Edible Jersey Profiles the ‘Rutgers Scarlet’ Strawberry: The Jersey Berry

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

Bill Hlubik, Middlesex County agricultural agent

If Bill Hlubik has his way, there will be strawberry fields forever— or at least a little longer each year— in the Garden State. Hlubik and his team at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station hope to someday introduce new varieties that will extend the growing season beyond the traditional four weeks for June-bearing strawberries. For now, however, it’s all about the flavor. Read more at Edible Jersey.

 

5 things to look for at Rutgers Day 2016

In May, President Barack Obama will speak at Rutgers commencement, but before that, on Saturday, Rutgers Day 2016 hits the open-house trifecta. In celebration of the university’s 250th anniversary in November, the school has expanded its annual April offerings to all three campus cities — New Brunswick, Newark and Camden… The New Jersey 4-H state dog show is part of Ag Field Day, which is also a part of Rutgers Day, at the Cook/Douglass campus farm area in New Brunswick. Watch dogs compete in agility, obedience and more.

Read the entire article at The Star Ledger »

Where to Find Rutgers 250 Plant Varieties

Plant Sale at Ag Field Day/ Rutgers Day

Plant Sale at Ag Field Day/ Rutgers Day

Recently, there has been a lot of news about Rutgers plant varieties, especially the ‘Rutgers 250’TM tomato and ‘Rutgers Scarlet’TM strawberry. What you might not know is where to find them.

Whether you are an experienced home gardener or are just starting out, it’s the time of year to start preparing garden beds and getting containers ready for planting. Specifically, it is recommended to start planting outdoors in New Jersey on or after May 15. Word to the wise: based on this year’s strange weather pattern, take extra precautions to protect your young plants from high winds and heavy rain.

Upcoming plant sales will have lots of great varieties to choose from, all suitable for New Jersey’s growing zones. You will find a Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) information booth at these events with material about this year’s highlighted varieties. Rutgers Master Gardeners will also be in attendance to help you get started. [Read more…]

Plan now for a glorious garden

Spring is the perfect time to take stock of your yard. Are the plants healthy? Are the flowerbeds crowded or sparse? Could you use more trees or shrubs?.. "Once you have some understanding of the space to be planted, it’s a good idea to look at books and magazines, and find out what you like," says Bruce Crawford, director of Rutgers Gardens and adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Rutgers University. "What style of garden you like? Do you prefer a lot of different shapes and texture combinations or do you like extreme simplicity?"

Read the entire article at The Record »

GARDENER STATE: Jersey Fresh: Loud and proud!

Jersey Fresh. Now, you might be thinking this may be more about that stray salad item that landed on your lap or the food fight tomato or pie in the face? While those may be embarrassing or even a bit funny, this is really about promoting NJ agriculture long before your backyard garden is ready for harvest… Now that the onion grass has started poking through your lawn and thoughts of gardeners everywhere turn to tilling the great outdoors, Rutgers Master Gardener programs across the state have opened their Garden Helplines. With weekday hours available for calls, emails, and of course walk-in gardening and landscape questions, these trained volunteers of Rutgers Cooperative Extension will research and assist in finding the solution to insect, disease, soil health, and many other seasonal questions.

Read the entire article at MyCentralJersey.com »

4-H youth from 13 N.J. counties learn about leadership

A group of 41 4-H members from 13 counties will be participating in the Discover the Leader in You! 4-H Leadership Conference being held Saturday on the George H. Cook Campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick in Middlesex County. The conference provides an opportunity for middle school age youth to learn about and develop leadership knowledge and skills through large and small group interactive workshops and hands-on activities, according to Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

GARDENER STATE: Just a few cures for your cabin fever

Are you suffering from extreme irritability and restlessness during these post-holiday weeks with seemingly no one visiting and nothing to do? The tree is long recycled or boxed and the lights and decorations are all put away. And even your New Year’s resolutions just seem like nasty reminders of things you haven’t done yet, and possibly give up on. There are plenty of post-holiday events, programs, destinations, and happenings that have nothing to do with winter, but everything to do with getting you out and about and thinking more about where you are, what you’re standing on, and what’s up above. The Gardener State column is written by Nicholas Polanin, Agricultural Agent, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Read the entire article at MyCentralJersey.com »

Rutgers Annual “Monster Mash” Had its Origins as a Cook College Event in 2000

The early planning stages of the very first Monster Mash.

The early planning stages of the very first event that evolved into the annual Monster Mash at Rutgers.

In 2000, Justin Gayliard’s (Cook College ‘03) goal to create a safe and fun environment for disadvantaged children in the New Brunswick area to go trick-or-treating was achieved with the inception of what is now an annual Rutgers event known as Monster Mash. As we approach the 2015 event, let’s do the time-hop to remember the early years that started it all on Cook Campus.

What began as Gayliard’s community service project in October 2000 gave 15 children from Edison’s Ozanam Homeless Shelter an incredible Halloween. The event was originally called “Trick-or-Treating for Homeless Children” but was later named “Monster Mash,” after it expanded to a universitywide event based in the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center Gymnasium. [Read more…]

Tree-Killing Emerald Ash Borer Found in Six New Jersey Counties

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials reported the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees, is active in 14 towns in six counties.

A trapping program in 82 towns over the summer and reporting from homeowners has resulted in the discovery to date of the beetle in Hillsdale, Bergen County; Edgewater Park and Westampton, Burlington County;  Ewing, Hamilton Township, Hopewell, Princeton, West Windsor., Mercer County; Monroe and South Brunswick, Middlesex County; Bridgewater, Franklin Township and Hillsborough, Somerset County; and Allentown, Monmouth County.

“Just as emerald ash borer has swiftly spread through other states in the nation, it has now moved to New Jersey and we must prepare for the impact of this highly destructive invasive pest, which could lead to the death of ash trees,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “We ask that towns and counties act now to put plans in place to respond to the beetle.” [Read more…]

Rutgers Scarlet Strawberry-Infused Beer? Say Cheers!

jake

Jake Makely in the strawberry fields at the EARTH Center of Middlesex County.

A desire to connect local growers with producers was the driving force behind Jake Makely’s (SEBS ’16) idea to combine two of New Jersey’s favorite warm weather delights, strawberries and beer.

Makely, an agriculture and food systems major, has been a student intern in Applied Analysis of Successful Agricultural Enterprises since February 2014, which has provided him with first-hand experience in working with the Rutgers Scarlet Strawberry (RSS) at the EARTH Center of Middlesex County. The internship, run by Professor and Agricultural Agent Bill Hlubik, truly allows students to pursue their individual aspirations in the “field.”

A series of blind RSS taste-tests were conducted at SEBS professor Beverly Tepper’s Sensory Evaluation Laboratory (SEL) on George H. Cook Campus. Makely, along with other students in the program, picked and cut up pounds of the RSS for the taste tests and delivered them to the lab. Participants were able to comment on the sweetness, acidity, overall flavor, firmness and aroma of four varieties of the strawberry, and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

The wheels in Makely’s head started spinning when he received an email from his second job at Carton Brewing Company in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, about a new device coming to the brewery. The brewery was going to begin using a Randall, which is a double-chamber filter that can be connected to a tap of beer and filled with flavor-enhancing ingredients.

“I kept talking to my co-workers at the Carton Brewing Company about the idea of using Rutgers Scarlet Strawberries in the Randall, but people didn’t take it as seriously as I wanted them to. Then I spoke to Bill (Hlubik) and he was excited about it – and I knew it was a great idea,” said Makely.

“The students in my class are incredible and I genuinely value their feedback. I encourage them to keep a notebook handy while in the field to note trends in crops,” said Hlubik. [Read more…]