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Lewes, Delaware
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March 24, 2000     Cape Gazette
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March 24, 2000
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 24 - March 30, 2000 - 63 Garden hobbyists be+come educalE,00rs through Extension training "Beware of aphids," Jay Wind- sol Cooperative Extension agri- cultural agent for the University of Delaware in Sussex County, cautioned 25 students working on their certification as Master Gar- deners. "Aphids do not need a male to reproduce. They bear live young and the young reproduce almost immediately," Windsor said. What this means, he explained, is that if a single aphid and all its offspring multiply and live, "with- in one year's time, they would cover the earth to a depth of one foot." With this announcement, Wind- sor had the complete attention of the class gathered indoors at the UD Research and Education Cen- ter (REC) in Georgetown. The Master Gardeners class meets for three hours, twice a week, for 10 weeks to complete the 60 hours of Ag program Continued from page 62 and the district office. "It is based on a state-of-the-art greenhouse just built for Middletown High School in the Appoquinimink School District," Dutton said. ,"Members of our planning com- mittee went up there to meet with their program director and tour their facility. It was very impres- sive." The district has advertised for qualified agriculture instructors and will be interviewing candi- dates Friday, March 24. "We're already posting next year's course options for interest- ed students," said Dutton. "We're initially offering a nice selection which includes plant and soil sci- ence, advanced flora culture, aquaculture and landscaping/turf management. We'll see how many sign up for the various options. We expect support for this pro- gram to grow over the years, and we may need another greenhouse or classroom and more teachers in required training on all aspects of growing plants and keeping them healthy. The topics range from pest control and composting to the gardener's role in helping to pro- tect the environment. "A special emphasis of the training is to impress upon stu- dents the importance of vigi- lance," said Winsdor, who is assis- tant coordinator of the Master Gardeners program. "By scouting the landscape and monitoring plants, you can often nip problems like aphids in the bud." Maggie Moor-Orth, lead pro- gram coordinator for the Master Gardeners Program in Kent and Sussex counties, said this pro- gram is intended for people who have an interest in gardening and the time to volunteer. As Exten- sion agricultural agent for Delaware State University, Moor- Orth coteaches the certification coming years. I imagine it will be a popular program." Board member Camilla Conlon spares no praise for the ground- work laid by fellow board mem- ber Porter, Dutton and the Grange's Mitchell and Davenport. "This is simply a great opportuni- ty for our students," Conlon said. "There should be loads of busi- ness opportunities for graduates in landscaping and turf manage- ment, and our students from tradi- tional farm families should fill the soil sciences course. It's just a great new adventure for the dis- trict." Once the new ag program is in place and running next fall, dis- trict personnel will study creating another vo-tech type curriculum aimed at training students for the growing hospitality market of restaurants and hotels in the resort area. "It's refreshing to be back in the vo-tech education business again," Burrows said. "I've always thought we missed something when we allowed Sussex Vo-Tech to dominate that area of public ed- ucation." DiDomenicis Lawncare YOUR LAWN OUT OF THE ROUGH! classes with Windsor. "Our students are learning new skills, then sharing their knowl- edge with others," she said. Helen Williams, of George- town, is newly retired from teach- ing and loves gardening. "I was looking for another field to teach in and share information, and I'm learning so much," she said. Williams hopes to help with the landscaping of the George- town library. Karin Smith of Dover can scarcely contain her enthusiasm about participating in the pro- gram. "It's so much fun - I've been wanting to do this for years," she said. "I got into gardening be- cause I like cooking with herbs, but herbs are so expensive to buy. I live in a development that does- n't allow vegetable gardens, so I've been mixing herbs into my landscaping and no one can even tell. Lavender, thyme and basil are all beautiful additions to the landscape, and easy to grow, too." A newcomer to Delaware, Ila Myers called Windsor to learn how to take care of the roses she wanted to plant. He invited her to participate in the Master Garden- ers program. "I wanted to learn more about gardening techniques in this cli- mate and this program is perfect," she said. Myers hopes to care for the flower garden around The Cir- Jon Cox photo From left, Master Gardeners Betty Beettger, Irma Leidig and Jacque Johnson look over a project. cle in Georgetown, where she now lives. According to Moor-Orth and Windsor, the Delaware Master's Gardener's program began in 1986. The certification course- work is scheduled for the fall of every other year in Sussex and Kent counties and for the spring of every other year in New Castle County. In return for the compre- hensive training, the Master Gar- deners give back 45 hours of vol- unteer service the first year, then 25 to 30 hours every year there- after. "This is a great program and a super group," said Windsor. "Working with these people has come to be an important part of my job." Moor-Orth said the Master Gar- deners become involved in the program with the intention of vol- unteering for Cooperative Exten- sion," but they evolve into so much more than a volunteers." "They become educators in- stead," she said. "It's wonderful to watch that happen." For gardening questions, call local county Extension office be- tween 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Garden- ing inquiries are answered within 24 hours whenever possible. To reach Moor-Orth directly, call 857-6426. East Coast Perenniols Garden Center March 25 b-5 & Sunday, 10 Saturday, Come in and our new 00election of plant00, 00tatuary, kenche00, pottery, trellises GRASS CUTTING MULCHING FERTILIZING PRUNING BUSH HOGGING LEAF REMOVAL XVEEI) CONTROl+ I'O,V E R XV:\\;%ItlN(; H,,\\; UI IN(; IRII I%IINIAII% Call Today 227-8106 or 228-1351 Commercial & Residential GARDEN CENTER: (302) 94&-3489 OFRCE: 945-5853