Potatoes prefer cool weather and can be planted very early in the gardening season—as you soon as the frost is out of the soil and you are able to work the soil. In Northern regions, some gardeners will plant the first crop of early-maturing potatoes in early to mid-April, 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date or as soon as the soil can be worked. They can survive some cool weather but the threat of frost is a gamble. If there is a threat of frost at night, temporarily cover any sprouted foliage with mulch or an artificial covering such as old sheets or plastic containers - and be sure to remember to remove the coverings in the morning. Choose a location that gets full sun—at least 6 hours each day - and grow potatoes in trenched rows spaced about 3 feet apart.
Members of Merchantville's Green Team, Garden Club and Incredible Edible met by virtual conference call on Tuesday, March 24th. The main agenda item was the need to revise plans and postpone the Earth Fair on May 9th. The attendees decided that postponement until the Fall rather than cancelation made the most sense then, assigned outreach tasks to inform accepted vendors and media outlets. Members also reviewed updates on existing projects, including the effort towards Bronze certification with Sustainable Jersey and, will keep the public updated on any future changes to Earth Fair.
Join us as an earth-friendly exhibitor at Merchantville’s Earth Fair on May 9th. Applicants must support our green message. We welcome vendors with products or information about reducing our carbon footprint, sustainability, recycling or repurposing. In keeping with a strong environmental commitment, the event will be zero waste and all registrants must indicate in their application what environmental educational message or product you will be promoting at the event. Organizers reserve the right to disqualify vendor applications that do not have an environmental message to convey or product to sell. We require that all wastes (bags, to-go containers, cups, drinking straws, etc.) generated during the event must either be recyclable or compostable. Booth registration is FREE. This event is rain or shine. Register through Eventbrite.
Mark your calendars and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day at Merchantville’s Earth Fair on Saturday, May 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This FREE event is sponsored by The Borough of Merchantville and The Merchantville Task Force and, hosted by the Borough’s Sustainability Partners – The Green Team, The Garden Club, Incredible Edible Merchantville, The Shade Tree Commission, The MES Junior Green Team and Merchantville 4H Club. The fair will feature eco-friendly exhibitors, non-profits, and businesses from the greater South Jersey area at booths on waste recycling, pollinator gardens, reducing your carbon footprint, backyard chickens, natural health, electric cars and edible landscaping. Attendees of all ages will learn about earth-friendly topics, environmental issues, green practices and simple lifestyle changes to attain sustainable living. The fair will also offer lots of children’s activities, educational programs, demonstrations, live animals, music, food and games. Merchantville’s Earth Fair will provide a great opportunity to enjoy a day in our historic downtown learning about environmental issues and simple, sustainable living solutions. Vendors may submit applications here.
The Jane Goodall Institute's global youth program - Roots & Shoots - flourishes in nearly 100 countries partnering withWe partner with schools, educators and youth organizations to inspire and educate young people to make a difference on an individual level. Participants identify and address problems in their communities, while becoming the compassionate citizens that our planet needs. Since 2014, the Roots & Shoots mini-grant program has awarded over 500 grants to Roots & Shoots groups in the United States. Mini-grants range from $200-$400 each. Groups are guided by the Roots & Shoots 4 step model to create youth-led service learning campaigns. Once they have chosen a campaign idea, members of all ages are encouraged to apply. Groups use the funds to help implement their projects and celebrate their accomplishments.
Crayola ColorCycle was launched to help kids in schools across the USA to understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools can collect and repurpose used Crayola markers. ColorCycle is also a great opportunity for teachers and their students to explore eco-friendly practices. Specially developed standards-based lesson plans are available to enrich instruction and promote lively class discussions. FedEx Ground will pick up the markers — Crayola pays all shipping charges!
Cafeterias and kitchens in county buildings will soon begin filling recycling containers instead of dumpsters thanks to a pilot program to lessen the environmental impact of facilities owned and operated by the county approved by the Freeholder Board. Proposals are currently being accepted to find a vendor who will collect food waste generated during meal preparation and transport it to local composting and food recycling sites. Mass production county kitchens produce thousands of pounds of food waste during preparation, however, potato skins, banana peels and other organic materials can be recycled and reused. The county is looking for a vendor to supply bins to store food waste then, collect and deliver it to sites where it can be reused as animal feed or recycled via composting or anaerobic digestion.
Minnesota just allocated nearly a million dollars in incentives for people to transform their lawns into bee-friendly wildflowers, clover and native grasses. The state is asking citizens to stop spraying herbicide, stop mowing so often, and let their lawns re-wild into a more natural state. The goal is to provide food sources for pollinators of all kinds, but will specifically aim at saving the rusty patched bumblebee, a fat and fuzzy species on the brink of extinction that seems to be making its final stand in the cities of the Upper Midwest. Citizens living in rusty patch bumblebee zones are eligible for grants up to $500, while people living in zones of secondary and tertiary importance to bees are eligible for $350 and $150 respectively.
Whether you live in a city, suburb, or on land in the country, this essential guide for the backyard homesteader by Kris Bordessa will help you achieve a homespun life–from starting your own garden and pickling the food you grow to pressing wildflowers, baking sourdough loaves, quilting, raising chickens, and creating your own natural cleaning supplies. In National Geographic's Attainable Sustainable's beautifully illustrated pages, makers will find an indispensable home reference for sustainability in the 21st century. This book will teach you how to nurture a healthy relationship with the natural world from growing some of your own food—even if you live in an apartment to embracing home food preservation, from canning to fermenting and pickling.