Gardener News September 2019

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Gardener News

Proudly Serving the Agricultural, Gardening, Landscaping & Nursery Communities

September 2019


TAKE ONE No. 197

Mating season is here! Is your landscape prepared? By R.J. Curcio New Jersey Deer Control ®, LLC As the long days of summer shorten, changes begin to occur in your garden and landscape. Your property’s plants react to the cooling temperatures and shorter days as they prepare for winter. That same environmental indicator tells the white-tailed deer that it’s mating season, known in wildlife biology as the “rut.” For those gardeners and property managers out there who don’t have a deer problem, you may be wondering: what exactly is buck rub? Well, simply put, buck rub is an abrasion to a plant, ranging from a light scratch to heavy shredding. The buck (male deer) typically makes the abrasion in the fall months, but there is much more to the story. Before the rut, bucks often can be found in “bachelor groups.” Within these bachelor groups, there are typically bucks of various ages that tend to get along relatively well. They feed alongside each other daily and have even been observed grooming one another. However, this brotherhood turns south fast as the days get shorter and hormones increase, particularly testosterone. An increase in testosterone means an increase in overall activity, aggression, and a VERY strong drive to mate. They only have a few months to spread their genes, so their bodies engage into a state of near panic in order

to accomplish reproduction. The bachelor group turns into more of a pecking order and once travelling partners can turn into fierce competitors. They are no longer interested being in each other’s presence unless they’re looking for a fight. The rut has begun. I don’t want to discount the massive changes in does (female deer) during the fall, as they go through their own hormonal changes. When they are in “estrus” and ready to mate, their activity levels can be 20 to 30 times higher. This makes them even tougher to deal with on your landscape in the fall months. Fortunately for your trees and shrubs, the females cannot rub them because does do not have antlers. Be wary if you only see females on your landscape, though. It does not mean your trees and shrubs are safe. In the fall, if there is a female around, a male is typically not too far away. The beginning of the fall is when the buck’s antlers are just finishing development after having fallen off the previous winter. That’s right, a buck’s antlers fall off every single year! Believe it or not, antlers are a bone, and the fastest growing one in the entire world. Every winter they fall off and every spring/summer they regrow. During the regrowth period, the antlers are covered in “velvet,” which appears furry. This is the live tissue that supports the antler’s growth and is also where the buck rub begins. With the arrival (Cont. on Page 24)

New Jersey Deer Control ®, LLC/Photo

Devastating buck rub damage to the bark, xylem and phloem on deciduous tree.

2 September 2019

G a r d e n C e n t e r D i r e c t o r y

This Fall Restore Your Lawn The All Natural Way Andrew Decher Learn About Organic Fertilizers Eco-friendly grass seed mixtures Questions specific to your lawn

Saturday, September 21st 10AM to 12PM

September 2019 3


Available at garden centers and hardware stores in your area. Ask for a free copy of our New American Lawn guide.

96 River Road


Montville, NJ 07045





4 September 2019 In June, the Garden Club of New Jersey (GCNJ) installed Jeannie Geremia as their new President. As I have gotten to know Jeannie, she has impressed me as a very dynamic, enthusiastic, and effective leader who seeks constantly to educate the public and promote gardening in our state. I decided to learn more about the various local clubs that make up the GCNJ by visiting the organization’s website. While there, I also learned about Jeannie and her connections to New Jersey. Both the maternal and paternal sides of her family have provenance back to the 1600s, when they first settled in Monmouth, Somerset and Hunterdon counties as farmers. As Jeannie puts it: “I am a proud farmer’s daughter and the love of nature figured into my early childhood as I was tasked at age 7 in watching our 60 cows in different unfenced fields and pastures. That little girl still resonates in my soul as I spent countless hours frolicking among wildflowers, birds, butterflies and bees. That is really what motivates me to this day, as I want to share and pass it on to our future generations.” NJ Dept. of Agriculture By Douglas H. Fisher Secretary of Agriculture

Go Clubbing – Garden Clubbing

Hopefully, we can all find similar connections that feed our souls. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed interactions with many of the garden clubs across our state, finding a lot of people who just want to spread the joy of gardening and plant-scaping to anyone who will listen. There are Garden Club of New Jersey chapters throughout the state and you can find one close to you on their website. Take a look and you also will find notices of trainings and shows, as well as opportunities for fun social mingling. It’s no wonder that this state fosters successful garden clubs. New Jersey is a wondrous place for growing all sorts of plants. We have a variety of soils because we are on the Atlantic slope of the continent, with four topographic

zones, ranging from elevations of 1,800 feet down to just a few feet above sea level. We also have unique and special microclimates due to our position between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. If you want to see examples of our diversity in the plant world, I encourage you to visit some of the many arboretums scattered throughout our 21 counties. You will, I’m sure, come away refreshed and inspired by all the splendor of such collected beauty lovingly displayed in sophisticated synchrony. The New Jersey State Botanical Garden in the Skylands region, for example, has 96 acres of gardens, surrounded by thousands of woodland acres. They feature wildflower landscapes and lilac

gardens. Rutgers Gardens is another go-to site, where 600 varieties of Dalias and Gladiolas come onto the scene. I remember some time back visiting Willowwood Arboretum in Chester Township, Morris County, where flora from all over the world are planted in settings that are connected by meandering paths. There are so many ways you can connect with the beautiful plantings around our state that offer inspiration. And there are so many people engaged in assuring that these magnificent spaces are there to delight you. Take the time and get acquainted with them and you’ll be uplifted by the interaction. The Rutgers Master Gardeners can help you find these spaces or even start planting on your own property.

These days, our society can be self-centered and there are always calls for developing more areas. But all that “progress” comes at a cost. Thankfully, we still have these dedicated and preserved spaces where you can get back to nature in much the same way Jeannie Geremia described from her youth on the farm. The Garden Club of New Jersey and its member local clubs are a great way to bring the wonder of New Jersey’s natural world into your own. I know Jeannie will bring energetic leadership to the statewide group. This is a great time to get involved. 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.

Winner! Double Gold Medals

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Melick’s Semi-Dry Traditional 6.7-percent ABV (alcohol by volume) and King Street Hops 6.9-percent ABV hard ciders have been awarded Double Gold medals by The Fifty Best in their 2019 blind taste test. The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of hard ciders with members of their judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the ciders were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served well chilled. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate. The judges wrote down their impressions of each cider on score sheets. The scoring was done on a five-point system, with five as the highest.

Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. From the farm to the bottle, the apples in Melick’s Hard Ciders are handpicked and freshly pressed into cider on their traditional rack and cloth cider press, producing the brightest flavors. After the juices have fermented in stainless steel tanks inside their cidery, the cider is filtered and bottled and ready to be consumed. Melick’s Town Farm is a New Jersey farm with retail locations in Oldwick, Califon, and Bridgewater. The farm, which totals nearly 650 acres, is one of the largest fruit growers in New Jersey.

September 2019 5

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Nursery Stock JERSEY GROWN

Sunflower Birdseed JERSEY GROWN



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Governor Phil Murphy Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher

6 September 2019


Lena Struwe Receives American Society of Plant Taxonomists’ 2019 Peter Raven Award for Exceptional Outreach to Non-Scientists

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) announced that Lena Struwe, professor and director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Peter Raven award. The award is named for Peter Raven, eminent botanist and president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and is presented to a plant systematist who has made exceptional outreach efforts to non-scientists. It is considered the society’s most prestigious recognition of achievement in international science communication. Since 2000, the Peter Raven award has been given annually to individuals who go above and beyond in communicating the importance of science and scientific discoveries to the public. As one supporter put it, “Lena is a one-person army for advocating the importance of botanical research and outreach to the communities beyond academia.” Struwe’s outreach activities range in size and scope from cataloging plants found in parking lots, to documenting the flora of Rutgers University, to maintaining her blog about plants in everyday life. Her ability to improve the public’s botanical literacy and appreciation is highlighted particularly in her work on building the public’s appreciation of common “weeds,” or plants encountered in daily life. In doing so, people in urban settings can learn to appreciate the surrounding diversity in their concrete jungles as well as better understand the amazing adaptations required by these plants. Parking lot weeds were featured in a “Plants Are Cool, Too” episode, a YouTube series hosted by fellow botanist Chris Martine. These efforts demonstrate that Struwe’s work is applicable to both specialists and non-specialists alike. “The Peter Raven award is a prestigious recognition of Lena Struwe’s outstanding scholarship and how she goes well beyond typical scholarly work to extend her knowledge through engagement with the public at all levels,” said Executive Dean Robert M. Goodman of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “She brings her deep knowledge, her passion for learning, and her caring about informed citizenship to all that she does. We are very proud of her and the example she sets for others in the academy.” Eight scientists including Linda Watson, the newly elected president of Botanical Society of America nominated Struwe for the award. The committee found that in addition to the extensive amount of outreach and research she has accomplished throughout her career, Struwe views social media as a tool, rather than a distraction, to educate the public. This is highlighted by her use of Facebook groups, blogs and Flickr, the latter of which houses a number of photographs that have been featured in articles published by both local and international venues such as the BBC, Huffington Post and Smithsonian Magazine. Struwe’s use of social media is further validated by the sheer amount of popular press her research and outreach efforts have garnered. Struwe received both her undergraduate degree in Biology and Earth Science and doctoral degree in Systematic Botany from Stockholm University in Sweden, which was followed by a postdoctoral position at the New York Botanical Gardens. Since 2001, Struwe has been at Rutgers University where she has cultivated and honed her skills as a scientist, educator and science communicator extraordinaire. In July, she attended the Botany 2019 conference in Tucson, AZ where she presented research on using iNaturalist as a tool for community education and biodiversity science as well as a talk on morphological and functional aspects of specialized trichomes (colleters) in Pentas (Rubiaceae). When accepting her award at the Botany 2019 conference, Struwe called upon her fellow botanists to explore opportunities for engaging the public. “It is time that as scientists we recognize that we can’t ask the public to become citizen scientists unless we are willing to do so ourselves–not only focusing on our own areas of expertise, but also discovering and learning more about the topics outside our comfort zones,” said Struwe. The American Society of Plant Taxonomists is dedicated to the promotion of research and teaching in taxonomy, systematics, and phylogenetics of vascular and non-vascular plants. Organized in 1935, the Society has over 1,100 members.

From the Director’s Desk

Rutgers Outreach Provided by Brian Schilling Director

Master Gardeners’ Projects Bring Value and Service to Their Communities

After a challenging spring, the gardening season is underway and beginning to wind down. Many New Jerseyans are busy harvesting tomatoes, beans, lettuce, zucchini or trying to figure out what pest has been harvesting their crop before them. Whether it has been questions about why their lawns have dead patches, their roses haven’t bloomed, or simply wanting to know how to protect their vegetable garden from marauding groundhogs, for more than 35 years people have called Rutgers Master Gardeners for advice, solutions to their problems, and solace. But there is much more to the efforts of these dedicated Rutgers volunteers than being able to diagnose a home gardener’s problem. Rutgers Master Gardeners bring their own interests, experience, and commitment to serve their communities. Rutgers Master Gardeners help Rutgers Cooperative Extension understand the needs and interests of New Jersey’s residents. This past June, the hard work and dedication of the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Hunterdon County were recognized at the 2019 International Master Gardener Conference, where their Sensory Garden was awarded First Place in the Search for Excellence competition. Through the efforts of Hunterdon County’s Master Gardeners, their Sensory Garden enriched the lives of more than 400 special needs individuals by exposing them to the joy and benefits of gardening. This garden began just over three years ago as a result of a collaboration with the Rotary International and Rutgers University Enabling Garden Initiative, but the garden exists and succeeds because local volunteers understood the need to reach out to their special needs neighbors and develop the Sensory Garden. As the Sensory Garden continues to introduce new volunteers to the value of gardening in their communities, who knows what other opportunities to serve will be discovered by Rutgers Master Gardeners in Hunterdon County? Visit the PBS website to watch a video about this remarkable garden: Further north, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Passaic County inaugurated a new teaching and demonstration site consisting of a high tunnel located at Preakness Valley Golf Course. The installation of this structure will allow Rutgers Master Gardeners, youth, and others to learn about horticultural and agricultural techniques. A high tunnel is a fairly simple, inexpensive greenhouse-like structure consisting of an enclosed metal pipe framing covered with greenhouse-grade plastic that provides the opportunity to extend the growing season, by growing earlier into the spring and later into the fall, while protecting crops from excessive rain, wind, sun, cold, and in many cases from wildlife damage. Funding for this structure was provided by an Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative of the National Association of Conservation Districts. Any gardener will admit to a private wish for a greenhouse – it’s the only place one can garden or farm during a New Jersey winter – but this structure is more than a warm place to be in January. It is an important teaching tool that will aid in the training of Rutgers Master Gardeners and 4-H members. Vegetable seedlings for school and community gardens will be grown, and residents of Passaic County will have a local example of how to extend their garden season. In Union County, a team of Master Gardeners have been inspecting hundreds of ash trees in the county parks for signs of Emerald Ash Borer. The data collected is helping the county develop long range budgets for ash tree management and will be used in considering the value of treating the trees verses removing them. Rutgers Master Gardeners across the state work with school and community gardens, are members of local shade tree commissions, offer recreational horticultural programs to seniors, lead garden tours, plant native pollinator gardens, teach children about beekeeping or vermiculture, teach and demonstrate composting, work with 4-H youth–and more! These innovative projects are derived from a sense of what is important to them and their community, and in the process helps Rutgers Cooperative Extension understand what it should be doing across the state. With the approach of fall, now is the time to consider joining your neighbors in a Rutgers Master Gardener class where you will be trained by Rutgers faculty and staff and local horticultural professionals. You will work side by side with experienced volunteers as you learn to diagnose garden problems, learn how to work with the public, and be given the opportunity to follow your passion to help your community. There are Master Gardener programs in 16 of New Jersey’s 21 counties, but our programs are open to all residents of New Jersey. If your home county doesn’t have a Master Gardener program you are invited to join the nearest Master Gardener training. For a listing of New Jersey counties with Master Gardener programs and contacts, go to: Editor’s note: This month’s contribution was written by Jan Zientek, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Coordinator for Essex County and the statewide coordinator for the Rutgers Master Gardener program.


September 2019 7

Helianthus: A Plant with a Sunny Disposition The autumn months are often synonymous with fresh apple cider, donuts and, for the garden, Chrysanthemums. I enjoy the many varieties and colors of Chrysanthemums and, aside from a few very hardy selections, I find them more ideal for containers rather than in the garden. This then begs the question of what to plant in the garden? One plant that has consistently amazed me for its amount of impact and length of bloom is the Swamp Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius. Helianthus is in the Asteraceae or Aster Family and, with over 1,900 Genera and 32,900-plus species, it would make one very large family gathering at Thanksgiving! The genus name was penned by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) in 1753 and is derived from the Greek Helios for sun and Anthos for flower. The botanical and common name of Sun Flower stems from the heliotropic

nature of these plants, whereby the flower is able to move and follow the sun as it tracks westward throughout the day. The plants developed this tracking ability to maintain the maximum reflectivity of the flower, maximizing its ability to attract pollinators. The type species or the plant by which all the species are compared is Helianthus annuus, the Common Sunflower. As the species epithet implies, it is an annual and is found throughout Western North America south into Northern Mexico. Seed hardy from zones 2-11, the coarse textured plant with pubescent stems and leaves rapidly grows to five to 10 feet in height. The flowers have a whimsical quality and make for a very popular cut flower. Most of the hybrids produce one large flower, upwards of 12 inches in diameter, per stalk. If the hybrids are allowed to reseed, the progeny are typically multi-branched with a number of smaller flowers. Aside from ornamental appeal, this plant has additional uses, with its fruit

being used for oil and food, and birds love the fruits whether poured from a bag or right from the flower. Plants prefer full sun and well-drained soils. By comparison, the Swamp Sunflower is a long-lived perennial that prefers moist or water retentive soils and is native from Texas northeast to Long Island. Also named by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, the species epithet is from the Latin angust for narrow and foli for leaf, describing the narrow leaves which can reach upwards of six inches long. The stout stems typically reach five to seven feet tall, with the plants spreading from four to six feet wide. One of the interesting aspects of the Asteraceae is the misleading appearance of any given “flower.” The word Aster is from the Greek Astēr, meaning star. It is a reference to how the flowers have a bright, star-like center with the “petals” resembling the emanating rays of sunlight. In reality, the flower is

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composed of not one, but hundreds of individual and small flowers. The light rays along the edge are ironically called Ray Florets and the circular flowers that compose the star-like center are called Disc Florets. All the florets are attached to a plate called a receptacle and the entire structure is called a flower head or capitulum. The showy, ray florets are composed of three petals fused into one, strap-like ligule, whose job it is to attract the pollinators. The central disc florets are circular in shape with five fused and severely reduced petals. The florets sit atop an ovary that develops into a fruit called a cypsela. Hence, when you are eating sunflower seeds, you are actually splitting open the dried husks of the fruit, allowing you to get to the edible inner seed. For Swamp Sunflower, I have learned that it is best to site the plant in locations that receive adequate moisture. The two-inch-diameter yellow flowers bloom profusely from late-September through October

and are a host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly. The seeds are much beloved by songbirds, Goldfinches, Ruffled Grouse, Quail and Mourning Doves. A champion plant for our native pollinators, Helianthus angustifolius is long-lived when sited properly with a very showy and sunny disposition, making it a “must have” plant for the autumn garden.

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 past-president of the Garden State Gardens Consortium. He can be reached at (732) 932-8451. For more information, please visit

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 September 2019

Hlubik, Norz Fill Positions on N.J. State Board of Agriculture at Reorganization Meeting Burlington County farmer Paul Hlubik and Somerset County farmer Debbie Norz were sworn in to terms on the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture during the Board’s annual reorganization meeting in the Health and Agriculture Building, Market and Warren Streets, Trenton, Mercer County. At the same meeting, Atlantic County’s August Wuillermin was elected President and Morris County’s Dan Farrand Vice President. “Paul Hlubik and Debbie Norz bring a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to the State Board,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “They understand the issues that are important to the agricultural community and I know they will take great pride in fulfilling their roles.” Hlubik established, owns and manages Backacres Farms in Chesterfield, a hay and grain operation that encompasses 1,400 rented and owned acres. He served as Executive Director of USDA/Farm Service Agency for New Jersey in both the Bush 43 and Obama 44 Administrations, is past president and director of the Burlington County Board of Agriculture, and previous director of the New Jersey Soybean Board. Hlubik is also on the Boartd of Directors for the New Jersey Agricultural Society. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Agriculture Business Management. Norz and her husband Rich Norz, who served on the state board from 2011-15, own and operate Norz Hill Farm and Market in Hillsborough. They are the first husband and wife to each be elected to the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Norz Hill is a vegetable, livestock and agritourism operation, which includes a market that opens each year in June. The farm also hosts school tours, parties and has a corn maze. Debbie Norz is a graduate of the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program and has served as vice president on the Somerset County Board of Agriculture, been director of the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association, and is a member of New Jersey Farm Bureau and the New Jersey Agricultural Society. Wuillermin and Farrand have each served on the board since 2016. Wuillermin is a vegetable farmer in Hammonton, Atlantic County, and Farrand is a hay and grain producer in Long Valley, Morris County. The State Board of Agriculture comprises eight members who serve four-year terms. By law, at least four of its members must represent the top commodity groups in the state. Members serve without salary.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

N.J. State Board of Agriculture Member Paul Hlubik, left, N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, center, and N.J. State Board of Agriculture Member Debbie Norz. It’s back-to-school month, and students have been lining up to raid the shelves of local office supply stores, picking out everything from folders to highlighters to spiral notebooks. The average student’s school supplies list, of course, doesn’t include a trowel, a shovel, or a bag of fertilizer – but maybe it should. We focus a lot on math literacy and English literacy in schools, but not a whole lot on agricultural literacy. Not every student will take away a whole lot from a calculus class – but every student, from a farmer’s child to a future Einstein – can learn something from working outside with their hands in a school garden or greenhouse. Let’s start with the logistics: Not every child that graduates 12th grade is going to go to college, or even needs to. As parents, we need to make sure that our kids know that there’s more than one path they can walk down, and that some of those well-paying, respectable paths can lead to a nurseryman’s greenhouse, a fisherman’s net, or a farmer’s tractor.

September 2019 9 Agriculture and Natural Resources By Eric Houghtaling New Jersey Assemblyman

Teaching students their connection to the land

It’s also about perspective and helping our kids appreciate that their food doesn’t come from thin air, like some fancy machine on Star Trek. That’s why the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill creating a “New Jersey Agriculture Week” that would teach our students about the importance of agriculture, showing them just how Jerseygrown products come together to create the delicious meals their parents put on the table. Agricultural literacy is about more than knowledge or career development, though. It’s about the satisfaction of working with your hands to raise an apple tree sapling or a tomato plant and knowing that any fruit or flowers you receive are the product of the

sweat of your own brow. Future Farmers of America (now known simply as FFA) has the right idea about this, giving its youth membership the agricultural education they need to achieve their potential and pursue their passions. When I had the privilege of attending the New Jersey FFA’s 90th State Convention earlier this year, I was honored to meet so many youngsters who may not be produce farmers when they grow up, but whose lives and careers – whether they become teachers, doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, or more – have been forever enriched by their exposure to this unique industry. A child with an agricultural education – one who’s had the chance to help grow a

class garden or visit a local farm – can develop a stronger connection to the environment and natural world they live in. An appreciation for the food we eat and the plants we grow can translate directly to an appreciation for the open spaces that make them possible. And when a child learns the benefits of patronizing local produce – from the freshness of their food to the value of investing in their own community – they can become an advocate of Jersey Fresh for a lifetime. So, let’s encourage our kids to go beyond the rote subjects of science, history, and math. Let’s help them enrich their education by connecting their dinner table, backyard, and local park to the crops, animals, and hard-working

SIGNED INTO LAW: Oroho Bill Permanently Establishes NJ Hemp Program Senator Steven Oroho’s legislation that permanently enacts a State program to permit hemp growth for industrial use has been signed into law. “Garden State farmers are now able to increase and diversify their crop yield through cultivating industrial hemp,” said Oroho (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Found in more than 25,000 products, the versatile and profitable hemp plant will encourage new business growth and boost the state’s agricultural economy. With burdensome federal and state regulations removed, New Jersey farmers can greatly benefit from this potential billion dollar industry.” Senator Oroho’s bipartisan law, S-3686/A-5322, repeals the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program – the pilot program established earlier this session – and replaces it

with a permanent program to establish guidelines for the growing of hemp for industrial use. In the Assembly, the bill was co-sponsored by Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris). Industrial hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Among these uses are fiber, building materials, plastic and composite materials, paper, animal bedding, water and soil purification, weed control, cosmetics, automotive parts, furniture, agricultural applications, and biofuels. Hemp is considered a super food, that is thought to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol levels. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the plant may be used in more than 25,000 products.

Hemp was removed from the controlled substance list in the 2018 federal “Farm Bill.” A number of state legislatures have taken action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. At least forty-one states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp and at least thirty-nine states have considered legislation that allowed for hemp cultivation and production programs. The hemp that would be permitted to be grown in New Jersey does not contain the substances that are used in marijuana either for medicinal or recreational use. “I am proud that the Garden State is taking this step to grow and cultivate the hemp industry,” added Oroho. “The benefits to both family farmers and consumers are limitless. New Jersey is now the new frontier for hemp.”

agriculturalists who put the pieces together. Let’s inspire our children to seek greener pastures, whether in an agricultural profession or just by finding the time to care for a beautiful and fruitful garden near their front porch. This school year, we don’t necessarily need to send our kids to school with a tractor if we want them to become agriculturally literate. But maybe we can encourage their green thumbs, praise their passions for the outdoors, and always be there to water the seeds that they plant. It might not be a full-blown farm – but a little patch of green in the corner of the playground is the perfect place to start. EDITOR’S NOTE: Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling is Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the New Jersey State Assembly. He can be reached at 732-695-3371 or AsmHoughtaling@njleg. org, or by mail at 802 W Park Ave, Ste 221, Ocean Township 07712.

Law establishes small business loan program for farmers Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation today establishing a small business loan program for farming equipment purchases and dairy farm operations. The program will be administered by the Economic Development Authority. Sponsored by Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Ron Dancer, the bill (A5595) allows two or more farming businesses to apply to purchase equipment and permits dairy farmers to use the funds to support their work. “There’s no way around it. Modern farm equipment is very expensive,” said Wirths (R-Sussex). “The federal government has a loan program for farmers, but the thin profit margins can make the short loan durations impractical. This law will provide more farmer-friendly loans.” The loans can be especially useful for valueadded dairy operations producing products such as cheese, cultured sour cream, concentrated milk, yogurt, butter and ice cream. Dairy farmers who produce these products can use the funds for any aspect of their small business. “In the Garden State, farms are a big part of our identity,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “This program and the loans could be the difference in farms remaining in business or shutting down and selling out to developers.” The bill passed the Legislature on June 20. Sen. Steve Oroho sponsors the Senate version.

10 September 2019 I am sure that most people are familiar with this old saying. For those who are not familiar with it, all it means is that basically, you can’t get something for nothing. Everything has a cost. And even if the cost might not be readily apparent, it is lurking there, somewhere. Even if it is not being paid by you, rest assured, someone somewhere is paying for it. No, this column is not about the Democratic Presidential candidates, although come to think of it, based on this introduction, it very well could be. This column is about the financial “engineering” that is done to make goods or services seem more valuable than they really are. I am sure that farmers are no different than most businesspeople in that we are constantly being approached by sales people looking to ply their wares. And I will be the first to admit that I would be lost without the knowledge, expertise and assistance that many of these dedicated sales people have provided to me over the years. The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer

There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

But you all are familiar with the type of promotions that I am going to describe. You know, the opportunities that look too good to be true. “Three easy payments of $29.99 plus shipping and handling….,” “Lifetime guarantee…,” “No money down!” I could go on and on. The problem is that these types of come-ons are not just limited to late-night television anymore. These gimmicks have been elevated to standard business practices. Take vehicle purchases, for example. If you notice, none of the ads ever say what the total cost of a vehicle is. It is all about the monthly payment or terms of the lease. If people would only figure out how much extra they had to spend over the life of the contract

just for the convenience of having these “low monthly payments.” It seems as if very few people pay cash for anything anymore. Let’s look at credit card use. It seems as if we are well on our way to becoming a cashless society. And truth be told, using plastic has a lot of benefits over checks or cash. When a card is used strictly as a debit card, there are several advantages over using cash for transactions without the potential risks and pitfalls of using them in their “credit” form. Sure, these offers might seem very tantalizing. They will give you all of the credit that you want, plus all of those airline miles. Just pay when you can. But as usual, the devil is in the details.

Just miss a payment or two and you will find out. Don’t have money for a new tractor but want one anyway? No problem. You don’t have to make any payments until next year. Just listen to some of the horror stories about how people were extended too much credit, and then when they got so deep into debt that they could not repay it, were forced into filing for bankruptcy. How does that free lunch taste now? By their very nature, farmers tend to be optimists. And if they were not optimists, they would not be farmers. With that being said, farmers tend to look at bestcase scenarios when trying to forecast trends for the future. So, while a potential purchase may look good using best-

case scenario yields, if those yields would somehow fall short, then the impacts of that purchase might be somewhat problematic. And that is what tends to get growers in trouble. Because farming is such a capital-intensive business, the risks of financial overextension are great. When you couple in the seasonality of agriculture, it is easy to see how people can get into trouble. When an offer comes along for something that is too good to be true, it might be hard to pass up. Wait a minute, it’s time for lunch. Who’s buying? 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.

Raise A Rare Wild Elephant-opus In Your Yard! By Hubert Ling But don’t be afraid; there is absolutely no risk of being trampled by this elephant! A full-grown plant is only 18 to 30 inches high and weighs less than half a pound. If for no other reason, grow it because of its colorful name elephantsfoot, Elephantopus carolinianus. Elephantsfoot has 26 similar species found in Africa, Asia, and in the southern United States and tropical Latin America. I was surprised to find elephantsfoot plants in Brazil which are almost identical to ours found in the Carolinas. Elephantsfoot used to grow naturally in Salem and Gloucester counties in New Jersey, but it has not been seen since 1938 and is presumed extinct (extirpated) in our state. The scientific name is from the Greek “elephas,” which means “elephant” and “pous,” which means foot.

One of the big mysteries about this plant is how it got its name. We generally think of an elephant’s foot as almost round but most elephantsfoot plants have basal leaves which are generally boat shaped up to 10 inches long and four inches wide. However, a detailed look at several elephantsfoot leaves on-line turned up a few which were egg shaped. Also a few of the elephant foot prints were egg shaped, perhaps because the elephants were dragging their feet a little creating an oval print. In addition, the animal elephant’s foot is grooved with deep anti-skid treads just like a snow tire and the elephantsfoot plant leaf frequently has deeply sunken veins which results in a somewhat corrugated leaf surface. Thus, with a little searching around for the “right” pictures and a lot of imagination, the elephantsfoot leaf and the elephant’s foot print look “alike.” In Puerto Rico, the

common name is lengua de vaca (cow’s tongue) which takes much less imagination since most elephantsfoot leaves are elongated and lumpy like a tongue. Elephantsfoot is a composite plant where the flower head is made up of two to five separate, disc flowers. Unlike daisies, which are also composites, elephantsfoot does not have large, sterile, perimeter ray flowers to attract insects to the small fertile, central, disc flowers. To compensate for this, the pale pink or pale purple petals of elephantsfoot disc flowers are somewhat larger than usual and the collective flower heads are about one inch in diameter; these flowers attract bees and butterflies. Elephantsfoot starts to bloom in September and keeps going until frost; the seeds mature in November. The plants are easy to propagate and raise in the garden and it seems a little strange that they are extinct in the wild in New Jersey.

Propagation is generally done from seed. The plants grow in regular garden soil in semi-shade or full sun. Elephantsfoot grows well in moist to dry soil with good drainage; the plants have been used as a groundcover or woodland border because of the large basal leaves. The mature plants tolerate drought and are deer resistant due to high concentrations of compounds to deter browsing. Three species of elephantsfoot E. scaber, E. mollis, and E. tomentosus have been utilized extensively for numerous medicinal purposes by native peoples around the world. These species have been used to treat skin infections, pain, colds, asthma, and almost every human ailment known to mankind. Modern scientific studies involving flavonoids and phenols extracted from elephantsfoot have shown mild diuretic activity, liver protection from toxins, antifungal and antibacterial

activity, antidiabetic activity, reduction of bronchospasms, and so forth. I have seen no reports on how effective our native E. carolinianus is against various ailments and since our native elephantsfoot is listed as a poisonous species, no one should ingest any plant which is not well documented to be safe at a range of dosages. Instead, consider growing elephantsfoot in your garden. To be honest, if you are expecting a really showy plant, pass this one up. However, if you want an easy to grow plant with a really wild name that is extinct in New Jersey, this one’s a winner. You may have to explain why it is called elephantsfoot to skeptical friends and relatives, but you can ask your grandchildren if they can see the elephant’s foot! Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is the Horticulture Chairman for the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at

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September 2019 11 Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News

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The New Jersey Flower and Garden Show that has bloomed at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison for over 16 years is no more. American Consumer Shows, the show’s promoter, walked away from it after the 2019 show, which had been moved to late April. As soon as I learned about the late April dates this year, I knew the show was doomed. What a shame! It now gives me great pleasure to tell you about the PHS 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show. PS. I always stop by the Reading Terminal Market for lunch. One of America’s largest and oldest public markets, housed since 1893 in a National Historic Landmark building, the Market offers an incredible selection of locally grown & exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, plus the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections. Planning is already underway for a huge show that will take guests on a “Riviera Holiday” from February 29 to March 8, 2020 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Show will celebrate lush, exotic plants and sun-drenched landscapes of the Mediterranean climate, which can be found from Europe’s southern coast, to America’s West Coast, to the Western Cape of South Africa, to central Chile, to southwestern Australia. “Riviera Holiday” will be a global tour of color, sense, and captivating beauty. I can’t wait to experience the exotic Mediterranean in downtown Philadelphia. I have been told that you’ll enter the show through groves of citrus trees that will lead the way to a lush dramatic promenade filled with a sunshine drenched landscape. You’ll be able to breathe in fragrant waves of lavender inspired by the terraced gardens of Monaco. Drifts of purple and white spiked salvia, specimen succulents and, an intoxicating variety of scented geraniums, roses, rosemary and sage will create a stunning mosaic that will be picturesque and charming. You can walk the esplanade of flowering arches. Become enraptured by the delightful dimension of Show gardens and dramatic accents that rise in soft meadows of horticultural perfection. And you’ll be able to explore the allure and extraordinary plant palette of some of the world’s captivating coastal regions. This should be really interesting. The show producers are hoping that Riviera Holiday will beckon you to embrace your inner romantic and create a Mediterranean inspired garden of your own. Ornate pottery and patterned tiles, a well-placed pergola and abundant clusters of scented flowers, ornamental fountains and herb parterres provide irresistible appeal along with sustainable lower maintenance, water-wise options that are both responsive to and reflective of temperate conditions. I can’t wait to see Kathleen Gagan and her Peony’s Envy display. Peony’s Envy is a nursery and display garden in Bernardsville, N.J. that offers one

of the most extensive collections of tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies in the Northeast. I also can’t wait to see the garden from New Jersey’s Mercer County Community College. The college scored a silver medal in the educational category at the 2019 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. 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. Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the show introduces diverse and sustainable plant varieties and garden and design concepts. In addition to the major garden displays, the show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, and the citywide Bloom Philly pre-Show celebration. The Philadelphia 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. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is refocusing the work of the organization to better realize change in the Philadelphia region. We are exploring different ways in which gardening and greening can help solve some important societal issues. PHS has a longstanding commitment to effecting positive change in our neighborhoods, protecting our environment, and improving our public spaces through the unifying power of horticulture. To further this commitment and continue our effort to comprehensively address our region’s biggest social, environmental, and quality of life challenges, PHS launched PHSVision2027 in January of 2018. Their Latest Initiative: PHSVISION2027 Funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, PHSVision2027 is a robust two-year strategy development process that will help PHS better define and shape its work through research and planning activities and deeply informed engagement with our communities and stakeholders across the region. Through PHSVision2027, PHS will develop a plan for the organization that clearly articulates the most pressing unmet needs and challenges facing Philadelphia and the region, identifies a set of impact goals PHS will meet based on those needs, and defines existing and new initiatives to implement moving forward. This process will set the agenda for the entire organization leading up to PHS’s 200th anniversary in 2027. In 2019 over 245,000 visitors explored ten acre indoor show. I wonder how many will explore the show in 2020.

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

12 September 2019

September 2019 13 The NJLCA Today

Graphic Design | Printing | Mailing

By Gail Woolcott Director of Operations

Educating the Green Industry

As the Director of Operations for one of the largest horticultural and landscape associations that encompasses the nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and garden center industries in the greater New Jersey area, I am charged with many exciting tasks. One of the most important of those tasks, and one of the five pillars of our mission at the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA), is to provide our members with education to better themselves, professionalize the industry and keep them and their customers safe and informed. We spend a substantial amount of time each year providing those educational opportunities, as well as looking for the latest in technology, best practices, safety, etc. Each month, we hold a member meeting to provide members and guests with an educational opportunity. In May, we had an expert on native plants talk about the different plants available to use in landscape installations that are noninvasive and native to our great state, making them easier to care for and less susceptible to our crazy New Jersey weather. We followed that up with the benefits of using organic matter in the landscape in June, with an area expert explaining to our attendees how to use fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In July, we gave a hands-on demonstration with a leading tree expert on how, when and why to properly prune, using safe practices and avoiding cross contamination of plant diseases. And in August, our friends from New Jersey Deer Control were the featured speaker at one of our central New Jersey member meetings at Storr Tractor in Somerset County, N.J. Attendees learned about alternative deer resistant plant material, what is happening with the deer population and their feeding methods and other ways to reduce deer damage to landscape installations. This month, we are having a seminar on proper aeration and the different ways to apply seed. And next month, we’ll be talking about snow safety, equipment and risk at Bobcat of North Jersey in Passaic County, N.J. In October, we will put some of our contractor’s knowledge to the test during our Landscape Industry Certified Technician’s Exam. Candidates must have completed 2,000 hours in the industry and will be tested on their abilities, all deeply rooted in safe practices, using actual equipment. Turf maintenance technicians are tested on mowers, blowers, weed eaters and rototillers. An ornamental maintenance technician is assessed in pruning, plant identification, tree planting

and chainsaws. Softscape installation candidates are analyzed on landscape plan reading, sod installation and plant layout. Finally, hardscape technicians are judged on grading and drainage, paver installation and skid steer operation. All will also take a written exam, which includes horticulture knowledge, landscape math and emergency situations. We also work with government officials on making sure the industry is professional, working within parameters, but also protected from erroneous legislation. I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., in July with hundreds of other industry members to meet with our legislators. This year we discussed the H-2B visa program as well as prioritizing the EPA’s recommendations regarding pesticides. Prior to our visits, we spent an entire day at Arlington National Cemetery, where hundreds of us volunteered spreading lime, doing hardscape projects, planting flowers, doing tree work, etc. It is an honor and privilege to provide these volunteer services on behalf of this great industry. At the end of July, I also attended the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture meeting where I witnessed one of two of our members sworn in as members of the State Board. I am honored to congratulate NJLCA member Paul Hlubik, former Executive Director of the USDA’s New Jersey Farm Service Agency, and NJLCA member David DeFrange of Copper Creek Landscape Management. DeFrange is currently Vice President of the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture. Also appointed were with Debbie Norz of Norz Hill Farm and Dr. Earnest Beier of Beier Veterinary Services (representative for Livestock), whom I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting recently. Finally, NJLCA participated in Rutgers Field Days, held each year at their Adelphia Farm in Freehold. During this event, attendees are given a full day of education where professors from the Rutgers Turfgrass program discussed major advances in turfgrass breeding and the NTEP trials and alternative weed control programs. We certainly keep our members busy and always learning. We feel this will result in better landscape and nursery professionals and a greater respect for the industry. We’re very proud of the amazing work our members do and want to continue their growth in the industry. If you would like to learn more about the 501(c)(6) non-profit organization (NJLCA) that I am the director of operations at, please visit

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.

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Landscape Contractor Meeting Features Summer Barbeque and Equipment Demonstrations The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) that represents the entire Green Industry in New Jersey – including landscape contractors, landscape architects, sod growers, nurseries, greenhouse growers, garden centers, horticulturists, and the floriculture industries – hosted a summer barbeque meeting at Storr Tractor Company in Branchburg, Somerset County, on Thursday, August 8. Over 25 Toro machines were on display in the parking lot for the attendees to learn about and try out before heading inside to dine on an amazing oldfashioned barbeque dinner on the Storr Tractor Companies showroom floor. Joe Bolognese Jr, an NJLCA Director, officially opened the meeting with

a flag salute upstairs in the Storr Tractor Companies conference room to a standing-room-only crowd. Chris Markham, founder and president of New Jersey Deer Control, LLC, spoke about deer resistant plant material and why in the past few years he has seen the deer eat typically “deer proof” plants. He provided insight into why he thinks this is happening and methods of managing their damage. After the meeting presentations concluded, the attendees were treated to several give-a-ways, including tickets to a New York Yankees game. The NJLCA is a New Jersey 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Tom Castronovo/Photo

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association held a membership meeting and Summer BBQ at Storr Tractor in Branchburg, Somerset County.

A seminar on managing deer damage was presented during the association’s meeting.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Joe Bolognese Jr, a New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association Director, officially opened the meeting at Storr Tractor in Branchburg, Somerset County, on Thursday, August 8.

September 2019 17

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Jeff Clarke, right, President of Storr Tractor Company, speaks to Tony Catanzaro, center, owner of Regency Landscape, LLC, based in Long Hill Township, Morris County, about the features on the Toro Z Master 7500 series along with Steve Bradley, a Commercial Sales Manager for Storr Tractor Company.

Tom Castronovo/Photo

Armand Mazuch of NJ Paver Restorations, based in Hillsborough, Somerset County, looks over a Toro Grandstand Multiforce machine with a broom attachment.

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18 September 2019 Now that one of the more famous genesis stories of New Jersey’s nickname, “The Garden State,” has been debunked, may I suggest another reason for its deserving that moniker? Although at the Philadelphia World’s Fair of 1876, Camden native and former New Jersey State Attorney General Abraham Browning did compare New Jersey to “an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other,” recent research revealed that he never called New Jersey “the Garden State.” Actually, New Jersey’s place in horticultural history began long before that. In 1785, French botanist Andre Michaux, became one of New Jersey’s first nurserymen. To Hackensack came the Royal Botanist to King Louis XVI. Michaux’s mission was to find new trees to re-forest France, denuded after a century of war with England. Lumber was needed for carpentry, house building, and medicine. He established a 30-acre pepiniere, or plant nursery, in Maisland on the Palisade’s western slope to plant seeds and saplings and ready them for the journey to France. The author of “Oaks of North America” and “Flora of North America,” he did business with

Fall is almost here and many of you probably experienced some “browning” of your lawn this summer. Yes, Mother Nature is playing tricks on your lawn. Why the browning? Read on. It’s hard to figure out what went wrong when so much turfgrass browns out. The usual assumption is heat and drought stress followed by fungus. Obviously, heat and drought can take its toll on lawns just like this summer’s weather took its toll on all of us. Tom Castronovo, ownereditor of the Gardener News, just sent me a picture of his car dash board showing 106 degrees. Wow! After the unusual rainy season, which happened in late-spring and early-summer, the heat and drought stress came on strong. The lawn blades were so used to the cool, lush feeling of almost daily rains when suddenly Mother Nature turned off the water supply. Summer had arrived. There is not much you could have done at this point unless you had an irrigation system to help your spring green lawn stay green all summer long. The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator

Historic New Jersey Nurseries

William Bartram and George Washington and plant hunted from Vermont to Florida. In his 11-year stay, Michaux sent back 90 cases of seeds and 60,000 plants. Some of the plants grown at “the Frenchman’s Garden,” such as the Chinquapin oak, Mountain Laurel and Magnolia, were bound for France. However, trade between the allies was a two-way street and the Lombardy poplar, just arrived from Italy and grown in Michaux’s garden, would eventually be planted throughout the United States. In 1791, the French Government decided to close the garden. By 1830, it had disappeared and the site is now part of Machpelah Cemetery in North Bergen. Meanwhile in Hoboken, lawyer, engineer, and transportation visionary Colonel John Stevens, not content with his invention of the first American steam locomotive and ferry, also pursued his keen

interest in horticulture. At “Elysian Fields,” his thoughtfully curated estate along the Hudson River, he planted many fruit trees new to the region. In 1797 he imported the first red camellia (‘Single Red’) from England, and in 1798, he imported the first chrysanthemum (‘Dark Purple’) from China. Stevens collected rare seeds and the latest publications on plants. He experimented with different fertilizers in his extensive greenhouses and hillside orchard. A busy correspondent, he wrote to various growers in Europe and the Caribbean seeking “tender exoticks.” His gardens eventually boasted hundreds of varieties of flowering shrubs, coffee plants, and exotic plants such as yucca. In his state-of-the-art greenhouses heated with stoves, he grew datura, gardenia, lantana, plumbago, and plumeria. His vegetable gardens contained alpine strawberries,

eggplant (unheard of at the time), 14 varieties of grapes, and 15 lettuces. An avid and knowledgeable hobbyist, Stevens did much to advance horticulture in New Jersey. Stevens University of Technology now occupies the space once given to a collection of plants which rivaled David Hosack’s famous Elgin Botanic Garden, which too is gone, now occupied by Rockefeller Center. A few decades later in Jersey City, Scotsman Peter Henderson began his career as a market gardener. During the Civil War, he established his floral business in the Bergen district of Jersey City and soon had five acres of greenhouses. A prolific writer, his “Gardening for Profit,” (1865) was the first book written on market gardening in the United States, selling over 150,000 copies. His seed company “Peter Henderson & Company,”

Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant

Why did my lawn turn brown?

Many homeowners do not have a sprinkler system or do not want to have crazy water bills, so your lawn may have gone dormant-brown to survive. While a healthy growing lawn may turn brown and appear dead, many times it will survive and come back with proper lawn care in the fall. What’s the best way to create a lawn to avoid this browning? Take a moment and read my articles I have written over the years. Was it lawn fungus that killed my lawn? Lawn fungus develops from an interaction between a susceptible plant (host), a disease-causing organism (pathogen), and an environment that favors the pathogen to infect and incite disease in the host.

Excessive heat and humidity are leading causes of fungus and we surely have had enough of these. If you are not sure if you have a lawn fungus, go to the Internet and check out different lawn fungus pictures and what causes them or check with you local extension office. Some fungus can be avoided by using proper watering techniques and raising your mowing height in early-summer before heat and drought stress arrive. Some fungus can be reduced by using high-quality grass seed. Fungus may be reduced by having a high-quality soil teaming with biological activity. Fungus can usually be reduced or eliminated using a lawn fungus control. Be sure to follow label directions and do

not apply lawn fungus to a heat and drought stressed lawn that is already brown. What about insect damage? Did that turn your lawn brown? Chinch bugs and grubs are frequently active during summer months. Their sucking and chewing habits on grass plants can cause death quite quickly. Monitor your lawn for these insect pests. Again, check out the Internet to learn how to identity lawn pests and the damage they cause. Timing is critical for successful applications of insect controls, so follow all label directions. So, your lawn died this summer; what can you do about it? Early-fall is a great time to renovate and re-seed damaged lawn areas. The ground is warm, the rains return and the

specialized in vegetables and flowers suited to American conditions. His catalog revolutionized seed trade merchandising by using five-color lithography. Henderson’s contemporaries called him the “father of American horticulture and ornamental gardening.” Some of the Henderson landmark vegetable introductions are still widely grown today, such as Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, Henderson’s Bush Lima Bean, and the White Bermuda Onion. These are just of few of the past’s many outstanding New Jersey seedsmen and nurserymen. If you want to learn more about historic New Jersey nurseries, send me an email and we’ll explore it further in my next article. Because, yes - New Jersey is the Garden State! Editor’s Note: Lesley 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 and she can be reached at parness@verizon. net. This column will appear in the paper every other month.

temperature drops, creating the perfect environment to grow new grass. Rake up bare spots or small areas prior to seeding. Consider renting some power equipment if you are re-seeding your whole lawn. Perhaps share this rental cost with a few neighbors to save money. Don’t forget to test your soil and at least raise your soil pH to 6.5 or higher using calcium carbonate-based products. Last but not least, use quality grass seed if you are going to go through all this time, effort and expense to create the best lawn in town. I hope you didn’t have much damage to your lawn this summer. Do not give up hope, you can try again this fall and next spring to create a healthy growing lawn so this does not happen to you again. Maybe next year we can beat Mother Nature. Good luck with your lawn venture. 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:

September 2019 19

Unforgettable Summer, 2019 LBI Vacation

By Jeannie Geremia Contributing Writer

Most vacations seem to run together in hindsight if they are spent on New Jersey’s delightful barrier island, and popular summer destination, Long Beach Island. But this year’s July vacation will remain in my memory because of two major events. I will recount the scariest event first, as I’m lucky to be here writing this article. Yes, my gardening friends, I was almost swept away by the flash flood you may have read about on the evening of July 11, 2019. My family rents a second-floor apartment in Ship Bottom and has for the past 13 years, save for the few years when Hurricane Sandy had unleased its wrath throughout the Jersey shore and elsewhere. During all these lovely summer vacations, we never experienced flash flooding, even though there were rainy days where we turned our attention to shopping the charming shops and businesses all along LBI Boulevard, the major thoroughfare on this 18-mile barrier island, from Barnegat Light to Holgate, delighting in the lush gardens and seaside atmosphere, not to mention the historic Barnegat lighthouse. This summer, crossing the Route 72 Causeway, the only ingress and egress to LBI, we were taken aback by the appearance as you come off the Causeway into Ship Bottom of an astoundingly huge new hotel called the LBI Hotel right in the middle of the roads leading in and out of the island. Of particular note, too, as we traversed the island during our stay, was the new construction of substantial homes where, prior to Sandy, small cottages, built decades ago, had dotted the six island towns. You know where this is all leading, I’m sure, as there is less and less pervious land to withstand the fact that this barrier island is only a half-mile wide with Manahawkin Bay on the west side and the Atlantic Ocean on the east side. Yes, a recipe for disaster that the yearround residents of 20,000 need to share with the 100,000 tourists that invade the island every summer, including the local police departments and emergency responders who seemed to be spread thin as we made our way through the flood waters. My two dear friends who have homes on the south end of the island were appalled to hear my recounting of our unexpected, life-threatening journey from a restaurant

in Beach Haven back to Ship Bottom. One friend told me that the two back bays get deluged with water, causing the roadways to become a raging river, and the other told me that it must have been high tide. Actually, in reading accounts of the flash flooding, it was low tide, with local officials breathing a sigh of relief. My niece was visiting the Jersey shore for the first time from Colorado and I thank my lucky stars that I rode with her as she had rented a jeep. My daughter had my granddaughter, my granddaughter’s best friend, and the friend’s mother riding with her in an SUV that didn’t have the height needed to navigate the raging waters on Bay Avenue, turning into LBI Boulevard. Nancy, thankfully, had the foresight to realize that Ocean Beach Avenue was higher than the main artery. We heard that it was raining back home during the day, but no rain occurred until around 9:30 p.m. As luck would have it, we had a late dinner at a new restaurant in Beach Haven adjacent to an adjoining restaurant and my niece retrieved the Jeep from Buckalew’s parking lot astounded that the water was above her knees. She pulled up in front of Station 117, and as I negotiated my way to her vehicle, stepping down to street level where I assumed the curb was, I was completely submerged into the swirling waters. Two young waiters rescued me, and this whole scenario was repeated by my granddaughter, who also was completely submerged as she was in the lead with the occupants of my daughter’s vehicle. We had no idea that the curb in Beach Haven is higher than normal in an attempt to contain flooding. Did I mention the terrific lightning and thunderstorm that accompanied the pounding rain? My niece related the next morning that it was the scariest thing she’s ever been through, including many Colorado blizzards. Please be alert, stay in when rain is predicted, stop building, and have a better warning system in place. I will visit beautiful LBI in the future, but will not venture out when any rain is predicted! Now the good news about discovering a fabulous book purchased at The Bookworm in Surf City. It’s entitled “The Dangerous World of Butterflies, The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists” by Peter Laufer, Ph.D. It is life-changing! Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: Jeannie Geremia is The Garden Club of New Jersey, Inc.’s President, GCNJ Wildlife Habitat Chair, and is a National Garden Clubs, Inc. Master Flower Show Judge for the GCNJ. Jeannie is a member of Neshanic Garden Club, The Raritan Township Historic Committee and the Raritan Township Board of Health. Jeannie’s email address is:

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Perdue Statement on Meeting with Guatemalan Ministers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with a host of Ministers from Guatemala on August 14 to discuss implementation of the recently signed agreement between the United States and Guatemala to improve H-2A visa program operations. Following the meeting, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement: “America’s farmers and ranchers need a legal and reliable agricultural work force, and we are eager to help our producers take advantage of this great opportunity to add a qualified pool of workers to the H-2A visa program. This critical partnership with Guatemala will benefit both our nations and will improve the H-2A visa program in the future.” Officials from Guatemala that were present for the meeting included Guatemalan Minister of Governance Enrique Antonio Degenhart Asturias, Guatemalan Minister of Labor Gabriel Vladimir Aguilera Bolaños, Guatemalan Minister of Economy Acisclo Valladares Urruela, Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture Mario Méndez Cobar and Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of America Manuel Alfredo Espina Pinto.

USDA Using Flexibility to Assist Farmers, Ranchers in Flooded Areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will defer accrual of interest for all agricultural producers’ spring 2019 crop year insurance premiums to help the wide swath of farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather in 2019. Specifically, USDA will defer the accrual of interest on spring 2019 crop year insurance premiums to the earlier of the applicable termination date or for two months, until November 30, for all policies with a premium billing date of August 15, 2019. For any premium that is not paid by one of those new deadlines, interest will accrue consistent with the terms of the policy. “USDA recognizes that farmers and ranchers have been severely affected by the extreme weather challenges this year,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “I often brag about the resiliency of farmers but after a lifetime in the business, I have to say that this year is one for the record books. To help ease the burden on these folks, we are continuing to extend flexibility for producers with today’s announcement.” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre added, “This administrative flexibility is not unprecedented but is a move RMA takes seriously and only under special circumstances like we’re experiencing today. Growers typically have some crop harvested and cash flow to make their billing date, but with so many late planted crops, this year will be an anomaly.” America’s farmers and ranchers have been especially challenged throughout the 2019 crop year, struggling through severe flooding and excessive moisture conditions across the grain belt and in many other rural communities, with some areas also dealing with extreme heat and drought. Such weather conditions are expected to take a serious toll on acres planted, crop yields, and crop quality as harvest begins. One of the largest operating costs for producers is crop insurance premiums paid to their Approved Insurance Provider. Many spring crop insurance premiums are due to be paid before October 1. Without the interest deferral, policies with an August 15 premium billing date would have interest attach starting October 1 if premiums were not paid by September 30. Now, under the change, policies that do not have the premium paid by November 30 will have interest attach on December 1, calculated from the date of the premium billing notice. Earlier this summer, USDA announced a series of flexibilities to reduce stress on producers affected by weather, including: providing more time for cover crop haying and grazing by moving the start date from November 1 to September 1, 2019; allowing producers who filed prevented planting claims then planted a cover crop with a potential for harvest to receive a $15 per acre Market Facilitation Program payment; holding signups in select states for producers to receive assistance in planting cover crops; and extending the crop reporting deadline in select states. USDA also will provide producers with prevented planting acreage additional assistance, which will be announced in the coming weeks, through the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.

20 September 2019 The first recorded use of the phrase “penny-wise and poundfoolish” was by Joseph Addison in his daily publication The Spectator (1712): “I think a woman who will give up herself to a man in marriage, where there is the least room for such an apprehension, and trust her person to one whom she will not rely on for the common necessities of life, may very properly be accused (in the phrase of a homely proverb) of being ‘penny wise and pound foolish’” ( By today’s account, the saying refers to “being extremely careful with smaller, inconsequential amounts of money, but you lose any gains you might receive from those savings on extravagant larger purchases. In other words, you are stingy with smaller amounts, and you are wasteful with larger amounts” ( I have always related the saying to people who buy inexpensive plant material, only to replace it later, based on substandard quality and size. Larger plants can seem less expensive for a reason… they grow fast and often outgrow your areas. But my favorite quote, relating to plant material and price, was a locution written on a landscaper’s truck who is a very good friend of mine: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” This past spring, I was approached

Recently, I witnessed a ritual that has been repeated annually for over 100 hundred years. It was the July reorganization meeting of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Mirroring the ethos of a farmer, the reorganization is a dignified, unpretentious ceremony. As tradition dictates, the meeting was called to order by the outgoing president. She highlighted the board’s achievements under her tenure. She then called forth a judge to swear in the two new members of the State Board. After the swearing in, her duties concluded. The now former president handed the gavel over to the Secretary of Agriculture as she and the now former vice president took their leave. The two new members took their seats. The Secretary called for nominations of President and Vice President. After a short election process, the Secretary handed the gavel to the new President and the meeting continued. The New Jersey State Board of Agriculture is a unique institution steeped in tradition. Created in the 1870s, the board’s initial function was to prepare an annual “State of NJ Agriculture” report for the Governor and Legislature and advise them on agricultural matters. When the New Jersey Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist

Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish and a Huge Thank You

by a woman who had succumbed to low-price plant material offered at an end-of-year clearance sale. Connected by a mutual friend and existing customer compassionate to her plight, her referral alone was enough to qualify me. Her candor was not only welcome, it was genuine, kind and refreshing. Absolute in the fact that her gardening abilities, thus far, were a struggle and that the money spent on her landscape left her far from inspired. Again her probity about traveling far to a notorious “discount plant bazaar” left her with many plants inappropriate for her property. Her “laundry list” of large trees with undersized rootballs, chlorotic plant material, and plants poorly sited for her lighting conditions was staggering. Again, she said, “I spent over $1,000 and none of this is working… I need your help.” Incredulous as to how someone could advise placing a Deodar or Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus deodara,

two feet off the front corner of the house simply astounded me. A tree that can easily grow larger than 50 feet tall with an equal width, I have known some to exceed 100 feet. Not to mention the fact that this is a zone 7 tree and we live in zone 6. I could see and feel her frustration and respected her receptivity to new thoughts and bigger ideas. Not in her element, this woman had complete faith in me, my ideas, and our company. So much trust so fast is certainly welcome, but seldom received. Repurposing plants, manipulating one by intense pruning and grasping the idea of “mass planting” were important to her design. Lopping off a strong appendage of her weeping Norway spruce, Picea abies “Pendula” and moving a weeping Redbud planted much too close to her house took some persuasiveness. Transplanting the redbud closer to her lamp post and embedding it with the likes of Stella de Oro

Daylily, Hemerocallis x “Stella de Oro” and a perennial meadow sage, Salvia x sylvestris “May Night” helped punctuate the burgundy leaves of her redbud. Adding a small garden conifer type, Japanese Plum Yew, Cephalotaxus harringtonia “Hedgehog” proved to be a useful evergreen that is deer resistant with unique texture. These plum yews, not yews, helped delineate the raised bed from the severe drop off to her driveway. The back yard was more of the same. Repurposing what we could and sweeping the entire backyard with a repeat flowering hydrangea, helped “tighten up” the landscape, providing an easy, colorful plant to enjoy while swimming in their pool. Knowing soil content, lighting conditions and staying within the confines of the geography are always paramount to good design. Suggesting to do away with an anemic Tricolor European Beech,

NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director

Serving Agriculture

Department of Agriculture was created in 1916, the board’s role evolved to serve as an eightmember policy-making body, which directs the Secretary and the Department in carrying out its duties and responsibilities, as well as managing issues affecting the industry. Each member, a farmer, serves a four-year term. New members are elected at the State Agricultural Convention and appointed by the Governor with the approval of the State Senate. By law, four of the members must represent the top four producing commodity groups in the state. Currently, these four members represent the fruit, vegetable, hay/ grain, and nursery industries. The other positions are considered “open” positions, which allow some of the smaller industries to be represented. Past examples include beekeepers, poultry farmers, or

small livestock growers. The process of becoming a state board member is quite involved. It begins in February at the annual state agricultural convention. The last piece of business conducted is the announcement of the opening of two state board positions, effective July 1. One candidate will represent the north, and the other the south. The process continues when the northern and southern caucuses hold their spring meeting. Interested candidates submit resumes to their respective caucus. From there, candidates attend monthly County Board of Agriculture meetings to promote their candidacy and ask for endorsements. In the fall, the caucuses meet again. A vote is taken, and the selected candidate from each caucus is officially endorsed. The candidates then spend their time attending county board and state board of agriculture meetings

as they learn about the industry’s pressing issues. When the annual state agricultural convention convenes again in February, the candidates are officially elected, and their names sent to the Governor for appointment. Before the Governor considers the appointment, the candidates must first ask for their home county Senator for endorsement (known as Senatorial courtesy). If multiple Senatorial districts cover the candidate’s home county, then the candidate must be endorsed by each of those Senators. If the candidate cannot secure all the endorsements, then the appointment process ends for them, and their respective caucus must find another candidate. After passing local Senatorial review, the candidate’s names are then forwarded to the Governor. If the Governor concurs, then the names are sent to the Senate. Once the entire State Senate votes on

Fagus sylvatica “Tricolor,” in a 12-inch patio container (way too big a tree for that) and transplanting a lilac to give it more room were “no-brainers.” Finally, suggesting that a series of Leyland Cypress and Green Giant Arborvitae be removed, as they were four feet apart from each other, in shade, may take a little more convincing. Fortunately, time and lack of sunlight will help convince and echo this suggestion. In the end, the homeowner was thrilled with the results. So much trust, early on, and a willingness to embrace something new, abandoning her previous attempt, was bold and brave. Finally, her forthrightness and sincere appreciation, texting me throughout the project, was not only heartfelt, it was a gesture that will stay with me for years to come.

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. the appointments, the candidates become State Board members-elect until they officially take their seats in July to begin their four-year term. The job of a state board member is not easy and requires a huge time commitment, countless meetings, and time away from their farms. Unlike many other state commissions, these board members are unpaid volunteers who have committed themselves for four years to help New Jersey’s agricultural industry. Their personal commitment, sacrifice, and willingness to participate is yet another reason why agriculture remains New Jersey’s greatest industry. Thank you, Shirley Kline and Angelo Trapani, for your devoted service. Welcome Paul Hlubik and Debbie Norz. Do good, we’re all rooting for you. 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@

September 2019 21



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22 September 2019

NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 34th Annual Competition Spotlights World-Class New York Wines

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the winners of the 34th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation highlighting the best of New York’s wine. This year, the Governor’s Cup, the most esteemed award given at the Classic, was presented to Six Mile Creek Vineyard’s 2016 Cabernet Franc from the Finger Lakes region. In addition, Wagner Vineyards from the Finger Lakes region was presented with the ‘Winery of the Year’ award. The Specialty Wine Champion award, reserved for wines made fruit or meads, was given to Johnson Estate Winery for their Passionate Peach fruit wine. “The winners of the New York Wine Classic represent the very best of New York’s wineries and the innovation and high-quality production that goes into making these award-winning wines cannot be understated,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is proud to support these wineries and grape growers for their accomplishments, and they are a critical component of our tourism and agricultural industries in New York. We’re excited to welcome wine lovers everywhere to New York State so that they can experience our wines for themselves.” “New York is home to some of the best wineries, and the New York Wine Classic highlights the great beverages our local producers have to offer,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Through the state’s investment in the industry, we are committed to ensuring that producers and wineries have the support to continue to grow and succeed.” The Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizes the “Best of Show” or top prize of all entries in the New York Wine Classic. The “Winery of the Year” award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries. The Governor’s Cup and Winery of the Year winners will be presented with their awards at a special event later this summer. Known as “The Oscars” of New York wine competitions, the New York Wine Classic is open to the more than 458 wineries across the state. The wine competition took place over the last three days in Watkins Glen, NY and included 883 entries from 113 wineries from across the state. A total of 31 Double Gold, 56 Gold, 287 Silver, and 320 Bronze medals were awarded by a panel of more than 20 expert judges from around the state and globe. Samuel Filler, Executive Director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, “The New York Wine Classic is one of our largest annual events honoring the best of

New York Wines. We are thrilled with the turnout this year. The Classic and our annual NY Drinks NY event continue to help New York shine as a truly exciting and innovative wine region.” New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Congratulations to all of the winners and participants of the New York Wine Classic. This esteemed annual competition shines the spotlight on the State’s growing number of world-class wineries and our agricultural community that produces the ingredients used to create these unique varietals. Governor Cuomo’s support of our wine industry has allowed for the continued production of some of the best products available in today’s marketplace.” New York State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said, “The New York Wine Classic competition further demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s continuing commitment to supporting and promoting New York’s thriving wine industry. I congratulate all of today’s winners, who are manufacturing world class wines and generating an enormous economic impact in communities across our state.” Six Mile Creek Vineyard Owner Mark Renodin said, “We here at Six Mile Creek Vineyard are very honored to have won the Governor’s Cup. When my wife Amy and I took over Six Mile Creek four years ago it was with a passion for wine and the Finger Lakes in general. For us this an acknowledgment of our goal to produce great wine. We want to thank our winemaker, Paul King, and all of our staff that helped make this possible.” Wagner Creek Vineyard Owner John Wagner said, “We are extremely proud to receive the honor of Winery of the Year at this year’s New York Wine Classic. Our team has worked tirelessly to strive for excellence for 40 years now - what a way to cap off a season of celebration at Wagner Vineyards!” A complete list of results of the 2019 Classic are available at: Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has led the effort to grow New York’s craft beverage industry and pave the way for unprecedented growth through new legislation, regulatory reform, ground breaking initiatives and promotional campaigns. Today, there are 458 licensed wineries across the State, including 361 farm wineries.


A new record was set for Vermont cheeses at the prestigious American Cheese Society’s 36th Annual Awards competition (ACS) in Richmond, Virginia. Vermont producers, big and small, collectively took home 44 ribbons, marking Vermont’s best showing to date. Additionally, five Vermont cheeses were finalists for the Best of Show. “Congratulations to Vermont’s cheesemakers for this impressive achievement,” said Governor Phil Scott of Vermont. “Cheesemakers’ commitment to excellence is helping Vermont grow its economy by creating jobs and further strengthening our great Vermont brand. We appreciate your work every day and now the national stage has experienced it too. Well done.” There were more 2000 entries at the 2019 ACS with 25 Vermont companies submitting cheeses to be judged. This annual competition is supported by the Vermont Cheese Council which provides technical assistance and marketing support for Vermont’s cheesemakers. “These awards reinforce Vermont’s commitment to quality, which starts with the farmer, on the farm, and is carried right through until the cheese is served, “said Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “Many thanks to the cheesemakers and the Vermont Cheese Council for their hard work helping Vermont’s economy grow by continuing to reinforce and grow the quality of Vermont products.” The ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead, artisan, and specialty cheeses in the Americas. ACS hosts North America’s foremost annual cheese-based educational conference, and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For a complete list of the 2019 American Cheese Society winners, visit For more information on the Vermont Cheese Council visit


Rolling application process provides flexibility for Delaware’s Young Farmer Loan Program

The Delaware Aglands Foundation Board announced that they will institute a rolling application process for their Young Farmer Loan Program to offer young farmers more flexibility in acquiring a farm. Delaware farmers, between 18 and 40 years old have the opportunity to apply for the Young Farmers Loan Program. The program provides long-term, no-interest loans to help eligible farmers purchase land, reducing the financial impact on farmers just starting out or looking to expand. Applicants must have at least three years of farming experience, and their net worth must not exceed $300,000. Eligible farms must contain at least 15 acres of cropland and must not be enrolled in a conservation easement at the time of purchase. The 30-year, no interest loans may fund up to 70 percent of the value of a property’s development rights, defined as the difference between full market value and agricultural value, up to a maximum of $500,000. Interested applicants can visit the Department of Agriculture website,, for an information and application packet, or can contact Deputy Secretary Austin Short at 302-698-4500 or

September 2019 23

OF AGRICULTURE NEWS CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Connecticut Farmlink Program Connects Farmers with Farmland

The Connecticut (CT) FarmLink Program was established by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) in 2007. The goal of the program is to connect farmers seeking land with farmland owners looking to sell or lease acreage. CT FarmLink also provides resource information and some technical assistance about farm leasing, farm transfer, farm succession planning, family farm estate planning, and farm transfer strategies. In essence, the CT FarmLink program postings serve as a sort of matchmaking website for prospective farm owners and farm seekers. Interested parties register by completing either a Farm Seeker Application or Farm Owner Application. The description of an available farm or an individual’s needs for farmland is posted on the website. Currently, participating farm owners or seekers email Connecticut Farmland Trust, Conservation Associate, Lily Orr at to acquire more information about any of the postings. By the end of August 2019, CT FarmLink will launch a new website that will make it easier for farmers to connect with farmland owners. “Owners and seekers will soon have their own log-in profiles, be able to upload farmland photos or personal resumes, and can anonymously message interested parties. All land postings, seeker postings, and resources will be filterable, so finding what you are looking for will be much easier,” said Lily. The website,, serves as a clearinghouse where landowners post descriptions and details of their farm for sale or lease, and those seeking land post information on what they desire. The site also provides links to programs, agencies, organizations, and upcoming training, and workshops. “FarmLink is an online tool to help connect farmland owners with farmland seekers, with a goal of keeping Connecticut farmland in production,” said Lily. Land access is a significant barrier for farmers in Connecticut. According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, the average price of farmland in Connecticut is $12,483 per acre—one of the highest in the country. A 2017 survey by the National

Young Farmers Coalition found land access to be the number one challenge that young farmers and ranchers face. Currently, there are about 300 farmland seekers and 78 landowners posted on the CT FarmLink website. The greater number of farmland seekers reflects the land access challenge many Connecticut farmers face. CT FarmLink offers free site visits to landowners. During a site visit Kip Kolesinskas, consulting soil scientist, and Lily will see what is available on the property and determine what type of agriculture the land is best suited for. Based on the site visit, Kip and Lily will offer suggestions for describing the property on FarmLink, features to consider in a lease or sale, and possible improvements that will increase the farm’s potential. CT FarmLink also offers free site visits to farm seekers. With permission from the landowner, Kip and Lily bring the farm seeker out to the interested property (or properties) to evaluate the land and infrastructure suitability for the seeker’s needs and goals. Kip and Lily will offer suggestions to the farm seeker about what needs to be improved or thought more about before further pursuing the property. To address the land cost barrier many farmers lease land, and CT FarmLink helps farmers find land available for lease. After a farmer has connected with a landowner, Land for Good, a nonprofit organization, can help to draft a lease agreement that works for both parties. Land for Good also offers one-on-one consultation for farm seekers, farm families, and non-farming landowners to develop, promote and support diversity and innovation around farmland tenure, as well as assistance on succession, and estate planning. CT FarmLink helps landowners determine what resources are available to ensure farmland remains in agricultural production, including DoAg’s Farmland Preservation Program and Farmland Restoration Program. “Through the site visits and conversations with landowners we suggest local, state, and federal programs that are available to them,” said

Lily. “Since FarmLink is a partnership between Connecticut Farmland Trust and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, we have direct means of connecting people to the appropriate programs and helping them through the process of applying or executing.” Some landowners that have preserved their farmland through DoAg’s Farmland Preservation Program have also used CT Farmlink to find farmers interested in working the permanently protected farmland. CT FarmLink helps land that has been protected remain active farmland. DoAg’s Farmland Preservation Program preserves working lands by acquiring development rights to agricultural properties, ensuring that the land remains available only for agricultural use. Several Connecticut farms that have been permanently protected for agriculture use through DoAg’s Farmland Preservation Program have also taken advantage of funding through DoAg’s Farmland Restoration Program (FLRP). The FLRP provides matching grants of up to $20,000 for restoration activities that increase the state’s farmland resource base for agriculture, with a priority placed on prime and important farmland soils and on human and livestock food production. Activities eligible for funding under the FLRP include reclamation of grown-over pastures, meadows, and cropland; clearing and removal of trees, stumps, stones, and brush to create or restore agricultural use; and other activities. Both farmland owners and farmers who lease land may be eligible. For more information about the FLRP go to www. Administrative support for the Connecticut FarmLink Program is funded through the Community Investment Act which provides funding for open space, farmland preservation, historic preservation, and affordable housing. Farmland Owners and farmland seekers interested in participating in the CT FarmLink Program should visit:, Email Lily at:, or Call: 860-247-0202 ext. 227 for more information.

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Pennsylvania Now Offering Spotted Lanternfly Permit Classes in 14 PA Counties

In an effort to help Pennsylvania businesses more easily navigate the permitting process, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) will offer 31 in-person Spotted Lanternfly permit classes throughout the 14-county quarantine zone. The classes will be held from August 15 through December 18, 2019. “The risk of spreading the Spotted Lanternfly increases in late summer through late fall as the insects reach adulthood, then begin to lay eggs,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The time a business traveler takes to inspect vehicles to safeguard against transporting insects is a small

investment to protect our economy and our quality of life.” Businesses that operate within the quarantined counties – and those that cross through in transit – are required to have a permit demonstrating that they know how to recognize the destructive pest and keep from spreading it to new areas. Training classes are free and a permit is issued to those who successfully complete the two-hour class. To register, contact PDA at 717-787-5674 or Permit training can also be accessed online at any time through Penn State Extension at

lanternfly-permit-training Since implementing the permit system, PDA has issued over 900,000 permits to more than 17,000 companies throughout the United States that do business in the 14-county quarantine zone. Quarantined counties include: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill. A schedule of permit classes can be found on the PA Department of Agriculture website. For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly, visit

24 September 2019

Mating season is here! Is your landscape prepared? (Continued from page 1)

New Jersey Deer Control ®, LLC/Photo

Devastating buck rub damage to the bark, xylem and phloem on evergreen trees.

of fall, the increased testosterone begins to prohibit the development of the velvet. It begins to dry up and fall off after months of rapid growth. The entire process of the velvet tissue falling off happens in just about a day. It’s like a scratch they have to itch and being that they don’t have opposable thumbs, the best thing to scratch on is – you guessed it – your trees and shrubs! They don’t stop there, though. Rubbing to get their velvet off is the first of potentially hundreds of rubs that the deer will make throughout the fall months. With the live tissue gone, the buck’s hardened antlers are ready for the hectic months ahead. You might be wondering, why go through all that trouble and all that energy just to have antlers for a few months? It all comes down to reproductive opportunity, and to a doe, size does matter! To the female deer, bigger antlers mean that the buck has better genes and will be a good reproductive partner. This brings up the question, how do they let all the females in the area know about these big beautiful antlers they spent the whole year growing? The answer: buck rub. (Cont. on Page 25) Deer are scent-oriented creatures and they rely on it to determine such things as the locations of predators and what plants to eat. During mating season, though, scent is used for much more than that. Bucks will leave scent cues to let females know there is a male in the area ready to mate, and to alert other males to stay away from that area unless they’re looking for a fight. They are covered in scent glands, from around their legs and feet right up to their nose, eyes, mouth, and even forehead. Bucks will rub their antlers along the trunk of a tree or shrub, but will also rub along low branches and foliage to lay their scent. White-tailed deer are a polygynous species, meaning one male will mate with a group of several females, often called a “harem.” The male will guard and defend his harem from other males in the area by leaving the aforementioned scent cues. If another male comes to the territory, ignoring a dominant buck’s cues, it is a direct challenge. A loss to the challenge could prevent one of the bucks from reproducing that season. Sometimes just seeing the size of another buck’s antlers is enough to intimidate the intruder and a fight will not occur. If neither buck backs down, though, they will lock antlers, risking their lives along the way just for the opportunity to mate in that territory. These battles are the third reason bucks rub on trees, to prepare for these fights and strengthen their neck muscles. It is like a boxer hitting a heavy bag to prepare for a match. Bucks have been observed engaging with trees as if they were another buck: snorting, pawing the ground, and ramming into the tree, locking its antlers at the base. This can do some of the most damage to a tree or shrub, even snapping them right in half. Even if they’re not breaking the tree in half, there can be plenty of unintentional side effects from buck rub. They can leave devastating damage that is not only visually unappealing but can actually be lethal for the tree. When they are rubbing, they are grinding into the outer layers of the tree or shrub. Rubbing off the bark is synonymous to us scraping our skin. When cut, we humans quickly disinfect and bandage the area because we know if we expose what’s under our skin to the world around us, we can get infections. The same applies for the bark of our trees and shrubs. If the inside of the plant is

(Cont. from Page 24)

September 2019 25 exposed from the bucks rubbing off a piece of its “skin,” it can pick up a variety of unwanted guests, from insects to fungi, and even bacteria. The problem goes deeper, literally. Just under the bark is where the xylem and phloem exist, the live cells that transfer nutrients and water up and down the tree. With severe enough buck rub, these cells can be damaged and the tree will struggle to transport essential nutrients. In severe situations, they can completely girdle the plant, leaving it to a slow starvation. I know what you’re thinking: this sounds terrible, is there anything I can do to protect my financial and aesthetic investment in my yard with all these deer around? Don’t worry, there are options. Most of the time, buck rub seen on a planted landscape was preventable. That being said, keep in mind that in dealing with a wild animal NOTHING is foolproof. You may have to explore different options to find what works best for your property based on your local deer pressure, what you are willing to spend, and the type of plant material on your property. Also, keep in mind, it is generally only necessary to apply these preventative measures for buck rub from about September to December here in New Jersey. One option is repellents. Being that deer are scent-oriented creatures that put their scent on a landscape for mating purposes, they tend to avoid rubbing on anything that will be repulsive to a female. There are several products on the market you can purchase from your local garden center and apply to the base of the tree, lower branches, and foliage. Generally speaking, anything about the width of your thigh or smaller is most susceptible. Make sure you read the instructions and spray often, keeping in mind that rain and irrigation will deteriorate the product over time. It is also a good idea to rotate products, as the deer can adapt to one if overused. There are also professional deer repellent companies that can come to the property and apply their own products for you. Another option is to physically prevent the buck from getting to the tree or shrub. You can buy materials specially made to wrap around the base of the plant to protect them from buck rub. If you are in an area with heavy deer traffic, your local garden center likely carries products specifically

designed to protect your trees and shrubs from buck rub. Another option is to hire a professional. There are plenty of landscaping and tree service companies that will apply and maintain these barriers for you. Deer-resistant plants are not the answer when trying to prevent buck rub. Just because they don’t like to eat it, doesn’t mean they won’t rub it. For example, deer tend to avoid eating the foliage of Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) and southern magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora), but these are two of their favorite common landscape trees they choose to rub. Some other favorites include cedar, hemlock, maples, and oaks. These are just some of the species that are pretty common for rubbing, whether it be because of their scent or color. However, the size of the tree or shrub is more of a determining factor in whether or not a buck will decide to rub it. If your tree or shrub has been rubbed, don’t panic. The damage could very well just be visual and the plant could go on to have a happy and healthy life. Once you recognize the buck rub, it is important to use preventative measures in the future because another season of rub can lead to the death of your tree. It is always a good idea if you experience significant buck rub on your property to reach out to a professional arborist to give your landscape plants the best chance of survival. It will only protect the visual integrity and monetary investment of your landscape. White-tailed deer are a natural part of our environment. In designing landscapes, we have to consider all of their habits and tendencies, including buck rub. We can’t blame the deer for wanting to mate, right? What is important is to understand their behavior and maintain our landscapes with the deer in mind. Editor’s note: R.J. Curcio is the staff ecologist at New Jersey Deer Control®, LLC. R.J. has a degree in Neuroscience from Drew University where he focused years of research on whitetailed deer behavior and populations as well as ecological restoration from deer damage. Reach out to R.J. at 732-995-7264.

American Horticultural Society Names Interim Director The American Horticultural Society (AHS) announced it has named J. Robert (Bob) Brackman interim director of the national nonprofit organization, effective October 1, 2019. Brackman will work closely with the AHS staff and Board of Directors while the organization conducts a national search to fill its top leadership position. AHS’s current president and CEO Beth Tuttle recently announced she is stepping down this fall. Brackman has a long and distinguished career in horticulture, including leadership roles at several prominent botanical gardens. Early in his career, he directed the horticulture program at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, then went on to serve as vice president and director of Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee. He then became executive director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden in Texas, overseeing its eight-acre, $22 million expansion before retiring in January 2019. Most recently, he has served as interim vice president of horticulture at Holden Forest and Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio. “Bob’s passion for public horticulture and his outstanding leadership at some of our nation’s top nonprofit public gardens make him the ideal candidate to guide AHS through its leadership transition,” said Dr. Erich Veitenheimer, chair of the AHS Board. “We look forward to welcoming him as interim director of AHS.”

26 September 2019

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The best way to prevent insects and diseases from affecting your vegetable garden next year is to clean it up this fall. Always remove rotting fruit, diseased foliage, or dead vines as soon as they appear. This is especially true with crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, melons, and squash. If you haven’t done so already, bring vacationing houseplants indoors before temperatures drop into the 50’s. Give each plant a cleansing spray from the garden hose, then inspect them closely for insect hitchhikers hiding in the foliage. Wipe the pots clean to remove any soil that may have splashed up on them during the summer. Once in the house, place them on saucers to protect your floors and furniture from runoff. September is also an ideal time to add an injection of colorful chrysanthemums and pansies into your landscape. Make sure to water them every day or so for the first week or two to help get them established. Don’t forget the lawn. Now is the best time to control broadleaf perennial weeds such as clover and dandelion. These weeds prepare for winter by directing nutrients and starches from their leaves into their roots. When you apply a lawn herbicide in the fall, the plants will also draw the herbicide application into their roots. Remember that all herbicides are different and the exact time you must wait to apply weed killers to newly planted grass will vary from one product to another. For best results, always refer to the herbicide label. Finally, enjoy a bounty of bloom in your garden next year by planting spring-flowering bulbs now. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and other early-bird bloomers can be massed in beds by themselves or tucked in between established perennials and shrubs.

September 2019 27

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