Category Archives: Feature

Got Fresh Fruits & Veggies? Delaware Does!

boxes of vegetables

One thing I always look forward to is the first day of Spring, warm weather, and the many opportunities for fresh, local produce the upcoming seasons will bring.  If you know anything about Delaware, it is probably that there is a farm of some type on just about every back road – which is a great thing when it comes to healthy eating!

There are many benefits of buying local produce.  In most cases, it was harvested just hours before being sold which means it will contain the most nutrients as possible.  Buying from local farmers is also great for our local economy – which is important now more than ever.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is becoming a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Here is how it typically works:  A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public which usually consist of a box of vegetables and sometimes may also include other farms products such as eggs and milk.  Weekly shares are purchased upfront through a membership or subscription and are available through pick-up or delivery each week throughout the farming season.  For more information on CSAs visit:  www.localharvest.org/csa/.

Farmer’s Markets

A Farmer’s Market is an area where local growers gather once or twice a week to sell their produce directly to the public.  The 2010 Directory of Delaware Farmer’s Markets can be found on the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s website by visiting http://dda.delaware.gov/marketing/FarmersMarketsGuide.shtml.

U-Picks / PYOs

A U-Pick or Pick-Your-Own Farm is one in which you travel to a farm and pick fresh produce directly from the field or orchard.  To find a u-pick farm in Delaware and other helpful information about canning and freezing fresh produce, visit http://www.pickyourown.org/DE.htm.

Roadside Stands

An informal, but convenient, way to purchase local produce is at a roadside stand.  Roadside stands pop up all over Delaware between May and July and offer many fresh produce selections including tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers and peaches.

Unfortunately, many children never learn where their food actually comes from.  In addition to great nutrition, farms and farmer’s markets can also provide excellent agricultural and nutrition education opportunities for children and families.

Locally harvested produce is the most nutritious and sometimes best-tasting form of fruits and vegetables you can get.  So the next time you get held up behind a tractor or combine, just relax and think of how lucky you are to have so many opportunities to eat healthy in Delaware!

The Importance of Water and Hydration

Why is water so important?  Often labeled “the Forgotten Nutrient”, water is what makes all the systems in our bodies work.  Composed of hydrogen and oxygen and naturally-occurring minerals, it is your best bet to rehydrate and energize. The Centers for Disease Control says water helps keep your body temperature normal, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and eliminate wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.  That’s a nutritional powerhouse!

Fluid needs are different, depending on your age, activity level, health status, and environmental conditions.  Thirst should be your guide.  Signs of dehydration or excessive water loss start with fatigue and dry lips and tongue, but progress to heat cramps, dizziness, nausea, delirium and unconsciousness.  Anyone with a medical condition requiring fluid control, athletes, and those living in extreme conditions have individual water requirements which may not follow current general recommendations.

Summer’s hot temperatures, direct sunlight, and humid days can quickly dehydrate kids at play.  Smaller body size means kids dehydrate quicker than adults, plus, they may be less experienced recognizing the signs of dehydration.

Early signs of kids with dehydration are: fatigue, thirst, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy and being overheated.  It is so important to treat these signs early, before painful heat cramps of the arms, legs, abdomen or heat exhaustion occurs.  Heat exhaustion shows up as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, and muscle pain.  Untreated, these symptoms worsen and heat stroke occurs, including nausea and vomiting, seizures, delirium, shortness of breath, a temperature of 104 degrees or higher, and unconsciousness.

Pack water wherever you go in the summer.  Caffeine and added sugars found in soft drinks and nonnutritive beverages can actually dehydrate kids and even healthful juices contribute excess calories.  Choose water and offer it to kids often, especially when they are active or exercising and losing more body fluid through sweat.   From the American Academy of Pediatrics Sun and Water Safety tips, 5/2/2017 “before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat. 5 ounces of cool tap water every 20 minutes for a child weighing 85 pounds and 8 to 9 ounces for a teen weighing 132 pounds.”  Freeze water bottles overnight if kids will be out for a full day.  For a shorter time out having fun in the sun, chill water bottles just 1 hour in the freezer.  Keep bottles in a cooler or insulated bag to help keep them cool and your kids, too!

Are you drinking enough water? For adults, the popular guideline to “drink 8 cups of water each day” is not supported by hard evidence, but it is easy to remember and is similar (1.9 liters) to the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine for total fluid intake from fluids and foods. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.  Remember, thirst determines fluid needs. The smaller body size of a child and inability to tell when too thirsty or hot should be a red flag for parents on hot, humid days. Children, four to eight, require 1.3 liters (5.5 cups). Teenagers need to drink more-about 1.8 liters (seven cups) for girls and 2.6 liters (10.5 cups) for boys.

To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. Water has zero calories, is sugar-free, and choosing water instead of sugary drinks reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.  Drink water before, during and after exercise and on warm days. Some tips for hydrating in hot weather include:

Start hydrating right away. It’s easier to maintain your fluid balance if you start out in a well-hydrated state.

Schedule regular beverage breaks and keep a water bottle handy so you can take frequent sips of water while you work or exercise. Choose electrolyte-replacing drinks for maximum water absorption only when there is a need for rapid replenishment of carbohydrates and/or electrolytes in combination with water during prolonged, vigorous physical activity.

Drink water after you’ve finished work or an exercise session.

Snack on fresh fruits like berries, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines that are high in water volume. Other foods containing water include lettuce, broccoli, milk, orange juice, carrots, yogurt, and apples.

Don’t drink large amounts of plain water all at once – this can lead to hyponatremia or water-toxicity.

While rare, water intoxication is caused when too much water is consumed in a short period of time, diluting other nutrients in the body and putting pressure on the brain. This condition is called hyponatremia. If not treated, it can lead to coma or death.  Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. How do you know if you’ve consumed enough water? One way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, it should be pale. Also, you’ll be urinating more frequently.

Water is also easy on the wallet.  You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or making it your beverage choice when eating out.  Many people think bottled water is purer.  Both bottled and tap water from a public water source must meet the same standards.  If you get water from a private well, the owner is responsible for testing it, which should be done each year. Contact a private commercial laboratory certified to test drinking water or the Delaware Public Health Laboratory at (302) 223-1520.  The Safe Drinking Water Hotline is (800) 426-4791 or www.epa.gov/safewater/labs

For additional nutrition and health information, access our website at http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/

Photo credit: https://i1.wp.com/gettinginshapeafter40.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/water-pic.jpg

Keep water close at hand and your drink of choice this summer!

Cheryl D. Bush, MS, RDN, LDN

Delaware 4-H Equine Art Contest Winners

Delaware 4-H members of all ages recently participated in a statewide Equine Art Contest sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee, a group of volunteer 4-H Equine Project Leaders.   Entries from budding artists from across the state were submitted for the contest in the following categories:

  • Drawing- Pastels/Charcoal/Graphite/Colored Pencil (Abstract or Realistic)
  • Drawing- Pen/Ink/Markers/Crayon (Abstract or Realistic)
  • Painting
  • Photography- Color digital or 35 mm film
  • Photography- Black and White digital or 35 mm film

Entries were divided into age groups for judging.  Awards were given to the top six entries in each category and age group.  A Best in Show Champion and Best in Show Reserve Champion overall were also chosen from all of the entries.  The artwork has been on display at the Chick’s Saddlery retail store in Harrington, Delaware during the month of May.  Delaware 4-H gives a special thanks to Chick’s for hosting the art display and their support of young people involved in the Delaware 4-H Youth Development Program.

Painting- Cloverbud Participants Ages 5-7

  • Ray Anderson III, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  • Makayla Goff, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Painting- Ages 8-11

  1. Leah Wiley, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County
  2. Alyssa Carpenter, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Hallie Terry, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  4. Carley DeFord, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  5. Allison Elliott, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Jace Goff, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Painting- Ages 12-14

  1. Josefina Giles, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  2. Cheyenne Bowman, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Alexia Carroll, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  4. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Painting- Ages 15-19

  1. Jessica Knowles, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County

Drawing- Pastels, Charcoal, Graphite, Colored Pencil Cloverbud

  • Ray Anderson III, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  • Makayla Goff, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Drawing- Pastels, Charcoal, Graphite, Colored Pencil Ages 8-11

  1. Caroline Allen, The Lord’s Clay 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Alyssa Carpenter, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Hallie Terry, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  4. Daisy Timney, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County
  5. Allison Elliott, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Elodie Hight, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County

Drawing- Pastels, Charcoal, Graphite, Colored Pencil Ages 12-14

  1. Sydni Brown, Holler- N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Sydni Brown, Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County
  4. Carine Hight, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County
  5. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Sundene Lodge, Hollymount 4-H Club, Sussex County

Drawing- Pastels, Charcoal, Graphite, Colored Pencil Ages 15-19

  1. Autumn Wallace, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Claudia Little, Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County
  3. Natalie Buchmoyer, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County
  4. Sarah Brown, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County

Drawing- Pen, Ink, Crayon, Markers- Cloverbud Participants Ages 5-7

  • Ray Anderson III, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Drawing- Pen, Ink, Crayon, Markers Ages 8-11

  1. Stephanie Strachar, Hearts-4-Horses 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Hallie Terry, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Caroline Allen, The Lord’s Clay 4-H Club, Kent County
  4. Savannah Timney, Heavenly Hooves 4-H Club, New Castle County
  5. Hallie Terry, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Carly DeFord, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Drawing- Pen, Ink, Crayon, Markers Ages 12-14

  1. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  2. Cheyenne Bowman, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  3. Riley Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  4. Josefina Giles, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  5. Gerald Carroll, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Wesley DeFord, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Drawing- Pen, Ink, Crayon, Markers Ages 15-19

  1. Autumn Wallace, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Claudia Little, Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club, Kent County
  3. Amanda Jewell, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Color Photography- Digital or 35 MM – Ages 8-11

  1. Caroline Allen, The Lord’s Clay 4-H Club, Kent County

Color Photography- Digital or 35 MM – Ages 12-14

  1. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  3. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  4. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  5. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County
  6. Paige Taylor, Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club, Sussex County

Color Photography- Digital or 35 MM – Ages 15-19

  1. Autumn Wallace, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Natalie Buchmoyer, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County

Black and White Photography- Digital or 35 MM- Ages 8-11

  1. Stephanie Strachar, Hearts-4-Horses 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Caroline Allen, The Lord’s Clay 4-H Club, Kent County

Black and White Photography- Digital or 35 MM- Ages 12-14

  1. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  2. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  3. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  4. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County
  5. Weston Williams, Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club, Kent County

Black and White Photography- Digital or 35 MM- Ages 15-19

  1. Autumn Wallace, Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County

Best In Show Champion AwardAutumn Wallace – Age 17- Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County Drawing Pastels, Charcoal, Graphite, Colored Pencil

Best In Show Reserve Champion AwardAutumn Wallace- Age 17- Happy Harvesters 4-H Club, Kent County Drawing Pen, Ink, Crayon, Markers

4-H is a community of young people across Delaware learning leadership, citizenship and lifeskills.  We grow true leaders!  For more information on becoming a 4-H member or volunteer in Delaware please contact your county extension office:

New Castle County: (302)831-8965
Kent County: (302)730-4000
Sussex County: (302)856-7303

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating.  Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.  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.

STG 06/1/2017

UD’s Cooperative Extension offers food safety training class for entrepreneurs

The University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension will offer food safety training for entrepreneurs on Tuesday, June 20, and Thursday, June 22, with both sessions running from 6-9 p.m. at the Kent County Cooperative Extension Office, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, Delaware.

The cost of the class is $50.

Those interested in attending must attend both sessions to meet the food safety training requirements set by the state of Delaware for those who want to take advantage of the opportunity to prepare non-hazardous foods in their own home for sale. Examples of these foods include baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, honey and candy.

Sue Snider, professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and a food safety and nutrition specialist in extension, said that this class is necessary for anyone looking to get a food permit to produce these food products and sell them to the public.

“The Delaware Division of Public Health has passed what they call cottage food regulations and as part of that, they require at least one person, during the preparation of the food, to have gone through some type of training that requires an examination,” said Snider.

The class will be taught by Snider and Kathleen Splane, extension agent and family and consumer sciences program leader.

Registration is required. To register, call Jan Unflat at 302-730-4000.

Summer Food Safety

Summer holidays give us a break from school and work but providing safe food for your family should never take a vacation.  A combination of warmer temperatures and more foods prepared and served outdoors can lead to an increase in foodborne illness. Remembering four simple principles can help ensure you and your family do not fall victim to illness associated with the food you prepare; clean, separate, cook, and chill.

CLEAN-Preparing food on a clean surface is essential to food safety.  Thoroughly washing those nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables before chopping is very important. Just because you don’t eat the skin of a melon it still needs to be washed.  Cutting through the outside brings all the bacteria from everything the melon came in contact with-even the hands of the person at the market who picks up every melon to get the perfect specimen. For more information click here http://extension.udel.edu/factsheet/washing-produce/

SEPARATE-The slow pace of summer may make it easy for us to forget or become lax in keeping raw and ready to eat foods separate. Cross contamination can occur if you pack raw burgers in the same cooler as the lettuce and tomato without sealing foods in separate containers.

COOK-This is an area where guessing can be dangerous.  Using a calibrated meat thermometer is the only way to accurately measure the temperature of cooked meats-even if they are being cooked on a very hot grill. If foods are not cooked to the recommended temperature, naturally occurring pathogens can thrive and make you or your family sick. For more information on cooking temperatures click here

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/teach-others/fsis-educational-campaigns/is-it-done-yet/brochure

CHILL-With temperatures soaring into the 90’s it doesn’t take long for food to get into the temperature danger zone.  40°-140°F is the temperature that pathogens love.  They multiply to unsafe levels if food is left in that range for 2 hours or more.  Keeping all meats, dairy products, eggs and cut fruits and vegetables below 40° should be the goal.  Of course a cooler full of ice, frozen water bottles or juice boxes will keep those perishable foods safe.  When serving cold items set the bowl of cold food in a bowl of ice to keep it chilled.

Using these guidelines will ensure a safe food summer with many fun healthy gatherings.

Here Come the Chicks!

Every spring in northern and central Delaware classrooms eagerly await the arrival of the Embryology project. 4-H Embryology in the Classroom is provided in Kent and New Castle Counties.  In these two counties, youth are observing and experiencing the miracle of life.

Fertilized eggs arrive in classrooms on Mondays with the expectation of hatching on Wednesdays, although at times the chicks arrive early on Tuesdays and sometimes even Monday afternoons.  Each classroom receives an assortment of six chicken varieties:  Blue Hen, White Crested Black Polish, Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, and White Leghorn.  The eggs range in colors too, from bright white to buff to green/blue.  Students observe the eggs through piping (pecking through the egg shell) watching as the chick makes the first hole in the egg shell all the way to full emergence from the egg.  After the chicks hatch, the students watch as the chicks fluff, then move them to the prepared brooder box where they feed, water, and care for the newly hatched chicks.  On Fridays, the chicks are picked up by our extension staff and taken to local farms.

The program has a wide reach with 5350 students in 272 classrooms at 67 different schools participating. 

Legislative Day 2017

On April 26, 2017 over eighty Delaware 4-H youth and adults participated in the 13th annual Delaware 4-H Legislative Day.  4-H’ers began their day at Legislative Hall in Dover where they split into three groups, participating in different workshops throughout the day.  One group had the opportunity to tour Legislative Hall, learning the history of the building and discussing the Legislative process with Representative Lyndon Yearick and Senator Ernie Lopez.  They also learned how a bill becomes a law.  Another group visited the Courthouse to learn about the Judicial process.  Two groups also had the opportunity to visit the Delaware Department of Education where they learned about the process of applying for college and other important tasks as students.  Members were also able to visit the Delaware State Education Association.

A highlight of the day happened when members were able to participate in a mock voting session and casted their vote for:  Their favorite 4-H Event (DE State Fair was the winner!), the projects members enjoy the most (all of them!), when school should start (after Labor Day) and they voted YES that the penalty for texting and driving should be stronger than a $100 fine.

The groups came back together in the afternoon for a 4-H Rally outside of Legislative Hall.  We were pleased to have the following legislators in attendance:  Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Attorney General Matt Denn, Rep. Lyndon Yearick, Rep. Tim Dukes, Rep. Harvey Kenton and Rep. Ronnie Gray.  State 4-H Teen Council Officers in attendance were:  Lena Berry, Spring Vasey, Jenna Anger, Hannah O’Hara and Patrick Trunfio.

The day concluded with the members attending a session in the House Chambers.  State 4-H Teen Council President, Lena Berry, addressed the Legislators giving them information about Delaware 4-H and thanking them for their support of our program. 

Lena Berry, State 4-H Teen Council President, addressed the Legislators

Our members were great representatives of 4-H during this event; asking questions about the Legislative process, how to become a member of government, and much more!

View photos from this event on our Delaware 4-H Flickr page!

Winner of Delaware’s 2017 Junior Duck Stamp Competition Announced

2017 Delaware Best in Show Junior Duck Stamp Art
Fulvous Whistling Duck
Caroline Zhu, 15
Oil paint
Group IV (Grades 10-12) First Place

The winning entry from the Delaware Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest was selected on Tuesday, March 28th.  Several artistic renderings of waterfowl and conservation messages from students in grades K-12 were judged to determine which would represent the state in the national contest.

Participating competitors selected a waterfowl from a list of species on the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service webpage and drew a live portrayal of that species in its habitat demonstrating its natural behavior.

Caroline Zhu’s entry from the grades 10-12 division, an oil painting rendering of a Fulvous Whistling Duck titled “The First Day of Spring” was selected as the best in show and was sent to the national Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest to have the opportunity for it to be chosen as the Federal Junior Duck Stamp for 2017.

Dorothy McCormick’s conservation message – “If we want to keep our feathered flying friends around, we must keep their environment safe and clean like a cozy abode” – was selected to move on to the national contest as well.  Dorothy was in the grades 7-9 division.

This contest is sponsored annually by the Delaware 4-H Foundation and coordinated by the Delaware 4-H Program.  It is a great event that allows students to get exposed to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) curriculum.  The Delaware 4-H program encourages anyone who has an interest in this event to contact Doug Crouse, State 4-H Program Leader at (302) 831-2997 or call your local Extension 4-H Office to request more information.

2017 Division winners included:

ARTWORK

Clara Gulick (grades 4-6)

“Hidden Refuge”

Species: Cinnamon Teal

Pencil, colored pencil, pastels

 

Dorothy McCormick (grades 7-9)                                       

“Brant above Banks Harbor”

Species:  Brant

Colored Pencil

 

CONSERVATION MESSAGE

Clara Gulick (grades 4-6)

Caroline Zhu (grades 10-12)