Incredible Edible Merchantville is participating in the #SeedMoneyChallenge, a 30-day fundraising challenge and we could really use your support TODAY! In addition to keeping the funds we raise from individuals like you, we have a chance to win a challenge grant of up to $1000 from SeedMoney based on how much we raise over the course of the 30-day period running from November 15th to December 15th. As an extra incentive, SeedMoney is offering 50 $100 bonus grants to the 50 garden projects that have raised the most after the first week. Your support TODAY can put us into the running for one of those bonus grants. You can find our donation page here: https://donate.seedmoney.org/
Now that the gardening season has ended and you've picked the season’s last vegetables, let some plants go to seed and harvest them for planting next year. “Saving seed can be really fun and is a great way to learn about plants,” Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service, said. “If you choose the right types of vegetables, you can keep them going year after year without buying them again.” The easiest crops for saving seed are annual plants that self-pollinate, such as lettuce, beans, peas, peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. Collect seed from the healthiest plants and allow them to dry. Store seeds in tightly sealed glass containers in a cool and dark location and label with the type and the date. The refrigerator or freezer is also a good place for storing seeds that you collect and also seeds that you buy. Put small seeds in envelopes and label them. Place the envelopes in sealable freezer bags.
As the community's sustainability organization, Merchantville's Green Team is requesting that a proposed resolution be placed on the agenda for the upcoming Council meeting on Monday, October 25th, to convey to the Borough their support for Council passing a resolution requesting the Delaware River Basin Commission oppose the Dock-2 Project and the transport of highly volatile fracked gas through our region. This dangerous project would transport highly volatile liquefied natural gas (LNG) nearly 200 miles by truck and rails through our communities, endangering the planet and public health. All of Merchantville is within 1 to 2 miles of the train tracks and clearly within the Evacuation Zone in the event of an accident. We are in a position as a community to declare our opposition to a plan that puts our residents in danger. Resolutions opposing the Gibbstown LNG Terminal were passed in Runnemede, Pennsauken and Haddon Township. Moving this resolution, at the very least, will let those in power know that their constituents are paying attention and may help them make better decisions. If this project goes ahead, it would be the first major facility in the nation to liquefy LNG in a shale region requiring long distance overland delivery for export overseas. Opponents cite what they say would be the risk of environmental damage from the construction and from the operation of the terminal. They also question the safety of transporting 3 million to 4 million gallons of LNG a day through the Philadelphia metropolitan area to a site that for a century was a DuPont dynamite factory. If the Gibbstown project goes ahead, oceangoing tankers laden with LNG will be sailing past low-income neighborhoods in Chester, followed by the port of Wilmington, various coastal refuges on the Delaware and New Jersey riverbanks, and Delaware’s beaches. Environmentalists say they are hopeful they may be able to stop New Jersey’s first liquefied natural gas export terminal after an unexpected vote by the Delaware River Basin Commission to defer a decision on whether to approve its construction.
Mother Earth News says, "Two thousand gardeners can’t be wrong — the best tools for keeping ahead of weeds include several types of hoes, a good garden fork, a garden knife, a dandelion puller - some use an old screwdriver or butcher knife instead - and a high-quality pair of gloves." Weeds are an inevitable thorn in every gardener’s side. While some weeds offer benefits, such as the edible greens of young dandelions and the nutritious roots of burdock, many quickly become a frustrating, ongoing struggle if you don’t spot them early. Garden weeds can steal water, sunlight and soil nutrients from food crops, and some even release toxic chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of other plants. Gardeners also rated several mulch types and organic herbicides based on their effectiveness in controlling weeds. Paper or newspaper, black plastic and straw or hay proved 70-80% effective as mulch and vinegar, herbicidal soap and Neem oil were the most successful organic herbicides.
The annual "Greening" of the gardens alongside the driveway at the Chestnut Station Senior Complex is underway and we all anxiously await their summer evolution. This hidden, sustainable gem is part of the Incredible Edible Garden registry and a perfect example of an inventive way to transform an unused hardscape into a sustainable landscape. This garden is carefully nurtured through the dedicated effort of resident volunteer, Francis Mcgarry, and produces annual seasonal vegetables that support food security and nutrition for many seniors living in the complex. Thank you for the beauty and the bounty!
Bradley Furgeson, 14, of Northfield, has raised more than $15,000 by applying for grants that have helped refurbish the local American Legion Post and start a garden that supports veterans and the local food bank. Inspired by his sister who did volunteer work with the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and is currently doing an internship with the World Health Organization, he has continued her work on hunger issues. His biggest grant to date is the $10,000 Opal Apple Youth Make A Different Grant he just received that will pay for a hydroponic greenhouse and video equipment for the Northfield Community School, where Bradley just finished eighth grade. This summer Bradley is focusing on the vegetable garden started behind the American Legion Post.
At a time when climate change is making heat waves more frequent and more severe, trees are stationary superheroes: They can lower urban temperatures 10 lifesaving degrees, scientists say. “There’s no way these trees are coming down,” Shane McQuillan, who manages the city’ of Des Moines trees, recalled thinking. “The default position for us is, you don’t take out big trees to put in small trees.” Why, you ask? “Trees are, quite simply, the most effective strategy, technology, we have to guard against heat in cities,” said Brian Stone Jr., a professor of environmental planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Great reasons to support the efforts of Merchantville's Shade tree Commission in our parks and public spaces. In fact, Des Moines has increased its $200,000 tree planting budget to $300,000 next year and $450,000 the following, with a goal of reaching $1 million. Its forestry department, with a budget of $2 million, employs a team of 13 arborists, up from 11 a couple years ago, who prune the city’s trees, extending their lives.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed $2.5 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. Merchantville Borough was awarded one of fourteen $2,000 grants for promoting food security through Edible Landscapes.Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey congratulated the municipalities that received grant funding today, stating, "I continue to be amazed by what is possible when elected officials, municipal staff, green teams and community members work together to create vibrant and sustainable communities.” Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification.