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Annual Report 2013 (Adobe PDF)

Beekeeping Workshop at the EARTH Center


The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is hosting a free introductory workshop about beekeeping. Introduction to Beekeeping is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

Come learn the basics on establishing a hive on your own property. Pat Evans, Master Gardener and amateur apiarist, will lead the seminar and share her experience in this art and science. With the pressures leading up to the recent “Colony Collapse disorder” outbreak, it has been said that hobbyist beekeepers have made a positive impact on the Honeybee population. The EARTH Center would like to help spark any resident’s interest in this age old environmental stewardship practice.

“This is another standout course from the EARTH Center,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I hope the focus on the environmental benefits of beekeeping will lead to improvements throughout the County.”

“This class should generate a lot of interest in beekeeping, and allow those who have never thought about this practice to understand its purpose and importance,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee.

A supply of catalogues will be on hand to demonstrate the materials necessary. Also to be discussed will be garden plants that can serve as pollen sources when naturally occurring sources are not easy to find in our area. Weather permitting the lecture will be followed by a brief walk outside.

There are plenty of gardening topics and areas that benefit from off season research, so feel free to call the Master Gardner Helpline even in the fall and winter at 732-398-5220 for assistance in Middlesex County. Residents of other counties can find their Rutgers Cooperative Extension office and helpline at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/mastergardeners/helplines.asp .

Though this is a free workshop pre-registration is required at 732-398-5262 by November 12. No “walk-ins” are permitted. The size of these classes is limited, so register early to ensure a space.For more information, contact the EARTH Center at 732-398-5262.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

 

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 County 4-H Plans Fun Events For Halloween

If you are looking for a good scare this Halloween season, the 4-H Teen Council in Middlesex County would like to invite you to its Haunted House and Haunted Hayride fundraiser.
Join us every Friday and Saturday evening in October from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Middlesex County 4-H Center, on the corner of Cranbury and Fern Roads in East Brunswick.

There is a $4 admission fee for each event, the proceeds of which go to fund 4-H’s next big event, Project GIFT.

Project GIFT is a charitable holiday shopping event that takes place in December. Proceeds from the House of Horrors allow the 4-H teens to buy presents and supplies to host 200 limited- resource families at a holiday event where they can “shop” for gifts for their children at no cost to themselves.

Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee, said: “The 4-H Teen Council has a lot to be proud of. I know they enjoy putting together and running this event, and those of us that enjoy the scary side of Halloween will have a great time attending and making Project GIFT happen.”

Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios agreed: “Events like this prove that the 4-H Teen Council realizes that doing good can become part of every holiday. I hope many residents will attend the event and contribute to the fun of Halloween and the goodwill of Project GIFT.”

Along with the Haunted House and Hayride there will be less spooky activities for kids such as pumpkin decorating and remote control car demonstrations. The 4-H Tiki-Hut will also be open for snacks and Halloween treats.  For directions to the Haunted House and the 4-H Center, check the County website at www.co.middlesex.nj.us/extensionservices/4hclubs_directions.asp


4-H offers educational programs to all youth, grades K through 13 on an age appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.   

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Come Explore All That 4-H Offers at Open House on October 5

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about, or get involved with the local 4-H program, here is your chance.
The Middlesex County 4-H Open House is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5 at the 4-H Youth Center, 645 Cranbury Road in East Brunswick.
Though typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering and technology programs as well.
There are over 25 different 4-H Clubs within Middlesex County. Attendees can learn about these clubs, meet 4-H members and volunteer leaders, enjoy petting zoos and demonstrations or even join a 4-H club.

“This is a great event for kids to see what clubs might interest them,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “The program is always looking for adult volunteers, too, so this is a good time for grown-ups to see what 4-H has to offer.”

The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach.

“Programs like these are not only fun, but also emphasize the development of social interaction and other important life skills,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I commend the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program for all of the educational and family friendly programs that they provide.”

The 4-H program is centered on experience and is education for life. 4-H gives youth an opportunity to experience a sense of accomplishment and success, key ingredients to gaining a sense of self-esteem.

For more information on the Open House, please contact the Middlesex County 4-H office at 732-398-5261. For more information on local 4-H clubs,

4-H offers educational programs to all youth, grades K through 13 on an age appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: 
Division of Solid Waste Management
732-745-4170

County to Offer Composting Workshops

SEPTEMBER, 2014 -- If you are a Middlesex County resident who is concerned about the environment, now is the time to learn how to reduce waste and improve soil, right in your own backyard.

Workshops are being offered to show residents how to cut down on trash and give back to the land by composting yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Two free composting seminars are being held at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Classes run about 2 hours and feature an overview and explanation of two composting techniques:

Backyard Composting                             Vermi-Composting (using worms)
10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18                         6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29

Please call the Middlesex County Office of Solid Waste Management at 732-745-4170 or e-mail solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us to register for the free workshops.

Workshop attendees may also pick up pre-purchased compost bins at the workshops. Call the Solid Waste Office before the workshop for a list of available compost bins.

The Backyard Composting seminar will introduce the basics of composting kitchen scraps and yard waste in a compost bin. If you do not have a yard of your own, you can still learn about composting and benefit from it at the second workshop, which teaches vermi-composting, where the actual breakdown of waste is performed by worms in the soil.

“I encourage residents to attend one of these informative events,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Keeping conservation in mind today will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents can not only learn about composting, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

For more information on programs offered by the Middlesex County’s Cooperative Extension call 732-398-5260.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
David Smela, Cooperative Extension Service
732-398-5268

 

County Offers a New Season
of Master Gardener Classes

 

AUGUST 21, 2014 – A new season of Master Gardener classes will be starting soon at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

Master Gardeners are community volunteers trained in earth-friendly gardening and environmental principles. These lecture classes will meet once per week for 3 hours each from mid-September through mid-April. The 60 to70 hours of classroom instruction include practical field experience.

Optional orientation sessions are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 for the Thursday evening class and 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12 for the Friday morning class. Classes begin Sept. 18 or 19. They are open to all New Jersey residents.

“Middlesex County is currently the only county that offers the Master Gardeners course in the evenings,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “I encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from some of the County’s most knowledgeable gardeners.”

Outdoor, hands-on garden classes will meet weekly for 3 hours each from mid-April through mid-September (every other week in summer). New students create and care for large demonstration vegetable and herb gardens.

Topics covered will include: sound gardening techniques; composting; creative methods of conserving resources; and horticulture therapy. The program also requires participants to volunteer some hours of service toward Extension Services projects, activities and events throughout the year.

 “This popular program is just another way that the County can meet the needs of our residents while offering quality and fun education,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I commend the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program for all of the earth-friendly and educational programs they provide.”

All classes are offered at the EARTH Center, in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

Interested parties can call the EARTH Center at 732-398-5278 for more information or visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us/extensionservices.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

 

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EARTH Center Open House Offers Fun
for Whole Family, Marks 100 Years
of Cooperative Extension

JULY 24, 2014 --The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County will host its Garden Field Day/Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

The day will be filled with activities for the whole family, from garden tours to walking tours and presentations on Organic Gardening and Landscaping, Compost Tea and container gardening. Kids can meet MC Blue, the recycling robot.  Also on display will be alternative energy vehicles used by the county and local residents.

Garden Field Day is great day of fun for the whole family at one of Middlesex County’s most beautiful parks,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I want to thank both the Cooperative Extension and the Parks Office for making this special day a reality. They also work together to beautify this park, and to make it a destination for fun and education.

Also part of the event will be the “Greatest of the Garden” competition. Gardeners should bring their biggest or most outstanding home grown produce to win recognition. Attendees are encouraged to bring their homegrown entries for categories such as: biggest tomato, biggest cucumber, biggest squash, biggest watermelon, longest gourd, and for all vegetables: best Likeness to a Celebrity or Historical Figure.

Garden Field Day attendees also can enjoy samples of locally grown produce courtesy of Middlesex County farmers, while enjoying the sounds of local musicians,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. 

This year’s celebration will take on special significance because it is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System.

Cooperative Extension is a unique educational partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation’s land-grant universities that extends research-based knowledge through a state-by-state network of extension educators.  Since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Act into law in May 1914, the Cooperative Extension has stimulated innovative research and vital educational programs for youth and adults through progressive information delivery systems that improve lives.

“Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides vital services to our state’s farmers, provides educational programs on food, nutrition and health, urban and community outreach, 4-H youth development and economic and workforce development,” said Freeholder Director Rios. “It provides services that can benefit all Middlesex County residents.”

Each state’s government had to accept the federal act before it could be implemented in its jurisdiction.  In New Jersey, the provisions of the act were accepted by the state legislature in 1915. The Trustees of Rutgers College were authorized to receive the funds and to organize and conduct agricultural extension work in the College of Agriculture (now the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences).

Specifically, the Act stated its purpose as aiding “in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture, uses of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy, and to encourage the application of the same. . .”

During the Garden Field Day, the Extension Agriculture Department as well as Rutgers Master Gardeners will offer advice on horticulture and environmental stewardship while guiding visitors through various teaching gardens and learning projects. Examples of their work include the Children’s Garden with Green Roof playhouse, an enormous vegetable display garden and the popular Butterfly House.

Many exhibitors who collaborate with Middlesex County Extension throughout the year also will share their programs and accomplishments. For more information call 732-398-5268 or e-mail david.smela@co.middlesex.nj.us.  Rain date for the event will be Aug. 17. For information on Middlesex County’s Extension office visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us/extensionservices

In New Jersey, Cooperative Extension is part of the Rutgers University - New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station located at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and is supported by funds from county, state and federal governments as well as contracts and grants, private donations and service fees.

For more information on Rutgers Cooperative Extension visit https://njaes.rutgers.edu/extension/ and for more information on the 100th Anniversary of Rutgers Cooperative Extension visit https://njaes.rutgers.edu/extension100years/

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Middlesex County 4-H Members
to Attend National 4-H Citizenship Conference

JULY 3, 2014 --Two Middlesex County 4-H members have been selected to represent New Jersey at the 2014 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Conference. 

Delegates Julianna Ezzo from South Brunswick and Joshua Jerzak from Old Bridge will attend
Citizenship Washington Focus, a 4-H leadership program for high school youth. Delegations from across the country attend this six-day program aimed at enriching young people’s lives by broadening their appreciation and respect for themselves and others in the world.

Participants attend workshops, committee meetings, field trips and social events, giving them hands-on opportunities to learn and grow.  They learn and practice skills that will make them better citizens and more successful individuals.

This conference, now in its 55th year, will be held July 6-12 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

During the week, program participants will also have the opportunity to visit local Washington, D.C. landmarks including the Capitol, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Presidential and war monuments and memorials, as well as Smithsonian museums.

“The conference provides opportunities for young people to identify issues that are important to them and to meet with lawmakers to explore possible solutions for a brighter future,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. 

“We are very proud of our delegates, Julianna and Joshua, and know that they will represent our County well at the conference,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.

Financial assistance for travel and tuition costs was provided by the State 4-H Association, Middlesex County 4-H Association and the 4-H Teen Council.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station -Cooperative Extension, 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law.

For more information about the Middlesex County 4-H Program call the 4-H Office at

732-398-5261 or visit the 4-H website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/.

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County to Host Workshop on How to Preserve Your Herb Harvest

JUNE 25, 2014 --The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is hosting a workshop on how to take all excess herbs left at the end of the gardening season, and make flavored vinegars and oils.

Preserving Your Herb Harvest is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

Herb infused vinegars, made inexpensively at home, can be used to bring a taste of summer to meals all year long and also make great gifts for family and friends. This workshop will be presented by Master Gardener Linda Klink. Attendees should bring their own mason jar (or something comparable) filled with white vinegar or olive oil.

Included in this workshop also will be a tour of the “Circle of Thyme” Herb Garden, a 13-bed hard-scaped garden with plants that follow whimsical themes in each garden bed.

To register, call 732-398-5262. This program is free of charge, but registration in required by July 16. The size of the class will be limited, so register early to ensure a space

“Cooking with flavored oils and vinegars is a fun and easy way to infuse flavors into dishes,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “I encourage residents to attend this informative workshop.” 

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about conservation techniques and greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Visitors can also find out more about the Center and its events by calling 732-398-5262.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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County Offers Introductory Workshop on Building Terrariums and Fairy Gardens

JUNE 12, 2014 -- The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to participate in an Introduction to Terrariums and Fairy Gardens Workshop. Learn to make a Terrarium, or Fairy Garden, of your own, in this free seminar scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

Discover the art of making these terrariums for artistic pursuit or horticultural therapy. They make a great project for kids, too. Join us for this activity and take home a terrarium or fairy garden of your very own making. These gardens use smaller plants and structures to create a miniature environment and can be an indoor or outdoor decoration. They are a great way to decorate small spaces such as an apartment or patio and also make great gifts. Learn the techniques and tools you will need to keep your terrarium green.

This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, call 732-398-5262. Please bring your own glass container between 8 inches and 10 inches in diameter or your own larger-sized terra cotta pot.

This workshop will be presented by Master Gardener Tiffany Heater. Rutgers Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the public. In Middlesex County residents can make use of the Master Gardener Garden Helpline at 732-398-5220 for garden inquiries or book a presentation on a variety of garden topics with the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau.

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about conservation techniques and greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

“This workshop brings gardening to a smaller scale and will be especially helpful for those looking to adorn smaller spaces,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “EARTH center programming varies widely, and is an outstanding resource for so many topics and interests.”

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity program provider and employer.

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Installing a Rain Garden In Your Landscape

JUNE 5, 2014 --The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to participate in the seminar: Installing a Rain Garden In Your Landscape.

This free seminar is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 14 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

A rain garden is designed to soak up rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces like rooftops or driveways. This runoff can carry salt, fertilizers, pet waste, pesticides, oil, and other pollutants into nearby waterways. Once in the garden however, this water slowly infiltrates into the ground or is absorbed by plants keeping the waterways safer. It has been estimated that Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%.
The seminar will examine an existing rain garden, as well as potential locations and conditions for new gardens, proper plant selection, installation process, materials, and benefits to the local environment. 
To register, call 732-398-5275. Registration is required.

“Rain gardens are not only a beautiful addition to a home landscape, but they also perform an important environmental function by reducing flooding and pollution in local rivers and streams,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “I encourage residents to attend this informative seminar.” 

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about conservation techniques and greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Visitors can also find out more about the Center and its events by calling 732-398-5260.

 

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County 4-H to Host Summer Day Camp Program 

Middlesex County boys and girls who have completed grades 3 through 6 are invited to take part in Middlesex County 4-H’s Explorations Week day camp program.

The Explorations Week (E-Week) program, hosted by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 14 to Friday, July 18. It is held at the 4-H Youth Center located at 645 Cranbury Rd. in East Brunswick.

The program aims to encourage creativity, promote self-confidence, help kids make new friends and achieve a sense of accomplishment. The theme of this year’s E-Week will be The Land Before Time.

Attendees choose from daily activities such as rocketry, theater, archery, scrapbooking, dance, cheerleading, wilderness survival, drama and biking, just to name a few. On Friday night there is an optional sleepover with campfire and dinner.

“Programs like these are not only fun, but also emphasize the development of social interaction and other important life skills,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.

“This popular, week-long program gets kids out of the house and into the fresh air for fun and exercise,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I commend the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program for all of the educational and family friendly programs that they provide.”
The price of the program is $155 for 4-H members and $165 for non 4-H members. This price covers program materials, daily lunch, T-shirt and field trip. Arrangements can be made for early or late arrivals.  The cost for this service is a one-time fee of $25 per child.

To register, call 732-398-5261 by June 16.
In past years, as many as 130 youth took part in this week-long program. Approximately 30 volunteer teen and adult counselors help plan, implement and evaluate the program. Each of these volunteers donates over 80 hours of their time during E-Week. 

Middlesex County 4-H is a Department of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County and offers educational programs to all youth, grades K through 13 on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.  


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County to Host Workshops on Backyard Conservation Workshops

May 13, 2014 --The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to participate in a series of workshops about backyard conservation.

These free workshops are scheduled for Saturday, June 7, rain or shine at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

New Jersey’s Invasive Species: 9:30 a.m. to noon
The presentation will discuss how homeowners can prevent foreign plant and insect species from crowding out desirable native species in their landscape. While some of the more nationally known invasive species include the snakehead fish, fire ants and kudzu, the Northeast is being impacted by 50 widespread species, such as Japanese knotweed, yellow iris and English ivy. The workshop will include a short hike in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park and a classroom presentation. The event is free, but registration is required. 

Grow Your Own Culinary Mushrooms: 12:30 p.m.
This hands-on workshop will demonstrate how to propagate Shiitake mushrooms as a hobby for use in the kitchen. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to boost the immune system, possess antibacterial properties and offer numerous nutritional benefits. They also taste great and work in a wide variety of dishes. The spores and logs used in the propagation process will be provided. Participants should dress appropriately for outside field time and are encouraged to bring some of the following equipment: rubber mallets, 5/16” drill bits, electric and/or battery powered drill, goggles and gloves. The event is free, but registration is required. 

To register, call 732-398-5262. Class size is limited, so register early to ensure a space.

“I encourage residents to attend these informative workshops,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. 

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The EARTH Center is located in one of Middlesex County’s most beautiful parks, Davidson’s Mill Pond Park. The Center’s 300-plus acres feature ponds, wooded trails and open fields. Educational displays at the park include a demonstration vegetable garden, hard-scaped herb garden, and a water-conserving rain garden. These displays are used to spark conversation about earth-friendly gardening techniques, local agriculture, and topics that are the focus of Extension’s Agriculture & Natural Resource Management Department.
 
Visitors can also find out more about the Center and its events by calling 732-398-5262.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
David Smela
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service
(732) 398-5268

 

County’s EARTH Center Offers
Day of Gardening Programs

APRIL 15, 2014 -- Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County invites you to participate in a series of workshops aimed at creating pollinator-friendly habitats.

These free workshops will take place on Saturday, May 17 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Pre-registration is required by calling 732-398-5262.

A Beginner Beekeeping program will take place from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Attracting Birds & Butterflies workshop will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

Participants in Beginner Beekeeping will learn the basics of establishing a hive on their own property.  It has been stated that with the pressures leading up to the recent “Colony Collapse disorder” outbreak, hobbyist beekeepers have made a positive impact on the honeybee population. Middlesex County’s EARTH Center would like to help spark residents’ interest in this age-old environmental practice. The workshop will also discuss which garden plants can serve as pollen sources in late summer when naturally occurring sources are not easy to find in our area.

The lecture will be followed by a brief walk outside, weather permitting. This workshop is free with advance registration. No “walk-ins” will be permitted.

“This is another outstanding and informative workshop from Rutgers Cooperative Extension,” says Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “All County residents should be aware of the benefits these pollinators can bring to their gardens, and by extension, the County.” 

Attracting Birds & Butterflies will teach participants about plants and features that can be added to a backyard, making it more desirable to birds and butterflies. Attendees will learn the value of native plants for attracting wildlife as well as for cutting down on chemical inputs. Many experts believe that the public can be of great help in slowing the current decline of Monarch butterfly populations, due to eradication of Milkweed, its larvae’s host plant. This practical workshop is designed for the beginner or intermediate gardener who is looking to minimize their environmental impact. This workshop is free with advance registration. No “walk-ins” will be permitted.

“Animals, plants and insects are instrumental in maintaining our climate,” noted Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios, “but if their environment is not habitable, nature cannot take its course as it normally would. People must consider that their environmental impact affects all forms of life, and this workshop will help them to make a space for healthy flora and fauna.”

For information and registration, call 732-398-5262.

If you can’t visit the EARTH Center this season, you can still get great gardening tips by calling the Master Gardner Helpline at 732-398-5220.

 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Smela
732-398-5268

County to Host Workshop on Mastering
Organic Gardening and Landscaping

March 10, 2014 -- As warmer weather approaches, many Middlesex County residents are eager to return to gardening. However, many people want their gardens to be free of synthetic pesticides as they grow food or care for landscaping.

If you want your garden and landscape plants to be healthy with little or no pesticides, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is offering a garden workshop entitled Mastering Organic Gardening and Landscaping.

This free workshop is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

The workshop will introduce the concept of Integrated Pest Management and examine how simple practices, such as monitoring for pests and providing adequate moisture, will keep your plants healthy. Interpreting soil sample results and light requirements for various species will also be examined.

The recent interest in alternative approaches to gardening comes from the idea of leading a more “green” lifestyle and lessening one’s impact on the environment. This workshop will address concepts and techniques important to the foundation of this style of gardening.

To register, call 732-398-5262 by March 28.

Middlesex County Agricultural Agent Bill Hlubik, a professor at Rutgers University, will be the class instructor and explain the values of these planting practices.

“I encourage residents to attend this informative workshop,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Learning to garden without the use of pesticides will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents don’t only learn about greener approaches to gardening, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the State land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The EARTH Center is located in one of Middlesex County’s most beautiful parks, Davidson’s Mill Pond Park. The Center’s 300-plus acres feature ponds, wooded trails and open fields. Educational displays at the park include a demonstration vegetable garden, hard-scaped herb garden, and a water-conserving rain garden. These displays are used to spark conversation about earth-friendly gardening techniques, local agriculture, and topics that are the focus of Extension’s Agriculture & Natural Resource Management Department. 

Visitors can also find out more about the Center and its events by calling 732-398- 5262.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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Middlesex County’s Solid Waste and Extension Services Offices Present Composting Workshops

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 -- If you are a Middlesex County resident who is concerned about the environment, now is the time to learn how to reduce waste and improve soil, right in your own backyard.

New workshops are being offered to show residents how to cut down on trash and give back to the land, just by composting yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Two free composting seminars are being held at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Classes run about 2 hours and feature an overview and explanation of two composting techniques:

Backyard Composting                             Vermi-Composting (using worms)
10 a.m. Saturday, April 5                           6:30 p.m. Monday, April 7

Please call the Middlesex County Office of Solid Waste Management at 732-745-4170 or e-mail solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us to register for the free workshops.

Workshop attendees may also pick up pre-purchased compost bins at the workshops. Call the Solid Waste Office before the workshop for a list of available compost bins.

The Backyard Composting seminar will introduce the basics of composting kitchen scraps and yard waste. Any backyard area will do, as long as there is organic matter from your kitchen or garden trimmings and a compost bin.

Perhaps you don’t have a backyard of your own, because you live in a condo or apartment. You can still learn about composting and benefit from it at the second workshop, which teaches vermi-composting.

This technique is notable for having the actual breakdown of waste performed by worms in the soil.

“I encourage residents to attend one of these informative events,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Keeping conservation in mind today will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

“The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents can not only learn about composting, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

For more information on programs offered by the Middlesex County’s Cooperative Extension call 732-398-5260.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

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1/20/14
Contact: David Smela
Telephone: 732-398-5268

 

EARTH Center Invites You to Birdcount

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Middlesex County invite you to take part in the “Great Backyard Bird Count” on Saturday, February 15, in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park 42 Riva Ave. South Brunswick, NJ (raindate Sunday Feb. 16). Master Gardeners will offer hot coffee for bird counters from Noon to 2:30 PM, within the park at the EARTH Center, home to Middlesex County’s Extension office.

The event will be held simultaneously with the Audubon Society and Cornell University Labs "Great Backyard Birdcount". Please bring your own binoculars and field guides and dress for the appropriately for outdoor hiking. A tour guide may be provided or you can strike off on your own. Please let the organizer know you are interested in attending by e-mailing evans@aesop.rutgers.edu.

Beginning birders, and experts are encouraged to attend. The start time is not formal. Rather, the Master Gardeners encourage people to use the park of over 300 acres (including wooded trails and open fields), for their count and will host guests by providing coffee and light snacks during the listed time. 

“I encourage residents to attend this wonderful and informative event in beautiful Davidson Mill Pond Park,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Help make this the biggest GBBC ever!  Davidson Mill Pond Park has recorded 100 bird species to date!  Be a part of helping scientists record migration patterns.”

“The more people who participate, the more scientists will know about  bird populations growth or decline over time due to habitat loss, disease, or other factors,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. 

For more detailed information visit  www.birdsource.org/gbbc/

If you are not familiar with your local Extension office, it is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the state land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by; the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University- New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Contact: Middlesex Co. Extension Office 

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