Christmas Day 2014 Marks 50th Anniversary of Rutgers Professor’s Groundbreaking Innovation in Ag

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend their growing seasons. Locally, the flowers we buy in full bloom, the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting and local vegetables grown in plastic covered greenhouses to extend the early or late seasons, can be produced locally and economically.

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend the growing season. In the US, the flowers we buy in full bloom and the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting can be produced locally and economically in these greenhouses.

It was Christmas morning of 1964 when Bill Roberts was tinkering in his basement when he was supposed to be doing something else. The now retired Rutgers NJAES specialist in agricultural engineering was building a model greenhouse in his basement when he used an aquarium air pump to separate the two layers of the plastic film covering. As innocuous as it may seem, what Roberts did was actually an innovation that would be a boon to the agricultural industry and revolutionize the use of greenhouses worldwide. Back from winter break, the work commenced on campus in 1965 with a structure on Cook campus that served as the first ever air-inflated, double-layer polyethylene greenhouse. That original structure still stands on campus and in 2004, the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE), dedicated the structure as an ASABE Historic Landmark. Read the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s anniversary tribute and more about this historic innovation that was developed at Rutgers.

Vorsa Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his Pioneering Work with Cranberries

Nick Vorsa.

Nick Vorsa.

Nicholi Vorsa, research professor and developer of high-yielding cranberry varieties with enhanced fruit chemistry attributes, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Vorsa is also the director of Rutgers’ Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center.

The academy, which was founded four years ago, announced its 2014 fellows on December 16. Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, as well as 21 Nobel Laureates.

“Because his work has helped New Jersey’s cranberry growers for years, in a profound way, Professor Vorsa has made valuable contributions to a vital part of our state’s economy,” said Christopher J. Molloy, senior vice president for research and economic development at Rutgers. “We are pleased that he is receiving such prestigious national recognition for his accomplishments as an inventor.” [Read more…]

RCE Personal Health and Finance Quiz Can Guide Your New Year’s Resolutions

Barbara O'Neill.

Barbara O’Neill.

Each year, almost half of Americans develop New Year’s resolutions to improve different aspects of their lives. Often these resolutions involve health and personal finances. Specific examples include saving money, reducing debt, losing weight, quitting smoking and increased physical activity.

According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top five New Year’s resolutions for 2014 were: 1. lose weight, 2. get organized, 3. spend less, save more, 4. enjoy life to the fullest and 5. stay fit and healthy. Three of these top five resolutions (#1, #3, and #5) directly involve health and personal finances while the other two (#2 and #4) are indirectly related (e.g., organized people are likely to keep their finances on track and healthy and financially secure people are able to live life to the fullest). [Read more…]

Rutgers Master Gardeners complete two-year project at Old Broad Street Cemetery

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County completed a two-year project planting 500 Ice Folly daffodils throughout the Old Broad Street Cemetery in Bridgeton. What a glorious display awaits us this spring. In addition, five trees, four shrubs and 30 daylilies were planted. Master Gardener Jane Hankins heads the Broad Street Cemetery Project, and she is presently preparing the paperwork for a grant to plant colorful shrubs throughout this historic cemetery.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

Floriculture Greenhouse Dazzles with its Annual Poinsettia Display and Sale

Each year the Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook campus hosts a Poinsettia Open House followed up with a sale of the flowers. Photo by Jack Rabin.

Each year the Floriculture Greenhouse on the Cook campus hosts a Poinsettia Open House followed up by a sale of the flowers. Photo by Jack Rabin.

Arctic, Freedom Peppermint, Silverstar Red, Sonora Jingle, Premium Polar – they’re not holiday candies or names of rogue reindeer, but are among the many Poinsettia cultivars on display during the annual Poinsettia Open House held at the Floriculture Greenhouse on the George H. Cook campus. Almost 100 varieties provided by the leading breeders/propagators such as Ball, Dummen, Ecke, and Syngenta, were on display at the Open House which was held in November. The Open House is followed up by a plant sale of the Poinsettias, which this year is on Tuesday, December 2, through Friday, December 5, 11:00 to 3:00 each day. The plants are selling for $8 per 6” pot. [Read more…]