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Sweet Taters, Pumpkins, Mums, and More

Sweet Taters, Pumpkins, Mums, and More
by Michelle Jacobs, Community Relations Officer, DNREC

More than 600 visitors came out to the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover on September 24, 2011 to enjoy the second annual Harvest Festival.  The fun and free, family-oriented event provided opportunities to learn about agriculture through educational displays and demonstrations, a petting zoo, hay maze, and local, farm-fresh food. 

The goal of the Festival, driven by USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative, is to help Delawareans understand where their food comes from and the importance of their local farmer and agriculture.  The Festival also promotes healthy eating and protecting natural resources.     

The Agricultural Museum and Village provided the perfect setting for visitors to see how things were done on the farm in past years through pictures and antique farming equipment on display.  As visitors strolled through the Museum they could visit with representatives of various agencies such as the NRCS, who informed visitors how they help farmers protect our natural resources; or they could talk with representatives of local commodity groups, such as the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association or the Delaware Sheep and Wool Producers Association, and learn how they work to promote the commodities they were representing.  Also on hand were four producers with their locally grown sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and chrysanthemums. 

Festival planners were excited when they heard that the attendance during the first hour of the event exceeded the total number of visitors to the event the previous year.   The hope is for the festival to continue to grow each year and that each and every Delawarean truly understands the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from. 

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development office worked in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware State University’s Cooperative Extension Programs, the Kent Conservation District, and Delaware FFA to plan and host the Harvest Festival.

Caption: NRCS' Clarissa Havelow discusses tips on backyard conservation to a participant at the 2011 Harvest Festival. (photo by Dastina Wallace)

 

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