Using Gardens to Improve Community Health and Manage Stormwater Runoff

Shiloh Community Garden.

Shiloh Community Garden.

The Shiloh Community Garden in downtown New Brunswick has been the focal point of a unique health project that seeks to foster positive physical, emotional, and social health outcomes for an underserved city population: uninsured clients of Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen. These clients, who receive free primary care through the Promise Clinic, a volunteer clinic run by medical students associated with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, obtain gardening skills while they learn about healthy food and improving personal health.

Through the efforts of Richard Alomar, assistant professor, and Megan Pilla, graduate student, in the Department of Landscape Architecture, sketching at the Shiloh Community Garden has been integrated into the community-based project. Pre-and post-health assessments will evaluate whether the experience leads to positive health outcomes, and sketching journals will document the work recollections and attitudes of the participants. The results will inform future Elijah’s Promise programming, community gardening expansions, further scholarship in community-based health, and an expanded study. The project, a collaboration of Elijah’s Promise, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Rutgers, is funded by a Community-University Partnership grant.

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Urban High School Students Dive Deep into Science at Rutgers University

Summer Science Students.

Summer Science Students.

Annual 4-H Summer Science Program was held July 11-15 on the Cook Campus

Over sixty high school students from Elizabeth, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Trenton, Rahway and Atlantic City participated in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities alongside Rutgers faculty at the 8th annual 4-H Summer Science Program on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

“The students spent a week with Rutgers scientists–touring their labs, learning about their research, and how their scientific inquiry is relevant to our daily lives,” said Chad Ripberger, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) 4-H agent, Mercer County. And because the students were living on campus, they also got a taste of university life.

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Fight is on against Zika virus although outbreak unlikely

Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties occupy a combined area of nearly 1,500 square miles, yet officials are on the hunt for predators that could fit inside the palm of one’s hand… "We’re working on getting [an answer]… More than likely, an infected person was set upon by mosquitoes in a tropical area. Those mosquitoes then went about spreading it," explained Scott Crans, senior program coordinator at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), who also teaches mosquito biology.

Read the entire article at Alanticville News »

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 »