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in South Jersey Health // Beauty // Lifestyle


Beating breast cancer and loving life

GET YOUR RIDE ON One woman - two bikes Lots of fun!

PLASTIC SURGERY Q&As with Dr. Sean Bidic, Plastic Surgeon

MHWTC: GIRL POWER Women’s triathlon club grows like wildfire...changes lives

SJ MARKET GARDENING How New Jersey got it’s nickname: The Garden State

• Breast Augmentation • Mommy Makeover • Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) • Liposuction • Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss • Buttock Augmentation • Complex or Secondary Cosmetic Procedures • Scar Revision

• Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty) • Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) • Face Lift • Brow Lift • Neck Lift • Injectables: Juvederm Restylane Botox/Dysport

(856) 362-8898

2950 College Drive, Suite 2H Vineland, NJ

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Cancer will test your grit...and your faith. Michelle’s story of breast cancer and how it has impacted her life and outlook

Training man’s best friend will create a longlasting bond that will benefit both you and your pup.



around our towns






in South Jersey iLIVE in South Jersey Published by M2 Publishing LLC 856.381.3552 EDITOR // Chas Minix CREATIVE DIRECTOR // Michelle Minix



Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club Kick’s Butt and works to “end the stigma” of mental illnesses

Dr. Bidic answers your questions about common plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures



ADVERTISING MANAGER // Chas Minix CONTRIBUTING WRITERS // Andrea M. Greene Michael L. Jordan Darrin Greene Dr. Sean Bidic PHOTOGRAPHER // Heather Danner, Danner Photography PRINTING // Document Concepts Inc.



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Andrea Greene shares the thrill of riding with a great team, with the sun at your back and the wind in your face

How the Garden State got it’s name and what local gardeners are doing to bring back the tradition

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iLIVE in South Jersey Magazine is available free of charge at approved public and private establishments. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The advertisers assume sole responsibility for all statements contained in submitted or approved copy.




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NEW NORMAL In October 2011, my world was rocked by the words “your test results came back positive.” I had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the right breast – considered as Stage 0 due to its very treatable nature. Even so, it was shocking…you just never expect it to happen to you. Right from the beginning though, Chas and I decided to trust the outcome to God. He gave us both a “peace that surpasses understanding.”


We began working with Dr. Malini Iyer of the Underwood Women’s Breast Center in Mullica Hill. Dr. Iyer is a wonderful, compassionate breast surgeon with years of experience and knowledge from her time at Fox Chase. Dr. Iyer ordered several tests including core needle biopsies, which I scheduled at Booth Radiology. The team at Booth got me in quickly and I had the distinct impression they’ve done this before. At a rate of approximately 500 core needle biopsies in a year, they were quick and efficient while being completely sensitive to my comfort and dignity. Trust me – it wasn’t pain free, but the three of them worked in unison to distract me, make me laugh and get me through it quickly. In fact, each and every time I’ve had to go back for another test, their staff has been friendly, courteous and respectful of my time.

...a “peace that surpasses understanding.”


As soon as Dr. Iyer received the results, she contacted me. Chas and I were back in her office listening to the options that were now before us. Lumpectomy, unilateral mastectomy, bilateral mastectomy, DCIS, …and lots of terms that would make you glaze over if it wasn’t your own body you were hearing about. Dr. Iyer was thorough in educating us about what was going on in my body and about my options, while taking all the time in the world for our questions. It was just amazing.

iLIVE In South Jersey In the end, I’m sure it was divine intervention that convinced us to go with a bilateral (or double) mastectomy. Only the Lord knew the extent of the cancer at that point in time. While all the tests and x-rays and CT-scans were confirming Stage 0 DCIS, He alone knew there was a tumor growing in my breast‌and He alone knew there were cancer cells making their way through my lymph nodes. Had I opted to go with the lumpectomy, I would have come out of anesthesia shocked to learn I needed a mastectomy instead. In choosing a bilateral mastectomy, there were a number of options for reconstruction. That presented another topic of research, one that is very personal. In the end, we chose my plastic surgeon, Dr. Sean Bidic, based on his experience, his openness and his portfolio. Dr. Bidic, of American Surgical Arts, had the credentials, the history and the personality that made us feel most comfortable. At our initial consultation, Dr. Bidic pulled out an


extensive portfolio of reconstructions he had done and explained in detail some of the reconstruction procedures he recommends. We left his office armed with a number of options to think about. In the weeks leading up to my surgery, I did tons of research online and in print. Weighing pros and cons of the different reconstruction choices, learning what could have caused me to have cancer in the first place, and continuing to go before the Lord for guidance and wisdom.

A bad situation got worse...and I was reclassified as Stage 3b breast cancer 5

MAMMOGRAMSSAVELIVES One in nine women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Screening mammography, along with breast selfexamination, can often detect cancers early. The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology recommend a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40 and an annual mammogram after the age of 40. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer may be asked to begin annual mammograms at an earlier age.

What is mammography? Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a lowdose x-ray system for examination of the breasts. HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A MAMMOGRAM? Preparing for your mammogram is very easy: Wear a twopiece outfit. Do not use deodorants, powders, ointments or creams before the exam. Avoid coming for your mammogram just prior to or during your menstrual period if you have breast tenderness during that time.

wHAT CAN I EXPECT? According to Sherrill Little, MD, a radiologist at Booth Radiology, some women experience minor discomfort during the compression stage of a mammogram. Compression is needed to obtain the best possible image, while exposing the patient to the least amount of radiation possible. Compression is not dangerous and does not cause any long-term discomfort. For women with implants, a modified technique is used to obtain the best image possible. Typically, two views of each breast are taken during the procedure. The films are viewed through a specialized software program and are reviewed by a radiologists who will send a report to your referring physician. If a problem is identified, you may be asked to return for a follow-up study at Booth Radiology for a Breast Ultrasound, Breast MRI or a Breast Biopsy. The important thing to remember is that early detection saves lives.

For more information on mammograms, visit


On January 31, 2012, I underwent surgery to remove both breasts and began immediate reconstruction. Drs. Iyer and Bidic worked in unison as they have done many times before. Dr. Bidic assisted Dr. Iyer during the mastectomies; then Dr. Iyer assisted Dr. Bidic during the expander placement. Expanders are temporary, inflatable implants that are designed to stretch the breast pocket over time in order to make room for a permanent implant. During surgery they did find that I had a 2cm tumor plus 5 lymph nodes involved. After establishing clear margins, they proceeded to place the expanders and closed me up. A couple days later, I was back in the comfort of my home with my husband and mother caring for my every need. What a blessing to have a spouse who can cook, clean, tend my wounds and basically be my everything. If noth-

ing else, this journey has drawn us closer together than we’ve ever been before. The new findings reclassified me from Stage 0 to Stage 3b. The protocol for Stage 3b, is both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Devastating news to hear initially, to be sure. But God is good! We were involved in a church that supported us from Day One. Meals were provided daily during my two weeks of recovery after surgery..two weeks! Cards, flowers, phone calls – I never felt so much love! Chemotherapy would not begin until I had healed completely from the surgery. In the meantime, I met with my oncologist of choice, Dr. Carl J. Minniti, Jr., The Minnitti Center in Mickleton, NJ. Dr. Minniti explained the course of treatment, answered our questions in a kind and caring manner and gave us all the assurance of hope that he could. He explained, as Dr. Iyer had, that they felt the cancer had

(856) 423-0754

174 Democrat Rd., Mickleton, NJ 08056


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iLIVE in South Jersey From left: Family portrait with my wig, Summer fun despite chemo, birthday portrait from my daughter, Mother’s Day kitty (wonderful surprise from Chas after chemo).

been removed completely during the surgery. The chemo and radiation would be a preventive measure, just in case any stray cancer cells had “escaped”. His staff of experienced professionals work efficiently and quickly to get you situated comfortably, while staying upbeat and positive. Over the last seven months, they’ve been readily available when I’ve called with questions or concerns.


My radiation was completed at CrozerChester Medical Center as it was closest to my workplace. Other than being tired from the daily trips to their office, radiation treatments went by quite uneventfully. My son gave me a Poema cd that I

listened to everyday on my way to and from treatment...beautiful music by two talented girls! I will never hear a Poema song again without feeling like I’m on my way to the treatment center. I have a few more treatments left, my hair has grown back into a cute pixie-style that has received many compliments and I just completed my final reconstructive surgery. I’m getting used to a new normal. It’s very different than what my normal used to be, but I’m embracing this new perspective. I’m motivated to enjoy my family, improve my health and fitness levels and help others whenever I can.

Somewhere along the journey, my husband, Chas, and I decided to start this publication. iLIVE Magazine will promote health & wellness along with beauty and lifestyle. We hope to use this platform to share success stories from people of all ages, shapes and backgrounds. We consider my story a success story because we know that whatever the outcome, in the long run, we are trusting God to complete the story in accordance with His divine plan for our lives. God bless! michelle minix


Malini Iyer, MD, MS, FRCS (Ed.), FACS

Sean M. Bidic, MD, MFA, FAAP, FACP of American Surgical Arts

The Underwood Breast Center Underwood Medical Center at Mullica Hill Commons 155 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill, NJ (856) 478-0136

American Surgical Arts 2950 College Drive, Suite 2H Vineland, NJ 08360 (856) 362-8898


Carl J. Minniti Jr., MD

Markus Whitley, MD

The Minniti Center for Medical Oncology and Hematology 174 Democrat Road Mickleton, N.J. 08056 (856) 423-0754

Booth Radiology 748 Kings Highway West Deptford, NJ 08096 and 105 Kings Way West Sewell, NJ 08080 856-848-4998

856-478-4227 Routes 322 and 45 in Mullica Hill, NJ


iLIVE in South Jersey

Many of the calls professional dog trainers receive deal with problem behaviours. The vast majority of these can be solved by creating structure for our dogs and training a few good behaviours to a high level of proficiency. What follows are the top three problem behaviours we

Basics back to

with man’s


encounter and some suggested solutions.



If you’re struggling with pup going potty outside, you’re not alone. Housebreaking, while it seems simple, requires a great deal of consistency and structure. The most common challenge we see is that people give young pups too much freedom too soon. We recommend crate training to all owners, as well as creating a consistent schedule for feeding and outdoor walks. Feed your pup twice daily and take him out for a walk immediately following each meal. Make sure pup gets plenty of praise when he does the right thing, and prevent him from having accidents with close supervision while indoors.

Destructive Chewing

We refer to chewing as a “self rewarding” activity. The more your dog chews, the more he’ll want to chew. Supervise your pup at all times and don’t be afraid to crate him when you’re not able to. When you do see pup trying to chew on something of yours, take that item away and give him a favorite toy to play with.


Our dogs jump up on us when they want our attention. This can be somewhat dangerous for small children and older family members, not to mention, ruining a good set of work clothes at exactly the wrong time. Never reward your dog with affection when they jump on you or your guests. Stress to family members and visitors that pup needs four feet on the floor in order to be petted. Teach your dog to sit in order to earn rewards and affection. Practice being patient and only giving your pup what he wants (affection) when he does what you want (sit). It also helps to teach your dog to go to his crate or bed when guests enter the house rather than running to the front door.

Lacy, the great dane. Photo: Danner Photography

Darrin Greene is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. Darrin’s broad based knowledge comes from training numerous hunting dogs, USMC bomb detection and FEMA search and rescue dogs, as well as hundreds of well behaved pets. Give Darrin a call at 856-912-3531 or visit for more information. > SPRING 13 // WWW.ILIVEINSJ.COM

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Natural light, on location photographer.


Creatively capturing all your wonderful

Children Pets

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memories with rates to fit any budget. No pricey packages that limit your choices. Session fee includes the CD of all the pics.


Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club

RUN - SWIM - BIKE Walk into this year’s season kick-off event of the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club and you will be stunned to see the room packed with women of all ages, shapes and sizes! Some of these women are veteran athletes, some were athletic in high school but have spent decades raising a family, while still others have never been athletic or active, but have made a personal decision to improve their level of fitness. Regardless of why they are here – there is no denying the passion and excitement that fills the room as success stories are shared, race information is presented and raffles winners are called!

Three years earlier, there would have been less than 50 women at this event. Thanks to the tenacity, passion and hard work of the four founding members, the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club has grown to a membership of 600. Who are the founders? Colleen, Michelle, Maureen and Lydia – four women with a common goal: ”empower women in our community to achieve personal fitness goals, develop their inner athlete and raise awareness for important causes.” This was the original charter the women agreed upon over a cup of coffee at a local diner almost four years ago. MHWTC is a USAT certified club and provides direction, motivation, and support to help all of its members successfully complete a triathlon.

Women who join the club have a variety of goals. The average age of members is early 40s – women who are starting to have more time with kids who are older, who want to get healthy and who desire the support and camaraderie the club offers. In the Gloucester County area, everyone knows someone who is part of the club and at just $40 for annual dues its within the means of most. Of those who join, a majority of women will become very active and take advantage of the group rides, training, swimming, yoga and other activities the club offers it’s members. A current success story belongs to one particular woman who lost 160 lbs in her first year as a member of the MHWTC! Her 60+ mother-in-law was so inspired by her achievement and excitement, she also




joined and the two completed their first triathlon together. In addition to supporting one another to achieve personal fitness goals, MHWTC contributes to an even bigger purpose; the club creates awareness and raises money for a different cause each year. This year’s cause is the “Destigmatization of Mental Illness”.

Together with “Bring Change 2 Mind”, a national anti-stigma campaign founded by Glenn Close, the MHWTC is committed to raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. They plan to educate members about risk factors and symptoms, debunk common myths, share personal stories, and extend support through local resources.

Get involved or find out more by visiting the club’s website at Founders: Lydia DelRosso, Colleen Fossett, Maureen Brigham and Michelle Powell



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Around OUR



These snapshots from area landmarks were taken around South Jersey. Can you identify them? Special thanks to




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856.853.8099 路


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(609) 828-7718

· Mullica Hill, NJ



b e t w ee n y o u a n d m e We love this organic, paraben-free lipstick! Not only for it’s organic tones, hydrating properties and color...but for it’s support of breast cancer awareness (during the month of October)!

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S u l fat e - f r e e t e x t u r i z er C e l e b rat e t he p o w er o f s ee d s Somersaults have a healthy bunch of sunflower and sesame seeds in every nugget. In fact, Somersaults are a good source of fiber, vitamin E and offer you the same protein as almonds, but with fewer calories and less fat.


A multi-dimensional wax-based spray used to create definition, separation, texture, and volume. It leaves hair with lots of shine and flexibility with a medium to firm hold.

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Am I a good candidate for liposuction?

The best candidate for liposuction is someone desiring to deflate an area where there might be some excess fat stored. Liposuction should not be used for weight loss or to replace a good diet and exercise. Sometimes I see patients who have lost a great deal of weight and are interested in liposuction. This procedure is not for them – they have excess skin that needs to be removed.

I am thinking about breast augmentation surgery…how do I decide what size to be?

Every woman has different desires. From a plastic surgeon’s perspective, the soft tissue, or skin envelope, must be respected as too large of an implant will overstretch the envelope and cause future ptosis (sagging) of the breast. Taking the total breast pocket availability into consideration, we can make a recommendation as to the maximum size a woman can safely choose. It is important to match breast size with the size and shape of the woman’s body. If the implants are not sized correctly, are too wide while the torso is smaller, an “anime” effect will occur. This will impede comfortable movement for the woman. 3-D photography can create a simulation of the patient with and without breast implants that can assist both patient and surgeon in






determining realistic expectations. Then the plastic surgeon can tailor the desires of the patient with the size of the implant.

Will implants interfere with mammography?

Once a woman has breast implants placed, she can no longer have the normal mammography series, where 2 views per breast are taken. The Eklund technique looks at the breast in 6 views and requires no compression. Studies show the cancer monitoring values are equally effective.

Will implants interfere with breast feeding?

Most women can still breast feed after implants. Making sure the implant is under the muscle will ensure the best results. Keep in mind, there may be some compression of breast tissue and a possible decrease in milk production. The larger the implant, the more difficult breast feeding will be.

How can I get rid of broken blood vessels/varicose veins in my legs?

There are two excellent techniques I recommend for varicose veins. The first, Sclerotherapy, is best for medium sized blood vessels. A medicine is injected into the offending vein which causes it to shrink. Immediately after the therapy you

will walk for a half hour; then you will wear compression stockings for a week. The second method, best for small vessels, uses a YAG laser to obliterate the vessels. Initial bruising is common as the body absorbs the matter. No compression stockings are necessary. Keep in mind it may take several sessions to complete, depending on the quantity of vessels being treated. If you have questions you would like to have answered, please email Sean Bidic, MD, MFA, FAAP, FACS American Surgical Arts, Vineland, NJ


Dr. Bidic is one of only three board-certified plastic surgeons in the nation with a Masters in Fine Arts for multi-media sculpture. He did this to assist with making his patients’ aesthetic and reconstructive desires a true work of art. Dr. Bidic’s practice (American Surgical Arts) focuses on cosmetic and reconstructive body contouring including immediate breast cancer reconstruction using the patient’s own tissue, mommy makeovers, and all breast, belly, facial and body surgery. Dr. Bidic taught over 50 practicing plastic surgeons as a faculty member at UCLA and University of Texas. He has trained, taught and practiced plastic surgery in NYC, Los Angeles, and Dallas. For more of Dr. Bidic’s credentials, please visit his website:



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> Bird Walk in the Park

Join Senior Park Naturalist, Jill Taylor, in bird observation at Scotland Run Park Nature Center in Sewell, NJ. 856-881-0845

> Paws for Art at Wheaton Arts

Bring your dog for a fun day at Wheaton Arts; “Wheaton Barks” Dog Show at 2pm; caricature, trainer demos, agility course & more! A dog food donation is requested for registration - to benefit Cumberland Co. SPCA;

> Yoga for Beginners

7-8pm, Logan Township Library. Open to the community but call ahead to register. Carolyn Oldt 856-241-0202 Marlin Gallery through May 10th. Call for exhibit times. Theresa Marlin 856-227-7200;

> Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Opening day. Play runs through May. Broadway Theatre, Pitman



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> Student Art Show - Camden County College


> ECO Fair

Green living for your home, garden & family. Enjoy a variety of fun eco-focused hands-on activities

> Relay for Life - Mantua


6pm - Chestnut Branch Park, Mantua Get involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Find a chapter in a town near you, or join the Mantua chapter.

> Mountain Bike Skills Clinic - Cherry Hill

9am-Noon - at Kresson Trails: the clinic is designed for anyone who wants to pick up (or brush up) off road riding skills. To reserve your spot RSVP to or call 856-470-8967

> Silver Diner Memorial Day Car Show 8am-Noon - Silver Diner, Route 38, Cherry Hill.


If you would like your event published in the iLIVE calendar, please email details to at least 2 months in advance.


407 N. Woodbury Road, Sewell, NJ 08080

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get your ride on

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Although I’ve always had a bike and enjoyed riding, I’ve never considered myself a “cyclist”. As a kid in the late Seventies I ripped around on an old blue pedal brake bike with a playing card clipped in the spoke and the sweetest gold glitter banana seat. As a teenager I graduated to a utilitarian grey 10-speed Free Spirit that transported me back and forth to my part-time job at Dunkin’ Donuts. Many years later, I bought an albatross of a mountain bike from a sporting goods store so I could tool around the neighborhood with my son….and then it went to rest in the garage for the next eleven years.

So last year when I suddenly decided to become an “athlete” and do my first triathlon, I quickly realized that the sad rusting Diamondback with two flat tires wouldn’t make it down my driveway, let alone the 10 mile course that was in my future. I needed a bike, but I knew nothing about cycling. It was right about that time that I began to question my sanity. Just as I was considering seeking professional help, I learned that Action Wheels in Deptford was hosting a Cycling 101 class for members of the Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club. Seemed like the most logical place to go to figure out what the heck I even needed to complete the bike portion of the tri. I tentatively walked into the shop expecting a bunch of super cool cyclists in full kit standing around spouting off about gears and races and looking down their nose as some newbie. Instead,

Patty Woodworth, one of the shop’s owners, broke down the basics into terms and concepts that even the bikeknowledge challenged like me could understand. She used terms like ‘big gear’, ‘little gear’ and even addressed the sensitive issue of ‘soft tissue’. We are a women’s tri club after all. The Action Wheels staff was so passionate about cycling, it was infectious. They were so welcoming, so helpful. Suddenly the fear subsided and the excitement took over. “I need a bike. I haven’t been on a bike in over a decade. I don’t know how to shift and I’m competing in a triathlon in 2 months,” I told Patty. She sized me up quickly. “You need a 54cm,” she said as she pulled out a beautiful black and green Specialized Dolce.


Who cares that I hadn’t been on a bike in over a decade...I was suddenly transformed into a cyclist!



iLIVE in South Jersey “Take it for a spin around the parking lot,” she suggested. I did. In those few moments pedaling around the building I was exhilarated. I rolled back into the shop with a huge smile on my face. I had already named the bike “The Greene machine” because of the colors. I even got all caught up in the kit and made sure that my shoes and jerseys had some element of black or green in them to match my bike! A little over the top? Maybe. But who cared, I looked like a “cyclist”. That first day, I went straight home and rode my first 10 miles. I pedaled along slowly and huffed and puffed, but I did it. It was an amazing feeling of freedom. As the summer wore on, ten mile rides turned into thirty mile rides. Solo rides turned into group rides with the tri club and Action Wheels. Sunday mornings became about riding all over Gloucester and Salem counties with my girlfriends


getintoit The main ingredient for a great ride is the people you ride with. Our gang is a mixed bag of folks ranging from 20 to 60-plus...basically a bunch of big kids riding around the woods cracking jokes, jumping over logs and just having fun. But it’s not all fun and games. Riding a mountain bike takes a certain level of fitness to negotiate the terrain, distance and weather. The hills can be especially challenging. Learning how to climb them can be daunting, but rewarding. When we reach the hill affectionately named “Heart


Attack”, the more experienced riders go up first, hop off their bikes, come back down the hill on foot and run alongside the newbies to cheer them on and give a push if needed. You feel like you just scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl when you get to the top with all the hooting, hollering and high-fiving! As I rode along the trail and saw the riders ahead of me riding OVER a pile of logs and rocks roughly resembling an out of place beaver dam, I thought,

“Gee, that looks solid. This is either gonna be fun, or it’s gonna hurt.” As I tentatively pedaled toward the looming obstacle, Sandy, one of the more experienced riders channeled his inner Obi-Wan Kenobi and said, “That bike will roll right over it. Trust the bike.” I lumbered my way over it like Godzilla stomping around Tokyo, but I got over. My fist shot up into the air as I yelled, “Woo hoo! Rock on!” and pedaled away triumphantly looking for my next obstacle to conquer.

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chatting about everything from bikes to kids to jobs. In August, I looked down at the odometer and it showed 1,000 miles. I had pretty much ridden from Swedesboro to Disney World! As the crisp fall air moved in and the riding season seemed to be drawing to a close, I thought it was time to hang up my bike shorts until spring. I was wrong. Some friends encouraged me to try a beginner mountain bike ride with the Action Wheels gang. So I borrowed a mountain bike and rolled into the parking lot at Brandywine State Park in Wilmington, DE one bright, brisk Sunday morning not knowing what to expect. I was greeted by Patty and many of my road riding friends who were excited to have a newcomer join the group. “Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just take your time and follow us,” they said reassuringly. So, I hopped on the bike and rode around the parking lot until I heard Patty yell, “Let’s roll kids!” As

we slowly pedaled toward the trailhead, Patty told me to ride in front of her so she could call out instruction. As I pedaled along the trail deeper into the woods I felt so peaceful. So at home. It was hard to stay focused on the trail because I was too busy looking at the beauty all around me. That changed the minute we hit the first downhill. I grabbed the brake and though, “Umm, I’m too old to be breaking bones and I’ve got to get up for work tomorrow.” Then a voice behind me called out, “Get your weight behind the seat, keep your feet at 6 and 9 and KEEP OFF YOUR FRONT BRAKE!“ As I let off the brake and let the bike roll faster and faster down the hill I went from fear to exhilaration. I felt like a kid again. That moment was the beginning of the end. I was hooked on mountain biking. I don’t do drugs, but I can only imagine the feeling I got that day was akin to a crack high. One month later I was the proud owner of a Specialized Fate, a sweet souped-up hard-tail mountain bike.

I love road riding. I’ve even taken the plunge and joined the Action Wheels Women’s Road Racing Team. (I should probably rethink that therapy I mentioned earlier.) But at the end of the day I love playing in the woods. All week long I look forward to it. There’s nothing like getting muddy with a great group of friends to erase your troubles. When I’m on my mountain bike, I feel like a kid again. And that’s a feeling I wouldn’t trade for the world. I still don’t know that I’m a “cyclist” per se. Not sure how I went from zero to 2 bikes in 6 months. But I know I love to ride. I love the freedom. I love the fitness. But most of all, I love the friends that I’ve made pedaling away the miles! andrea m. greene


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There is a resurgence of people who want to improve their diets by eating more vegetables and fruits, and they know that means buying locally.





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From what better vantage point to begin to talk about the subject of gardening than in the heart of the Garden State, New Jersey. Most New Jersey residents are aware that New Jersey is called the Garden State because it is written on every license plate of every car registered here. But many people don’t really know where the nickname originated. When legislation was voted on to put the nickname “The Garden State” on license plates in 1954, then Governor of New Jersey, Gov. Meyner, stated that “My investigation discloses that there is no official recognition of the slogan ‘Garden State’ as an identification of the State of New Jersey.” In spite of his remark and his veto, the bill was passed to put the nickname ‘The Garden State’ on New Jersey license plates. So where did the nickname come from? When I hear the word garden, I think of flowers growing along an edge of the front of the house or a patch of vegetables growing in the backyard. Farthest from my thoughts would be any relationship with commercial farming. But the best historical record of the origination of New Jersey’s nickname comes from Abraham Browning who, in 1876, compared New Jersey to “an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Philadelphians grabbing from one end and the New Yorkers from the other. He called New Jersey the Garden State,…”, explaining that in his view, and the general view at the time, Market Gardening was the main source of fresh vegetables and fruits for New Yorkers and Philadelphians during the 1800’s. AN OVERFLOWING MARKET These New Jersey Market Gardeners ran profitable vegetable growing operations as small as one acre and not much bigger than 10. They grew a variety of

crops meant to be sold in nearby metropolitan areas. Peter Henderson, who was one of the more successful Market Gardeners in New Jersey during the mid to late 1800’s had pretty much all the business that he could handle, in fact he saw that there was a much bigger demand for local fruits and vegetables than the number of Market Gardeners in the area could provide. He said in the introduction to his book Gardening For Profit in 1866 that “.. The business of gardening…is…far more profitable than farm operations… farmer’s adjacent to…towns,… should… devote a few acres to the cultivation of fruits or vegetables because [the demand is there and] the profits are more than equal that… receive[d] from…ordinary farm crops.” FRESHNESS OVER DISTANCE Transportation of perishable vegetables over long distances greatly diminished their quality in the marketplace at this time, which gave New Jersey Market Gardeners a big advantage over farm-




iLIVE in South Jersey ers who started trucking vegetables in from southern states. Because of the close proximity of their Market Gardens to their customer, they could supply fresh vegetables on a year round basis. This advantage served Henderson and others up until the industrial revolution brought tractors and other equipment onto the farm in the 1890’s. At the same time the railroads provided fast, inexpensive transportation. Two world wars substantially increased the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the farm by the 1950’s. Ways had been found to manipulate the shelf life of vegetables and fruits. Freshness was no longer the leading selling point as New Jersey and the rest of the country headed into the second half of the 20th century.


APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING Mainstream commercial farming focuses on size, uniformity, shipping ability, appearance, shelf life, cost and mass production. Nutrition hasn’t been a main focus in commercial farming. The average consumer bought into the difference in the appearance and cost of produce being trucked in from the south in the beginning of the 20th century because of some of these observable advantages instead of looking at their purchases on

the basis of nutritional quality. As time passed, produce became profitable to transport across country. In fact a lot of produce is now shipped profitably from other countries. You would think this a good thing. But appearances can be deceiving - getting cheaper and more variety can come at a cost. Tony Corbo, Senior Lobbyist for Food and Water Watch claims that “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made the assertion that about half of the food borne illness outbreaks in the U.S. in recent years have come from imported food products.” Today there have been over 90 essential nutrients, minerals and other elements identified as necessary for good healthy growth of plants. Production using the current industrial food system leaves many of these elements missing from our diets. According to David Kennedy in his book Greens for the 21st Century, this has created an new kind of malnutrition in more than a billion people around the world. Not so much in 3rd world countries but in city environments. He says “The new problem of malnutrition in many societies expresses itself in the increasing prevalence of coronary disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and many types of cancer…” This is mostly attributed to poor food choices. Along with these major diseases, lack of nutrients that we assume are in our food can also be traced to learning disabilities like ADD and other early developmental problems in our children who lacked critical nutrients during early development of particular areas of their brains, especially iodine, iron, zinc, B complex (folate), and A (retinol). Kennedy goes on to say that “…green leafy vegetables can quickly make a profound nutritional improvement for millions of people who are deficient in a number of micro nutrients that our bodies require in very small quantities on a continuous basis”.

SOUTH JERSEY CITIZENS TAKE NOTICE The problems with lack of vital nutrients in our foods are now so obvious that critical thinking South Jersey citizens have taken notice. Today, the demand for fresh local produce in South Jersey is as big as it was in 1876 when Abraham Browning gave New Jersey it’s nickname, and Peter Henderson encouraged farmers to grow a variety of vegetables. There is a resurgence of people who want to improve their diets by eating more vegetables and fruits, and they know that means buying locally. It’s the healthy thing to do. People are looking for more than freshness, they are looking for nutrition. New Jersey Market Gardening answered the needs of it’s citizens all the way into the 20th century when it was almost lost in the fast, cheap, farming practices of the industrial revolution. Reviving that legacy, focusing on what market gardeners did “back in the day”, can push our efforts on supplying South Jersey residents with nutritious food back to where it was in the early 1800’s. This isn’t a step backwards, it’s a big step forward into the 21st century. What’s in a name? Perhaps a great deal. But it all depends on your perspective. Our perspective is with the mind set of the New Jersey Market Gardener in the 1800’s, who used simple methods of production, on small pieces of land, working with just the things that nature provided, to supply a nutritious product to their customer. What’s in a name? From one perspective it’s a focus on growing healthy food for South Jersey residents. In upcoming issues, we’ll show you how they did and share with you some tips and guidance on how to produce a flourishing garden of your own.

Mike Jordan is a retired architectural engineer who spends all of his time now either in his garden or writing about it. Learn more at


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iLIVE in South Jersey - Spring 2013