A bigger more hearty catnip plant – whose enriched oil not only promises to drive cats crazy with pleasure but also may be a safer, more effective mosquito repellent – has been developed for specialized commercial farmers by Rutgers University… The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), which has spent more than a decade developing the new breed, CR9, for the insect repellant and pet toy industries recently licensed the product to Ball Horticulture, an Illinois company that will produce the seeds for commercial farmers… “In the past catnip wasn’t grown much because the plant itself was never developed to generate commercially acceptable yields from its leaves and flowers which produce its aromatic volatiles oils, and thus, wasn’t profitable,” said James Simon, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at the Rutgers School of Environment and Biological Sciences who led the plant breeding in the development of the new catnip variety. “We developed a super catnip that can survive northern winters and produce copious amounts of aromatic oil with a special composition that is rich in the bioactive compound that repels the mosquitos away and drives cats wild.”
The Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology and Solutions (VETS) program invites the community to attend the first “Let’s Grow Newark,” festival, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, at the VETS facility at 555 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark… According to a release, the Rutgers VETS program was launched in May 2014 to reduce immediate health risks to people who eat fish caught from the Passaic River, while empowering local, unemployed veterans with new green job skills… On June 20, the VETS class launched the first-ever fish exchange in the United States. The Rutgers VETS participants raise healthy fish to exchange with contaminated fish that some anglers are taking from the river as food. The waste from the fish is used to provide nutrients such as nitrogen to vegetables growing in this connected system.
Rutgers is contributing to a growing food revolution by teaching Central Jersey residents a skill not usually associated with dense suburban living: How to raise chickens in their backyard… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County recently offered a workshop to meet a renewed interest from area residents who want to grow their own food. The class, taught by Joseph Heckman, a Rutgers professor of soil science, was filled to capacity by a diverse crowd that spanned generations and levels of experience… “People are becoming more focused on eating right,” said Bill Hlubik, professor and agricultural agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Director of the Middlesex County EARTH Center. “They want to know where their food is coming from, and they want the best tasting and most nutritious food they can find.”
A student from Haddonfield is among the 29 4-H members representing 13 counties will be participating in the first New Jersey 4-H goLEAD Youth Leadership Institute on July 1-2 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick… The goal of goLEAD (generationOn Leadership, Education, and Development) is to equip middle and high school aged youth with invaluable 21st century skills that will allow them to change themselves and the world through service… “Citizenship is one of the 4-H Mission Mandates so community service is an integral part of every 4-H member’s experience,” 4-H Agent, Department of 4-H Youth Development Jeannette Rea Keywood said. “The goLEAD curriculum will enhance 4-H members knowledge about how to go about planning and conducting service projects in their own communities, as well as reflect on the impact they are having on their community.”
The Rutgets Co-operative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program is offering a series of workshops designed to give educators the chance to learn hands-on activities that give students real-life experience with engineering and science… The “Design It! Explore It” professional development workshops provide educators with everything needed to introduce activities to an afterschool program for students in grades two through eight… The workshop, developed by Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition, will help students engage with STEM topics using fun, hands-on projects… In Union County, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides many learning and volunteer opportunities for children and adults, including 4-H Clubs for students in grades 1-12, and the Master Gardener and Master Tree Stewards community service programs, the County of Union said in a release.
Stuart Country Day School in Princeton will be the home of an all-day garden symposium on March 21st. The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County will host “Bringing Life to the Garden,” at the school, Mercer County officials announced this week. The Master Gardeners of Mercer County is a volunteer educational outreach program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, located at 930 Spruce Street in Lawrence.