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.

On 12/31/19, The NJ Department of Environmental Protection, through The New Jersey Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, awarded $122,500 in grants to 11 municipalities to promote the stewardship of urban and community trees and forests. Resiliency planning grants totaling $76,500 have been awarded to eight municipalities: Merchantville Borough, Camden County ($10,000); Byram Township, Sussex County ($10,000); City of Trenton, Mercer County ($10,000); Pennsauken Township, Camden County ($10,000); Teaneck Township, Bergen County ($10,000); Ridgewood Village, Bergen County ($10,000); West Cape May Borough, Cape May County ($10,000); and Park Ridge Borough, Bergen County ($6,500). Funding for the 2019 grants comes from the “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate sales and the No Net Loss Compensatory Reforestation program.

Don't let fall leaves get you down! One of the very best sources of organic matter is autumn leaves. Leaves are packed with trace minerals that trees draw up from deep in the soil. When added to your garden, leaves feed earthworms and beneficial microbes. They lighten heavy soils and help sandy soils retain moisture. They make an attractive mulch in the flower garden. They're a fabulous source of carbon to balance the nitrogen in your compost pile. And they insulate tender plants from cold. Be sure to chop or shred leaves before using them as mulch. Whole leaves can form a mat that water can't penetrate. Here are a few easy ways to put leaves to work in the yard and garden: shred up as many of them as you can into your lawn -decomposing leaves and grass cover the soil between the individual grass plants where weeds can germinate; put some shredded leaves aside for a month or so to be used for mulching and insulating plants; or, boost your compost pile with this nutrient rich ingredient.

Merchantville has a Community Garden at the Community Center and from time to time, there are garden plots available.  Merchantville's Community Garden is a single piece of land located behind the baseball field at the Community Center. It is gardened and maintained collectively by a group of residents and students. Our community gardens utilizes either individual plots on this public land to produce fruit, vegetables, and plants for food and food sharing. Please contact Kris Donohue at kdonohue202@gmail if you are interested in having a sunny plot in this garden next year.

Rutgers Home Gardeners School provides expert instruction in the most innovative gardening and landscaping subjects available. Designed to offer "something for everyone," Home Gardeners School is made up of 40 individual workshop sessions, including 2 "Lunch and Learn" presentations covering a wide array of horticulture topics. This format allows you to select the workshops that are most relevant to your gardening interests in order to create your own unique, customized schedule for this fun day of learning. You can only attend one workshop during each of the four sessions, so it is a good idea to have a few alternate choices in mind in case your first choice is sold out. View the workshop schedule. You can register online or by mail/fax

Share your garden with us! Vegetables, flowers, herbs ... every garden counts in our land stewardship, food justice and sustainability effort. Incredible Edible Merchantville is expanding our program in 2020 and would like to develop an inventory of residential gardens. If you'd like to be included please submit pictures, a description and location information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to hearing from everyone.

Come and get em! Zucchini, hot peppers, cucumbers, beans, squash, kale, turnips and tomatoes are available for free at Eclipse Brewing. At Incredible Edible Merchantville we love connecting people through food and food sharing. Although we're just getting our feet wet, there are many businesses in our community who are already doing extraordinary things. For some it’s about creating a garden, for others supporting food waste and food injustice. For some it’s about teaching people to grow and cook and for others it’s about ensuring people have that space to grow. For us all it’s about making sure our whole community can get involved. Eclipse Brewing and Park Place Cafe & Restaurant are business leaders in planting crops for food sharing and connecting to nature through locally foraged foods.

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