EARTH Center Demonstration Gardens Brochure (Adobe PDF)
Gardener Program & Helpline
Resource Management Department
and Resource Management Department of Rutgers Cooperative Extension
(RCRE) of Middlesex County is committed to providing practical educational
programs and research that benefits county residents, especially the
35 million-dollar agricultural industry and the 45 million-dollar landscape
industry. There are over 19,000 acres of land devoted to agricultural
crop production in the county. This is approximately 10% of the total
land in the county.
provides horticultural and environmental information and services to
numerous Middlesex County residents annually. Our office processes thousands
of phone calls, e-mails, letters and one on one contacts regarding the
and control of pest problems of landscape and agricultural plants;
- nuisance animal
- proper selection
and care of horticultural plants;
- procedure for
testing soils for nutrition and / or contamination problems; procedures
for testing drinking and surface water for contamination;
- tick identification
- and prevention
of Lyme Disease.
works with commodity groups, government agencies and agribusiness to
conserve and manage natural resources, to promote agriculture, and to
maintain a healthy environment for county residents.
The AG DEPARTMENT'S EARTH CENTER EDUCATIONAL TOURS
Middlesex County's EARTH Center invites you to learn about local agriculture and the environment. Now your school group, Scout Troop or senior's club, can take a guided tour at the Middlesex County EARTH Center to learn about these topics and more. Please call us for scheduling availability.
Alternative Energy & Bio-fuels: Solar panels, hybrid cars and alternative fuels, are all becoming
increasingly common. Learn more about them, to see if they’ve a place in your greening efforts.
Composting- Our large compost display showcases the variety of bins available on the market, as well as techniques for reducing household and backyard contributions to the landfill.
Rain Gardens- Experience how a simple addition to your landscape can help to replenish our state’s clean groundwater supplies.
Pond Restoration- Many of New Jerseys ponds are suffering from polluted overland flow.
We’ll share some of the techniques we are researching to improve the health of these freshwater sources.
Low Maintenance Turf-grass Trial Area- Homeowners and landscapers can keep
unnecessary fertilizers and pesticides out of our environment by using the best turf varieties for their conditions. Visiting our trial area will inform you of your options.
The EARTH Center demonstration areas include a 1000 square foot vegetable garden, a 13-bed herb garden, Native Plant displays, Wildflower area and arboretum.
These demonstrations are used to spark conversation about local agriculture, basics of horticulture, Integrated Pest Management, earth-friendly gardening techniques and many topics that are the focus of the Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Department.
WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AREA
The Department of Environmental Protection has designated 20 Watershed Management areas throughout New Jersey. The Lower Raritan Basin (WMA-9) developed a watershed management plan in cooperation with many agencies, local officials, environmental organizations and individuals within the watershed management area. It discusses objectives, strategies, goals and tasks to manage the watershed in a manner that maintains or improves the quality and quantity of water in the Lower Raritan. The Ag Department was actively involved in the overall plan which was completed in 2004. For information on the Raritan Basin visit the website at www.raritanbasin.org or contact the New Jersey Water Supply Authority at 908-685-0315.
IF PLANTS COULD
The television program series "If Plants Could Talk" is designed
to accomplish the following:
1) encourage the adoption of Integrated Pest Management;
2) encourage proper pesticide use and safety;
3) encourage proper plant use and culture to attain healthy garden and
4) promote proper nutrition and increased consumption of fruits and
vegetables for good health;
5) promote the local agricultural industry;
6) significantly increase the number and diversity of the extension
An educational web site www.ifplantscouldtalk.rutgers.edu
was maintained to accompany the "If Plants Could Talk" television
series. The web site provides more detailed information on all topics
discussed on the television episodes. This cutting edge web site includes
educational fact sheets, slide shows and videos on horticultural and
Extension staff and volunteers conduct composting/recycling demonstrations
and educational programs. There are over 15 types of compost bins on
display at the EARTH Center which help us to promote composting and
recycling of organic materials. The extension office has received support
since 1994 from the Middlesex
County Department of Solid Waste Management in order to conduct
solid waste/natural resource programs and activities.
The extension service provided important gardening resources for the
residents of the county. Available at our office are Soil Test Kits,
Pesticide Manuals for the state pesticide program and information on
upcoming extension seminars, short courses and meetings. In addition,
we perform general diagnostic work on various problems including insects,
plant diseases, tick identification, and plant identification. The
Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Lab (fee service) can do a more extensive
analysis of the problem if necessary.