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.

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Union County experts offer programs for healthy living, gardening, community volunteering and more

Schools, businesses and nonprofit agencies are invited to contact the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County to book informational programs on nutrition and other health topics for students and adults. The programs are offered as part of the Extension’s spring programming schedule, County Visions Spring 2016. "The Extension offers a full slate of programming and expert guidance for household and community health, whether you are interested in growing a successful garden, improving your family’s nutrition, volunteering in the community or helping to create a healthier environment in our neighborhoods," said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

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Union County Extension honored with community health awards

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County has a mission of fostering community health and nutrition by sharing science-based information with the public, and its efforts have been recognized with two recent awards. The Union County Extension is headed by Karen M. Ensle, EdD, RDN, FAND, CFCS, a nutrition expert and member of the Family and Community Health Sciences faculty at Rutgers University.

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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.

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‘Dine In’ Campaign on Dec. 3 to Improve Family Health and Finances

The evidence shows that preparing wholesome meals at home can have a significant impact on both family health and household budgets, and experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension have summed up the basics in two articles packed with tips and facts. The articles are available on the Union County website, ucnj.org/rce… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County is supported in part by the Freeholder Board. It belongs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nationwide Extension program, aimed at providing the public with scientific research about community health and economics. Extension offices throughout the country are encouraging families to join the "Dine In" campaign on Dec. 3, as part of an annual celebration of the family and consumer sciences profession… People tend to eat healthier meals when they eat at home because they can better control portion sizes and the use of sauces, dressings, and other high-fat ingredients.

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