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Lewes, Delaware
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August 5, 2008     Cape Gazette
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August 5, 2008

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T GarGLen & Farm CaPe Gtl TUESDAY, AUGUST S - THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2008 21 Enjoy a slice of watermelon Aug. 6-16 The Delaware Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Mar-Del Watermelon Asso- clarion will,be on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach Thursday, Aug. 7, handing out slices of wa- termeloru Witli the help of a few grow- ers, brokers and the department, the Boardwalk event is just one of several promoting the Nation- al Queen Tour. National Watermelon Queen Brittanie Faircloth will be joined in Rehoboth by Mar-Del Water- melon Queen Christina Gallant, Alabama Watermelon Queen Samantha Duma and Florida Wa- termelon Queen Kaley Jo Harp- er, handing out slices of water- melon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. "This promotion gives our eousumers countless opportuni- ties to experience locally grown Delaware and Maryland water- melon that is second to none in quality, nutrition and taste," said Delaware Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse. "The Delaware Department of Agriculture is always pleased to work with the Mar-Del Water- melon Association to provide marketing opportunities for our growers." "Our goal is to promote Mar- Delicious watermelons," said Doug Corey, president of the Mar-Del Watermelon Associa- tion. "We want people to enjoy the sweet fruit as much as they can during the season." According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in 2007, Maryland and Delaware farmers together harvested 187.2 million pounds of watermelons with a farm gate value of $19.5 million from 6,000 acres. Slices of Mar-Delicious water- melons will be given away at the following locations: Wednesday, Aug. 6; 2-5 p.m. - Harris Teeter Grocery, Route 24, Long Neck Thursday, Aug. 7; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. - Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach Thursday, Aug. 4; 3-6 p.m. - Gi- ant Foods, Route 24, Long Neck Friday, Aug. 15; 3-6 p.m. - Wal- Mart, Route 13, Camden Saturday, Aug. 16; 3-6 p.m. - Sam's Club, Route 13, Dover In addition to the watermelon slices being given away, Master Chef Joseph IC Poon will make an appearance at-the Sam's Club on Route 13 in Dover on Satur- day, Aug. 16 from 3-6 p.m. Master Chef Poon is known for his .Asian fusion cuisine. He prepares fresh meals with simple elegance - and a dash of adven- ture. Minner proclaims farmers market week Aug. 3-9 Gov. Ruth Ann Minner has signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 3-9 as Farmers Market Week in the state of Delaware. The Delaware Department of Agriculture strongly sup- ports and pro- motes the de- velopment, operation and expansion of First State markets and the Grown Fresh with Ruth Ann Minner Care in Delaware campaign, as well as other direct-to-consumer mar- keting activities for Delaware's agricultural producers. Minner and Agriculture Secre- tary Michael Scuse recognize that farmers markets provide farmers with excellent marketing opportunities while providing consumers with delicious, nutri- tious, fresh-picked local fruits and vegetables. There are cur- rently 10 farmers markets throughout the state of Delaware offering con- sumers a vari- ety of fruits and vegeta- bles, herbs, cheeses, fish, flowers, baked goods, meat, exciting organ- ic items and much more. Michael Scuse Nationwide, there are currently more than 4,700 farmers markets operating. The number and popularity of farmers markets continue to grow as more and more Ameri- cans and Delawareans discover the many benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables. Minner's proclamation urges all Delawareans to recognize and support Delaware's 10 farmers markets while celebrating the bountiful production and the sig- nificant contributions First State farmers and agricultural produc- ers make. For a complete list of farmers markets visit ing/DE_FRMVENS.shtmL Be sure to keep pickitlg those flowers and vegetables OU'Ve probably heard that you should har- vest flowers and veg- etables regularly, so the plant will continue to pro- duce. But do you know why? Once annual plants, such as beans and peppers, produce vi- able seed, the plants start wind- ing down. Their job - to create the seed for the next generation - is complete!.By harvesting reg- ularly, you remove the seeds be- fore they have a chance to ma- ture, so the plant continues to produce more flowers and fruit. So even if you have too many zucchini right now, continue to harvest them before they get monster-sized. That way the plant will continue to produce right up until frost. The same goes for cucumbers. Keep picking them while they are small and you'll be harvest- ing them through September. Tomatoes are another story. It is necessary to know if the toma- to plant is indeterminate, or de- terminate. Check out the plant tag or seed packet to find out. The indeterminate tomato will flower and bear fruit all the way through September here in Sus- sex County, as long as the nights stay warmish. Pick as soon as the tomato ripens. Determinate tomatoes are va- rieties that grow to a fixed ma- ture size and ripen all their fruit in a short period, usually about two weeks. Once this first flush of fruit has ripened, the plant will begin to diminish in vigor and will set little to no new fruit. These plants are often referred to as "bush tomatoes." Paste or roma tomatoes are determinate varieties. Nothing can be done to prolong the season of deter- minates. The cut-and-come-again prin- ciple also applies to many annu- M flowers, like zinnia, cosmos and seed dahlia. Zinnias are among the easiest annual to grown from seed, and you sow them in the garden where they are to bloom. Once in bloom, keep them cut so they continue to flower. Nothing like fresh flowers for your home! Whether you are planting in a special cutting garden, or are go_ ing to pick flowers from your border, be sure to grow colors that will combine with the col- ors of the interior of your home. There is no sense in growing pink flowers if your dishes and  also applies to many annual flowers, like zinnia (above), cosmos and seed dahlia. tablecloth are in shades of yel- low and orange. Toward the end of the season, when you have had your fill of cut flowers, allow some flowers to dry on the plant. To harvest annual flower seeds, wait until the color of the flower heads fades. When the flower head looks rather "dead" but hasn't completely withered and fallen off on its own, the seeds should be ready. The seeds will range in size depending on the variety, but most will be brownish in color. To identify the seeds, follow the petals down to their base. The seeds will be located in cones just behind the base of the petals. Remove the seeds and allow them to dry for a few days in a dark, dry area before storing them in an airtight container un- til planting. If you want off- spring with the same genetic traits as the parent plan it's best to grow and harvest the seed from heirloom varieties. On the other hand, saving seeds from hybrids will assure you a random mix of genes that may result in flowers with some very interesting characteristics. In ei- ther case, save seeds from only the hardiest flowers with the most vibrant colors. Harvest now, harvest later! Mary Sue Colaizzi is a master gardener with The Delaware Cooperative Extension and recipient of the 2007 Sussex County Master Gardener of the Year Award. She has been a gardener in Rehoboth Beach for the last two decades. Address questions or comments to Mary Sue Colaizzi c/o