisting with the ongoing initiatives of our organization.  Master Food Educators decide how they would like to contribute their time through a variety of initiatives:

  • Staffing Educational Displays – at locations such as the Delaware State Fair, Coast Day, community health fairs and expos at schools and businesses.
  • Assisting with or Conducting Workshops or Demonstrations – on topics such as food safety, food selection/preparation, nutrition and diet, stretching your food dollar and others.
  • School-Based Educational Programs – presenting to students on topics such as nutrition, food safety and wellness.
  • Other Opportunities – including assisting with the development of educational resources, taking leadership positions, assisting with registration for classes/workshops, photographing events where Master Food Educators volunteer, providing representation at meetings and community events, etc.

The fee for the 12-session program is $80.  For more information about the Master Food Educator Volunteer Training Program and to download an application for this year’s class, please visit, or contact Kim Lewis, at 302-856-7303 to have a brochure and application mailed to you.  The application deadline for the Spring 2017 class is February 28, 2017.


Dining with Diabetes

Now is the time to take charge of your diabetes!

Following a careful meal plan is the first step in managing diabetes and keeping blood sugars in a therapeutic range.

Do you know how to make a daily meal plan?  Do you know which foods contain carbohydrate?  Do you know which foods to avoid that are higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium?

Dining with Diabetes will be offered in Dover and Georgetown this spring. The 4 part series, plus a reunion 3 months later, helps by teaching persons with diabetes ways to reduce sugar, salt, and fat in foods, without giving up good taste.

On March 15th, Cooperative Extension will begin a series of classes designed for people with diabetes and their family members.  The series will be held in Dover on Wednesdays, March 15th, 22nd, 29th and April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm. It will include diabetes education, cooking demonstrations, and tasting of healthy foods.  After each lesson, participants will take home recipes and knowledge about how to manage diabetes in their lives. Another series will begin in Georgetown on May10th. It will be offered on Wednesdays May 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st from 10:00am-12 noon.

Registration for Dining with Diabetes is available on the Cooperative Extension website. Download the class brochures here

For more information you can call 730-4000 and talk to Kathleen Splane.  Dover classes will be held at the Kent County Cooperative Extension office at 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901 and Georgetown classes will be held at the Sussex County Cooperative Extension office at 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Delaware Master Gardeners announce new workshops schedules for 2017

Sign up for a Delaware Master Gardener Workshop! Topics include fairy gardens, plant selection, houseplants, and more.  To learn more and register:



Delaware 4-H youth learn citizenship, witness presidential inauguration

As Washington, D.C., began its transformation for inauguration day 2017, the patriotic colors of red, white and blue mixed with touches of green that sprouted around the nation’s capital.

Delaware 4-H was represented at the festivities by 15 youth delegates and five adults who joined 500 youth members from 25 other states for the National 4-H Citizen Washington Focus: Presidential Inauguration (CWFPI) conference.

Along with their chaperones, the high-school aged youth took part in the weeklong program that aimed to enrich young people’s lives by providing enduring lessons of civic engagement by broadening their knowledge and understanding of the executive branch of government and developing a personal role in citizenship through service civic education and engagement.

The event combined leadership workshops, attendance at inauguration-related events and sightseeing.

Read the full article on UDaily