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May 2, 2003     Cape Gazette
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82 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 2 - May 8, 2003  GARDEN & FARM Sussex Tech project converts chicken waste into fertilizer Erlk Sumption photoa New Earth Services, Inc, Director of Marketing Lonnie Herin, left, discusses characteristics of the chicken compost with Rep. Joe Booth, R-Georgetov, right, and Gerald Hocker, R- Ocean View at Suuex Tech April 17. By Erik Sumption For years the environmental is- sues of watershed pollution and chicken factory waste have vexed the Cape Region. But now Sussex Technical High School students have begun studying an organic fertilization process that addresses both prob- lems simultaneously. Working through a $7,120 fed- eral grant from the Delaware De- partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for pollution reduction at the source, students from Nancy Goggin's Environmental Science Technologies Program at Sussex Tech will apply a compost made from chicken manure and chicken by-products to the nine athletic fields at the high school. The goal is to study the process of chicken composting while eliminating run-off from chemical fertilizers " into the waterways. "Fertilization is required for maintaining safe playing fields for our students," says Terry Little, director of facilities for Sussex Tech. 'rhere' is local availability. of chicken compost that when ap- plied over established turf grass will reduce nitrate run-off to the surrounding water shed areas, thus reducing pollution." The first top-dressing applica- tion was made Thursday, April 17; and two more applications will be' made over the next 18 raonths. During at f  dents ilf :itii, sbil :gl  and observe changes in the turf. Measurements will include avail- able nitrogen levels, phosphorus levels, potassium levels, calci- um/PH levels, magnesium levels, and organic matter content. Upon completion final data will be com- pared to student projections and to data collected by a University of Delaware lab.' For the grounds at Sussex Tech, New Earth Services, Inc., a Cam- bridge, Md. based agricultural business that specialize, s in creat- ing composts and works with the clam, poultry, and vegetable pack- ing industries, has'provided a specifically formulated organic product for taft called Chesapeake Green. It is made up of "poultry litter, chicken mortalities, wood Continued on page 83 Calla Lilies would warm the heart of W.C. Fields Her 1934 monotone reading of "The calla lilies are in bloom again" became one of the most recognizable phrases in Holly- wood, never a bad thing when your career is just taking off. But unlike other movie stars who changed their names, this young woman stuck with her own child- hood name. Then again, hers was easy to pronounce and "American" sounding. Who would recognize Alphonso D'Abruzzo as Alan AI- da, or reverse Borge Rosenbaum to get Victor B0rge? Catherine Hepburn and calla lilies in bloom are still showstop- pers. Calla lilies (Zantedeschia species) are true African Queens, so not surprisingly prefer a warm growing season. They aren't hardy at temperatures below 30 degrees F. But you can grow them out- doors much like other tender sum- mer bulbs such as gladiolas or be- gonias. Plant calla lilies in a moist, lightly shaded location. Calla lilies are grown from rhi- zomes, similar to how irises are grown. The plants have attractive grow from 12 co 24/aches tall de- pending upon the variety. They bloom in spring and early summer in shades of white, yellow and pink with new colors such as flame red and orchid. The rhizomes are available at most garden centers or by mail GARDEN JOURNAL Paul Barbano from.bulb companies such as Vlan Bourgondien Bros (P.O. B,ox 1000, Babylon, NY 11702-9004) or White Flower Farm (PO Blox 50, Litchfield cr 06759-0050).. Like most flowers, calla liliies look best when planted in larrge clumps. After all danger of frost has passed, plant the rhizomess 4 inches deep and 12 inches apaarL Put down a light top .layer of bmne meal or organic fertilizer. If Reft outside in all but USDA Zonee 7 aad ahoy'e, calla lilies won't liive through, the winter. You can lift the rhizomes in the fall. Store them out of sunlight in shallow trays of dry peat moss or sawdust. Plant them out the fol- lowing spring. Calla lilies can also be potted up Catherine Hepburn and calla lilies in bloom are still showstoppers. for the patio or brought indoors for a sunny window. For an easy blooming winter houseplant, in early fall pot up 3 rhizomes in a 12 inch pot. Use regular potting soil and keep the pot out of direct sunlight. Potted lilies do best with night temperatures of 50 to 65 degrees and day temperatures of 68 de- grees or higher. To propagate your calla lilies divide the rhizomes in late sum- mer or early fall. These will bloom within two year s and pro- vide you with enough to give away and plant ever-bigger beds. And that would warm the heart of even William Claude Dukenfield, better known as the curmudgeon W. C. Fields. Paul Barbano writes about gar- dening and farming from his home in Rehoboth Beach. Address questions or comments to him c/o the Cape Gazette.