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TAKE ONE

Gardener News Serving the Agricultural, Gardening and Landscaping Communities GARDENERNEWS.COM

November 2018

TAKE ONE No. 187

Green Roof at Cook’s Market

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Bruce Crawford, Director of the Rutgers Gardens on the G. H. Cook Campus at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, proudly stands under the Rutgers Gardens sign in front of the garden’s new green roof.

People often ask, what is a Green Roof? It is not a new concept, but it is new to many folks who often believe it has something to do with solar panels. Green Roofs are living roofs, featuring a layer of lightweight soil that is planted with an assortment of suitable vegetation. The advantages of such roofs have been appreciated since medieval times throughout Europe; sedums and other drought-tolerant plants would volunteer on roofs, helping to insulate the homes from summer’s heat or winter’s chill. Today, living roofs are more scientifically based, and depending upon the soil depth, Green Roofs are broken down into Extensive and Intensive Roofs. An Extensive Roof features a thin layer of engineered soil, typically four inches or less, while an Intensive Roof has greater soil depths, allowing for a broader palette of plant materials to be incorporated into the design. The Green Roof at Rutgers Gardens is located on top of Cook’s Market, the structure located at the entrance to the Gardens that hosts the Farm Market every Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year also celebrates the

10th anniversary of the Farm Market! The galvanized steel structure has an Intensive Roof, with five to seven inches of soil placed above two inches of gravel for drainage. The soil is a custom blend of mushroom compost mixed with aggregates of calcined clay and shale. This blend and depth will support sweeps of Little Bluestem Grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Autumn Moor Grass (Seslaria autumnalis) that will act as “green mulch.” Emerging through the grassy sweeps will be a number of flowering plants, including Pale Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea pallida), Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana), Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia) and Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium). The only woody plant added to the roof is a low growing form of Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica “Gro-low”). It features stunning red fall color and it will spill nicely over the edges of the roof, adding softer lines to the rooftop. With the exception of the Autumn Moor Grass, all of these plants are native to Eastern North America, providing not only color to the rooftop, but also food and habitat for our native pollinators, caterpillars and

insects. Some of the selections are experimental – to see if they will survive the rigors of living on a roof – while others are proven survivors. The plant selection is a collaboration between Rutgers Gardens and the Morris Arboretum, which also has a similar structure with a green roof. Since there is not a lengthy list of which plants do best on roofs, especially those that do not have a heated area beneath, testing plants in both locations will better illustrate the impact of weather conditions on the plant material. Although the plants are adapted to dry and windy sites, an irrigation system was also installed to support the material during prolonged periods of drought. Aside from appearing more attractive than conventional roofs, Green Roofs have the advantage of slowing stormwater discharge, allowing it to drain from the roof over a two- to three-day period, versus just during the storm. This allows the structure to be far more environmentally sensitive, since the slow discharge of storm water reduces the potential erosion of local stream banks and works far more efficiently with rain gardens that promote deep water recharge. These roofs also have the advantage (Cont. on Page 13)


2 November 2018 G a r d e n C e n t e r D i r e c t o r y GardenerNews.com


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November 2018 3

Support NJ Agriculture JERSEY GROWN

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Sunflower Birdseed JERSEY GROWN

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When you’re shopping for JERSEY GROWN nursery stock, you know the trees, shrubs, plants and flowers are checked for quality, disease, are pest free, and accustomed to the Garden State’s climate and soil conditions.

Annuals & Perennials Made With

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Governor Phil Murphy Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher

jerseygrown.nj.gov


4 November 2018 Brightening our homes by adding plants to the interior is a great way to cope with the impending cold, gray winter weather. This is also the time of year we start thinking about having plants associated with the holidays in our homes and offices. No doubt, bringing poinsettias or other colorful plants associated with the season into the office adds a festive air. Poinsettias come in over 100 varieties, with colors ranging from the familiar vivid red to dazzling white, to colors like salmon, apricot, yellow and cream. Some actually have multiple colors, with a base color decorated with speckles of others. The plant we know as poinsettia, then known by its Aztec name of “cuetlaxochitl,” was brought from Mexico to the United States in 1828 by our first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. But even before it arrived here, a legend had grown in Mexico about its connection to Christmas. According to www.whychristmas.com, it goes like this: Pepita, a girl in Mexico,

GardenerNews.com NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture

For holidays or every day, bring outdoor plants indoors had no present to place at the nativity scene on Christmas Eve. As Pepita walked to the chapel, her cousin Pedro encouraged her to pick a handful of weeds from the roadside and make a bouquet of them as her gift. At the chapel, she knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. It immediately burst into bright red flowers. Everyone was sure they had seen a miracle. From then on, the red flowers were known as the “Flores de Noche Buena,” or “Flowers of the Holy Night.” Other holidays have their plant-related elements as well. One Kwanzaa tradition involves ears of corn, known as “muhindi” or “vinbuzi,” to represent the number of children in a family. A family with three children

would display groupings of three ears of corn. Couples without children place two ears of corn on a mat, or “mkeka,” to symbolize that an entire village takes part in the raising of its children. However, you don’t have to wait for a holiday, or even a holiday-related plant, to begin adding life and color to your home’s interior. When bringing plants inside for the winter, why not start with your vegetable and herb gardens – especially herbs – to find plants that can make the move indoors without much difficulty? Basil, parsley and cilantro all move from outdoors to indoors with relative ease, and you can continue supplying yourself with fresh herbs throughout the winter. Plants bearing small, hot

peppers are great for bringing indoors, and you can add a little winter warmth to your favorite dishes during the cold months. One of the prettiest flowering plants you could bring indoors is the Abutilon, also known as the “flowering” or “parlor” maple. Don’t let the name intimidate you; this isn’t a maple tree. It is really a tropical shrub that will do well indoors as long as it is kept warm (65 degrees Fahrenheit range) and can catch sun through a window. A few tips for you to remember when bringing outdoor plants indoors are: Make sure to dig up the whole root system and soil around it (this, of course, will limit the size of plants you can bring inside) and make sure you have a big enough pot to put

it in so that it can continue to grow; pick smaller or medium-sized versions of the plants you wish to bring in, instead of the largest ones in your garden, as smaller plants are more likely to survive the transplanting process; concentrating plants around windows, especially those with southern exposure, will mean the plants you bring inside will get the sunlight they crave. For holidays, or just any day, bring your outdoor plants indoors, and get yourself feeling like its spring – even if it is 20 degrees out with snow in the forecast. Editor’s Note: Douglas H. Fisher is New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture. He is the department’s executive officer, secretary to the State Board of Agriculture and a member of the Governor’s cabinet. Secretary Fisher fulfills executive, management and administrative duties prescribed by law, executive order or gubernatorial direction. He can be reached at 609.292.3976. For more info, please visit: http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture

NJDA Education Leader Trivette Honored As Part Of National Teach Ag Day New Jersey Department of Agriculture education leader Nancy Trivette was one of four National Teach Ag Champions honored recently by the National Association for Agricultural Educators as part of the Ninth Annual National Teach Ag Day. Trivette has been a part of the NJDA’s Ag Education program for 23 years and currently is the leader of the state program for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Education and is the State FFA Advisor. “Nancy’s passion and dedication for Ag Education has benefitted countless students and FFA members in New Jersey and nationally over the years,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “Her selfless approach has positively influenced those she regularly interacts with. Nancy is very deserving to be honored as a National Teach Ag Champion.” Every year the National Teach Ag Campaign selects individuals and organizations who have contributed in significant ways to the Teach Ag mission of ensuring a quality and diverse supply of agriculture teachers. Trivette was on hand at the National Teach Ag Ceremonies that took place at the Corteva Agriscience Agriculture Division of DowDuPont headquarters in Johnston, Iowa. She was selected as a Teach Ag Champion because of her instrumental role in planning and implementing Teach Ag promotional activities in New Jersey. Trivette is a mentor to numerous current and future agriculture teachers in New Jersey and promotes the agricultural education profession as a wonderful career choice at every opportunity. She also serves as a member of the National Teach Ag Advisory Board and as the New Jersey State Teach Ag Results (STAR) state contact. “It’s extremely humbling to be selected for this honor and I thank all of the leaders, staff and students who have supported me throughout my career,” Trivette said. “I owe all of my success to those who have worked with me and continue to inspire me.” Trivette has been working in Ag Education and has been the State FFA Advisor since 1983, first with Rutgers University, then at the New Jersey Department of Education and with the NJDA since 1995. She is currently president-elect of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and has been the President of the National Council for Agricultural Education, the President of the National Association Supervisors of Agricultural Education, the ACTE Region I Vice President and is currently the National FFA Treasurer. Under Trivette’s leadership, New Jersey currently has more than 2,500 FFA members who engage in personal, career and leadership development activities that challenge them to excel as they develop agricultural skills and competencies for the future. She has also been a leader in assisting schools to develop CASE, the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education. CASE is an instructional system that provides intense teacher professional development and curriculum that is changing the culture of agriculture programs. Learn more about FFA, CASE and New Jersey Agriculture Education at http://www.jerseyageducation.nj.gov. National Teach Ag Day is designed to encourage others to teach school-based agriculture and recognize the important role that agriculture teachers play in our schools and communities. Currently, there is a national shortage of agriculture teachers in the United States, and National Teach Ag Day is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the career. For more about National Teach Ag Day and the National Teach Ag campaign, visit www.naae. org/teachag.


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November 2018 5

New Jersey Department of Agriculture Celebrates National School Lunch Week New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher presented Hopewell Elementary School in Mercer County with the “Best in New Jersey Farm to School Award” during an assembly. The presentation took place during the celebration of the 8th Annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, which was held September 24-28. “We applaud Hopewell Elementary School and the entire community of stakeholders who make these Farm to School activities so impactful,” Secretary Fisher said. “From their incredible outdoor school garden, to the school’s commitment to sourcing local produce, to ‘Take Your Parent to Lunch Day’ and their partnerships with Princeton University and Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants to purchase a hydroponic vertical growing system, Hopewell Elementary exemplifies the spirit of this award.” Principal David Friedrich and his staff were on hand to accept the award and to share their successes with the students and gathered guests at an assembly during lunch in the cafeteria. “At Hopewell Elementary School, we embrace Farm to School practices ranging from growing produce in our outdoor garden and indoor hydroponic vertical farm to its infusion in our homemade organic lunch program,” Friedrich said. “We couple that with a strong educational component and close partnerships with local farmers and chefs.” Hopewell Elementary School has hosted a school garden since 2008 and has been engaged with local farmers from surrounding counties, including Double Brook Farm, Chickadee Creek Farm and Morganics Farm, to share their production techniques, agricultural stories and traditions with students. New Jersey schools that entered the Farm to School Recognition Program for the current school year were required to show evidence of working with farmers and the community to ensure students have access to healthy Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias and classrooms. School gardens are an integral part of Farm to School activities and provide handson education for students to connect to the state’s agricultural history and learn healthy, lifelong eating habits. Joining Hopewell Elementary as Farm to School Recognition Program Schools are: Bankbridge Elementary School, Sewell; Canfield Avenue School, Mine Hill; Elms Elementary School, Jackson; KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy, Camden; Lakeside Middle School, Millville; Memorial Elementary School, Freehold; Mount Arlington Public School, Mount Arlington; Mount Vernon School, Newark; Newark Educators Community Charter School, Newark; and Paterson Public School #8, Paterson.

Schools received Jersey Fresh Farm to School promotional material kits including a Jersey Fresh Farm to School banner, aprons, taste test stickers, Jersey Tastes posters and seasonality charts. Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week was designated as the last week of each September by a law signed in 2010. During this week, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture showcases schools that connect with New Jersey farmers to purchase local produce for school meals to increase student consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farm to School activities can include, but are not limited to: Nutrition education, including taste tests with produce purchased from local farms; harvest meals serving locally sourced products from New Jersey farms; Farm to School curricular tie-ins that connect the cafeteria to the classroom or school garden; visits to or from local farms that teach students how food is grown; and school garden education that ties directly into what is already being taught in the classroom. During the 2017-18 school year, the influence of the Farm to School Program led to 255 schools purchasing local produce from their main distributor, 223 districts buying local produce directly from farms, 212 districts using a curriculum that ties cafeteria meals to healthy eating education and 114 districts organizing field trips to farms. More schools highlighted Officials also visited Bordentown High School to applaud the Bordentown Regional School District’s efforts to offer students meals that are nutritious and appealing as well as providing New Jersey produce. New Jersey Department of Agriculture and USDA Mid-Atlantic Regional staff joined state, local, and school officials to highlight the school’s lunch program. Specialty salads, as well as a vegetable toppings bar, are available along with a monthly rotating sauce bar for students to enhance the flavor of the options they select. “It’s important that school districts continue to offer healthy choices for students,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “Bordentown has done an excellent job of providing a variety of options to its students while placing and emphasis on serving fresh fruits and vegetables.” This year, the Bordentown district started the Taste4 program that was developed with student input. It offers selections that change weekly. The offerings include fresh baked pizzas and fresh baked rolls for the deli bar, along with to-go options. “We encourage our students to make healthy choices when they make their lunch selections,” Bordentown School District Superintendent Dr. Edward Forsthoffer said. “It’s important for them to understand that

eating foods with high nutritional value can enhance their classroom performance.” New Jersey schools have implemented the 2010 Federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which required more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk, fat-free flavored milk, and limited saturated fat and portion size. It set requirements for school breakfast and snacks as well. Each day, an average of more than 650,000 students eat school lunch in New Jersey. National School Lunch Week was created by the School Nutrition Association to encourage participation in the National School Lunch Program and recognize the school districts providing healthy meals every day. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture administers the program in the Garden State. Visiting the farms in Farm to School The New Jersey Department of Agriculture Tuesday visited the Procacci Brothers Farm in Cumberland County to highlight Jersey Tastes! during the celebration of the 8th Annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, held September 24-28. In addition to highlighting schools that are active in Farm to School, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture showcased farms that are examples of how connecting local produce and schools increases student consumption of healthy school meals. The visit to the Procacci Brothers highlighted Jersey Tastes!, which encourages schools to feature a different fruit or vegetable every month. The vegetable for September was the tomato. “The Farm to School program continues to create enthusiasm in schools around the state for schools to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetable into their daily menu options,” Secretary Fisher said. “When schools can use food from their own gardens, it encourages students to taste them. Having local farms like the Procacci Brothers involved is very important in making this program such a big success in the state.” Procacci Brothers Sales Corporation began in 1948 in Camden, N.J., when brothers Joe and Mike Procacci sold repacked tomatoes out of their basement. The company has grown into a vertically integrated produce powerhouse that develops its own seeds, grows, packs, and distributes produce throughout North America, with operations in California, Arizona, Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico, Georgia, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Procacci’s Ag-Mart Produce growing operation in Cedarville includes a packing facility on the 1,600acre site. Earlier this year, Procacci Brothers donated and constructed a greenhouse for Bridgeton High School, where the school can grow a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to incorporate into the school menu.

Procacci Brothers also donated 600 tomato plants to the school. “We believe playing an active role in the communities where we are located is very important, and we are very pleased to be involved with Bridgeton High School,” said Procacci Brothers Director of Business Development and Special Projects Lou Struble. “It’s also important for us to have students understand how food is grown, and to see them take an active role in the growing process is very rewarding. It will help them understand more about agriculture and appreciate the healthy food that farms produce.” The Procacci Brothers visit highlighted Jersey Tastes! featuring tomatoes grown on the farm. The Department of Agriculture is asking everyone to post their Jersey Tastes! events each month on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the #jerseytastes! hashtag. A complete Jersey Tastes! schedule for the year, including resources on how to implement the program, is on the Farm to School website. To learn more about Farm to School, visit www.farmtoschool. nj.gov. School gardens also highlighted The Department of Agriculture also visited Newark Educators Community Charter School in Essex County to highlight the school’s use of a Department mini-grant to expand its rooftop garden. “It’s wonderful to see Newark Educators Community Charter School use its mini-grant money in such an effective way,” Secretary Fisher said. “School gardens are a great method of encouraging students to be involved in understanding what they eat and why it is important to make healthy eating decisions a part of their everyday life.” The visit to the Newark school highlighted the use of the rooftop garden that was expanded to cover approximately 80 percent of the roof. Along with herbs like cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary and mint, students have harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, strawberries, carrots, cabbages, radishes, lettuce, kale, and fennel. “While enhancing the building’s environment to support healthy eating, we encourage active living, and educating each child,” said Manjari Kapoor, who is the school’s supervisor of curriculum and instruction. “This garden project is aimed at creating a culture of health by increasing food access and opportunities for physical activity in a school setting. We realized that this rooftop garden has become so much more than we ever anticipated.” While the school’s garden was started two years ago, Kapoor says the added planting space has increased the number of items that can be grown as well as adding to the students’ culinary tastes. “This expansion gave students

an opportunity to plant a variety of herbs and vegetables,” Kapoor said. “This allowed students to have an opportunity to try different herbs and vegetables that they otherwise would not have access to or desire to eat.” Kapoor also said that the garden has multiple uses for the school. One of those uses is with Next Generation Science Standards, which supports the garden initiative in science classes as well as the health and nutrition classes. Students in science classes learn about how plants grow from seeds, the role of sunlight, water, soil, and nutrients in plant growth. The mini-grant donors were Inserra Supermarkets, New Jersey Farm Bureau, F & S Produce Company, and the Essex County Board of Agriculture. Schools throughout the state highlighted The Department of Agriculture also visited the Texas Avenue School in Atlantic City to highlight a FoodCorps-led, school-wide cafeteria taste test. “FoodCorps is making an important contribution to the Farm to School program that continues to create enthusiasm for eating fresh fruits and vegetables in schools around the state,” Secretary Fisher said. “The commitment FoodCorps brings to educating students to have a healthy diet encourages them to make educated choices about what they eat.” The visit to Texas Avenue School highlighted taste tests of roasted tomatoes donated by Santa Sweets of Cumberland County. Assistance for the tasting was provided by school cafeteria staff and FoodCorps NJ service site AtlantiCare.. “FoodCorps is doing a wonderful job of creating an atmosphere where our students can test a variety of foods that are good for them,” said Dr. LaKecia Hyman, the principal at Texas Avenue School. “We know that making healthy eating choices enhances a student’s ability to learn. FoodCorps is making a very positive impact on the entire educational process.” FoodCorps New Jersey is hosted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Other New Jersey counties with FoodCorps service members are Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, and Salem. FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect children to real food and help them grow up healthy. FoodCorps places these leaders in limited-resources communities for a year of public service where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and facilitate getting highquality local food into public school cafeterias. Serving alongside educators and community leaders, FoodCorps members partner with schools to create a nourishing environment for all students.


6 November 2018

R U T G ER S N J AE S / R C E

Horticulturist Position Open Job description: Reports to the Mercer County Agricultural Agent, Department of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension. Provides leadership and support, in collaboration with County Agent and County Extension Department Head, in planning and conducting local programming to meet clientele needs in home and commercial horticulture (including turf, nursery and landscaping) in Mercer County, New Jersey. Takes major responsibility for coordination and operation of the county Rutgers Master Gardener Program including volunteer recruitment, training, and recognition; and develops evaluative methods to measure and document program impacts. Coordinates and supervises educational outreach activities (educational workshops, demonstrations, training programs, volunteer opportunities) for the general public. Interacts with and provides technical assistance to the Mercer County Board of Agriculture. Serves as a liaison and collaborator with the Mercer County Park Commission. Works collaboratively with county based Rutgers Cooperative Extension department personnel and programs, community volunteers and organizations. Expected to actively participate in appropriate County and Rutgers Cooperative Extension departmental activities as requested. Job requirements: Requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in an agricultural science such as plant science, horticulture, ornamental horticulture, entomology, plant pathology or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience. A minimum of two years of related work experience in horticulture, landscape management, ornamental horticulture, agriculture, pest management or related subjects. Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of educational program development and operation, volunteer management, working with diverse audiences, collaboration/coalition building, and promotion/outreach. Experience working for Cooperative Extension is preferred. Experience with volunteer training and management is preferred. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication and organization skills. Effective public speaking, presentation, demonstration and computer skills. Must be well organized and skilled at problem solving. A valid driver’s license and two years driving experience is required. Special conditions: This position requires the flexibility and ability to work daytime, evenings and weekends, as needed. May be expected to work outdoors, walk over rough ground, and lift and handle 40lb. objects. A valid NJDEP Commercial Pesticide Applicators License for Categories 1A and 3A or 10, or receipt of said license shortly after employment. Mercer County residency is required within 1year of job acceptance. Key duties: 1. 50% Manage the Rutgers Master Gardener Program of Mercer County, including volunteer recruitment, training and recognition; and develop evaluative methods to measure and document program impacts. Coordinate the Rutgers Master Gardener Program syllabus, teach or arrange for guest lectures, and supervise related operational activities. Prepare internal and external communication and educational efforts with Rutgers Master Gardener Program participants and the general public. Coordinate Rutgers Master Gardener volunteer activities and community outreach projects including home horticulture helpline and educational gardens. 2. 30% Coordinate educational, demonstration and outreach efforts in concert with County and Rutgers Cooperative Extension personnel to develop and conduct programming on home and commercial horticulture. Provide training on topics as determined through local needs assessments. Develop educational programs and outreach efforts for local community volunteers and residents, integrate Rutgers Master Gardener volunteers into these efforts. 3. 20% Respond to consumer and commercial horticultural and agricultural clientele questions individually (in-office, in-field) and through lectures/presentations to community groups, agricultural business sector, and related clientele. Provide information and educational support to Mercer County Park Commission, Mercer County Planning Department, local schools, public health departments, and related divisions, as necessary. Salary range $45,440 to $64,201. Candidate must be Mercer County resident within one year of appointment. Candidate would be subject to all Civil Service regulations and examinations. Send resume with cover letter by November 7, 2018 to: Raissa Walker, Personnel Director, Mercer County Administration Building, 640 South Broad Street, PO Box 8068, Trenton, NJ 08650-0068. EOE/AA/ADA Employer

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From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Brian Schilling Director

Research at Rutgers Reveals Specific Health Benefits of Cranberries

NJAES Director’s note: This year marks the 100th anniversary of what is now known as the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, a substation of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Located in Chatsworth in Burlington County, the Center generates and disseminates research information applicable to the production of highquality blueberries and cranberries and develops new cultivars for the industry. In addition to plant breeding, Rutgers researchers investigate ways to protect these crops from insects and disease and – research that goes beyond the bogs and onto our plates – the health benefits of cranberry. This month’s article focuses on research that substantiates the growing interest in cranberries as part of a healthy diet. Traditionally, the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait) has been associated with Thanksgiving, but in the past few decades it has become a year-round component of our diets, appearing in a wide range of products. And, more recently, it has become well established as a “super fruit,” with an array of potential health benefits, the most substantiated being prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The cranberry is native to North America and was historically utilized by Native Americans to treat urinary disorders as well as a host of other afflictions. Cranberries contain a number of phytochemicals, including anthocyanin pigments and complex oligomeric flavonoids known as proanthocyanidins (PACs). PACs appear to be particularly bioactive and, in recent years, have gained the attention of the medical and pharmaceutical communities for their wide array of potential health benefits. In our lab at the Marucci Center in 1998, we isolated and identified the PACs in cranberry that have unusual molecular structures when compared to PACs from other foods. We linked these PACs to prevention of bacterial adhesion – or stickiness – in the urinary tract. Adhesion to cells is the initial step in many bacterial infection processes. If the initial adhesion step is inhibited, the bacteria are not able to multiply and colonize, essentially preventing infection. The advantage of this mechanism is that it should not promote antibiotic resistance nor lead to significant selection pressure favoring survival of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, because the bacteria are not killed. This type of preventative strategy could become more important as antibiotic resistance rates continue to increase because of over-use of antibiotics. Thus, utilization of cranberry to prevent certain bacterial infections could potentially aid in reducing the pace of antibiotic resistance development. Routine consumption of cranberry products with sufficient levels of bioactive PAC may reduce the need for antibiotics by reducing the risk of the initial infection. The bacterial anti-adhesion mechanism goes beyond the urinary tract and is active in other sites in the body. Isolated cranberry PACs reduce plaque biofilm formation in the mouth and prevent, and even reversed, bone loss and inflammation associated with periodontal disease. Extracts of cranberry containing PACs prevented Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, from attaching to isolated stomach cells and clinical results revealed a significant eradication of the bacteria from the stomach. Cranberry PACs have also demonstrated activity against E. coli invasion in the gut, which may help reduce persistence of the bacteria. Reducing the resident population of pathogenic bacteria in the gut capable of causing UTIs may help to lower the rate of recurrent infections. Cranberry bioactive compounds including anthocyanins, flavonol glycosides and PACs have all demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Environmental and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, pollution, poor diet, stress, etc. can lead to high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. As our bodies age, our endogenous production of antioxidants decreases and it may be helpful to supplement our diet with antioxidant-rich foods, like cranberries. Research shows that cranberries lower overall oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing risk factors for heart disease and cancer. Cranberries are naturally low in sugar, so products are sweetened for palatability. The sugar content of commercial cranberry juice drinks is similar to apple and orange juices, but lower than grape juice. Low carbohydrate cranberry products with non-nutritive sweeteners are also available for consumers. Research shows that all different cranberry products (juices, dried fruit, sauces and encapsulated powders) can promote health benefits, but when utilizing cranberry capsules, it is important to look for products that are standardized for PAC content and are made from the dried cranberry juice rather than the skins. A final note – New Jersey’s cranberry harvest occurs in September and October, and bags and clamshell containers of the fresh berries can be found in markets through December. This window is a good time to experiment with incorporating the tangy fresh berries into smoothies, muffins, cookies, hot cereal, chutneys, etc. When you pick up a package of fresh cranberries, check the label to see if it’s grown in New Jersey! Editor’s note: This month’s article is written by Amy Howell, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension.


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A Wintertime Spice

As Autumn slowly transitions into winter, so transition our garden plants, as the evergreens begin to shine and their structure and form becomes ever more apparent. Clearly, the larger evergreen shrubs and trees are the most noticeable, but there are also numerous perennials with attractive winter foliage. One beautiful addition to woodland gardens are the Gingers, botanically named Asarum, which feature various species that retain their glossy foliage throughout winter’s chill. Asarum is a member of the Aristolochiaceae or Birthwort family. There are upwards of 85 species within the family that are found throughout North America, Europe and Asia, although the current thought is to divide the family into five distinct genera. The common name of Ginger originated from the similarity of the smell and taste of the rhizome – a horizontally growing stem – to that of culinary ginger. However,

recent evidence reveals that it is not fit for consumption since it contains compounds that cause kidney failure, as well as the highly carcinogenic Aristolochic Acid. The genus name was penned by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753, and is rooted in the Greek Āsa, which means altar or sanctuary. Āsaron is the plural form and was the name cited by the Greek physician and botanist Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90 AD) for European Ginger in his five-volume masterpiece Materia Medica. The volumes detailed herbal medicine and proved to be the “go-to” resource for the next 1,500 years. The genus name most likely stems from the brown, urn or alter-like flowers common to the genus. The flowers lack petals and are composed of three sepals or modified leaves that lie hidden beneath the foliage and close to the ground. Typically, they are self-pollinated, although mycotrophic flies also visit and pollinate the flowers. Linnaeus formally described European Ginger in 1753, appropriately naming it Asarum

europaeum. European Ginger is native to Central and Southern Europe, where it grows in light shade in humus-rich and welldrained soils. Plants slowly spread to 15 to 18 inches or more in diameter. The dark green, heartshaped foliage is two to three inches wide and grows to a reserved height of four to six inches. Plants are hardy from zones 4-7 and are evergreen except in the harshest of winters. Another evergreen species named Asarum splendens was discovered and named far more recently. Originally named Heterotropa splendens in 1982 by the Japanese botanist Fumio Maekawa (1908-1984), it was properly named in 1988 by C.Y. Cheng and C.S. Yang. It features larger, more elongated foliage than its European cousin that is reminiscent of an arrowhead. The species epithet is from the Latin Splendo, meaning glistening or shining, and is in reference to the attractive silver mottling that adorns the green foliage. In fact, the leaves are so attractive, divisions of the plant were stolen several times by coveting plant enthusiasts when

Rutgers Discovers New Delivery System that Could Help Prevent Bacterial Infections According to a recent Rutgers study, there may be a more effective mechanism for drug delivery in order to prevent bacterial infections or the growth of bacteria in unwanted locations. Rutgers researchers have discovered a new system to deliver antimicrobial agents – drugs, antiseptics or pesticides – that could more effectively treat or prevent bacterial infections. In a recent study in the Journal of The American Chemical Society, professor Tewodros Asefa and associate professor Jeffrey Boyd synthesized nanostructured silica particles, considered to be promising drug carriers, that contained payloads of an antimicrobial agent. The researchers found that the particles were effective at killing two human bacterial pathogens. “Interestingly, the particles were more effective at killing the bacteria than the antimicrobial was, which may highlight a more efficient mechanism for drug delivery,” said Boyd, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology. According to Boyd, bacteria are rapidly evolving and becoming resistant to antimicrobials – agents that kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. The findings of this study could help them develop an antimicrobial therapy that would prevent bacterial infections or the growth of bacteria in unwanted locations. This new mechanism allows compounds to slowly release antimicrobials into local environments, resulting in high amounts of the molecule in a specific location. This is a different scenario than when antibiotics are taken orally and they become widely distributed throughout the body. “The new materials we have designed and built allow antibacterials to be more potent and have the ability to wipe out bacteria at smaller concentrations than the antibacterials can do on their own,” said Asefa, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. “This is because the newly designed nanomaterials allow the antibacterials to be localized, released slowly and attack the microorganism more effectively.” Rutgers researchers say the study could lead to the development of new microscopic particles containing drugs, antiseptics or pesticides that may increase the effectiveness of the therapy and aid in preventing antibacterial resistance. What they still need to determine is why these microscopic particles containing the antibacterial agents are more effective at destroying the bacteria than the antibacterial alone. Editor’s Note: this article originally appeared in Rutgers Today.

November 2018 7

the plant was initially displayed at the Arnold Arboretum in 1978. The plants are native to thickets, grasslands and moist mountain slopes of southern and central China. Plants are hardy from zone 7 (6)-8 and require shaded soils that do not become excessively dry. In fact, the species is far more intolerant to drought than European Ginger. Again hidden by the foliage, the flowers are quite large, reaching upwards of one inch in diameter for those who wish to search below the foliage. Asarum canadense, or Canadian Ginger, is also a very worthwhile plant for the Garden. Native throughout much of Eastern North America, my experience has found this plant to be a great groundcover, vigorously spreading throughout large shaded areas of the Garden. Unlike its cousins, Canadian Ginger is deciduous and is effective throughout the summer with the coarse, sinc-inch-diameter foliage providing a wonderful textural contrast to more delicate ferns and Celandine Poppies. Gingers are effective along the edge of paths and walkways,

where the interesting foliage and flowers can be easily viewed or in drifts around shade loving shrubs. Asarum splendens is also effective when interspersed among shadeloving perennials, as it brightens and illuminates the garden, just as its species name suggests. Still very underused, consider these evergreen gems as you look to enhance the bones of your Garden this winter! Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth; is the managing director of the Rutgers Gardens, a 180-acre outdoor teaching classroom, horticultural research facility and arboretum; an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; regularly participates in the Rutgers – Continuing Education Program; and the immediate past-president of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at (732) 932-8451. For more information, please visit www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Phone Directory Atlantic County Phone: 609-625-0056 Bergen County Phone: 201-336-6780 Burlington County Phone: 609-265-5050 Camden County Phone: 856 216 7130 Cape May County Phone: 609-465-5115 Cumberland County Phone: 856-451-2800 Essex County Phone: 973-228-2210 Gloucester County Phone: 856-224-8040 Hudson County Phone: 201-915-1399 Hunterdon County Phone: 908-788-1339 Mercer County Phone: 609-989-6830

Middlesex County Phone: 732-398-5260 Monmouth County Phone: 732-431-7260 Morris County Phone: 973-285-8300 Ocean County Phone:732-349-1246 Passaic County Phone: 973-305-5740 Salem County Phone: 856-769-0090 Somerset County Phone: 908-526-6293 Sussex County Phone: 973-948-3040 Union County Phone: 908-654-9854 Warren County Phone: 908-475-6505


8 November 2018

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November 2018 9

Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

Absolutely Unbelievable I’m finding it hard to believe that towns are actually regulating the time of day and the day of the year that landscape professionals and lawn maintenance technicians can perform their work. I have recently learned that several Jersey shore communities are amending their noise ordinances to unfairly regulate property maintenance. And most towns have ordinances in place to make sure property owners maintain their land. I’m confused. Bay Head in Ocean County, N.J., being the latest. On September 17 of this year, the borough council officially adopted new rules regarding the borough’s noise ordinance. Under the new ordinance, No. 2018-14, commercial activities shall include the carrying on of any excavation, demolition, construction, repair, alteration, landscaping, or lawncutting work, including, but not limited to, work performed by plumbing, electrical, landscaping, carpentry, masonry, tile, demolition, or excavating contractors. I am only going to tackle two items in this ordinance. The council has limited the hours of landscaping and lawncutting services to occur only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, year-round. Landscaping and lawn-cutting services are also prohibited on properties on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as federal holidays. This is totally unfair to landscape and lawn maintenance companies. Let’s take this year for example, with the record rainfall in the state. I think it rained at least one day or even two days in a row, every week this season. As a former landscape professional, rain was my worst nightmare. The lawn grows faster and the time for cutting it gets tougher. It takes almost twice as much time to cut a tall, wet lawn as it does to cut a dry lawn. The equipment maintenance,

also becomes more frequent. Wet lawns dull mower blades much, much faster. And we all know that dull blades tear the lawn up rather than cutting it clean. Dull mower blades may cause the lawn to have a brownish-white cast or look ragged after mowing and can make the lawn more susceptible to disease. It takes time to remove the blades and change them out. The engine oil needs to be changed more frequently because the engines work harder to cut tall, wet turf. The grease fitting needs to be greased more often, and the bottoms of the mower deck need to be scraped and washed more often, etc. Rain does not allow anyone to stay on schedule. In today’s world, we always work late to get it done. Now, if all these maintenance chores need to be performed more frequently during the season, it does not leave much time to perform the services that are contracted by the property owner, to be in compliance with a maintenance ordinance, let alone properly maintaining your lawn on a regular basis for its health. Now, if it rains on a Wednesday and Thursday for example, how does a landscape company catch up if they are not allowed to work after 6 p.m. or work on a Saturday? I completely understand not working on a Sunday. I also understand not working before 8 a.m. Now, if a homeowner is maintaining their own property and works a typical 9-to-5 job, how is he or she able to maintain their property if they are not able to get home by 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday are out? Some people might find cutting the lawn as a chore. I find it very peaceful listening to the sound of the engine purr as I concentrate on my straight lines. The stress of the day seems to leave my mind as I beautify the grounds. Let’s switch over to landscape side. I consider mulching a very important landscaping aspect of having a healthy property.

Mulch helps to regulate soil temperature by allowing the soil medium to maintain moisture on hot summer days, and by keeping the soil medium warmer during times of frost and freeze. Basically, mulch is like buying insurance for you landscape. Again, if ordinances are limiting the times that landscaping activities can be performed, how can one protect their landscape? And we all know that landscaping creates “curb appeal” for your property. Landscaping not only increases curb appeal, but can give properties a 15-percent increase in value, says a Virginia Tech study. A review of research found that a well landscaped home had a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. Why would one create an ordinance that prohibits landscape work being performed on a property if it will hurt the properties’ values? Here is the fine structure in Bay Head. “Unless otherwise specified herein, for a violation of any provision of this chapter, the maximum penalty, upon conviction thereof, shall be a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Except as otherwise provided, each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter exists, shall constitute a separate violation.” Yes. Absolutely unbelievable! Editor’s Note: Tom Castronovo is executive editor and publisher of Gardener News. Tom’s lifelong interest in gardening and passion for agriculture, environmental stewardship, gardening and landscaping, led to the founding of the Gardener News, which germinated in April 2003 and continues to bloom today. He is also dedicated to providing inspiration, and education to the agricultural, gardening and landscaping communities through this newspaper and GardenerNews.com.

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10 November 2018 During the winter months, many gardeners turn their attention to houseplants. While highly ornamental, houseplants also impact our health. My next two articles will focus on houseplants from Victorian times to the present. By the mid-19th century, homeowners were aware that houseplants mitigated “unhealthy vapors.” The Ladies Floral Cabinet, a popular women’s gardening magazine, espoused the benefits of growing houseplants: “The highest mission of plants is not merely to please our eyes…but they are ever silently but surely eating up what is impure and injurious to us.” This belief was held simultaneously with the idea that houseplants should be kept in the parlor, but not the bedroom, as it was then believed that plants gave out gasses at night which produce stupor, headaches and suffocation. It was far more likely that gas fumes from early heating systems caused these symptoms, and despite this concern, Victorians embraced the growing of houseplants. Today, when we think about “unhealthy vapors,” we usually think about car exhaust, coal emissions, ozone and other sources of outdoor air pollution. But air pollution happens indoors, too. The EPA ranks indoor air pollution as

GardenerNews.com The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

“Houseplants for Healthy Homes” one of the top-five threats to public health. Our tightly sealed, energyefficient homes trap gases from synthetic materials, such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, which are produced by paint, carpeting, cleaning products and building materials. It’s estimated that two eight- to 10-inch potted plants will clean the air in a 100-square-foot room, so plan accordingly. When selecting a houseplant, consider its ability to remove chemical vapors, its ease of growth and maintenance, its hardiness and its transpiration rate. Certain houseplants are better at removing one toxin than another. Keeping that all in mind, here are some great choices to keep your home healthy. Research them first to make sure you have the proper lighting conditions in which they will thrive. Areca, Bamboo, Lady and

Parlor Palms are among the best plants for improving indoor air quality. Victorians loved palms and they imparted an exotic feel to interiors, thereby reflecting the growth of the British Empire. Dracaenas are a good complement to modern décor, and there are many cultivars to choose from, including: “Janet Craig,” which can reach 10 feet; “Massangeana,” with its yellow-striped leaf and occasional small spray of fragrant flowers; “Warnecke’s,” with its dullgrey center stripe; and “Marginata,” featuring a touch of red at its margins. Liberated from its outdoor role as a ground cover, English Ivy can be grown indoors in topiary form or in a hanging basket. There are many variegated varieties and leaf shapes from which to choose. The Boston Fern leads the fern pack in its ability to mitigate indoor air pollution. Right behind it is the

Kimberly Queen Fern. Treasured for their lush foliage by Victorians, ferns require proper misting and watering, but are well worth the effort. The Philodendron family has several good candidates, including the Heart Leaf Philodendron, which will climb a bark armature, the Lacy Tree Philodendron, with its large, deeply cut leaves which ruffle as they grow, and the Red Emerald Philodendron, with its long, yellowveined, narrow leaves. When NASA began experimenting with houseplants as air cleaners in the 1980s for its space missions , the Spider Plant drew their attention. This familiar plant quickly sets out airborne plantlets for propagation, so providing a plant for every room in your house can be accomplished within a year. Flowering houseplants make good choices, too. Among the best for removing indoor air toxins

are the Wax Begonia, Christmas Cactus, Dendrobium Orchids, and Cyclamen. In the easy-to-care-for category fall the Snake Plant and Aloe Vera. Their ability to release oxygen at night (unlike other houseplants) makes them ideal for placing in bedrooms. If only the Victorians had known! What forces were in play during Queen Victoria’s reign that made the keeping of houseplants a national pastime? We’ll find out in January’s issue as we explore the Wardian case, parlor plants, and pterodimania.

Editor’s Note: Lesley Parness offers a variety of presentations and workshops for garden clubs, plant societies, and horticultural gatherings. Recently retired from her position as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission, and with four decades of teaching environmental science and garden education, her focus now is garden history. A complete listing of her talks can be seen at lesleyparness. com and she can be reached at parness@verizon.net. This column will appear in the paper every other month.

New ‘Apples From New York®’ Logo Announced For more than two decades, New York apples have been represented by the ‘Apple Country®’ logo on everything from trade ads and television commercials to billboards, bags and totes. Today, all that is beginning to change. “We are fortunate that ‘Apple Country’ has had great brand recognition with trade and consumer audiences for so many years,” said New York Apple Association (NYAA) President Cynthia Haskins. “We certainly don’t want to lose valuable brand equity yet, at the same time, we want to reach out to new generations of consumers. Our decision to rebrand New York apples was a strategic one and we want our transition process to be strategic as well.” According to Haskins, expect to see ‘Apple Country’ shown, spoken of, and celebrated while the association simultaneously moves forward in a bold new way. For instance, ‘Apple Country’ bags will remain in stores and in use throughout the year. “New York State is ‘Apple Country’ and always will be,” added Haskins. The organization has a variety of merchandising tools to share with retailers and

is giving trade and consumer audiences a lot to talk about, including many memorable ways to experience ‘Apples from New York’. NYAA is sponsoring a retail display contest beginning in November. The display contest is new this year and is planned for the holiday season. The contest will start in early November and run through the new year. The grand prizes for the contest are multi-day trips to either Lake Placid or Niagara Falls. About New York Apple Association, Inc. A nonprofit agricultural trade association based in Fishers, N.Y., NYAA represents the state’s commercial apple growers. The association supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products, representing the industry at state and federal levels, and serving as the primary information source on New York apple-related matters. For more information, visit www. nyapplecountry.com.

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Best Gift Ever!!!! By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer

Finally got an outstanding gift for my husband, and one three other friends and I were able to participate in, too. It all stemmed from my nomination of Diana Dove for the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education “Patricia F. Kane Lifetime Achievement Award” and the subsequent January 2018 ceremony in Plainsboro, N.J., where Diana received this prestigious award. Among the fabulous donations to ANJEE was a two hour photography session for five people at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, N.J. I knew my husband, Bob, would enjoy this more than anything and, lucky me, I was the high bidder! This was truly one of the most memorable experiences of our life and we have about 5,000 photos between the five of us to prove it. Let me begin by giving you a little history of this extraordinary 171-acre wildlife refuge center, then, I’ll relate our own incredible time spent there on a fabulous autumn day. The Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge website: www. cedarrun.org was illuminating and was another example of why New Jersey and its citizens never cease to amaze me with their abiding concern and love of our great state and all its wildlife, beauty, and their determination to share and preserve the joy they have found in nature for us and future generations. Jim and Betty Woodford are part of this “Hall of Fame” of protectors and advocates of New Jersey’s wildlife and wilderness, as they began their life’s work in 1951 having purchased a summer get-away of 185 acres of

pristine woodland including Cedar Run Lake in the wilds of Medford Township. They fell head over heels for this enchanting area that is at the edge of the New Jersey Pinelands. They quickly set up permanent residence, with Betty becoming a noted authority on the flora and fauna of the Pinelands, sharing her knowledge with others in surrounding communities. The following decades found the couple devoting time and energy to preservation, environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation, culminating in their dream in 1997 “when a Green Acres grant preserved Cedar Run’s land and buildings for future generations.” Lucky us! Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge’s mission statement is: “Dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey’s Wildlife and habitats through education, conservation and rehabilitation.” They accomplish this on a daily basis in their facilities, which include 171 acres of woodland and pristine lake, nature trails that link uplands and wetlands, a Rehabilitation Hospital that cares for more than 4,700 injured, orphaned or displaced native wild animals in 2017 alone, an outdoor housing area with 60-plus wild animals that cannot be returned to the wild, and the Elizabeth Woodford Nature Center. This nature center has welcomed 20,000 students, introducing them to hands-on exhibits, a library, workshops, Scout programs, youth programs for preschoolers on up, with a dedicated staff working onsite and off. One of the many community services Cedar Run provides is education and outreach programs, including talking to garden clubs and others on creating native plant,

pollinator and wildlife gardens. Contact Executive Director Jeanne Gural at Jeanne.Gural@CedarRun.org for more information. Our t wo -hou r photography session exceeded all our expectations, as we met Fred, our educator and guide to the magnificent birds of prey he was to introduce us to. Fred impressed us from the start with his obvious love for and devotion to his menagerie of birds that Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge uses in their educational programs. The birds were introduced to us one by one and were placed in a natural setting of rock, pine branches, and tree stumps so we could let our cameras record the up-close beauty, personality and soul that reside in each of these birds of prey. First up was Apollo, a Turkey Vulture, who surprised us with his soft gray wings that he elegantly showed off. Apollo dropped into a front yard from a nest and was fed by humans and decided he preferred “people food” to being off in the wild. Hence, he could not, or should I say would not, return to the wild. Our second bird was an exquisite Great Horned Owl named Houdini – Hoo for short. Fred let us know that Hoo was a pretty cranky owl, always angry, and fierce in his determined attacks on Fred’s gloved fingers. Fred confided that Hoo could very well attack Fred’s chest, but it never occurs to Hoo as he just envisions fingers as sausages and has at them. Next up was Al, a beauty of a Red-Tailed Hawk and a favorite of Fred, with our cameras lovingly recording every gorgeous feather. Last was the piece de resistance with two exquisite Eastern Screech Owls, named Jemma and Nazir. Awesome!

USDA Secretary Rings the Closing Bell at NYSE U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on September 26. On the podium, Secretary Perdue was joined by members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, National FFA students and representatives from New York, and four farmers he met while travelling across the nation. After ringing the closing bell, Secretary Perdue offered this statement: “The farmers, ranchers, foresters and agricultural producers across America contribute a great deal to the American economy,” Secretary Perdue said. “I’m pleased to be here today, at the center of our economic activity, with all these people that I’ve met across the country to celebrate the bounty of the American harvest. I thank the New York Stock Exchange for the opportunity.” Off the podium, Secretary Perdue also welcomed farmers, producers and leaders he met on his travels.

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Green Roof at Cook’s Market (Continued from page 1)

The green roof structure at the Rutgers Gardens. of reducing reflected heat during the summer, reducing CO2 via plant photosynthesis, and providing additional habitat for insects. Providing habitat for insects also helps our local bat populations, since raising the physical location of the insects to a higher elevation makes it easier for the bats to capture their meal. These environmental benefits also provide additional educational opportunities for Rutgers Gardens interns and University classes. Obviously, in and of itself the roof is a unique and different environment to cultivate and study a variety of plants. Undoubtedly, some of the plants on the roof will fail due to winter’s cold or the compromised soil depth. Location on the roof will also be a factor to study since, for obvious reasons, the upper portions of the sloped roof should be drier than lower areas; the degree and duration to which it is moister and how this impacts the plants will all provide interesting educational opportunities Of course, I always wish to recognize and thank our many donors for their steadfast support. Without their generosity, the Cook’s Market structure, the Green Roof and the associated educational opportunities would not be possible. I encourage everyone to come to Rutgers Gardens and shop at the Farm Market, to watch and appreciate the Green Roof as it matures over the years to come, and to enjoy the 180 acres of the Gardens. Rutgers Gardens is a peaceful, green oasis along Route 1 in New Brunswick that is open daily for all to enjoy. Although the entrance is off of Ryders Lane, it is best to use 130 Log Cabin Road for GPS coordinates. Historically, the Rutgers Gardens was composed of a series of horticultural collections arranged in garden settings and spread over 50 acres. They are located just east of U.S. Route 1 on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

These collections and garden areas, the oldest of which dates back to 1927, feature a diverse variety of landscape plants with origins that span the globe. The future of the Rutgers Gardens is the development of designed gardens. Landscape architects, design professionals, and home owners will be able to see and learn different methods of combining plants that will provide four seasons of color, texture (Cont. on Page 24)

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Bruce Crawford, Director of the Rutgers Gardens, installs a cultivar of sumac called a grow-low plant into the soil medium on the green roof.


14 November 2018

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Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Mathew Metra from Farmingdale, Monmouth County, N.J., was the grand-champion pumpkin winner at the 15th Annual South Jersey Pumpkin Show held at the Salem County Fairgrounds in Woodstown. On April 15, 2018, Metra planted his Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkin seed that produced a whopping, beautifully ribbed 1,179-pound pumpkin for the weigh-off contest on Sunday, October 14 to claim the coveted ribbon and trophy. Pumpkin growers and backyard gardeners from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were invited to bring their heaviest pumpkin. The Dill’s Atlantic Giant is the grand-daddy of all giant pumpkins. These warm-season vegetables thrive in full sunlight and fast-draining, fertile soils with a pH of 5.8 to 7.2. Hardy in most U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Dill’s Atlantic Giant plants require at least 130 days of temperatures 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer to produce a mature, giant pumpkin. Fairbanks Scales has been providing the show with a certified scale since 2002.

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18 November 2018

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New Jersey Food Council News Business and Government Leaders Honored at Food Industry’s 45thAnnual “Good Government” Breakfast There was no shortage of pressing topics at the Food Council Committee for Good Government’s 45th Annual “Good Government” Breakfast recently at Forsgate Country Club, as more than 200 state lawmakers and food industry leaders discussed key issues and honored industry professionals and policy makers making a huge difference for NJ consumers. It was evident that the mid-term elections are here, in a room comprising prominent Democrats and Republicans lawmakers who listened to a speech from Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Bob Hugin. His Democratic opponent, Sen. Bob Menendez, could not attend because of a voting session. The annual event was sponsored by the Food Council Committee for Good Government, a non-profit political action committee that aids and promotes the election of state lawmakers who support the priorities of food retailers. “The food industry is a vital and significant part of the state’s fiscal well-being, so it is no surprise that we look to our political leaders to support probusiness initiatives that will spark New Jersey’s food retail industry,” explained Phil Scaduto, Vice President of Foodtown/Food Circus and Chairman of the Food Council Committee for Good Government. “Today our food distribution industry is feeling great pressure from different types of formats who are all getting into the grocery business. But remember, Food Council members are the anchor of our communities. New Jerseyans depend on the food industry for health and wellness, generous charitable giving, support to food banks and civic groups, and community assistance during emergencies. We possess a unique relationship with the public sector in order to promote business prosperity and support the health and wellness of NJ consumers,” he added. Attendees saluted four honorees in business and

government who are making an impact in the state’s food industry. •John Wachter of Murphy’s Markets of South Jersey received the Good Government Award, the highest honor received by food industry members who participate in advocacy efforts aiming to assist state legislators, government officials, and policymakers in formulating policies that are important to New Jersey’s food industry. Wachter, of Beach Haven, said he “truly enjoys” working with state lawmakers on legislative issues involving the food industry. “I assisted our lawmakers in making informed decisions from my many years of experience,” he said. “This organization is a remarkable team, the foundation based on a membership of competitors who work together to keep our industry healthy – from single stores to international corporations.” •Senate President Steven Sweeney (D-3) received the Thomas W. Kelly Government Service Award for his continued support of the success of New Jersey’s food industry throughout his tenure in the State Legislature. “Senate President Sweeney is a role model for all public servants at any level of government,” said Linda Doherty, president of the New Jersey Food Council. “He is a fearless leader who understands the challenges businesses face in this state and the important role New Jersey’s food industry plays in building strong vibrant communities.” In accepting the award, Sweeney noted that he has a child with disabilities and applauded the food industry for its open hiring practices, creating opportunities for all New Jerseyans eager to work. The Senate President used his acceptance speech to promote bi-partisan efforts in Trenton to solve fiscal woes. “We need to fix New Jersey; we are in a dangerous place,” he said.

“We can’t raise taxes anymore,” Sweeney added, noting the state is careening toward a $3.5 billion deficit by 2024. “This state is worth saving; it is an amazing, amazing state,” he said. “But people say as soon as their kids get out of school, they will leave. We need to reverse that trend and fix tax policy.” •State Sen. Dawn Addiego (R-8) received the Outstanding Legislator Award for serving as an important, independent voice in Trenton. When the State Legislature debates business policy, she is mindful of the potential impact on the state’s food retail community and is willing to work in a bi-partisan fashion. In accepting the award, Addiego said she recognizes the importance of the food industry, especially through its work to address food insecurity in New Jersey communities through partnerships with food banks. “Supermarkets are so important to everyday life, fostering a warm family dinner,” the Senator said. “There is nothing like being gathered around the dinner table, asking about our days and being involved in each other’s lives. You make that possible.” •Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-6) also received the Outstanding Legislator Award for striving to improve the state’s business climate and support the goals of the food industry. Lampitt talked about her job overseeing food services at the University of Pennsylvania, adding she knows the struggles of the food industry to recruit and retain employees to maintain profitability. “Food is the vital part in the growing and nurturing of community,” Lampitt said. “I applaud each of you for working in a very challenging environment. What you do for your communities is second to none.” The FCCfGG was formed in 1973 with the support of the New Jersey Food Council to aid those responsible elected state officials and candidates who share a common objective for good government.

Linda Doherty of New Jersey Food Council named a Top 25 Leading Woman Brand Builder! According to Leading Women Entrepreneurs, New Jersey is home to a fleet of talented female business leaders. An exceptionally qualified group of these women were recognized recently as the 2018 Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, and Brand Builders of the state. This prestigious group of women was selected from thousands of impressive nominations based upon their strong business acumen and ability to both influence and inspire within their industries. We are so proud to recognize Linda M. Doherty as as one of the Top 25 Leading Women Brand Builders of 2018. She serves as President and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council, a Trenton-based business trade association representing supermarkets, convenience stores and food distribution industry in the Garden State. She is considered a food policy expect and was named 2018 and 2017 Top 100 Policymaker by InsiderNJ, 2017 Best 50 Women In Business in NJ by NJBIZ, 2016 Female Executive of the Year by The Griffin Report, and received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Board of Directors of NJFC. She serves as Chair of the State WIC Advisory Committee, Vice Chair of NJ Clean Communities Council, Strategic Board member of the Food Processors Association, member of Trenton Rescue Mission Senior Executive Council, Sector representative on Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and member of NJ Child Labor Law Enforcement Advisory Board, Linda Wellbrock, founder of LWE, says, “The honorees are amazing role models representative of the increasing impact women are making in the world of business. It’s true that women have more external challenges to overcome than their male counterparts. Regardless of gender, the to-do list will always continue to grow longer, resulting in an overwhelming, constant grind, and the feeling that one’s goals are increasingly out of reach. The Top 25 Recognition events are a platform for showcasing leaders who excel in innovation and advocacy and who made it to the top regardless of the challenges.” Leading Women Entrepreneurs (LWE) is a networking organization that recognizes outstanding women in business and strives for their overall advancement. LWE connects and promotes high-level women entrepreneurs and executives through our respected media partnerships. We provide strategic networking, educational events and retreats. The mission is to create a sustainable ongoing environment that brings leaders together and showcases their attributes and contributions.


GardenerNews.com They sneak into our ports hidden in containers or smuggled through our borders – sometimes intentionally. Some have been here for years. Others are relatively new. Regardless, the burden they put on our economy can be estimated to be in the billions of dollars. In an era where the subject of immigration captures our nation’s headlines daily, there exists another class of immigrants I think all would agree are most unwelcome. In July, New Jersey officials announced the arrival of the Spotted Lantern Fly – an insect that causes widespread damage to agriculture, as well as 70 different varieties of hardwood trees. This insect came to us from Asia. The arrival of this latest pest made me think about some of the others who have landed here, and still cause us inestimable damage. New Jersey boasts of having one of the most active seaports in the United States. Billions of dollars of goods come into our terminals. Our state has over 10 ports, and the Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast. Ships come in from all over the world, and sometimes their cargo contains stowaways

November 2018 19 NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

America’s Unwanted Immigrants that bring havoc to our shores. This remains the negative side of being an economic powerhouse in a global economy. A quick look on the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team website shows that New Jersey is currently home to over 250 invasive plants, insects, fish, mollusks, reptiles, pathogens, and crustaceans. It seems when an invasive species first becomes known, the publicity holds the public’s attention. But, after the initial flurry, the story fades from public memory. Unfortunately, the threat remains. Here are some “Unwanted Immigrants” you might have forgotten about. Perhaps the “granddaddy” of pests goes to the Gypsy Moth. Originally imported in the 1860s for their silk spinning capabilities, this pest has defoliated forests throughout the East Coast. During

large outbreaks, people can hear the caterpillars chewing the leaves, while their excrement sounds like falling rain. First found last year on a sheep in Hunterdon County, the Long Horn Tick made its first known landfall in the U.S. Females are capable of laying 2,000 eggs, and the ticks can suck up so much blood it can cause anemia or even death to livestock. This tick is now found in six states. It is still too new to determine if it spreads disease to humans. Speaking of disease, remember the Asian Tiger Mosquito? Originally, from the tropical areas of southern Asia, this mosquito is an active daytime biter. It was first discovered in Tennessee in 1983, but quickly spread throughout the US. The mosquito can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water and is

associated with transmitting the Zika and West Nile viruses. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug gained headlines a few years ago, and you just have to step on one to remember how they got their name. First found in Allentown, Pa., it is believed this bug stowed away in some packaging material. This insect remains the scourge of fruit and vegetable growers, and particularly likes fruit orchards. First discovered in New Jersey in 2014, the Emerald Ash Borer remains one of the most destructive insects and has killed hundreds of millions of trees throughout the U.S. Once infected, the tree will be lost. First found in Southeastern Michigan in 2002, this pest is now found in 27 states and two Canadian provinces. The Asian Longhorned Beetle is native to Asia but immigrated to North America via wood packing

material from China. The beetle appeared in New Jersey for the first time in 2002 in Jersey City. The preferred hosts are maple trees, but it will also attack other hardwoods. Maple trees compose over 30 percent of the street tree population in New Jersey. An infestation could jeopardize nearly half the trees that line our streets and highways. Our State Department of Agriculture, and the USDAAPHIS work closely with our ports attempting to prevent and eradicate invasive pests. The public can also help. To borrow a slogan from another campaign, “If you see something, say something.”

Editor’s Note: Al Murray is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Society. Established in 1781, the Society is New Jersey's oldest organization whose purpose is to advocate, educate and promote on behalf of New Jersey's agricultural industry. Mr. Murray previously spent his entire career at the NJ Department of Agriculture, serving as the Assistant Secretary. He can be reached at njagriculturalsociety@gmail.com

USDA-NASS announces the 2017 Census of Agriculture response rate, data release details, and upcoming special studies United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) concluded data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture with a 71.5 percent national response rate. The Census, conducted once every five years, was mailed to more than 3 million known and potential farms and ranches across the United States late last year. Data collection ended this July. Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories will receive their Census of Agriculture questionnaires in January 2019. “We thank each and every producer who took the time to respond to the Census,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “The Census of Agriculture is an important part of U.S. history that remains as relevant today as it was in 1840 when it was first conducted. The Census gives voice and opportunity to all farmers and ranchers in America to tell the changing story of agriculture over the years and identify emerging trends and needs.” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also offered his thanks to producers for taking part in the Census, via a video message that can be viewed at www.nass.usda.gov . The 71.5 percent response rate for 2017 came in below the 74.5 percent response rate for the 2012

Census of Agriculture.* “We modernized elements of our data collection for this Census to make it easier for those filling out questionnaires,” said Hamer. “However, it is unrealistic to think that everyone will respond to any survey, regardless of improvements and benefits. To account for certain levels of non-response, we use accepted statistical methods and practices in our data analyses. We look forward to sharing the results of the Census when our analyses are complete.” Data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture is scheduled to be released starting on February 21, 2019, in conjunction with the 2019 Agricultural Outlook Forum and continue on a staggered schedule through the spring of 2019. The results of the Census will be available in aggregate form, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by Federal law. All Census data products will be available on NASS’ recently merged NASS/Ag Census website at www. nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. Watch for additional news about the Ag Census on USDA-NASS social media. Two Census special studies will also be conducted this winter: the 2018 Census of Aquaculture and the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey. These questionnaires will be mailed in December

and January, respectively, to the farms that reported these activities in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. For more information about these upcoming special studies, visit www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every State and county in the nation. As such, the data are widely-used by local and national decisionmakers to help shape agricultural research and education programs, inform farm programs, boost rural infrastructure, determine disaster relief needs, and more. * NASS updated its procedures in how forms returned that were determined to be “out of scope” are handled in response rate calculations for the 2017 Census of Agriculture, in line with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. Returned forms that do not meet the Census of Agriculture definition of a farm or ranch are now excluded from the response rate calculation. The recalculated response rate from this procedural change resulted in a 2012 Census of Agriculture response rate of 74.5 percent instead of the previously reported 80.1 percent. The response rate for the 2007 Census after recalculation was 78.2 percent instead of the previously reported 85.2 percent.


20 November 2018

GardenerNews.com

USDA to Collect Data and Measure Chemical Usage on Vegetable Crops During the next several weeks, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the Vegetable Grower Inquiry and the Vegetable for Processing Surveys. The agency plans to visit vegetable growers across the United States, including over four thousand in the Northeastern Region. NASS conducts this vegetable survey once per year to obtain the final acreage, production, and value of sales for fresh and processed vegetables. “When growers respond to these surveys, they provide essential information that helps us determine the production and supply of these commodities in the United States for the 2018 crop year. Everyone who relies on agriculture for their livelihoods is interested in the results,” explained King Whetstone, director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Northeastern Regional Field Office. NASS gathers the data for these surveys online, by mail, over the phone and through in-person interviews. The surveys will be conducted through December 20, 2018. Growers provide information on crop acreage, production, and value of sales. NASS will compile and analyze the survey data and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the Annual Vegetable Release, scheduled for February 12, 2019. “NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. We recognize this is a hectic time for farmers and ranchers, but the information they provide helps U.S. agriculture remain viable and capable. I urge them to respond to these surveys and thank them for their cooperation,” said Whetstone. Interviewers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)

As farmers continue their trend of becoming a smaller and smaller percentage of the United States’ population, they are having a much harder time having their voices heard on critical issues that are affecting agriculture, both here in New Jersey, and nationally. Way back when farmers composed over half of the United States’ population, politicians would not have made a move without gauging what impact their decisions might have had on this critical portion of the electorate. But oh, how times have changed! Now, with farmers making up far less than 1 percent of eligible voters nationwide, they have been relegated to almost spectator status when it comes to the political scene here in the United States. They are definitely not the dog wagging the tail. They are not even the tail wagging the dog. Farmers today have about as much chance of being relevant now as I.T. specialists had back in 1800. Sure, presidential candidates tend to groom their positions so that they resonate well with voters at

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will also visit nearly 600 vegetable growers in the northeastern states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York in order to gather information for the Vegetable Chemical Use Survey. The survey will collect information on pesticides and fertilizers used, acres treated and rates applied to more than 20 vegetable crops. In addition to PA, NY & NJ, vegetable growers in 18 other states will also hear from NASS, as the agency collects comprehensive U.S. vegetable production practices information. “Participation in the Vegetable Chemical Use Survey is vital to all participants in this key agricultural sector. Responses from vegetable growers will help ensure that chemicals critical to crop production remain available on the market,” said King Whetstone, director of the NASS, Northeastern Regional Field Office. The results of this survey will help inform food safety policies with accurate data on pesticide use and other pest management practices used by vegetable growers across the nation. Growers can use the data to compare their own practices with aggregated data from growers in their state and the nation. Survey results will be published in NASS’s online database, Quick Stats, in August 2019. This database and all NASS reports are available on the agency’s web site: www.nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS, Northeastern Regional Field Office at 1-800-498-1518. NASS provides accurate, timely, useful and objective statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

Farmers: Overlooked, Ignored or Irrelevant? the Iowa primaries. But that pandering soon becomes nothing more than a memory as the election moves deeper into the primary calendar and then the general election. Because, what “plays in Iowa” doesn’t even make the news in the rest of the country. And by “rest of the country,” I mean New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. With Donald Trump’s dramatic ascendancy to the White House, there has been somewhat of a resurgence of the more rural parts of the United States. But this newfound surge in popularity of “Red State America” was really set in motion by the architects of the United States Constitution over 200 years ago. By granting each state

two senators, regardless of its population, the founding fathers gave our agrarian society a boost in terms of political clout and representation. And using this same basic model to dictate each state’s role in the Electoral College system only further serves to amplify agriculture’s voice in the political process. But here in New Jersey, where farmers make up a smaller portion of the population than they do nationwide, things can seem pretty depressing. When issues arise that are important to the agricultural industry, farmers do not have a lot to fall back on in terms of an organized voting bloc. Even if they were able to rally every man, woman and child who was involved in agriculture to

their cause, there still would not be enough votes to make a difference. One political asset that farmers do have is that other people have a very favorable opinion of them, and they can then leverage this positive image to their advantage. For example, if an issue comes up that could be detrimental to agriculture, the farm vote alone would not have much of an impact. But if the general citizenry were able to be convinced that this issue was somehow bad for agriculture, I think that many people would be swayed by this perception alone. It is this type of positive perception which agriculture is forced to rely on. And because this favorable public perception and trust is so important,

farmers must be careful not to misuse this in any way, shape or form. Any type of issue that is too self-serving or is in any way not appropriate, will be seen through in a second by the general public. Also, it is important to not overuse this public support on relatively trivial matters, as this will turn the farmers into the “Boy Who Cried Wolf!” We do not want to be lumped in with the French farmers who seem to be having some type of demonstration every other week or so. Our positive message would wear thin and would be of no use when we really needed it. Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is currently a Tewksbury Township Committee Member. He also served as a director for the New Jersey Farm Bureau and is a past president of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Peter has also been featured on NJN, News 12 New Jersey and on the Fox Business Network.


GardenerNews.com

November 2018 21

So, What’s Left In Your Garden: Anemones? By Hubert Ling There may be little to see and take pictures of in your garden during November, but you can still find your native anemones. No, they aren’t blooming as are perhaps your last Herb Robert geraniums or your witch hazels. However, the one-inchlong cottony “thimbles” of tall thimbleweed generally last, in some form, until spring, and can supply you with interesting photographic subjects. Encased in ice or snow or just looking like a one- or two-foot-tall, ratty cotton swab that someone stuck in your garden just for fun, they make interesting conversation pieces. Anemones are hardy perennials in the buttercup family, which has several popular and uniquely shaped garden flowers including: anemone, baneberry, black snakeroot, bugbane, buttercup, clematis, columbine, hellebore, hepatica, larkspur, meadow rue, monkshood, and rue anemone. Nutrients supplied by soil and nature alone are frequently not enough for healthy grass growth. Potassium, or potash, as it is sometimes called, is the third number listed on fertilizer bags, such as 10-6-4. Potassium’s chemical symbol is “K” and it is a macronutrient like nitrogen and phosphorous, which means they are needed in larger (macro) amounts for healthy plant growth than micronutrients which are needed in smaller (micro) amounts, such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Many lawn fertilizers emphasize the first number, nitrogen, because it helps grow green, lush grass, but potassium plays a critical role in plant growth and health, too. Potassium assists in better water and nutrient uptake while helping synthesize proteins and starches. Potassium also helps the grass build thicker cell walls, stay healthy and strengthen the plant so it can withstand various stresses such as drought, heat, cold and disease. An application of potassium in the spring months can contribute to the grass’ ability to withstand summer

All plants in the buttercup family have numerous stamens and pistils and contain protoanemonin a chemical which deters grazing by herbivores. In addition, toxic alkaloids and glycosides are common. There are four anemones native to New Jersey: Canada anemone, wood anemone, thimbleweed, and tall thimbleweed. They all have white or greenish-white flowers about three-quarters of an inch to one and a half inches in diameter and bloom in spring and summer; the white flowers in anemones are formed by colored sepals instead of petals. Although all our native anemones are available commercially, I suggest you don’t grow Canada anemone since it is very aggressive and tends to take over your garden. Wood anemone, on the other hand, does very poorly in myt yard possibly because it only thrives in very moist, loose, acid soils with a lot of organic matter. Thimbleweed naturally

only grows in limestone areas. Tall thimbleweed or Virginia anemone, Anemone virginiana, on the other hand, is found growing in a variety of conditions. It grows naturally in clearings from Canada to Georgia and west to Kansas; in New Jersey it grows in almost every county and in my opinion is the best all-around native anemone for our gardens. Although tall thimbleweed is common and is easy to grow, it is not aggressive and only rarely do volunteer plants pop up in unexpected places. Tall thimbleweed will thrive in partial shade to full sun and are generally from one to two feet tall. The flowers are borne singly on long stalks and the leaves are deeply divided. The plant does not form runners but simply forms clumps in one place. Propagation is easily done from seeds or by dividing the clumps; seedlings generally bloom within two years. Tall thimbleweed tolerates deer, moderate drought, alkaline pH, black walnut roots, and clay

soil. Native Americans used root extracts of tall thimbleweed for treating tuberculosis and diarrhea, and mashed roots were also used to treat boils; the Cherokee used a root tea for whooping cough. The smoke from burning seeds were blown in the nostrils to revive unconscious patients. The roots were also placed under the pillow of a wayward wife to induce dreams, presumably very vocal ones, to determine the truth about infidelity. There is no record if this actually works on a husband or wife. However, any plant that is loaded with toxins and is avoided by deer should be treated with extreme caution, especially if taken internally. The Peterson Field Guide of medicinal plants reaffirms that all anemones and many members of the buttercup family are toxic or poisonous. Several sources warn that ingestion can cause blistering of the mouth and digestive tract and you should warn children to avoid handling anemones.

Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Why is Potassium important in turf grass? stresses better. Let’s explore how potassium deficiency affects grass plants. Some of these deficiency symptoms are Chlorosis, a yellowing of the leaves which may lead to shedding and defoliation. Potassium is a growth catalyst and a lack of it could lead to slow growth or poor root and stem development. Lack of proper potassium levels can lead to poor resistance to ecological changes. Reduced potassium availability will directly result is less fluid circulation of nutrients. This will contribute to your lawn being more susceptible to temperature changes and the grass’ immunity to disease, harsh weather and drought will be affected since potassium is a “health booster.” If you have low soil pH,

there is a direct relationship between soil acidity and potassium availability in turf. Soils with low pH (under 6.2) will not only inhibit potassium uptake by plants, but many other key nutrients too. The most common types of potash are muriate of potash and sulfate of potash, which are both mined products. Most fertilizers utilize muriate of potash while golf courses frequently use sulfate of potash. There are many large mines worldwide including Russia, China, Belarus, Israel, Germany, USA, Jordan, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil and Uzbekistan, but the granddaddy of them all is the Saskatchewan territory in Canada. Potash rock is mined and crushed and screened to various sizes for different

markets. Different sources think the world supply of potash can last up to 400 years! Fall feeding and seeding is a great time to repair summer damage. Fertilizing increases turf density, enhances color and helps repair summer damage. The plant’s energy is concentrated on storing carbohydrates, so feeding in the fall helps the grass plants store food to survive the winter months and come out of dormancy next spring. It’s always a pleasant surprise when your lawn starts to green up in the spring before you even feed it. Fall is a good time to apply higher levels of potassium so the grass can better withstand the ravages of winter weather. Frequently, fall-winter lawn fertilizer formulas emphasize nitrogen values but pay little

Tall thimbleweed makes an interesting, well behaved addition to your shade or sun garden; it goes well with ferns, false blue indigo, wild geranium, river oats, Solomon’s seal, dwarf blue star, and various asters. The dried “thimbles” can be used with other native plants which dry well, such as pearly everlasting, little bluestem grass, sensitive fern sporangia, and river oats. If you remove the seeds from thimbles carefully, you frequently get a long stalk with cottony wisps remaining. This structure looks exactly like a small cotton swab and will amaze your friends when you tell them this a natural residual product from a mature native plant flower.

Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is the Horticulture Chairman for the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at milhubling@verizon.net attention to potassium values. I like a fall-winter formula like 10-0-20. A little iron and sulfur also can help to increase the “greening” effect of a later fall feeding application. Sometimes as I drive through my neighborhood I can always tell which lawns have applied fall fertilizer. Those lawns are still green while the others have turned a yellow-brown and are already dormant. Remember, the homeowner’s cutoff date to apply lawn fertilizer in New Jersey is November 15, or December 1 if you are a turf professional. Now remember, it is fall and that means it’s time to watch and play football. Don’t be afraid to play some pick-up game whether flag football or a full-blown game of tackle with the kids in the neighborhood, your lawn will recover by the spring. Editor’s Note: Todd Pretz is Vice President of Jonathan Green, a leading supplier of lawn and garden products in the northeast. For more information, please visit: www.jonathangreen.com


22 November 2018

GardenerNews.com

Common Weed Killer Linked to Bee Deaths The world’s most widely used weed killer may also be indirectly killing bees. New research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and are more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria. Scientists believe this is evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to the decline of honey bees and native bees around the world. “We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,” said Erick Motta, the graduate student who led the research, along with professor Nancy Moran. “Our study shows that’s not true.” The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Because glyphosate interferes with an important enzyme found in plants and microorganisms, but not in animals, it has long been assumed to be nontoxic to animals, including humans and bees. But this latest study shows that by altering a bee’s gut microbiome — the ecosystem of bacteria living in the bee’s digestive tract, including those that protect it from harmful bacteria — glyphosate compromises its ability to fight infection. The researchers exposed honey bees to

glyphosate at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The researchers painted the bees’ backs with colored dots so they could be tracked and later recaptured. Three days later, they observed that the herbicide significantly reduced healthy gut microbiota. Of eight dominant species of healthy bacteria in the exposed bees, four were found to be less abundant. The hardest hit bacterial species, Snodgrassella alvi, is a critical microbe that helps bees process food and defend against pathogens. The bees with impaired gut microbiomes also were far more likely to die when later exposed to an opportunistic pathogen, Serratia marcescens, compared with bees with healthy guts. Serratia is a widespread opportunistic pathogen that infects bees around the world. About half of bees with a healthy microbiome were still alive eight days after exposure to the pathogen, while only about a tenth of bees whose microbiomes had been altered by exposure to the herbicide were still alive. “Studies in humans, bees and other animals have shown that the gut microbiome is a stable community that resists infection by opportunistic invaders,” Moran said. “So if you disrupt the normal, stable community, you are more susceptible to this invasion of pathogens.” Based on their results, Motta and Moran recommend that farmers, landscapers and homeowners avoid spraying glyphosate-based herbicides on flowering plants that bees are likely

to visit. More than a decade ago, U.S. beekeepers began finding their hives decimated by what became known as colony collapse disorder. Millions of bees mysteriously disappeared, leaving farms with fewer pollinators for crops. Explanations for the phenomenon have included exposure to pesticides or antibiotics, habitat loss and bacterial infections. This latest study adds herbicides as a possible contributing factor. “It’s not the only thing causing all these bee deaths, but it is definitely something people should worry about because glyphosate is used everywhere,” said Motta. Native bumble bees have microbiomes similar to honey bees, so Moran said it’s likely that they would be affected by glyphosate in a similar way. The paper’s third author is Kasie Raymann, a former postdoctoral researcher in Moran’s lab and now an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Funding for this work was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; the U.S. National Institutes of Health; and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brasil (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, a Foundation within the Ministry of Education in Brazil). Source: Marc Airhart, Communications Coordinator, College of Natural Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin

Spotted Lanternfly Hearing in Trenton, New Jersey

On Thursday, October 18, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee received expert testimony on the potential devastation by the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), an invasive species from Asia, which first appeared in New Jersey earlier this year. The committee learned that the spotted lanternfly feeds on over 70 different types of plants but strongly prefers Tree of Heaven.

Spotted lanternfly uses its piercingsucking mouthparts to feed on the sap in trunks, branches, twigs and leaves. These oozing wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the bark of the plant. As it digests the sap, the insect excretes a substance known as honeydew that, along with sap from these weeping wounds, can attract bees and other insects. There may be a buildup of this sticky fluid on infested plants and on the ground below. The honeydew and

sap also provide a medium for growth of fungi, such as sooty mold, which can cover leaf surfaces and stunt growth. Plants with heavy infestations may not survive. In late-fall, adults will lay egg masses on surfaces like firewood, stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry, cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30 to

Tom Castronovo/Photo

50 brownish seed-like deposits in four to seven columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long. Pictured are New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, left, and Joe Zoltowski, Director of the Division of Plant Industry for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, providing testimony to the committee. The meeting was held in Committee Room 15 on the 4th Floor in the State House Annex, Trenton, N.J.


GardenerNews.com One of my best life experiences was towards the end of our vacation, this past summer, when my family and a few friends went truffle hunting in Italy. Traveling on the Intercity train, we trekked nearly 100 miles north of Rome to Spoleto, Italy. Following this, a van ride, nearly 45 minutes, had us further climbing, putting us in a “Sound of Music” type of mountain setting. Umbria’s Apennine Mountains, specifically The Village of Pettino, has its rich history dating back to 1486. Old stone buildings, ploughed fields, herds of sheep and cows and huge hay bales all helped paint this gorgeous Umbrian picture. “Truffles have been mentioned throughout history cropping up in fourth century BC writings by Theophrastus, an ancient Greek botanist” (canterburytruffles.com). Umbria produces the highest number of black truffles in Italy, world renown and an integral part of the Umbrian culture. A truffle is “a strongsmelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is considered a culinary delicacy and found, especially in France, with the aid of trained dogs or pigs” (Google). Not to be confused with the “soft candy made of a chocolate mixture, typically flavored with rum and covered with cocoa” (Google). Belonging to the genus Tuber, truffles are ectomycorrhizal fungi typically

November, to me, smells like wood burning on a fire, cinnamon and home-cooked dinner. You can extend your outdoor living season even further into the winter months by finding ways to heat the outdoors and create the amazing aromas of the season. There are so many options available to make your patio a usable space in the cool months. Traditionally, the fire pit is a go-to for most folks. You can now find them in just about any shape, size and material you’d like. More recently, propane fueled fire pits are becoming popular, along with conventional wood burning fire pits. They can be fitted with grill tops, spark screens and cooking grates to make them multi-functional. Fire tables are an exciting addition to outdoor heating. They are gas, ethanol or propane fueled and come in round, rectangular and oblong. They usually have lava rocks or fire glass that add gorgeous color to the feature. They provide a great amount of heat and a stunning accent to outdoor living spaces. Fire bowls are also a beautiful accent piece and

November 2018 23 Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Truffle Hunting in Umbria: A Symbiotic Relationship found near or at a tree’s roots. My misconception, and many others for that matter, believed that pigs still hunt truffles. In fact, I was told, this has been prohibited since 1985. Female pigs, attracted to a sort of testosteronelike smell of the truffle, damaged the fungus/mushroom and seldom gave up the treasure. Going forward, talented dog breeds like Springer Spaniel, English Setter, Lagotto Romagnolo and Belgian Malinois are some of the more talented “truffle hunters” that have replaced the resourceful female swine. Truffle hunting in The Village of Pettino is an age old tradition. From its mountaintops you can see the entire Spoleto Valley, Montefalco and Perugia. However, for me, it was all about the trees and which types forge this “Symbiotic Relationship.” “The fungus helps the tree extract nutrients from the ground and the tree provides the truffle fungus with carbohydrates to grow” (Canterburytruffles.com). Traversing the mountainside, with our “hunter,” his dogs, or employees as

he liked to refer to them, and our small group, we made our way through the forest. A forest steeped with various oaks, hornbeam, birch, cottonwood and beech, all of these tree types accommodating, offering their roots to these gastronomic fungi. And while fir, pine and hemlocks exist in this part of the world too, able to support truffles, the deciduous trees mentioned seem to provide the more coveted, perfumed black truffle prize. At nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, 2,500 acres of farmland exists here, half of which is communal, with limestone soil supporting this vast forest. I was told it takes nearly seven years after new trees are planted to expect to see a return on the investment…harvesting your first truffle. Fortunately for these native Italians, their history and plants go back to the 1400s. Like any other highly sought-after product, cost comes to mind quickly. Black truffles have the reputation of being very expensive. When you consider that these highly trained “employees” seek out and retrieve these

underground hypogeal mushrooms, are then delivered to restaurants and distributors in less than two days from the time they were mined from their underground habitat, that is remarkable in itself. Truffles are truly a “wild product” that appear to be out of anyone’s control. Bound by roots and in the hands of Mother Nature, these ping-pong-ballsized “goodies” are in no rush to meet your taste buds. These factors alone, and I’m sure many others, contribute to their cost. “And while recent attempts in the U.S. and Australia to recreate truffle-conducive habitats by planting chestnut, oak, and hazelnut trees have shown modest success, the crop has been insubstantial and rarely are full truffles salvageable.” (mentalfloss. com/article/60539/why-are-truffles-soexpensive). More than 200 truffle species appear to exist. However, only a handful are cultivated. Two prized black truffles that we were fortunate to savor from the dogs’ efforts were Tuber melanosporum Vittadini and Tuber

The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Director of Operations

Smells Like November are reminiscent of roman torches. They are usually sat upon a column or wall and can be made of concrete or metal. They are typically gas or propane fueled, and some can be started and stopped remotely. These too can be filled with fire glass or lava rock and although a source of heat, are usually more of a design feature. Fireplaces, which in the past were only found indoors, have been introduced to the outdoors and provide a tremendous amount of heat. Some are equipped with brick ovens and can be created with built-in seating. They may be custom built or modular and can be fashioned with a variety of masonry materials. When installing, you obviously don’t want to block the view to other parts of your property, but also don’t want to create a

fire hazard, so work with your contractor to come up with a solution that best fits your property. If properly situated, fireplaces can serve as privacy screens as well. Fire walls and fire falls are a really cool (no pun intended) add-on to an outdoor living area. They can be tables or walls with fire between panes of glass, or you can find fire falls with flames blazing in front of a waterfall. Or they can simply be a linear burner that provides a partition of fire. Returning to some simpler options, patio heaters provide a great amount of heat and are portable. There are freestanding models, as well as ones that can be attached to a wall or pergola. Chiminea’s are also a nice option and are portable enough to move around the yard most times. One issue that some homeowners have

with chimineas is that they block the line of sight to those sitting on the opposite side of this feature. Therefore, having it near a corner of the property is a better option for this type of fire feature. Last but definitely not least, if you want warmth, what would be better than a hot tub or spa? Because of the plumbing required, these should absolutely be installed by a pro. But once installed, regardless of the weather, one can enjoy a warm evening under the stars! Many fire pits and similar features can be set up by a homeowner but are best installed by a professional. Some of the most important considerations include connecting plumbing for gas supply lines (if necessary) and making sure to grade to an even base so that the fire

aestivum Vitt. These Spoleto truffles, embedded and plentiful, were among the holm-oak; Quercus ilex, beech and chestnut trees. One European Beech, Fagus sylvatica, I encountered had a trunk that was more than six feet across. These truly precious fungi went extraordinarily well with our homemade pasta, but not before our daughter Olivia had a chance to scrub our truffles clean among a herd of sheep. Our guides for the day, a local family whose heritage dates back more than a few hundred years, are custodians of this land, shared by a community, and committed to its preservation. Clearly there is respect for the land and their village nestled in this mountainous area. The appreciation of “the truffle” continues in Pettino, tirelessly working towards a demand that seems impossible to meet.

Editor’s Note: Bob LaHoff is co-owner of Hall’s Garden Center and Florist in Union County, a member of the Union County Board of Agriculture, the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, ReevesReed Arboretum Buildings and Grounds Committee, a lifetime member of the Conifer Society and past member of the retail council for Monrovia Growers. He can be reached at (908) 665-0331.

feature is level. Furthermore, you should be aware of any local fire codes that may affect your installation. Most important, however, are the safety considerations to protect your home and neighborhood. When installing an outdoor fire feature, it is imperative that everything be hooked up properly so that there are no fuel leaks. Plus, your contractor will make you aware of any maintenance and safety required to keep your fire feature running optimally and without danger. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Editor’s note: Gail Woolcott is the Director of Operations for the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. She was presented with a community service award from the Borough of Fairview for her assistance in leading the 9-11 Memorial Park project and the Legislative Champion of the Year award from the Federation of Employers and Workers of America. She is currently the State Licensee Chair on the National Association of Landscape Professionals International Certification Council.


24 November 2018

GardenerNews.com

Green Roof at Cook’s Market (Continued from page 13)

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Farm Market taking place under the green roof. and form. The Gardens will also be running comparison tests of various cultivars, to see which will do best in the conditions of central New Jersey. Our collections include the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden featuring All America Selections® flower and vegetable winners, one of the largest collections of American Hollies in the United States, a Shrub Collection, a Shade Tree Collection, a Rhododendron and Azalea Garden, The

Roy H. De Boer Evergreen Garden, The Ella Quimby Water Conservation Terrace Gardens, The Gardens for Sun & Shade, The Ornamental Tree Collection and a Bamboo Forest. The Gardens adjoin Frank G. Helyar Woods (a virgin forest that can be toured via its marked trails), Weston’s Mill Pond and the Log Cabin & Pavilion. Constructed in 1936 as part of a W.P.A. project – is linked by a patio to the Pavilion, constructed in 1993. Both the

pavilion and the patio were funded by the Cook College Alumni Association, with the resulting complex now rented to the general public for events such as birthdays and picnics. This rustic setting provides a wooded view of the quiet 92-acre pond. Log Cabin rentals are now available through the Gardens office. The mission of the Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market is to provide the local community, including residents, students, university

faculty and staff, University Dining, and restaurants the opportunity to experience and purchase fresh, locally grown and/or prepared food products. Lastly, the Rutgers Gardens are largely selfsupporting, relying heavily upon the generosity of financial and material donors and the efforts of our many volunteers. We welcome the support of interested parties and invite you to come out for a visit. I hope to see you soon!

Editor’s Note: Bruce Crawford is a lover of plants since birth; is the managing director of the Rutgers Gardens, a 180-acre outdoor teaching classroom, horticultural research facility and arboretum; an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; regularly participates in the Rutgers – Continuing Education Program; and the immediate past-president of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at (732) 932-8451. For more information, please visit www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu

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Flower Show to Feature Flower Power

The Premier Gardening Monthly Newspaper Number 187 Published Monthly Reserve Ad Space Phone: 908.604.4444 Website: www.GardenerNews.com E-Mail: Mail@GardenerNews.com Staff

March 2 - 10, 2019 The 190th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will pay tribute to the enormous impact of flowers on our lives. From the first blooms of spring in your home garden to the expansive fields that fuel whole economies, flowers influence how we feel, think and act in small and global ways. Exhibits will take a holistic approach to the theme with sweeping landscapes and artful interpretations that inspire, convey emotions, examine fragrance and color and convey a universal language. The annual Flower Show is a top destination and “must experience” horticultural event, attracting 250,000 visitors annually to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, a showcase of excellence that dates back to 1829. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. The horticultural event introduces the newest plant varieties, garden and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices. In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, a mammoth indoor Marketplace, and the Bloom Philly Festival in the weeks leading up to the Show. The Flower Show has been honored as the best event in the world by the International Festivals & Events Association, competing with events such as the Kentucky Derby Festival, Tournament of Roses Parade, Indianapolis 500 Festival, and other international celebrations. Proceeds from the Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of PHS that have become national models of urban greening. Learn more at https://theflowershow.com

Full Moon, November 23, 2018 Eastern Daylight

TIP OF THE MONTH

Flowering cyclamen plants will start showing up for sale in garden centers, and supermarkets soon. Cyclamen are sensitive to both over and under watering. Make sure the plant has excellent drainage with a potting medium that holds water well. Water your plant only when the soil is dry to the touch, but do not leave the plant in this dry state so long that it shows visible signs of not being watered, such as droopy leaves and flowers. When you water the plant, water from below the leaves so that the water doesn’t touch the stems or leaves. Water on the stems and leaves can cause them to rot. Soak the soil thoroughly and let any excess water drain away. The next part of plant care is fertilizer. Only fertilize once every one to two months with water soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength. When the plant gets too much fertilizer, it can affect their ability to rebloom. In nature, cyclamens grow in cool, humid environments.

Executive Editor/Publisher . . . . Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tom Castronovo Jenna Whitehead Tom Castronovo

November Columnists

Tom Castronovo Gail Woolcott Brian Schilling Al Murray Bob LaHoff

Bruce Crawford Hubert Ling

Todd Pretz Douglas H. Fisher Lesley Parness Peter Melick

Contributing Writers

Jeannie Geremia

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26 November 2018

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Gardener News November 2018  

Serving the Agricultural, Gardening and Landscaping Communities

Gardener News November 2018  

Serving the Agricultural, Gardening and Landscaping Communities