March Sussex Beginning Farmer Workshop

June 4, 2015 in Emmalea Ernest, Gordon Johnson

IMG_20150505_174558
Gordon Johnson and Emmalea Ernest demonstrating two types of hand planters.
IMG_20150505_174842
Jab-planters use a narrow funnel to deliver each seed into the dirt through an alligator-like mouth at the opposite end. You jab the end into the ground, drop a seed down the funnel, then simply lean the planter forward to open the mouth and drop the seed into the ground and give a quick swipe with your foot to close the hole. This type of jab-planter even marks where your next jab should be as you’re planting, even spacing made easy!
IMG_20150505_174540
Wheel planters are a bit quicker than using a jab planter, and are designed with a closer likeness to commercial planters. They use interchangeable discs that have different sized holes used for varying seed sizes. Simply put on the plate with the right size holes, pour a little seed in the shallow funnel and push the planter forward. The rotation of the front wheel and the size plate as you push distributes the seed evenly down a tube and into the trench being made as you’re going along. The rear wheel acts as a small roller, closing up the trench behind you.
IMG_20150505_181023
Taking a look at the Blueberry Trial.
IMG_20150505_175941
IMG_20150505_181658
Emmalea discussing pruning methods and freeze damage on certain varieties in the trial that are not as accustomed to colder weather.
IMG_20150505_182018
Blueberry Flowers!
IMG_20150505_182536
IMG_20150505_182430
Digging in – to the compost piles!
IMG_20150505_185042
Rye is used as a windbreak for plastic beds that are now planted in watermelons.
IMG_20150505_184004
IMG_20150505_183937
Experiencing the lack of wind down at plant-level inside the rows!
IMG_20150505_190618
Gordon demonstrating how to lay plastic mulch using a raised-bed mulch layer. This machine forms the beds, lays drip tape for irrigation, and covers the bed with plastic in one sweep.
IMG_20150505_190728
IMG_20150505_190657

Upcoming Programs!

June 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

Dwarf Sweet Cherry High Tunnel & Alternative Fruit Twilight Meeting

T. S. Smith & Sons, Bridgeville, DE.

Thursday, June 4th, from 6:00-8:00pm.

Learn about growing dwarf sweet cherries in high tunnels and other alternative fruits from Charlie Smith of T. S. Smith & Sons and Gordon Johnson as we tour the high tunnels, discuss how the system is established and maintained as well as the experiments currently being conducted.  All are welcome!

2015 Farm Tour

June 4th, 2015 – 9:00am

Join us for our spring farm tour hosted by MidAtlantic Women In Agriculture! All are welcome, so bring a friend and spend the day enjoying Agriculture on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Schedule is as follows:

9am – Family Affair Farm (U-pick Strawberry Farm)

30091 Rabbit Hill Rd. Easton, MD.

We will caravan from here to each additional stop on the tour.

1045am – Wye Angus

2016 Carmichael Rd. Queenstown, MD.

1230pm – The Point at Pintail

511 Pintail Point Lane. Queenstown, MD.

Lunch will be included during this stop!

Cost is $20 per person; Registration ends May 26.

Tour of Farm at St. Andrews School

350 Noxontown Rd. Middletown, DE.

June 15th, 2015 – 6:00pm

Tour the school’s 2 acre organic vegetable and flower farm, hoop house, raised beds and compost facility. Learn about the various fruits & veggies they have growing: berries, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs and more! We will also have the opportunity to look at and try out a tiller, harrower, rotary plow, and other various tools. Please dress appropriately as we will be doing a little work, and don’t forget water or sunscreen! All are welcome!

February Sussex Beginning Farmer Workshop

March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

P1010157What to grow? When to grow?

These and many other questions were answered at the first classroom session in Sussex County. Dr. Gordon Johnson covered a wide array of topics, including business, market, and production planning, enterprise budgeting, marketing opportunities, planning for perennial crops, and pest management. Varying opportunities in fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other specialty crops were also discussed.

P1010184The first hands-on session; Dr. Gordon talking about various seed companies and what to look for in their catalogs.

P1010190

P1010191Dr. Gordon demonstrating desired soil moisture and consistency.

P1010196Planting seeds with a “seed singulator”, a small trough to make individual planting of small seeds a breeze!

P1010200About 3 weeks after planting!

February New Castle Beginning Farmer Workshop

March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

The first hands-on session in Newark covered aspects of Transplant Production. Students learned from Dr. Gordon about growing facilities, trays and media for planting, seeding, watering, fertilization and growth management. High tunnel production was also discussed and students direct seeded cool season vegetables inside the greenhouse.

greenhouse4Gordon shows off the features of a poly covered greenhouse

greenhouse2

planting4

planting6

planting7Seeds planted!

2014 Baby Lima Quality Evaluation

February 6, 2015 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

On December 16, 2014 six representatives of from the four regional vegetable processing companies that that pack lima beans evaluated blanched and frozen samples of many of the baby lima varieties tested for yield in the 2014 trial. Four commercially frozen samples, purchased from local grocery stores were included in the evaluation as controls. Results from the trial and the evaluation are in the 2014 Lima Bean Variety Trial Results.  Photos of the samples are below. Photos are labeled with the name of the sample and then the percent of evaluators rating as overall acceptable is given in parenthesis. Click on the photo for a larger image.

All photos by Danielle Vanderhei.

DE1001104B_B1
DE1001202B_B7
DE1001104B (100%)
DE1001202B (100%)
 DE1000802B_B10  DE1001202A_B29
DE1000802B (100%)
DE1001202A (100%)
 DE0901204B_B32  CeliteSelect_B34
DE0901204B (100%)
C-elite Select (100%)
 GBL18485_B36  DE1001202C_B49
GBL 184-85 (100%)
DE1001202C (100%)
 DE0901502B_B24  DE1001202D_B14
DE0901502B (100%)
DE1001202D (100%)
 DE0407907_B28  DE0407905_B39
DE0407907 (100%)
DE0407905 (100%)
 DE1001201B_B13  DE1002003A_B27
DE1001201B (100%*)
DE1002003A (100%*)
 DE0505002A_B15  DE0802701B_B20
DE0505002A (100%*)
DE0802701B (100%*)
 DE1000604A_B3  PictsweeDeluxTinyLima_B42
DE1000604A (100%*)
Commercial Sample A (100%*)
 DE1001102B_B4  DE1001102E_B12
DE1001102B (83%)
DE1001102E (83%)
 DE1001701A_B1  DE1002502A_B23
DE1001701A (83%)
DE1002502A (67%)
 DE1001201A_B48  DE1001201C_B18
DE1001201A (67%)
DE1001201C (67%)
 Meadow_B30  DE1001802A_B40
Meadow (50%)
DE1001802A (50%)
 DE1001202E_B21  DE1000603B_B8
DE1001202E (50%)
DE1000603B (50%)
 DE1000802C_B11  DE1001102A_B22
DE1000802C (50%)
DE1001102A (50%)
 DE0900701D_B47  DE1001102C_B26
DE0900701D (50%)
DE1001102C (50%)
 DE0802102B_B9  DE0900705C_B37
DE0802102B (33%)
DE0900705C (33%)
 Cypress_B38  DE0901204A_B33
Cypress (33%)
DE0901204A (33%)
 DE1000503B_B5  DE1000701A_B17
DE1000503B (33%)
DE1000701A (33%)
 DE0802102A_B6  PictsweetBabyLima_B31
DE0802102A (33%)
Commercial Sample B (33%)
 HanoverPremiumSilverLine_B25  DE0802102C_B45
Commercial Sample C (17%)
DE0802102C (17%)
 DE0801802B_B43  EssentialEverydayRedners_B16
DE0801802B (17%)
Commercial Sample D (17%)
 DE1000503C_B41  DE0901201A_B46
DE1000503C (17%)
DE0901201A (17%)
 DE0802101A_B44  DE1002303B_B19
DE0802101A (17%)
DE1002303B (17%)
DE0901201B_B35
DE0901201B (0%)

*some raters indicated color, size or shape problems with these samples but rated them overall acceptable

2014 Fordhook Quality Evaluation

February 6, 2015 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

On December 16, 2014 six representatives of from the four regional vegetable processing companies that that pack lima beans evaluated blanched and frozen samples of the Fordhook varieties tested for yield in the 2014 trial. Two commercially frozen samples, purchased from local grocery stores were included in the evaluation as controls. Results from the trial and the evaluation are in the 2014 Lima Bean Variety Trial Results.  Photos of the samples are below. Photos are labeled with the name of the sample and then the percent of evaluators rating as overall acceptable is given in parenthesis. Click on the photo for a larger image.

All photos by Danielle Vanderhei.

DE1002703A_FH6 DE0804401C_FH7
DE1002703A (100%)
DE0804401C (100%)
 DE0900302A_FH10  DE1002701A_FH11
DE0900302A (100%)
DE1002701A (100%)
 DE0804404C_FH14  DE0804404A_FH20
DE0804404C (100%*)
DE0804404A (100%*)
 DE1002703B_FH13  ConcentratedFH_FH15
DE1002703B (80%)
Concentrated Fordhook (67%)
 HanoverPremiumFH_FH21  DE0701301A_FH18
Commercial Sample E (50%)
DE0701301A (50%)
 DE1002802A_FH1  DE0701303B_FH5
DE1002802A (33%)
DE0701303B (33%)
 DE0600605C_FH8  PictsweetDeluxeFH_FH3
DE0600605C (33%)
Commercial Sample F (33%)
 DE0700904_FH17  DE0803801A_FH2
DE0700904 (33%)
DE0803801A (17%)
 Fordhook242_FH4  DE0600602B_FH12
Fordhook 242 (17%)
DE0600602B (17%)
 DE0804101A_FH19  DE0803801B_FH22
DE0804101A (17%)
DE0803801B (0%)
 DE0803801C_FH9  DE0701101_FH16
DE0803801C (0%)
DE0701101 (0%)

*some raters indicated color, size or shape problems with these samples but rated them overall acceptable

Not Just for Car Dealerships Anymore?

March 12, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Fruit

Fruit Grower News featured an article about research being done  in Michigan and New York on a new method to prevent bird damage to fruit. Researchers from Cornell University and Michigan State University are working with growers to test the use of “inflatable dancers”, more commonly seen attracting the attention of passersby to shiny new cars, to deter birds from fruit crops. You can read the whole article here: Inflatable Dancers Scare Off Birds.

New Video on Processing Sweet Corn Research

February 26, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Processing Vegetables

Last year we made a video about our processing pea trials. This year’s offering features some research we have done over the past several years on processing sweet corn variety selection and the effects of stand reduction on yield.  Check out the new video here: UD Processing Sweet Corn Research.

2013 Processing Sweet Corn Stand Reduction and Gap Size Study

2013 Processing Sweet Corn Stand Reduction and Gap Size Study

DELAWARE PRODUCE FOOD SAFETY TRAININGS FOR 2014

February 20, 2014 in Fresh Market Vegetables, Fruit, Gordon Johnson

In 2014, three initial training opportunities will be offered for produce growers on food safety and good agricultural practices and good handling practices (GAP’s and GHP’s) by the Delaware Cooperative Extension.  Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).

For growers who have attended previous trainings, we are having two update sessions which will provide the latest information on produce food safety science, industry actions, audit requirements, and the status of the FDA rule.  A portion of the session will be spent on recommendations for produce wash water disinfection and produce contact surface disinfection.  Recertification credits will be given.

All Sessions will be held at University of Delaware County Extension Offices

New Castle: 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE — Kent: 69 Transportation Circle Dover, DE— Sussex: 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE

DATES & LOCATIONS

Initial sessions for those who have not attended training in the past:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY – April 3, 6-9 p.m. basic session.  Phone (302) 831-2667 to register.

KENT COUNTY – March 31, 9 a.m.-noon for the basic session with an additional 3 hours for those selling to wholesalers from 12:30-3:30 p.m.  Phone (302) 730-4000 to register

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 27, 6-9 p.m. for the basic session with an additional 3 hour session for those selling to wholesalers on April 1 from 6-9 p.m.   Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Update sessions for those that have already attended trainings:

KENT COUNTY – March 25, 9 a.m.-noon   Phone (302) 730-4000 to register.

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 19, 6-9 p.m.  Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Gallery of Watermelon Varieties

January 30, 2014 in Emmalea Ernest, Fresh Market Vegetables

These varieties have been tested in our watermelon trials and are recommended for production on Delmarva.

The varieties are listed by maturity group. Those designated “High Quality” had average brix of 11.5% or more in the majority of years they were trialed. Disease resistance is that reported by the seed company; Co(1) is Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare race 1, Fon is Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Niveum with the race designated when known. Click on the photo for a larger version of the image.

Melody

Imagination

Melody
Early Season
12-14 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon(1)
Syngenta
Imagination
Early Season
10-14 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta 

SweetEat'n

SS7167

Sweet Eat’n
Early-Mid Season
16-18 lbs High Quality
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon
DP Seeds
SS 7167
Early-Mid Season
14-16 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems

Fascination

Gypsy

Fascination
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon(1)
Syngenta
Gypsy
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Harris Moran

Vagabond

SweetDelight

Vagabond
Early-Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Harris Moran
Sweet Delight
Mid Season
16-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta

SugarCoat

ACX6177

Sugar Coat
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera
ACX 6177 Plus
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Fon(1)
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems

SS7187

CrispNSweet

SS 7187
Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems
Crisp N Sweet
Mid Season
14-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

TriX313

Liberty

Tri-X 313
Mid Season
14-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Syngenta
Liberty
Mid Season
14-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Nunhems

Butterball

Sugarheart

Butterball
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Fon
DP Seeds
Sugar Heart
Mid Season
15-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

Declaration

TriX212

Declaration
Mid Season
14-16 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Nunhems
Tri-X 212
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1)
Syngenta

SS7197

Troubadour

SS 7197
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
No Resistance Reported
Abbott & Cobb/Nunhems
Troubadour
Mid Season
12-16 lbs
Resistant: Co(1)
Harris Moran

SweetPolly

SugaRed

Sweet Polly
Mid Season
14-16 lbs
Intermediate Resistance: Co(1), Fon
Siegers
SugaRed
Late-Mid Season
15-18 lbs High Quality
No Resistance Reported
Zeraim Gedera

Maxima

Revolution

Maxima
Late-Mid Season
15-18 lbs
No Resistance Reported
OriGene Seeds
Revolution
Late-Mid Season
18-22 lbs High Quality
Intermediate Resistance: Fon(1)
Nunhems

CrunchyRed

 
Crunchy Red
Late Season
16-18 lbs
Resistant: Co(1)
Harris Moran