Garden and Farm Briefs

March 4, 2016

Southern States announces new head of agronomy division

Southern States has named Steve Becraft as the new executive vice president of agronomy. He will be in charge of all agronomy operations and procurement throughout the organization’s footprint. “We are pleased Steve is joining the Southern States team,” says President and CEO Jeff Stroburg. “His many years of experience and enthusiasm for the business will ensure Southern States remains a dominant player in the agronomy arena for years to come.”

Becraft is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana and has 27 years in the agronomy business, spending most of that time with Cargill and Ag Partners LLC in Victoria, Minn. For more information, go to

Garden Club of Millsboro sets Lunch and Learn program March 12, register by March 9

The Garden Club of Millsboro will hold a Lunch and Learn with the topic What Gardeners in the Know Know. The event is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 110 W. State St., Millsboro. Attendees should bring a bag lunch; beverages and snacks will be provided, and door prizes are included. Garden Club of Millsboro is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the enrichment of fellow gardeners and services to the community. To register by Wednesday, March 9, call Peg Buzzelli at 302-934-1113.

Delaware Native Plant Society sets workshop in Dover March 12

The Delaware Native Plant Society will host a workshop from 10 12 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover. Last year, DNPS contributed to The Meadow Project, an organization producing an environmental film on native plants called "Hometown Habitat."  A short portion of this film will be shown, and an update will be provided on the status of its final release. Jennifer de Mooy from DNREC will be presenting the recently released “Green Infrastructure Primer for Delaware.”  Her background includes a master’s degree in energy and environmental policy from the University of Delaware, and more than 20 years with the Nature Conservancy. Registration is free but required due to limited seating. To register or for more information, email Eric Wahl at

Produce storage and marketing workshop set March 22

Delaware State University Cooperative Extension will host a produce storage and marketing workshop for small farmers from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, in Smyrna. The workshop, Post Harvest Management and Direct Marketing of Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables, will be held at the DSU Outreach and Research Center, 884 Smyrna-Leipsic Road. Workshop topics include harvesting time and post-harvest management, direct marketing, the U.S. Farm Bill and new food-cooling technology. Sessions will be presented by Dr. Gordon Johnson, Extension horticulture specialist for University of Delaware, and Extension marketing and USDA representatives.The workshop is free, but registration is required. For information, to register or for assistance due to disabilities, contact Dr. Lekha Paudel, event organizer, at 302-857-7796 or

Garden club seeks Kent scholarship applications by April 1

The Sprig and Twig Garden Club of Dover is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a student majoring in ornamental horticulture, plant science, environmental studies or other related areas. The winner will be determined by the garden club scholarship committee. Applicants must be residents of Kent County and must be graduating high school seniors or currently attending a college or university in Delaware. The scholarship money will be paid directly to the college or university. Applications are available from school guidance counselors and must be submitted to the garden club by Friday, April 1. For more information, call 302-697-1881.

Delaware Forestry and Woodland Conference set April 13

Branch Out Delaware, the 2016 Forestry and Woodland conference, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover. The event will be hosted by Delaware State University Cooperative Extension. Experts will discuss forestry management, Delaware tree identification, forest invasives and pests, government programs and funding opportunities, forest economics, and information about climate change and its impacts on Delaware forest land. The $10 fee includes lunch. To register by Friday, April 1, for more information and for assistance due to disabilities, contact Megan Pleasanton at 302-857-6438 or

Lewes in Bloom list of plants is now available online

On the Lewes in Bloom website, there is a list of plants that names all the annuals Lewes in Bloom has planted throughout the city in 2014-15, by location. For the free list and information on membership and support, go to or find Lewes in Bloom on Facebook.

Lewes in Bloom is a volunteer organization that in 2014-15 spent hundreds of hours planting thousands of bulbs and plants throughout the city. It promotes the beautification and maintenance of historic Lewes and the community at large. It is dedicated to helping Lewes boost its attractiveness through a variety of efforts including historical preservation, environmental awareness, a children’s garden, floral displays and more.