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TAKE ONE No. 223
Breeding Honey Bees for Adaptation to Regionalized Plants and Artificial Diets By Kim Kaplan USDA ARS Honey bees could be intentionally bred to thrive on plants that are already locally present or even solely on artificial diets, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (ARS) study. ARS researchers found individual bees respond differently to the same diet and that there is a strong genetic component involved in how they respond to nutrition. This points directly to the concept that managed bees can be intentionally bred to do better on different diets, whether you are talking about an artificial diet or a diet based on specific plants already growing in an area, explained lead researcher Vincent A. Ricigliano. He is with the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Urban development, moder n agricultural systems and environmental alterations due to climate change, invasive plants, and even local landscaping preferences have all had a hand in regionalizing plants
As a honey bee, Apis mellifera, feeds on a zinnia flower, the nectar is stored in a honey sac, which is octarate from its digestive stomach, until she returns to the hive. When it is full, the honey sac weighs about one third the weight of the entire bee. After she delivers the nectar to an in-hive worker bee, the long process of converting it into honey, the bees’ food, begins. that dominate available pollen. It could potentially be more beneficial to tailor honey bees to do better on what is already available instead of working hard to fit
the environment to the bees,” Ricigliano said. The overall aim would be breeding to improve nutrient use by managed honey bees, like we have done for poultry
and cattle breeding programs, Ricigliano explained. “Now that we know there is room for genetic adaptation to diet, we could also look at breeding honey bees with
improved nutrient efficiency or identifying genotype biomarkers that respond to various supplements to promote honey bee health,” he added. (Cont. on Page 18)
2 November 2021
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Around The Garden By Tom Castronovo Gardener News
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They’ve Served Our Garden State with Distinction I want to personally thank the following New Jersey legislators for constantly helping the agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery communities. I am going to list them alphabetically by last name so I don’t get myself in trouble. Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, and Senator Bob Smith. These legislators, in my opinion, have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help the Garden State’s green and growing industries. Without getting too political, please find your way to cast your favorable vote on Election Day for these wonderful people. I hope and pray that these legislators remain in office so they can continue in their quest to promote New Jersey’s agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery communities. Here is a little more information about the above legislators and great friends of the Gardener News. Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, first and foremost, is a featured columnist for the Gardener News. I personally enjoy reading his columns every month. As the paper’s executive editor, I also receive quite a bit of great feedback from his followers. Thank you, Eric. Eric has represented District 11 in the New Jersey Legislature as an Assemblyman since January 2016. Eric is currently chairman of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee. And we all know how important agriculture is in our great Garden State. Here are a few bills that Eric has sponsored to protect agriculture and horticulture in our state. ASSEMBLY, No. 284 in the 219th Legislative Session. This bill would establish requirements for the sale and planting of running bamboo. Running bamboo is defined in the bill as any bamboo in the genus Phyllostachys, including Phyllostachys aureosulcata. ASSEMBLY, No. 2094 in the 219th Legislative Session. This bill would establish a “pollinator-friendly” label for plants. ASSEMBLY, No. 1587 in the 219th Legislative Session. This bill would permit pet dogs in farmers’ markets under certain circumstances. Eric is also co-chair of the Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee, and sits on the Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee. Assemblyman Kevin Rooney started his career in arboriculture in 1979 when he applied for a summer spray technician position at Sequoia Tree Service. During his time at Sequoia, he served in many positions including groundsmen, climber, foremen, New Jersey Certified Tree Expert and sales representative. He went on to open SavATree’s first satellite office, serving as Regional Manager. After seven years, he moved on to Almstead Tree Company, serving as Vice President. During his years at Almstead, they expanded the company to five locations in three states. The 26 years spent at those companies gave Kevin the knowledge and background to partner with Nelson Lee and open Advanced Tree and Landscape, where he remained until his wife’s family business obligations required his attention. Today, with his vast knowledge and understanding of
the challenges facing the green industry, he works with leadership locally and nationally addressing those and future industry challenges. Kevin is also a recipient of the “Legislator of the Year” award from the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association. Kevin has represented District 40 in the New Jersey Legislature as an Assemblyman since January 2016. He sits on the Consumer Affairs Committee and the influential Appropriations Committee. He was also appointed to serve on the Statewide Public Safety Communications Commission, New Jersey Fire Safety Commission, and New Jersey Civic Information Consortium. Senator Nicholas P. Scutari has been a great friend of the Gardener News since 2004, when he was first elected. Four years later, on October 23, 2008, Nick introduced the first Landscape Licensure bill into the New Jersey Legislature. That same year, Gardener News bestowed its “Person of the Year” honoring the Senator for sponsoring S-2302. Work still continues with the industry on modifying the language of the bill. Nick also introduced SENATE, No 755. This bill would have required every commercial pesticide applicator to use uniform silver flags to mark areas on which pesticides have been applied. The flags used would be silver in color, uniform in size and type, and provide information in English and Spanish. However, this bill did not become law during the 2012-2013 session of the Legislature. Nick continues his quest to modify the language on these bill for future passage. Hopefully one day it will become law. Senator Bob Smith was elected to the New Jersey Assembly in 1986, serving District 17. Bob was elected to the Senate in 2001 and re-elected five times. He sponsored legislation reforming the Garden State Open Space Acquisition Program to focus on water resource protection, preservation of the Highlands, providing a continuing source of revenue for New Jersey state parks, and setting in place measures to improve water quality in the Barnegat Bay, including comprehensive fertilizer controls. He also sponsored two constitutional amendments, approved by voters, to provide stable funding for open space, farmland and historic preservation, and to dedicate natural resource damage litigation awards to restore the environment. Bob is chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. I must say that he is a very strong advocate in protecting our Garden State’s environment. Nobody, in my opinion, fights harder to make sure our current environment is healthy and our future environment stays healthy. Since there is no Agriculture Committee in the Senate, Bob hears the bills concerning agriculture as well. For several Legislative sessions, Bob’s committee has heard and unanimously passed the uniform silver flag bill that Senator Scutari introduced. For some unknown reason, it has been held up by the past and current Assembly Speakers. This paper and I love Bob. He’s a great friend. These fine folks repeatedly demonstrate an uncommon degree of devotion to our state’s agricultural, gardening, landscaping and nursery stewardship. They all have my and this paper’s admiration, endorsement and respect. And my vote!
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, landscaping and nursery communities through this newspaper and GardenerNews.com.
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4 November 2021 From time to time, at agricultural events, meetings, or elsewhere, people ask me and others from the Department of Agriculture, “What do you all do in the department?” They usually start off by mentioning things like, “You guys are Jersey Fresh, right?” That, on its own, is a good thing because it means the efforts we put into promoting Jersey Fresh, Jersey Grown, and the other branding programs for New Jersey agricultural products are resonating in people’s minds. However, we always try to tell them about other ways the NJDA touches the lives of every New Jersey resident, if not every day, at least repeatedly throughout any week. The department’s array of services is delivered by a caring and hard-working team that I am proud to lead. Accordingly, I thought it would be good to devote my monthly space in the Gardener News to giving readers a fuller understanding of our role in state government, and how our division directors work holistically across their boundaries in a coordinated, department-wide fashion. Jersey Fresh and other branding programs are examples of work done by our Division of Marketing and Development. They are behind all our efforts to draw attention to what New Jersey
GardenerNews.com concerns the health of livestock to protect the agricultural industry from diseases that could devastate a farm’s animal production, or even get established in animals By Douglas H. Fisher and then enter the human Secretary of Agriculture population. In instances of natural or man-made disasters, this division becomes responsible for all animals. It oversees the sheltering of pets in co-located locations near addressing food insecurity and to protect farmers operating human shelters, so that pet they run the Farm-to-School within the laws of the state owners are never faced with program to help teach students when there are disputes with the choice of either leaving the value of growing and neighbors or others. their pets behind or refusing consuming healthy foods. Plant Industry inspects to evacuate when faced with Our Division of Agricultural nurseries, tests seeds as dangerous conditions. and Natural Resources helps part of the state’s new hemp We operate all these farmers manage the air, water, divisions to work together soil, and other resources so in concert cohesively for a vital to the continued success of comprehensive and unified their enterprises. The division approach to providing our also oversees aquaculture services to the broad spectrum programs to help those who of people we serve every day. “farm” our state’s waters, and the Agricultural Education program which helps schools Editor’s Note: Douglas bring agriculture lessons to H. Fisher is New Jersey’s students and coordinating FFA Secretary of Agriculture. programs statewide. He is the department’s Closely related to the work executive officer, secretary of the “Ag & Nat” division is the program, operates the Alampi to the State Board of State Agriculture Development Beneficial Insect Laboratory Agriculture and a member Committee (SADC), an to rear non-chemical methods of the Governor’s cabinet. “in but not of” division of controlling pests, and, when Secretary Fisher fulfills whose primary mission is to necessary, runs programs to executive, management ensure our state’s continued eradicate or control invasive and administrative duties leadership in preserving pests. You may have seen that prescribed by law, executive farmland for agricultural use. division’s most recent high- order or gubernatorial The SADC, which I chair as profile work in the battle to get direction. He can be reached part of my role as Secretary rid of the Spotted Lanternfly. at 609.292.3976. For more Animal Health, the home info, please visit: http:// of Agriculture, also oversees the Right to Farm program of our State Veterinarian, www.state.nj.us/agriculture
NJ Dept. of Agriculture
What We Do
farmers produce and provide – from fruits and vegetables to horticultural products, to horseracing and pleasurehorse events, to dairy farms, agri-tourism and wineries. That division is probably seen
by the most people through efforts like the Jersey Fresh website and Facebook page. Another division, Food & Nutrition, touches hundreds of thousands of people in any given day. They make sure New Jersey’s school-feeding programs – breakfast, lunch, healthy snacks – are getting to students. They oversee community-feeding programs
New Jersey Department of Agriculture Provides Update on Spotted Lanternfly Reporting Procedure
New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced that sightings of the spotted lanternfly can be reported by using the form at https://bit.ly/3EBvAwn. Residents and businesses are encouraged to find resources for treatment options at www.badbug.nj.gov. “We have asked the homeowners of our state to inform us where this insect is and they have done an outstanding job, which has been very helpful in our efforts to fight this invasive pest,” Secretary Fisher said. “Using the website form allows us to pinpoint where high populations of this insect are and to prioritize treatment areas by NJDA and USDA staff.” The Department received nearly 10,000 combined emails and calls concerning the spotted lanternfly in August. While the NJDA and USDA have about 20 two-person crews throughout the state doing treatments in specific areas, it is not possible to respond to every message or provide treatments at every reported sighting. The Department is also asking that New Jersey residents not contact
departments of surrounding states with spotted lanternfly sighting information. The NJDA continues to encourage residents to stomp on or destroy the spotted lanternfly whenever possible. Along with the treatment options listed at www.badbug.nj.gov, residents can also use businesses that are licensed pesticide applicators to provide treatments to kill the spotted lanternfly. However, if residents do choose an over-the-counter treatment option, they must follow the directions on the product when applying it. This is also the time of the year when adult spotted lanternflies are laying egg masses that can be found on almost any type of surface. A video and information on how to scrape egg masses before they hatch can be found at https://bit.ly/3lGj4Ds. While the adult spotted lanternfly cannot survive the winter, the egg masses hatch in late April or early May, with between 30 to 50 nymphs that go through four stages before reaching adulthood. While the spotted lanternfly does not harm
humans or animals, it can feed on about 70 different types of vegetation or trees. The pest’s preferred host is the Tree of Heaven, an invasive plant that has been in the United States for decades. The spotted lanternfly is native to Asia and was first found in the U.S. in Berks County, Pa., in 2014. It is considered a plant hopper and can fly only a few feet at a time. However, the spotted lanternfly is an excellent hitchhiker and can travel on almost any kind of transportation for several miles, which has allowed it to spread to several states. The Department is also asking for people to check their vehicles before leaving an area to make sure the pest is not coming along for the ride. The NJDA has a checklist of items and places on where to look for the spotted lanternfly before leaving an area here. The checklist serves to inform the public about the spotted lanternfly, including how to identify all life stages of the insect and minimize its movement. Residents can also send the address of the spotted lanternfly sightings to SLFfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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November 2021 5
JERSEY GROWN JERSEY GROWN JERSEY GROWN
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6 November 2021
R U T G ER S N J AE S / R C E
From the Director’s Desk
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Soil & Plant Relationships December 6, 7, 13 & 14, 2021 9:00am - 12:00pm EST $295 per person
In this four-session online course, Bruce Neary takes the mystery out of soil science. He'll show you how to identify and correct soil conditions that create plant problems, including the proper way to read, analyze, and correct pH levels. He'll explain the soil's physical and biological relationship to plant growth in easy-tounderstand terms and also discuss site analysis. Bill Bamka of Rutgers Cooperative Extension joins this class to share his expertise on the chemical nature of soils. Healthy plants start with better soil. Register today!
Learn More & Register Online at: go.rutgers.edu/Soil-Plants
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
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‘Fall’-ing for Jersey Fresh Autumn Treats It’s Fall, Y’all! Now that the days are getting shorter and holiday decorations are filling store displays, you may be thinking about the warm, comforting fall dishes that accompany the autumn season. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the rich flavors and abundant nutritional benefits of local, seasonal produce. You can find the items featured below at your local Jersey Fresh farm stand or market and incorporate them into a myriad of traditional and nutritious fall dishes. Pumpkin: The colors in fruits and vegetables, known as phytochemicals, support various body functions. Orange-colored produce is good for supporting eye health. Aging causes eyes to diminish naturally and because pumpkins are rich in beta carotene, they can help slow the process of poor eyesight, blindness, and cataracts. Potassium in pumpkins aids in managing blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Pumpkins are full of fiber that assists with maintaining a healthy weight. Pumpkin seeds are another nutritious fall treat. The seeds of the pumpkin are mostly protein and fats; half of the fat in the seeds is omega 6 fat, which is a polyunsaturated fat that is heart healthy. The seeds of pumpkins are rich in magnesium, assisting the body with regulating blood sugar levels, preventing high blood pressure, and supporting healthy bones. The roasted seeds of pumpkins are great to add to salads and casseroles, or as a snack. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten with the white outer shell or the green inner part or both; eating them with the shell on provides more fiber. Adding pumpkin puree to muffins or pancakes can cut down on sugar since it is naturally sweet; roasted pumpkin with a little cinnamon and olive oil is a hearty side dish. Smaller pumpkins are sweeter and less stringy than larger ones. Use pumpkins for more than fall decorations - they make a terrific addition to a fall or winter meal, in a recipe like rich and savory pumpkin black bean soup: njaes.rutgers.edu/fchs/recipes/ recipe.php?Pumpkin-and-Black-Bean-Soup. Sweet Potatoes: Another orange fall favorite, sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. While traditional holiday meals may call for the addition of butter and sugar (in the form of granulated sugar and marshmallows), try a simpler, more nutritious approach by roasting sweet potatoes with hearthealthy olive oil and any variety of seasonal herbs such as sage, thyme, or rosemary, or this recipe that combines squash and sweet potatoes: njaes.rutgers.
edu/fchs/recipes/recipe.php?Roasted-Squash-andSweet-Potatoes. Kale: Kale is a nutrient-dense food that is bountiful in the fall months. It is low in calories and contains bulk, making you feel full. It has vitamins A, K, and C. Vitamin A is important for vision, immunity, reproductive health, and organ function, especially heart, lungs, and kidneys. Vitamin K helps wounds heal and assists with blood clotting. Vitamin C boosts immunity and tissue development. The calcium in kale supports bone health. It can also help to reduce cholesterol and could lower the risk of heart disease. Kale has compounds that can protect against cancer, and contains magnesium which has been shown to protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. When making a meal, think about adding kale to pork or chicken dishes to add vitamins and minerals, or use it to make a hearty fall salad that includes apples or cranberries. It is also great sautéed with garlic: njaes.rutgers.edu/ fchs/recipes/recipe.php?Sautéed-Kale-with-Garlic. Apples: Get a boost of fiber and vitamin C by biting into the classic fall icon, apples. This versatile fruit may be used in countless dishes or eaten as-is, fresh from the tree! Be sure to eat the skin to get the full benefits of all its fiber. For a quick and easy snack, try pairing with your favorite nut or seed butter, or simply slice and sprinkle with cinnamon to enjoy a crunchy and delicious seasonal treat. Have an abundance of apples from that apple-picking trip? Try this home-made apple sauce recipe: njaes.rutgers.edu/fchs/recipes/recipe. php?Applesauce. Cranberries: The Garden State is among the top three producers of cranberries in the nation, and fall is the time to take full advantage of their distinctive flavor and wealth of nutritional benefits. Rich in many vitamins and minerals, they also contain a compound that may help to keep your bladder healthy. Try making home-made cranberry sauce to add to your holiday table, add dried cranberries to a salad or your own trail mix for a nutritious on-the-go snack, or bake into muffins: myplate.gov/ recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-programsnap/cranberry-pumpkin-muffins. Fall in Love with Jersey Fresh! All the fall produce highlighted here may be found at your local farm stand or farmers’ market. Check out the Jersey Fresh website, where you can search by product and location to find your fall favorites close to home: findjerseyfresh.com/ explore.
Editor’s Note: This month’s contribution was written by Jennifer Shukaitis, Assistant Professor/Educator, State-Wide; and Christine Zellers, Assistant Professor/Educator, Cape May County; Department of Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
R U T G ER S N J AE S / R C E
November 2021 7
LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITY NEWS
Growing Rutgers Gardens to Be a More Inclusive Place Ariana Arancibia took on the new role as director of Rutgers Gardens and Campus Stewardship to tackle issues of social justice and equity. She is working to expand access to the gardens for surrounding communities and make it a welcoming place for people of color and other marginalized communities who have historically not had equal access to nature and public green spaces. The daughter of immigrants from Argentina, Arancibia also wants to serve as a role model for other children with similar backgrounds – letting them know there is a place for them in the field of environmental sciences. “I want to engage with new communities that may feel traditionally this space wasn’t for them,’’ said Arancibia, who recently moved back to New Jersey after living in New York City and working for NYC Parks GreenThumb for the last several years. She sees a direct connection between the challenges she wants to take on at the gardens and the recent racial reckoning in the country. “There is a huge Latinx population in New Brunswick that doesn’t have access to beautiful green spaces and that itself is an injustice,’’ she said. “Historically we don’t talk about these things. We act like they don’t exist, it’s not a problem. I think the pandemic in combination with the murder of George Floyd and the uprising that came out of that opened the flood gates to being able to say we can’t be silent or quiet about these issues anymore.’’ Arancibia, who grew up in East Brunswick and graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2010 with a degree in photography and a minor in art history from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, became interested in issues of environmental justice after college. She worked for a year as an assistant photographer before applying to AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) to see other parts of the country. For two years she helped build community gardens and worked
in urban agriculture. It was an experience that made her aware of injustices and inequality around issues of access to food. “It was the first time I had exposure to what food insecurity is,’’ said Arancibia. “There were people in rural areas who were surrounded by agriculture, but they didn’t have access to any fresh produce or food. They had to drive 45 minutes to an hour to the nearest Walmart to get food.’’ After completing her service with AmeriCorps NCCC, Arancibia worked in a farm apprenticeship program before returning to New York City to be closer to her family including her brother, Juan Arancibia, also a Rutgers graduate. She did compost collection, outreach, and education with the NYC Compost Project hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and worked for NYC Parks GreenThumb to provide support to community gardens across the five boroughs – gaining project management and community organizing experience and a deeper understanding of environmental justice issues. When the job opened at Rutgers Gardens, she saw an opportunity to make a difference.
“I grew up coming here and I felt it was a great opportunity to create more inclusiveness and accessibility to the space,’’ said Arancibia. “Research has proven that access to nature extends your life and is an important part of your wholeness as a human being,’’ she said. “When you don’t have access to nature it is like not having access to water, like not having access to food. These all should be treated as equally important.’’ This summer she started working to identify ways to increase access to the gardens, including translating its website, which is only available in English. “To a Spanish speaker that is not helpful,’’ said Arancibia. She also wants to expand strategic outreach and engagement efforts, which have traditionally focused on local garden clubs and botanical associations. “Those relationships are important and significant and have built what the gardens is now, but those folks know about the gardens,’’ she said. “I want to focus on the folks who don’t know.’’ To reach more residents in the surrounding area, Arancibia wants to have tables at community events in
New Brunswick, distribute bilingual flyers and have Spanish speakers available to talk about the gardens. She is hoping to build a base of volunteers to support this outreach effort. Arancibia is also working to raise awareness about accessibility and coordinating with faculty who are organizing an event to call attention to a lack of transportation options to the gardens, something the university is considering in its longterm planning. ‘’The gardens are so close to New Brunswick, but so far for residents and the student population who don’t have a car,’’ she said. “I am looking to understand where the barriers to entry are and how we can move forward.’’ Laura Lawson, interim executive dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, says Arancibia was hired to make the gardens more visible to people at Rutgers and the neighboring communities. “A lot of people describe the gardens as a hidden gem and we don’t want it to be hidden,’’ Lawson said. “We want people to use it and we want it to reflect the diversity of the larger community. The gardens already have deep ties to the horticultural research and teaching at Rutgers. There are so many opportunities to expand it and make it more inviting, usable and accessible.” Arancibia’s ultimate vision is to see the gardens being used by a wide range of communities for various activities, similar to her experiences in Prospect Park in Brooklyn where Quinceaneras, birthday parties, cookouts, jam sessions, and family picnics were held on the weekends. “Depending on which side of the park you were on, you would see different uses for the same space and that to me is beautiful,’’ she said. “I want that here, however it could be manifested, because exposure to nature and building a relationship with it is what changes generations.’’ This article originally appeared in Rutgers Today.
8 November 2021
GardenerNews.com Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” –Albert Camus. A French philosopher, author and journalist, Albert Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44, the second youngest to receive this illustrious prize. His most famous works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall and The Rebel, however it is his simple horticultural quote that speaks to me. His words are as poignant as they are poetic, truthful and deliberate, and succinct and brilliant in composition. I have always been attracted to wordsmiths and their flare for language, particularly when it involves nature. Mr. Camus’ quote reminds me of all the wonderful late fall color one can imbibe if they only take the time to look. Plants such as Sumac, Heuchera, Japanese Maples, Smokebush, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Viburnum types and Heavenly Bamboo are reminders of his words. A spectrum of color is still out there, with rich shades of red, purple, yellow and orange. Poets, composers, authors, writers and novelists alike have written remarkable words depicting nature, and with that comes personal relationships to their words. “I hope I can be the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift.” –Dodinsky. Author of the New York Times
The Spotted Lanternfly was first noticed here in the United States in 2014, when it was discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Since that time, it has spread to at least ten other Eastern and Midwestern states, according to the USDA. Because it is a rather large and very colorful insect, and very prolific, it has rightly garnered quite a bit of attention. As an agricultural pest, at least in the United States, it is particularly fond of grape vines. Although it has been found feeding on many other food crops as well as trees and shrubs, so far it seems as if grapes are the one crop that is most susceptible to the Spotted Lanternfly. While the preferred host is the Ailanthus tree, or “The Tree of Heaven,” the Spotted Lanternfly seems to enjoy grape vines quite a bit also. In fact, I have seen reports that some of the earliest infestations in Pennsylvania decimated grape vines to the extent that they had to be completely removed. I have been following the movement and spread of the Spotted Lanternfly since
November 2021 9 Unique Plants By Bob LaHoff Nursery Specialist
Wordsmiths Evoke Fond Memories
bestselling book In the Garden of Thoughts, Dodinsky’s intent was “simply to share his reflections about life in order to help heal the wounds inflicted by life’s troubles.” Certainly Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, is a tree that can relate to Dodinsky’s short quote. A tree that has remained unchanged for millions of years, Ginkgo and its unique fan-shaped leaves has always been my favorite tree. Bright green leaves give way to brilliant yellow markings in the fall. And should nature be unkind and present us with an unusually early hard freeze, Ginkgo leaves will almost shatter and drop all at once to the ground. Dodinsky’s words elicit a reminder that Mother Nature, while She has deprived me of my fall color at times, has also afforded me the golden excitement I so crave in our garden. “Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” –Samuel
Butler. An English novelist and critic who is best known for the satirical utopian novel Erewhon, Butler’s quote reminds me of the autumnal favorites Common Winterberry, Ilex verticillate, and Beautyberry, Callicarpa. Winterberry holly is a deciduous species that gardeners patiently wait for all year. While the yellow to purple-tinged leaf markings can be exciting, clearly it’s the bright red small fruits that ripen in September and persist until January. A male pollinator is necessary for pollination, and today there are many types, in various forms, that will captivate and hold your attention even as late as the Ides of March. Be on the lookout for red, orange and yellow fruit types. Beautyberry, in my opinion, is an underused landscape plant in today’s market. Ordinary in appearance in the spring, much like Winterberry, tiny clusters of exciting colored fruits seem to present themselves in
an almost internodal pattern in the autumn. Fruits have been described, depending on species and cultivar, as pearl-like, violet purple, neon violet, bright magenta, rosy pink and metallic purple. And while white fruit varieties are available, they simply leave me underwhelmed. “Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” –Chad Sugg. A writer and recorder of music, Mr. Sugg is also a poet. Recently we lost one of the great teachers in the horticultural profession. Dr. Bruce Hamilton or “Doc” was a professor of plant materials on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University from 1966-2006. Passionate about teaching, Doc truly loved his students. Dr. Hamilton will forever be remembered by me for his ‘Pin Oak Dance,’ an attempt to describe the mature habit of Pin Oak, Quercus palustris, to those who clearly didn’t know plant material, and if memory
The Town Farmer By Peter Melick Agricultural Producer
Spotted Lanternfly: A Grower’s Perspective it was discovered in 2014. Because we have four acres of wine grapes on our farm in Oldwick, New Jersey, we were particularly concerned as this pest got closer and closer each year. There have been concerted efforts by the USDA and individual states to try to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, but there has been very little done that has been able to slow down this pest. Now that we have been inundated with these pests, it is easy to see how they spread so fast. The Spotted Lanternfly first made its appearance at our farm in Oldwick in the fall of 2019. Unfortunately, there were numerous Ailanthus trees growing on neighboring properties to ours, and the
first Lanternflies we saw were in close proximity to those trees. At the time we first noticed them in 2019, our grapes had already been harvested and we were only a couple of weeks away from a killing frost, so there was not much of an opportunity for them to proliferate that year, but they were busy mating and laying the groundwork for their full-on assault in 2020. That is exactly what happened. They started showing up in our grapes in their nymph stage in the early and middle parts of the summer. At that time of the year, they are relatively easy to control and there are numerous insecticides that work rather well on them. Piece of cake, right? Not so
fast. They literally exploded on us in September. Before we started harvest of our earliest variety, Pinot Noir, we had to treat them twice to keep populations down. This continued through our harvests of Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. With our other crops, once they are harvested, you can usually forget about them for the season. Not so with the Spotted Lanternfly around, as wave after wave kept landing in and feeding on our grape vines right up until late October. So far, 2021 has been a repeat of 2020. We had very large infestations through September and had to treat them numerous times. Fortunately, there are several different materials that we can
serves me, didn’t speak the English language. No matter, Doc made it fun and loved life. The lower branches of Pin Oak are descending (pendulous), the middle branches are horizontal and the upper are upright. I can still see Doc’s flailing arm gestures as he recreated the story, one that involved travel. Sugg’s quote is a reminder that Oak trees are among the last to relinquish their foliage. Marcescence is the retention of dead plant organs that normally are shed. Doc’s concocted Pin Oak dance may initially have been lost on his audience, however it has proven to be a memorable and fantastic story. It shows, yet again, how plants can bridge relationships and how wordsmiths evoke fond memories.
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, past member of Reeves-Reed 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. use to control these pests. This pest is different in that the populations bounce back so fast. This year, I treated on a Monday with good control, and by the following Monday I had to treat them again! In relation to other insects, that type of explosive growth and movement is almost biblical. What’s in store for 2022? We shall see, but there is at least some reason for optimism. Some growers I know, who are located to the West of us who actually started with Spotted Lanternflies two years earlier than we did, reported that this year they were not really a problem. We can only hope! Editor’s Note: Peter Melick is co-owner of Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and a 10th-generation New Jersey farmer. Peter is Mayor of Tewksbury Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. 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.
10 November 2021
Toxic Strawberries and Sleeping Beauty By Hubert Ling Our American strawberry bush Euonymus americanus is a moderately toxic native shrub which grows 4-8 feet tall. In the fall, this plant produces quantities of fantastic, hot pink, spiky, five lobed fruits which burst open to reveal 3-5 Day-Glo orange seeds; this expanded fruit is about 1 inch in diameter. The plant is really quite a conversation piece, even if you can’t enjoy eating the “strawberries.” Euonymus americanus has a close relative in Europe, the spindle tree Euonymus europaeus, which is similar in form to its American cousin but grows to 18 feet and is perhaps a bit more toxic. Now on to Sleeping Beauty. How was Sleeping Beauty plunged into her long slumber? She ate a poisoned apple? No, that was Snow White. Sleeping Beauty It’s hard to believe another lawn and garden season has come to an end. I know most of us have tried hard to make our lawns better than before, but still it is a challenge every year. “Todd, do you really mean I still have to do something this year to my lawn?” Yup! If you have not fed your lawn this fall, please do so before November 15th if you are in New Jersey. New Jersey lawn fertilizer laws ban lawn fertilizer applications between November 15th and March 1st of each year. Professional applicators with a license can apply lawn fertilizer until December 1st. Fertilizer will help strengthen your lawn and prepare it for winter, and may even give you a little greening in spring before you feed again. For those of you who did fertilize your lawn in early fall, do it again. Your lawn will like it and might stay green right up to Christmas while your neighbor’s lawn starts to lose color after Thanksgiving. Fall-Winter lawn fertilizers generally have higher levels of Potassium, which is the last number listed on fertilizer bags. This nutrient helps to
pricked her finger on a sharp spindle! So what is a spindle and could anyone possibly prick their finger on one? As I looked up several types of spinning wheels, I didn’t see a sharp spindle. I only saw protected bobbins winding up twisted yarn. However, with a bit of good fortune, I happened upon YouTube’s “Should You Buy That Old Spinning Wheel”. There I saw a pointed spindle rotating on a ‘Great Wheel’ or ‘Walking Wheel’. In order to spin the yarn, an exposed sharp pointed spindle is required since the hand fed yarn must slip off the end of the spindle each time the yarn is rotated one full turn. The process is complicated and better understood by simply watching the video. Thus, pricking your finger on a spinning wheel spindle is quite possible. Is there any real basis that pricking her finger would cause Sleeping Beauty to sleep indefinitely? Not really,
but there was a superstition that spindle tree wood was so toxic that if you pricked your finger you would go into a coma. Such an event is unlikely unless you can increase potency of the toxin several million times. However, such a tale would have popular appeal and would serve to remind spinners to be careful around the sharp rotating spindle point. American strawberry bush grows best in partial shade in damp, rich, slightly acid soil. It will tolerate full sun, and sandy, clay rich, or well-drained neutral soil. Propagation is by seeds, semihardwood cuttings, and root divisions. Seed germination is sporadic and may take 1-3 years. It is perhaps best to bury a pot of seeds in the shade and neglect them. When you look for them, over the years, you may find a few scattered seedlings poking out. Plant growth is rated at slow to moderate.
Strawberry bushes bloom in late May and early June. The 3/8 inch flowers are greenish yellow with a hint of purple. They generally have 5 surprisingly circular petals surrounding a circular central disc; rather unique flowers with an inconspicuous color. Pollination is by ants, bees, beetles, and flies. The very unique, conspicuous fruits mature in September and October and persist for several months unless raided by birds. The stems of strawberry bush remain green for several years and eventually are covered by a gray bark. Leaves on this plant are 1-3 inches long and oval shaped. The leaf base is rounded and the tips are pointed; the edges of the leaf are slightly toothed. In fall these leaves turn a pleasant red/burgundy. Ingesting strawberry bush is dangerous to many mammals, but deer find it wonderful and it is referred to as deer candy. The existence
Turf ‘s Up By Todd Pretz Professional Turf Consultant
There’s still time… increase the hardiness of the grass plant and to potentially ward of winter disease. Slow release Nitrogen also gives the grass a gentle feeding leading into the winter months. Fall lawn fertilizers may contain iron and sulfur to help keep the grass green longer. Fall is the best time to feed your lawn to promote a thicker, greener lawn. Do you have a leaf removal plan? Leaves may not start to drop until later in November, but you still need to clear them off of your lawn areas in order to avoid the leaves smothering and killing the lawn. If there are not too many, lawn mowing might do the trick. If there are too many leaves, they need to be raked up and removed.
Did I mention mowing? Yes, you need to continue to mow your lawn, perhaps not every week but until it stops growing. Too much grass blade volume can contribute to winter diseases. On your last lawn mowing be sure to cut it reasonably low, but not scalping it, to take it through the winter. What about your lawn mower? Don’t forget to properly clean and maintain your mower, and perhaps change the oil so you are ready to go next spring. A sharp blade is necessary for the best cut too. If you are not comfortable with this maintenance, be sure to take your mower to a professional repair and maintenance shop for safety’s sake.
Do you still have some bare spots on your lawn? Should you re-seed them? I would say yes, even if you think the grass may not grow due to cold weather. Hopefully you’ll get some warm days that allow germination so weeds do not fill in these bare spots. Perhaps the ground is still relatively warm enough to germinate seed. Why wait until spring when you know the ground is cold and grass seed germinates slowly? I have not experienced many stories of grass seed germinating in late fall and dying over the winter unless under a great snow cover for weeks or from ice melter damage. What about your soil pH? Do you know what yours is?
of this plant in any unfenced areas indicates low deer pressure. Some migrating songbirds, turkeys, and some small mammals also make use of the seeds. Along with arrowwood viburnum, strawberry bush shoots are numerous and straight; thus they can be used for arrow shafts or spindles. Although the Native Americans had several medicinal uses for strawberry bush, Peterson’s Field Guide to Medicinal Plants states that ingestion of the fruits may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and unconsciousness; perhaps the Sleeping Beauty tale has a kernel of truth. If you can protect strawberry bush from deer, this plant makes a unique visual contribution to your woodland native garden. Editor’s Note: Hubert Ling is President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. He can be reached at email@example.com. Why do we care about soil pH levels? All plants thrive in a certain pH range, and lawns like a range of 6.2 to 7.0. If your soil pH is too low or too high, lawn growth suffers and weeds take over. The only way to find out your soil pH is to get it tested. What options do we have? You can buy a simple pH soil test kit at many local lawn and garden or hardware stores, or you can get a soil test kit from your county extension office and submit it to their laboratory for results. Correcting pH involves applying calcium carbonatebased products to raise pH and sulfur to lower pH. I hope by the time Thanksgiving arrives, you are done and the mower and spreader are parked in the shed or your garage until next year. Happy Thanksgiving! Editor’s Note: Todd Pretz is Vice President of Jonathan Green, a leading supplier of lawn and garden products in the northeast. For more information, please visit: www.jonathangreen.com
GardenerNews.com We recently returned from the first ever Northeast Green Industry Showcase (NGIS) and are so happy at how well-received the event was. Hundreds came out to support this unique trade show, where attendees were able to kick the tires and test out equipment in the demo area, hear live music, and spend the day speaking with exhibitors, all situated in open air pavilions and outside. The weather was fantastic, and the mood was high as people were able to meet up again after over a year of no local trade shows! The inaugural event was held at the Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds, home of the
Joe Bolognese Jr., who has too many titles to list, in front of the NJLCA Trade Show booth.
November 2021 11 The NJLCA Today By Gail Woolcott Executive Director
Hunterdon County 4-H & Agricultural Fair in Lambertville, New Jersey. NGIS boasted one acre of covered exhibitor space, 1.5 acres of outdoor exhibitor space, and 1.25 acres of exhibitor demonstration area. Like any new show, attendance was a bit lighter than usual, but those who did attend were ready to buy. We heard from several vendors who said they were able to show off their products and services and ultimately sell thousands of dollars in equipment, services and materials. The pavilions featured vendors showcasing mowers, battery-powered equipment, handheld equipment, paver materials, seed, soil amendments, plotting devices, holiday lighting (the Grinch made a special appearance on both Friday and Saturday), software, communication devices and so much more. The outdoor concourse held huge tree moving equipment, trailers, mowers, weed eaters, blowers, lubricants and more. Outside also held the food vendors and a live band on Saturday who
played 70s, 80s and 90s hits. Educational offerings were top notch, coordinated by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Credit-bearing classes were held on Spotted Lanternfly, Using Native Plants in the Landscape, and Using Online Tools to Manage Pests, taught by Rutgers’ Tim Waller, Bill Errickson and Steven Rettke. A non-creditbearing session was held by speakers Dr. Laura Lawson, Interim Executive Dean of Rutgers University, and Ariana Arancibia, the new Director of Rutgers Gardens, discussing landscapes in public spaces. The session was followed by a great discussion on the topic amongst class attendees and speakers. Dr. Lawson took a tour of the show after her session and was enthusiastic about the event. The
Spotted Lanternfly talk was particularly appropriate, as there were many specimens on site! The demo area teemed with activity as attendees (and their families) tried to place large beach balls into tires using an excavator, tested power-washing equipment, tried out mowing equipment and played with bucket loaders. They were also able to try the latest batterypowered handheld equipment and the latest technology in gaspowered equipment. Everyone there talked about how perfect the site was for this event. It allowed us the freedom to spread out and utilize so much outdoor and covered space, and vendors could really show off and demonstrate the abilities of their equipment and materials. Furthermore, it was an excellent
opportunity to branch out and serve the needs of those in the central and southern parts of the state. The family atmosphere, along with the amazing assistance of the Amwell Valley Fire Police and EMS, and the Hunterdon County Park Police, made the show safe and family friendly. Ultimately, it was so much fun to get back into the trade show mode and see the faces of those we have missed over the past year and a half! We are looking forward to a bigger and better event at next year’s NGIS and look forward to seeing everyone again at Landscape New Jersey in the Meadowlands on February 23, 2022!
Pun’kin Hollow Farms tree spade with a large Norway spruce in its grasp.
Joe and Karen Romeo, independent distributors of AMSOIL synthetic oils, lubricants, additives, and filtration products for commercial, industrial, military and retail use.
David DeFrange, left, President of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture; Dr. Laura Lawson, center, Interim Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and Interim Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University; and David Kyle, a Public Member of the Hunterdon County Agriculture Development Board.
Editor’s Note: Gail Woolcott is the Executive Director 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.
12 November 2021
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14 November 2021
Hionis Greenhouses Host Eastern Produce Council Leadership Event
Hionis Greenhouses in Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County, NJ, recently hosted the Eastern Produce Council’s (EPC) leadership development class. This year-long program is a professional development course for those with less than ten years of experience in the produce industry. The program provides the opportunity for those selected to gain valuable knowledge from both classroom and field visits. Other field visits over the past year included Holt Logistics and Port of Gloucester, Philadelphia Produce Market, and the Rutgers Snyder Research Farm. A typical seminar involves a field visit in the morning, followed by a leadership class run by the Rutgers University Office of Continuing Professional Education.
As retail markets have evolved, floral sections have become popular additions. Buying has become the responsibility of produce category managers. Even the term “produce department” has changed to be called “perishables.” The visit to Hionis Greenhouses gave the participants a first-hand view of how a vast array of floral products is grown, produced, packaged, and shipped. The tour also gave insight into the many challenges growers typically face on a day-to-day basis. The afternoon session featured a Rutgers Adjunct Professor who conducted a class focusing on mastering listening and feedback strategies. The class will officially graduate at the Eastern Produce Council’s annual trade show, scheduled
for December 13-16, 2021, in New York City. The EPC is dedicated to making the world a better place and is committed to improving the social welfare of our local and extended communities. For more than forty years, the council has made annual contributions to many deserving causes, organizations and educational institutions. The EPC is also dedicated to the advancement of agricultural studies in the states they serve. They have donated to Rutgers University and Cook College, Rutgers Agricultural Leadership Program, Cornell University and Binghamton University SUNY. Hionis Greenhouses has been proudly growing in the gardening community since 1985.
The Toro Company Recognized by EPA with WaterSense® Excellence Award The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized The Toro Company with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for its dedication to helping consumers and businesses save water, even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented during the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, The Toro Company was recognized for promoting WaterSense and water efficiency throughout 2020, along with 33 other utilities, manufacturers, builders, retailers, and other organizations that partner with WaterSense to promote water-efficient products, homes and programs. WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA and is both a label for waterefficient products and homes and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. Since the program started in 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers and businesses save 5.3 trillion gallons of water – enough to supply all
households in the United States with water for 200 days. In addition to water savings, WaterSense has helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water by 603 billion kilowatt hours and save $108 billion in water and energy bills. “In 2020, our WaterSense partners continued to make saving water possible by educating consumers and businesses about WaterSense and water-efficient behaviors,” said Veronica Blette, WaterSense program manager. “Our award winners’ creative and committed approaches to water conservation helped consumers save water, energy, and money on their utility bills at a time when they needed it most.” The Toro Company has been awarded its sixth consecutive WaterSense Excellence Award, this time in Engagement and Outreach. In 2020, Toro launched its Sustainability Endures platform to continue its commitment to making a positive financial, social and environmental impact worldwide. Toro was also recognized for several efforts including
its co-authoring of a children’s book on water conservation, designing and installing a waterefficient demonstration garden in a local park, and donating irrigation products for living gardens at several elementary schools. Toro also helped launch a series of resources to better equip contractors with the latest information on WaterSense labeled products, which have benefitted over 3,500 irrigation contractors since the series launched in 2020. To further educate distributors and irrigation contractors on the benefits of water-saving products, Toro also hosted or sponsored over 30 training events. “Sustainability and outreach are a foundational part of our purpose and culture, so it is an honor to be recognized by the EPA with this important award,” said John McPhee, general manager, Toro Irrigation and Lighting Businesses. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the EPA WaterSense program to provide product and outreach solutions that advance the responsible use of water.”
GardenerNews.com Each year as it gets closer to Thanksgiving, Americans take stock of the things for which we are thankful. A bountiful table set for dinner with family and friends symbolizes our good fortune. During the years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as chair of the State Assembly Agriculture Committee and traveling our state to visit farmers, fishermen, gardeners, farm markets and vineyards. I have been constantly impressed by the innovation and generosity of our residents in agriculture. I’ve become increasingly grateful for the innovation of the people who till New Jersey fields and fish the rivers and streams. There are so many examples, from the Darlington Mechanical Dry Harvester invented in the 1950s by South Jersey inventor and cranberry farm operator Tom Darlington, which revolutionized cranberry picking, to the recovery of our bays and rivers and the innovation of the baymen and baywomen behind the success of New Jersey’s 28 aquaculture farms. Throughout it all, generosity and helping others have been prevailing themes - much like the meeting of native Americans and the pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. There are too many examples of kindness and innovation to mention them all, so Recently, I attended a seminar co-sponsored by the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, New Jersaey Nursery Landscape Association, and the New Jersey Green Industry Council. Titled “Sustainable Land Care Workshop”, the seminar focused on how the landscape industry can incorporate additional practices into their business plans that will be beneficial to the environment. The seminar featured landscape professionals who spoke about how they transitioned their businesses to incorporate sustainable land care practices. The speakers discussed cultural methods of mowing, irrigation and seeding as well as nutrient management and the use of enhanced efficiency fertilizers and the benefits of organic matter. As the world debates the effects of climate change, and major industries have adopted new practices to minimize polluting the environment, landscape professionals have begun to examine how their industry effects our ecosystem. Being a coastal state, climate change remains a major topic of discussion, often resulting in a flurry of legislation from our state government. Governor Murphy has made clean energy a priority. Under his Energy Master Plan, key strategies are identified to reach the administration’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. For better or for worse,
November 2021 15 Agriculture and Natural Resources By Eric Houghtaling New Jersey Assemblyman
Giving Thanks for Innovation of Garden State Farmers with apologies, I’ll touch on just a few. There’s the Burlington County’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher program that has provided vouchers for seniors to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets for the past decade. Working with the US Department of Agriculture and the NJ Department of Health’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children, the county ensures that the most vulnerable seniors have nutritious fruits and vegetables from local farms. There’s the gleaning program run by NJ Agriculture Society’s Farmers Against Hunger. It brings together more than 1,200 volunteers to glean (pick) thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables that would have gone bad in the fields of local farms to provide nutritious
meals to those in need. I’m grateful to all the local gardening clubs that are building pollinator pathways and promoting native plants. There are hundreds of them in New Jersey, just like the new group that started up in my 11th Legislative District this summer. The Colts Neck Green Team is twelve residents who are using their skills and expertise to develop plans, implement programs and create educational events to raise awareness and build a framework to sustain the character and environment of Colts Neck. I’m grateful to the New Jersey towns promoting agriculture by operating farmers’ markets that create opportunities to buy locally grown and produced food. They are helping agriculture thrive. Then there are the agriculture innovators, like AeroFarms, the Newark-based indoor vertical
farming company that develops strategies to minimize the environmental footprint of indoor farming. This summer, AeroFarms expanded into the Midwest with a new vertical farm near St. Louis. There are high-tech contributors like ORBCOMM Inc., a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that’s based in Rochelle Park. This summer, the company partnered with an Australian company that provides remote monitoring technology for agriculture. ORBCOMM will use its satellite IoT technology to help farmers improve the visibility and management of their water resources. Or consider the contributions of businesses like Wakefern Food Corp., which started a program in August to cut food and plastic waste in the produce departments of its ShopRite stores with reusable
NJ Agricultural Society By Al Murray Executive Director
Making a Green Industry Greener
environmentalists have long targeted the landscape industry as a source of pollution. Complaints about noise have led to local ordinances banning leaf blowers. The state legislature remains poised to ban landscape use of neonicotinoids (pesticides used to control insect damage on lawns.) Other bills are being considered that will regulate the use of fertilizers. Environmentalists argue that fertilizer run-off pollutes the state’s waterways, and emissions from gas powered equipment pollutes our air. Traditionally, outdoor power equipment operated independently of the Environmental Protection Agency’s emission requirements. Consequently, manufacturers of these products never had to concern themselves with noise, emissions, or fuel efficiency. This is about to change. Studies from the Environmental Protection Agency have concluded that each horsepower unit from a gas mower equals the emissions
of 3.67 cars traveling 55 mph. A 24-horsepower commercial mower would equal the emissions of 88 cars. The EPA also concluded that just one 2-cycle string trimmer can produce as many emissions in one hour as a full-size pickup truck traveling over 3,000 miles. Activists are pushing for more regulations, and across the country communities are exploring alternative measures to maintain their landscapes. As a result of these concerns, the concept of Sustainable Land Care has evolved. Sustainable landscaping can be defined as a type of gardening or landscaping that takes the environmental issue of sustainability into account. This includes design, construction and management of residential and commercial gardens, and incorporates organic lawn management and organic gardening techniques. A sustainable landscape is designed to be both attractive and to rely on the use of native plants, which
in theory should require minimal resource inputs. As part of sustainable development, close attention is paid to preserving limited resources, reducing waste, and preventing air, water, and soil pollution. Compost, fertilization, integrated pest management, use of native species and appropriate use of turf and water are all components of sustainable landscaping. Sustainable land care practices can help commercial landscaping companies save money. Benefits also include reduced water usage and limited surface runoff, minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides, use of green waste, and conservation of energy and resources. Sustainable land care also emphasizes the use of electric equipment. As international research into electric batteries has exploded, this has led to the development of reliable and powerful landscape equipment that rivals gas engines. These electric machines require very little maintenance – no spark plugs or
plastic containers (RPCs). Based in Keasbey, Wakefern has partnered with companies specializing in RPCs to improve the quality and sustainability of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as lower costs for shoppers. The packaging will save shippers time, space and money, and stack more easily for efficient warehouse storage. There are so many more examples of innovation and generosity, and each one is another reason why we must work hard in the State Legislature to support the Right to Farm Act and why we, as consumers, should support agriculture by buying Jersey Fresh foods. So, this year, when the family gets together on November 25 - and all year long - load up your table with delicious Jersey Fresh produce, fish and meats, and enjoy. Have a wonderful, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.
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 732-6953371 or AsmHoughtaling@ njleg.org, or by mail at 802 W Park Ave, Ste 302, Ocean Township 07712. oil changes – produce very low noise levels, have zero emissions, and have eliminated the cost of gasoline. In an effort to define and create sustainable land care standards, the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) was formed. Founded in California, the AGZA is now active in seven states, and has a certification program for landscape companies seeking to provide sustainable services to their customers. The AGZA also created standards that communities can use when bidding out contracts. Changes in landscape practices are inevitable. Congratulations to the seminar sponsors for giving us a peek into the future.
Editor’s Note: Al Murray is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Society. Established in 1781, the Society is New Jersey’s oldest organization whose purpose is to advocate, educate and promote on behalf of New Jersey’s agricultural industry. Mr. Murray previously spent his entire career at the NJ Department of Agriculture, serving as the Assistant Secretary. He can be reached at njagriculturalsociety@ gmail.com
16 November 2021 The goldenrods which were mostly disregarded for decades as a roadside weed have become very popular in recent years as great stalwart perennials that are durable and resilient in the landscape, attract a myriad of pollinators, are relatively deer resistant, and provide golden flowers throughout late summer and into the fall. I was recently on Martha’s Vineyard, and growing in the dunes was Solidago sempervirens. This seaside goldenrod is found in coastal habitats from Newfoundland to Texas. Because of its natural habitat, it can withstand periods of wet conditions as well as exposure to salt. Depending on the fertility of the soil, it will vary in height from three to six feet. It flowers in mid- to late-September with terminal clusters of golden yellow flowers. It is a food source for migrating monarchs. The zig-zag goldenrod, Solidago flexicaulis, is native to woodlands throughout a myriad of habits in eastern North America. This clumpforming goldenrod reaches three feet tall and is covered with yellow flowers from late summer into the fall. It is great grown in combination with fall blooming asters such as ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ and ‘October Skies’, the threadleaf bluestar, Amsonia hubrictii and many
GardenerNews.com Pennsylvania Horticultural Society By Andrew Bunting Vice President of Public Horticulture
ornamental grasses including prairie dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepis. The nectar feeds bees, wasps, flies and butterflies. The seed heads are a good food source for a host of songbirds. While this goldenrod is native to woodlands, it will thrive and flower best in full sun. Another native of the woodlands is Solidago caesia, commonly called wreath goldenrod and bluestem goldenrod. This small statured species has arching stems with tiny yellow flowers in the axils of the leaves. Perfect for the smaller garden, it can be combined with other like-sized natives like Heuchera villosa, and Eurybia divaricata (syn. Aster divaricatus). For a profusion of flowers in late summer, I love Solidago puberula, the downy goldenrod. Reaching three feet tall, this upright goldenrod is covered with tiny yellow-orange flowers on the top half of the plant.
Occurring in sandy soils along the Northeast, it is another great species that can tolerate extreme drought as well as some salt. Solidago shortii ‘Solar Cascade’ was introduced by the Cincinnati Zoo Botanic Garden through their Native Endangered Plant Program. This medium-sized species is clump-forming and produces many arching stems with flowers all along the stem. It creates a great textural effect in the garden as the stems move gracefully with breezes. It is very drought tolerant. Middle Tennessee State University found that the species’ smaller leaves and large roots allow it to prosper in conditions of drought. Short’s goldenrod is only found in three counties in northern Kentucky. In the garden, it is effective grown in masses where you can fully appreciate all the arching stems. One of my favorites has actually been in cultivation
now for years. Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ has sprays of golden fireworkslike flowers in late summer and into the fall. The flowers cascade from the top of the plant, creating an airy quality. This exceptional cultivar was selected at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. At the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Solidago trial, this goldenrod was one of the top ranked selections. This cultivar of the wrinkleleaf goldenrod is great for public areas, urban plantings, etc. in that it is very durable and can withstand a multitude of soil conditions. In general, all goldenrods will grow best in full sun, and depending on the species can be very tolerant of a wide range of soil moisture and soil types. As goldenrods expand in the garden, they can be divided in the spring and planted elsewhere in the garden or shared with your friends. All solidagos are an excellent pollinator source for bees, wasps, butterflies,
moths and pollinating bees, and when seeds are set in the fall they are an important food source for sparrows and other songbirds. In the fall garden they combine beautifully with the many fall blooming asters, native grasses, toadlilies (Tricyrtis) and work well with native shrubs like sumacs (Rhus), Virginia sweetspire (Itea) and summersweet (Clethra). Editor’s Note: Andrew Bunting is Vice President of Public Horticulture for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is one of the most recognized horticulturists in the Philadelphia, Pa., region and a highly regarded colleague in the world of professional horticulture. Bunting has amassed a plethora of awards, including the American Public Gardens Association Professional Citation, Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, Delaware Center for Horticulture’s Marion Marsh Award, and the Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In addition, Bunting has lectured extensively throughout North America and Europe, and participated in plant expeditions throughout Asia and Africa. Learn more at https://phsonline.org/team/ andrew-bunting
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will Return to FDR Park in 2022
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has announced the location, dates, and theme for its highly anticipated 2022 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. “In Full Bloom” will take place in South Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) from Saturday, June 11 through Sunday, June 19, 2022. As the world evolves, the inherent beauty in nature restores us. One’s garden provides a place for healing and connection. The 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show, “In Full Bloom,” welcomes all as we journey to explore the restorative and healing power of nature and
plants, while experiencing all that gardening offers to improve our lives. This year’s theme connotes good health, a positive well-being, and a passion for life that culminates in a gorgeous and colorful spectacle. Guests will encounter outdoor gardens at the peak of seasonal perfection and beauty that will inspire everyone to plan for a better tomorrow. In its second year hosting The Flower Show at FDR Park, PHS plans upgrades and enhancements based on feedback from guests, staff, and stakeholders. Guests will find improvements to several areas of the Show in order to deliver a
high-quality customer experience, including parking, transportation, ticketing, and design. FDR Park serves as the ideal location for the outdoor 2022 Flower Show. A registered historical district designed by famed landscape architects, the Olmsted Brothers in the early 20th century, FDR Park features impressive landscapes and architecture with walkable pathways, majestic trees, and breathtaking views. FDR Park is an inspiring venue that contributes to the splendor that the Flower Show is known for, while also being accessible by mass transit and car. The decision to produce the 2022
PHS Philadelphia Flower Show outdoors was made to accommodate the continuing challenges and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. FDR Park’s spacious 15-acre footprint allows for social distancing and the associated health benefits of being outside. Public safety is a critical component for the upcoming Show, and adherence to recommendations from City/State health officials is paramount to Show planning. PHS will continue to work closely with health officials leading up to the Show with updated guidance available online. Learn more at https://phsonline. org/the-flower-show
November 2021 17
Organic Fresh Produce Sales Up 3% in Q3 2021, Continue to Outpace Conventional Total organic fresh produce sales for the third quarter of 2021 saw a continuation of year-over-year growth, increasing by 3 percent from the same period last year and nearing $2.3 billion for the quarter, according to the Q3 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released exclusively by Organic Produce Network and Category Partners. As foodservice sectors continued to reopen, the third quarter of 2021 generated growth in organic fresh produce sales at retail—even despite a comp period of Q3 2020 that was highlighted by pandemic-driven high-volume consumer purchasing behavior. Organic dollar sales increased by 3.4 percent from Q3 of last year, totaling $2.29 billion for the quarter, with organic volume growing by 1.6 percent. By contrast, conventionally grown fresh produce saw sales increase by 1.3 percent and volume decline by 2.3 percent
compared to Q3 last year. With an 11-percent increase in dollar growth over the same period last year, the organic berry category (which includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) reigned as the number one organic segment by dollar sales in Q3 2021, topping $407 million for the quarter. The berry category also saw volume growth for the quarter, up 7.3 percent. Apples showed the largest sales dollar increase for Q3 2021, up 12.7 percent from the same period last year. Lettuce (up 6.3 percent), citrus (up 5.7 percent), and bananas (up 3.8 percent) delivered volume gains, while packaged salad volume was down (-0.8 percent) for the quarter. Three categories—berries, apples, and packaged salads—accounted for 85 percent of all organic fresh produce year-over-year dollar growth in Q3 2021. “The good news is Q3 2021
continued to generate year-overyear growth in organic produce sales despite the Q3 2020 comp period driven by pandemic buying behavior,” said Steve Lutz, senior vice president of insights and innovation at Category Partners. “It is encouraging to note that even though consumer purchases of conventional produce were lower [by volume] than Q3 of last year, organic produce continues to generate growth—an indication that the longer-term trend of consumers moving toward organic produce continues to grow as organic’s share of the market rises.” The top 10 organic produce categories showed mixed results in sales growth for the third quarter of 2021, with berries, apples, packaged salads, lettuce, bananas, lettuce, and carrots registering sales dollar gains, while herbs, tomatoes, citrus, and potatoes showed modest declines. Berries were the star performer in
volume growth, joining bananas, apples, onions, citrus, and lettuce in gains for the quarter. Year-over-year organic produce sales growth for Q3 was weakest in the West at 1.1 percent, while the weakest year-over-year volume change for the same period was found in the Northeast (-1.5 percent). Overall organic performance was strongest in the South, where dollar sales jumped by 4.7 percent, and volume increased by 3.4 percent in Q3 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. The Q3 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report utilized Nielsen retail scan data covering total food sales and outlets in the US over the months of July, August, and September. The full Q3 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report is available at https://www. org a n ic p r o d u c e ne t wor k .c om / education
18 November 2021
Breeding Honey Bees for Adaptation to Regionalized Plants and Artificial Diets (Continued from page 1)
In most commercial apiaries, honey bees do not have the opportunity to naturally breed to adapt to local conditions because commercial beekeepers typically replace the queen in each colony every year. The queen in a colony is the only bee that lays eggs to produce the next generation. Beekeepers usually purchase new queens already inseminated from a handful of queen breeders in the United States. As a result, honey bees across the country generally have the same range of genes for nutritional responses without any specialized adaptation. Honey bees have already been successfully bred for a very few selected traits, among them Varroa mite resistance. Varroa mites are among the single largest problem afflicting honey bees in the United States today. “It was a little surprising to find when we started this study that, despite a sizable body of research pertaining to honey bee nutrition, relatively little is known about the effects of genetic variation on nutritional response,” Ricigliano said. His next step is to refine knowledge about what genes control which nutrient and metabolic pathways, and where the greatest amount of genetic variation exists, so that breeding plans can be specific and scientifically guided. Editor’s Note: The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $17 of economic impact.
Public Service Announcement To reduce litter, NJ Law mandates that plastic straws will only be provided upon request starting November 4, 2021. To reduce litter, NJ law will ban retail stores from providing single-use plastic bags starting next May. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, when the clock will “fall back” one hour.
GardenerNews.com Growing Gardeners By Diana Dove Environmental Educator
Youth Garden Clubs Inspire Future Gardeners
Teaching garden activities to children and teens can have an exponential impact for a lifetime. Joining a youth garden club offers endless learning possibilities and benefits for GROWING GARDENERS. A youth garden club could be organized through a school, day care center, aftercare program, YMCA, camp, arboretum, park system, nature or environmental center, library, summer recreation program, swim club, church, community garden, scouts, farmers’ market, or a local adult garden club. Youth garden clubs educate young participants about gardening and/or garden related activities. Youth may develop a sense of stewardship which is crucial to securing our next generation of gardeners. Participants learn about their environment and make connections that lead them to develop responsible habits and lifestyles that protect our natural resources… this leads to sound environmental decision-making as adults. There are endless youth garden activities from which to choose! Consider the age range, group size, length of meeting, time of year, and meeting place when choosing the activities that best fit your group. It is suggested to ask the youth members to vote and choose the activities they wish to cover. If they play a role in deciding what activities to choose, higher attendance will result! Sponsors, fundraising, grants, and donations are means of financing these kinds of activities. Some presenters may offer programs free of charge as part of their job or through a grant, but always be sure presenters are “kid friendly” and recommended for youth. Are they able to hold the group’s attention? Do they use words that are easily understood by your club’s age level? Some youth clubs might garden at a school or community garden,
a pocket park, or a rain garden. Youth clubs could plant a garden on county fairgrounds or at a local Fire House or grow a square-foot garden at a YMCA. Youth might learn floral design. A youth club could build blue bird boxes or assist with building raised garden beds. Other projects could include composting, reforestation or planting a riparian buffer. Art activities could include plant pressing, wreath making, plant jewelry, painting, drawing, nature crafts, videography and garden photography. Students might compete in youth contests such as environmental essay, poster, or poetry contests or they might design youth educational exhibits for Flower Shows, Green Festivals and community outreach. Special presenters could offer environmental lessons about the five R’s (refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle), conservation, weather, outdoor survival skills, maple sugaring, seed germination, poisonous and invasive plants, venomous animals, wildlife programs about worms, beneficial insects, pollinators, bee keeping, birds, local wildlife, and habitat protection. A native plant walk or family program could be scheduled to celebrate National Garden Week, June 5 to 11, 2022, or plan Arbor Day and Earth Week activities for April. Our Karen Nash Memorial Butterfly Garden (KNMBG) Youth Garden Club gardened on past youth community service days, such as Nickelodeon’s Big Help Day in April and National Make A Difference Day, held annually on the fourth Saturday in October. Who would make a good Youth Garden Club Leader? Someone who loves plants and volunteering with children, and someone who is patient, enthusiastic, organized, and works with a positive attitude. Most
importantly, youth leaders must be able to communicate well with the age range of their clubs. Websites can be helpful resources, but check your sources to be sure they are reliable. You will find garden education websites that describe youth activities, lesson plans, gardening basics, grants, contests, and blogs. A few examples are: “Kids Gardening” www.kidsgardening. org and “Kids Garden for Wildlife” www.nwf.org which contains crafts, outdoor activities, and printables for all ages. Search: “Garden Clubs,” “Teen/ Youth/Preschool Gardening,” and more. Start a notebook to create your own collection of information that fits the age range and focus of your youth club. Encourage youth members to keep a journal. They will practice observation and writing skills as they document what they did at each meeting. They can describe changes in living things they observe, or write stories, poems, or draw sketches. They’ll record, “How’s the weather?” Gardeners should be weather-wise. Youth Garden Clubs engage in hands-on learning; some garden in their outdoor classroom. This type of learning is experienced first hand rather than through reading. It’s memorable and easy for children to understand as they explore, then learn how things are connected. Please contact me for information about youth garden clubs or youth garden poster, essay, sculpture or poetry contests. I have seen that children who garden find it relaxing and healing in times of stress. Those involved in gardening outside find it invigorating in the fresh air and sunshine. While maintaining social distancing, these outdoor activities are educational, successful, and rewarding for GROWING GARDENERS. It’s just more fun in a youth garden club!
Editor’s Note: Diana is an Environmental Educator who can be reached at dianadove13@ gmail.com She co-teaches “Wildlife & Litter” programs with her husband, Mike. They offer this and Wildlife Education booths, free, with kids’ crafts, fully funded by County and Local NJ Clean Communities for Pre-K through all grade levels and adults. Please ‘Like” the FB page of the Karen Nash Memorial Butterfly Garden she founded in Washington Borough, Warren County. Diana is Co-Youth Chair on the Board of the Garden Club of New Jersey and is the 2021 National Garden Club Youth Leader Award Recipient. She has a BS in Forestry & Wildlife Management, with a concentration in Biology, plus a BA in Communications from Virginia Tech. She is a former Senior Naturalist for Somerset County Parks and has been teaching since 1975.
GardenerNews.com It is rare for a low maintenance shrub, capable of providing the garden with four seasons of interest, to be relatively uncommon in the home landscape. Oddly, this is the fate of Virginia Sweetspire and it was not until the late 1980’s that this plant began to gain limited recognition with gardeners. Botanically named Itea virginica, it seemingly appears to be a ‘late bloomer’ to the gardening world, yet it was a well admired plant in the 1700’s and is a plant in need of rediscovery! Itea virginica is a member of the Iteaceae Family and contains ten species, nine of which are native to portions of Eastern Asia. The genus name was penned in 1753 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) and stems from the Greek Ītéa meaning willow, a reference to its long, willow-like foliage. The species epithet is in homage to the area in which it was discovered by plant explorer John Bartram (16991777). Bartram lived outside of Philadelphia and traveled extensively throughout Eastern North America, collecting plants and seeds. To help offset his expenses, he sold plant material and seeds to individuals of wealth Part 1 – In Which We Meet our Hero Author’s note: You can read the introduction to The Mudlark and the Orchid at www.GardenerNews. com. Search “Read Back Issues” for September, 2021’s Orchid Delirium. Parts 2 and 3 will be printed in the next two issues of Gardener News. Now, step back in time for this tale of an eight-yearold mudlark and his horticultural adventures in Victorian London. “Give it ‘ere.” He was a big lad, bigger n’me. But I would not give my prize to him. As luck would have it, another mudlark, for that is what we were called, raised his hands and a pale ray of London’s morning light glimmered on the silver thimble he held aloft. Even plate would mean eating well and a warm bed for a fortnight. The bully turned and I ran. The flat bank of the Thames stretched before me. Pickings were best here in all of London. When the tide was out, one could find all sorts – bits of pottery, buttons and nails, rope, hairpins, buckles, I heard Roman coins even. We mudlarks knew the Thames’s tides well. In spring, miles upon miles of smooth brown sludge were revealed and all that it contained there for us to find. That morning, as I stood knee
November 2021 19 remaining portions. The plant was named by Judy Zuk, the Morris County Park Director of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College at the Commission time. She combined Mary’s last name with the official school By Bruce Crawford color of Swarthmore – Garnet – Horticultural Manager and the name was born! Virginia Sweetspire looks wonderful in mass and makes a great companion for plants with red autumn fruits like tall. Typically, the stems display and hardy selections has proven Winterberry Holly, pink flower reddish tones during winter, to be ‘Henry’s Garnet’. Henry plumes like Dallas Blues Switch adding a much needed splash of refers not to a man’s first name, Grass or pink autumn flowers color against a blanket of snow. but to Mrs. Mary G. Henry, like Hydrangea paniculata Come May, the plants slowly Founder of the Henry Foundation ‘Limelight’. As you study your leaf out with the foliage initially for Botanical Research. She garden ‘bones’ this fall and a light green in color before found the plant near Sharpsburg, winter, contemplate how this developing deeper green tones Georgia in November of 1954 plant might be able to enhance come summer. Starting in late and was struck by the stunning your garden. It may be a ‘late May through mid-June, numerous fall color that persisted well into bloomer’ to modern gardeners, short leafy stems give rise to 3-6” winter. The plants also have a but it is a plant most worthy of long by ⅝” diameter pendant more compact habit, typically rediscovery! flower racemes, each radially growing to a height near 4’ with clothed in ½ inch diameter, 5 a good floral display. Normally, petaled flowers. The white plants from more southern Editor’s Note: Bruce flowers are lightly and pleasantly provenances are marginally hardy Crawford is a lover of plants fragrant and last for close to 3 in New Jersey, but this plant has since birth, is the Manager of weeks. Although authorities proven to be among one of the Horticulture for the Morris often vacillate on the impact of hardiest forms, easily surviving County Parks Commission, the floral display, when the plant temperatures of -15 degrees and a Past President of is used in mass in bright shade or Fahrenheit. Come winter, the the Garden State Gardens a sunny location, I find the effect younger stems develop deep red Consortium. He can be totally intoxicating! colors on the sunny, southwestern reached at BCrawford@ One of the most attractive side and green to brown on the morrisparks.net
Itea – A Plant in Need of Rediscovery in Europe as well as provide specimens for Linnaeus to study. In Bartram’s plant catalogue, Virginia Sweetspire was described as ‘a handsome flowerg shrub’. Granted, the spelling may not reflect current standards, but the description is most appropriate. Itea virginica is a multistemmed, suckering shrub, growing naturally in moist to wet soils along streams, ponds and in Pine Barren communities. It is native from southern New Jersey south to Florida and west to the Mississippi River Valley and southern Illinois. In sunny locations, the plant forms a dense thicket with stems growing to 4-6’ tall and the suckering rootstock slowly spreading to a width of 8-10’. In shaded sites, the plants are far less dense and can stretch to upwards of ten foot
The Garden Historian By Lesley Parness Garden Educator
The Mudlark and The Orchid
deep in muck, a lighter and a barge carrying oats for horse’s feed jostled under London Bridge. My prize had slipped gently off the larger boat and bobbed in the brown water. Unlike many mudlarks, I could swim as my brother James had taught me last summer when he was still alive. I screwed up my courage and swam toward the strange glass box floating towards me. Back on shore, I stowed it under James’s oversized jacket. Up the Queen’s stairs I raced, two at a time and then in the shadow of some pilings I examined my find. A box it was. A wooden box fitted out with glass panes. Like the glasshouse in Hyde Park my mum had taken James and me to see three years gone. The Crystal Palace it were called. This box was small, perhaps 12 inches long , wide, and tall. It surely
will fetch a good price I thought, puzzling over the strange brown root within it. A queer feeling came over me then. For although this object looked dead, still, it felt alive. I touched it tentatively, and thought I felt it throb. Like a hurt bird, I reasoned in my 8-yearold mind. A hurt bird should be placed somewhere warm and quiet my mum would say. My mum loved birds and sometimes when she found an injured one in the grand squares where she sold violets, she would bring it home and care for it this way. She had died two years ago of a cough that would not cease and left her breathless, with two bright spots upon her cheeks. Consumption it were called. Thinking of her, and her love for plants, I determined this is what I would do with my strange root in its glass box. The morning streets were
crowded now as costa mongers sang out their wares. “Rutabaga and skirrets, sea kale and salsify” they called from carts led by donkeys. Botany Bens, young men selling potted plants from hand pulled carts, flirted with scullery maids and showed off their fine geraniums, heliotrope and begonias. Home I thought, but first breakfast. So, I headed to Clapham Road where two hot oyster pies could be had for a farthing. In Well Close Square I passed a neat brick house as the door opened and a finely dressed gentlemen emerged. The shining black doorplate read “Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward.” And glad I was then that my mum had made me go to Ragged School for two terms, for there I had learned to read a little. Dr. Ward boarded his carriage with a smile and a wave to the figure in
the window. From behind a lace curtain, a woman inclined her head and as she did so, I could see the interior of the front parlor and all that graced its windowsill. A glass box, very like the one I now concealed under my dead brother’s jacket, sat there. In it, a plant unlike any I had ever seen. Sidling closer to the window, I stood on tip toes and read the brass plaque affixed “Phalaenopsis x intermedia.’ Thinking on this, I purchased my pies and set off home. Editor’s Note: Lesley Parness offers a variety of presentations and workshops for garden clubs, plant societies, and horticultural gatherings. Recently retired from her position as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission, and with four decades of teaching environmental science and garden education, her focus now is garden history. A complete listing of her talks can be seen at lesleyparness. com and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column will appear in the paper every other month.
20 November 2021
NORTHEAST DEPARTMENT CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
$10 Million Covid Relief Funds to CT Dairy and Aquaculture Governor Ned Lamont announced that he is directing nearly $10 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding and American Recovery Plan Act funding to support Connecticut’s dairy and aquaculture industries, which experienced significant market disruptions during the pandemic, negatively impacting sales. Additional funds will be used to address food insecurity with funds to purchase CT Grown products for drive-through distributions and extending the availability of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at farmers markets. This comes in addition to $1.45 million that was previously allocated to programs that support farmers and food access in Connecticut, including CT Grown for CT Kids; the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; the Senior’s Farmers Market Nutrition program; and Foodshare’s drive-through distribution. These dollars will keep Foodshare distribution open through at least the end of October. With these new dollars, the state will have reached
a total investment of $10.3 million in these programs. “Connecticut agriculture was deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to continue planting, growing, and harvesting a diverse array of food critical to feeding the residents of our state,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “However, like so many others, these family businesses were negatively impacted by market disruptions and closures. These funds will strengthen those sectors most severely impacted while also investing in food security programs buying Connecticut Grown food products to support local families.” “COVID-19 market disruptions shuttered many opportunities and devastated the aquaculture and dairy markets,” Joan Nichols, executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association said. “These strategic investments in agriculture are in great need for farmers to continue operating and providing safe, affordable, and healthy foods to residents.”
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
State Agricultural Officials Discover Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Population in Worcester County The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced today that a small population of the invasive spotted lanternfly has been found in the City of Fitchburg, close to where a lanternfly nymph was reported earlier this summer. Agricultural inspectors are in the middle of performing extensive surveys in the area, but currently the infestation is limited to a single cluster of three trees. While MDAR has not been able to determine the origin of the infestation, spotted lanternflies have been known to travel out of infested states on cars, trucks, and trains, during shipments of produce, sheds, and gazebos, trees and shrubs for landscaping, and many other items that are regularly sent from states with known infestations. As a result of this new find, MDAR is urging the public to be on the lookout for the pest, especially residents that live or work in the Fitchburg area.
Spotted lanternflies may be found on sides of buildings, in or on vehicles, and on their preferred host plants: tree of heaven, grape vines, and maple and walnut trees. Anyone who has recently received goods or materials from states where SLF is known to have been introduced (including Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) should also be on the lookout. If residents find anything suspicious, they are asked to take a photo or collect the specimen, and report the sighting using MDAR’s online reporting form at https://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/ spottedlanternfly.html. Residents should look for both adult insects (large, gray bugs, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings) and egg masses (inch-long, rectangular masses, yellowishbrown, and covered with a gray waxy coating). The egg masses may be found on any flat surface.
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PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Secretary of Agriculture Reveals 2022 PA Farm Show Theme: Harvesting More Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will run from Saturday, January 8 through Saturday, January 15 and will be hosted at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. “Each year, the Pennsylvania Farm Show chooses a theme to convey our vision for the future of Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Redding. “After cultivating virtually in 2021, it’s only natural that we Harvest More in 2022 as we join together in Harrisburg once again, we’ll showcase a harvested bounty of innovative projects, sustainable practices, empowered agriculturalists, engaged youth and inspiring stories of our powerful agriculture industry. I hope you join us as we Harvest More, together, in Harrisburg in January.” Following the 2021 virtual Farm Show and its theme of Cultivating Tomorrow, the 2022 PA Farm Show theme will be Harvesting More. With the Department of Agriculture currently in the process of rolling out programs and funding opportunities for the third Pennsylvania Farm Bill, Pennsylvania is harvesting the products of investments in the industry made by Governor Tom Wolf. The 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show will feature a return of fan-favorites like the 1,000 pound butter sculpture, famous Farm Show Food Court, bunny hopping and sheep shearing competitions (among hundreds of other competitive agricultural events), cooking demonstrations at the PA Preferred® Culinary Connection, and more than one million square feet of hands-on agriculture education opportunities and chances to engage with the people who power Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry. To stay up to date on PA Farm Show news, visit farmshow.pa.gov
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OF AGRICULTURE NEWS NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Great New York State Fair to Provide Enhanced Experience and Greater Coordination Among County Fairs in 2022 Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Great New York State Fair will return in 2022 as a 13-day event, running from Wednesday, August 24 to Labor Day, Monday, September 5. The return to a 13-day event will allow for greater participation of fairgoers and vendors at not only the New York State Fair, but also at a number of the State’s county fairs that had coinciding schedules. The Governor also directed a review to assess support, growth and revitalization opportunities for all fairs in New York as the State moves into the next fair season. Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball will work with county fairs to evaluate ways to increase marketing and promotion of county fairs, as well as opportunities to improve youth and agricultural programming initiatives at all fairs statewide, including the State Fair. The review will also examine the State Fair’s smoking policy, considering fairgoer feedback and experience. “The Great New York State Fair is a celebration of this exciting place we all call home, and this year’s Fair was no different, delivering a safe and fun event for all,” Governor Hochul said. “Returning to a 13-day schedule next year ensures that fairgoers can once again experience all of their favorite shows, exhibits, vendors, and attractions around the New York State Fair while also supporting greater coordination with our county and youth fairs. This will provide an increased economic benefit to more communities and encourage New Yorkers to experience the best of agriculture and entertainment across the State. We are ready to help and support all fairs, and to do what’s best for everyone to enjoy them.” The 180-year-old State Fair has lengthened steadily over the last century, stretching back further into August from its traditional final day on Labor Day. The 13-day Fair has been a cornerstone of the Fair’s recent revitalization, which has led to increased growth and fairgoer satisfaction. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This year’s State Fair safely showcased the best of what New York State has to offer, and felt extra special after so much time away. As we begin to plan for next year, we are excited about the opportunity to enhance our programming, particularly as we look at agricultural and youth activities, and to work with our county fairs to coordinate on some of these initiatives. I am already looking forward to the return of the 2022 Great New York State Fair.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Elected as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture At the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 22, NASDA members elected a new slate of officers for the coming year. New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball will serve as NASDA’s 2021-2022 President and will host the 2022 NASDA Annual Meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York, on September 26-29, 2022. “I am honored to be elected NASDA’s new president and to lead as our states work together to ensure that agriculture continues to grow and thrive,” said Commissioner Ball. “I have long valued the opportunity to gather with some of the best minds in agriculture, our commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture, as well as our community partners, collaborating through NASDA to advocate for and implement change that will have a lasting impact on our shared industry. The policies set forth and implemented by NASDA this year will deliver on our collective commitment to address the most important and pressing agricultural issues of today while strengthening our farms and food supply for the future.” Also elected to NASDA’s Board of Directors were Wyoming Director of Agriculture Doug Miyamoto (Vice President), Indiana Director of Agriculture Bruce Kettler (Second Vice President), and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward (Secretary-Treasurer). Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles will serve as NASDA’s Past President and Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur will serve in the At-Large position. Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt, Illinois Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello and Washington State Director of Agriculture Derek Sandison will serve as the Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western representatives respectively. Following his election, Commissioner Ball appointed the leadership of NASDA’s six policy committees: Marketing and International Trade Committee • Chair: Washington Director of Agriculture Derek Sandison (Continuing) • Vice Chair: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig (Continuing) Natural Resources and Environment Committee • Chair: Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse (Newly appointed) • Vice Chair: New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte (Newly appointed) Animal Agriculture Committee • Chair: Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur (Continuing) • Vice Chair: Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher (Continuing) Plant Agriculture & Pesticide Regulation Committee • Chair: Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt (Continuing) • Vice Chair: Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn (Continuing) Rural Development and Financial Security Committee • Chair: Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen (Continuing) • Vice Chair: West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt (Continuing) Food Systems and Nutrition Committee • Chair: California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross (Continuing) • Vice Chair: Maine Commissioner of Agriculture Amanda Beal (Continuing) NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.
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on average Traqline share snowblower blower market 2013-March 2021. †Based†Based on average Traqline unitunit share forforsnow marketfrom from 2013-March 2021.