Newspaper Page Text
A36-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, September 12, 1998
‘Cookery’ Holds Fond Memories For Berks Outstanding Farm Family
(Continued from Page A 1)
florists keeps them busy.
For the Ernst family, the busiest
season for the greenhouse comes
“It’s the most stressful week of
the year,” said Linda. “If you can
get through Easter week, I tell
them, you can get through
“Friends come to help,” said
Walter. “We get a lot of help from
The Ernst family care for Easter
plants and spring bedding plants.
Easter plant bulbs including
tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils
are planted at the end of October.
Lilies are planted the second week
of December into six-inch pots.
They can plant up to four in the pot
Poinsettias are single-stem and
can be planted up to 15 per pot.
They include mixed and red,
white, pink, marble, and “jingle
bells,” said Walter.
Linda said they prefer the
single-stem poinsettias because
they provide the largest flower.
“That’s why flower shops want our
plants,” she said.
The least stressful time for the
business doesn’t come until
August, when it’s simply too hot,
noted Walter. “Thai’s when we
take our vacation going to the
fairs,” he said, smiling.
Linda and Walter are both 1958
graduates of Kutztown High
School. Walter worked on his
grandfather’s greenhouse and
flower business in Kutztown and
moved to his father’s operation
where he now resides in October
The house they reside includes
an attached addition to the original
glass greenhouse. There are four
glass greenhouses and additional
plastic greenhouses at the site.
Walter serves as director of the
fair board, a position he’s had
since the mid-19705. He’s also
been a director of the Berks Coun
ANNAPOLIS, Md. Accord
ing to Maryland Secretary of
Agriculture Henry A. Virts, there
has been a significant increase in
the distribution of the Asian tiger
mosquito in Maryland.
From an initial finding in Balti
more City in 1987, the tiger mos
quito has extended its range in
1998 to 10 Maryland counties.
Over the past three years, tiger
mosquito populations have be
come established in southern
Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
“We are concerned about this
addition to the mosquito species
found in Maryland. The tiger mos
quito is difficult to control, is a
vector of several disease agents
and is an aggressive biting pest,”
The tiger mosquito, Aedes al
bopictus, is native to Asia, where
its natural habitat is forests. It
usually is associated with tires,
particularly used tires which,
when stored or discarded outside,
provide excellent breeding sites.
The tires, when transported for
resale or disposal, provide a
means to disperse mosquito eggs,
larvae and adults over long dis
tances. It is believed that a ship
ment of old tires from Asia to the
United States for reprocessing is
ly Sheep and Wool Growers for
Walter and Linda also serve on
the Gouglersville Grange. Walter
is gatekeeper and Linda is lecturer.
They also belong to the Pomona
The Ernst family includes
David, who works at the Reading
Hospital; Valerie, who works as a
homemaker and freelance floral
arranger, and another son, Steven,
who works in the cardboard dis
play advertising business in
Walter and Linda have three
grandchildren, a daughter of
David, Erica, who is 12; and a son
and daughter of Valerie, Tyler, 3,
and Brielle, 7.
The grandkids help on the farm,
Linda noted, and have fun.
Showing at the fairs is a high
Walter and Linda also serve on the Gouglersville Grange.
Walter is gatekeeper and Linda is lecturer. They also belong
to the Pomona Grange.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
Found In Maryland
responsible for the introduction of
tiger mosquitoes to America in
“It has adapted very well to ur
ban and residential environments
where containers such as cups,
cans and bottles serve as breeding
sites. A discarded plastic cup with
as little as one-half inch of water
can produce dozens of tiger mos
quitoes,” said Virts.
According to Cy Lesser, chief
of Maryland’s Mosquito Control
Program, conventional mosquito
control practices are not effective
against tiger mosquitoes.
“The habits of the tiger mos
quito are different from native
mosquitoes. Tiger mosquito lar
vae arc found in containers, not in
natural wetlands, and the adult tig
er mosquitoes are most active dur
ing daylight and at dusk, not at
night,” Lesser said.
Searching for and controlling
tiger mosquito larvae is extremely
labor intensive and logistically
difficult. Most adult mosquito
control spraying operations are
conducted at night when tiger
mosquitoes are not active and are
not affected by the insecticide ap
The most effective method of
controlling tiger mosquitoes is the
light of the year.
Thirty-two years ago Walter
remembered getting his first
crossbred sheep at the Lecsport
Market, a “starter herd," he said.
After many years the herd quickly
became a purebred Suffolk opera
tion with 20 ewes with a good
Now, “We enjoy educating the
public," said Walter. “We got a lot
of questions about the sheep at
Kimberton." But the memories of
the Fairgrounds Mall remain.
“We did a better job of educat
ing people when the fair was at the
mall,” said Linda. “People went
shopping when they were in the
mall and came to see the fair.”
More coverage of winners at the
Outstanding Farm Family Awards
banquet is included in this issue of
removal of the larval breeding
sites. This requires the coopera
tion and participation of the com
munity to rid properties of con
tainers or to prevent containers
from holding water for long
Suggested activities for indivi
duals or groups to use to prevent
or reduce populations of tiger
• Clean rain gutters to allow wa
ter to drain.
• Remove old tires or drill
drainage holes in tires used for
• Store wading pools inside or
turn them upside down when not
• Turn over or remove clay pots
and plastic containers.
• Dispose of all empty beverage
containers, plastic wrappers, dis
carded toys, etc.
• Drain water from plastic or
canvas tarps used to cover boats,
• Drain the bilges of boats kept
on trailers and keep canoes and
small boats stored upside down.
• Replace water in bird baths at
least twice a week.
• Remove outside pet food and
water dishes that are not being
Walter and Linda have three grandchildren, a daughter of
David, Erica, who is 12, right; and a son and daughter of Val
erie, Tyler, 3, and Brielle, 7.
Walter D.’s pride and joy are the ready-for-show purebred
Suffolk sheep, including about 20 ewes and four rams,
boarded at the site. Walter raises iambs for sale to youth at
several regional shows.
Walter and Linda Ernst rent land from Walter's father,
Walter H. Ernst, and operate 12 greenhouses on about four
acres south of Reading. This year the greenhouses are
home to about 24,000 poinsettias for the upcoming holiday
season encompassing about 28,000 square feet, noted
• Don’t leave garbage can lias
lying upside down. Do not allow
water to collect in the bottom of
• Flush water in the bottom of
plant holders twice a week.
• Turn wheelbarrows upside
down when stored outside.
For additional information
about mosquito control or the
Asian tiger mosquito, contact Mr.
Cyrus Lesser at teh Maryland De
partment of Agriculture, 50 Harry
S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis,
MD 21401, Telephone 410-841-