Eco

Self-Reliant Living

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.

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County Keeps Growing

For several years, the county has found a 21st-century way of getting around the seasonal barrier. It prepares and provides various plants and vegetables to nonprofits and county groups through the use of a hydroponics greenhouse that needs no soil, as well as a traditional greenhouse at its Lakeland Campus - allowing for heads of lettuce to be grown in as little as one month from plant to harvest, with the fastest batch growing in just 12 days. Through the Office of Sustainability, master gardeners and staff use advanced growing techniques to provide nonprofits and other organizations such as The Cathedral Kitchen and The Philadelphia Zoo lettuce, cherry tomatoes, herbs and more items throughout the year.

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Explore Green NJ

Whether your environment is home, school or the workplace Green New Jersey Magazine has stories of sustainability, the people who make it happen and the products that are changing our landscape for the better. The magazine was created by Lara Webb-Lipski, former founding Editor-in-Chief of South Jersey Magazine, and founding Editor of SJ Magazine. A graduate of Rutgers University-Camden, she has been the Chairperson for Sustainable Haddonfield for several years. The magazine ended 2019 by starting a podcast devoted to the people who make sustainable come true in the Garden State and recently interviewed "Hen Mama" Gwenne Baile. 

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IE Meeting Tonight

Join the core working group of Incredible Edible Merchantville upstairs at Eclipse Brewing for their monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. tonight. They will host guest speaker Jen Callaghan to share information on Aeroponic Gardening and get an update from Dorothy Foley on Sustainable Jersey Green Team Certification. The certification application deadline is Sunday, May 17th and IE members are working feverishly with support from the municipality and other Merchantville sustainability groups to achieve Bronze status this year. Brigid Austin will update everyone on our application for a grant through The Pollination Project, an international nonprofit organization. Finally, Joan Brennan will review plans for Spring 2020 IE Small Action Plans to establish timelines, discuss plant procurement, signage, promotion and coming events. Next meeting: Thursday, March 5th at 7:00PM at Eclipse Brewing.
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Seed Shopping?

Why choose Heirloom Seeds, you ask? Exceptional taste is the No. 1 reason many gardeners cite for choosing heirloom varieties. Other great reasons: they are likely to be more nutritious than newer varieties, they are open-pollinated - which means you can save your own seed to replant from year to year, they are “less uniform” than hybrids - which means they often don’t ripen all at once, they are almost always less expensive than hybrids, and finally, many heirlooms have wonderful stories of how they came to America. Seeds saved from heirloom vegetables will produce plants that are true to type, unlike hybrid seeds. Save those seeds, and you can create your own locally adapted variety.

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Vegan Haven Fundraiser

Take a break from the winter blues on Sunday, 2/2, and cozy up next to your favorite vegan at our Second Annual Winter Break at Eclipse Brewing for the finest drinks, the warmest company, delicious vegan eats, and help raise money for animals who really need your help. We will have a ton of auction items, 50/50 raffle, and a chance to enter in to win a pot of loot when you guess the gender of Quinn's cria (baby llama). This event is hosted by Marley Meadows Sanctuary and Eclipse Brewing. A $10 donation to reserve your spot is recommended beforehand as space is limited. Please pay via: Venmo: MarleyMeadowsAnimalSanctuary or Paypal. For more information contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Go Stainless!

Help the planet by going stainless! The Station Coffee is selling metal straw sets - a great, eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. These re-useable stainless steel straw sets include two standard 8.5" bent straws, one wide, straight straw and a cleaning brush. Stainless steel drinking straws are safe, will not degrade over time or leach a metallic taste into drinks and, they're designed to end single-use plastic straws for good. Due to their sturdy build, stainless steel straws can be carried wherever you go. Changing habits can be difficult, but it's clear that changing our habits with plastic straws will greatly help the sustainability of our planet.

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Stewardship Grant Received

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.

Published in Stewardship

Home Gardeners Workshops

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

Published in Stewardship

County Plastics Ban Starts

Many towns across New Jersey chose New Year’s Day as the time to ditch plastic bags. The towns are part of a growing sustainability movement across the Garden State to cut back on plastic waste. Under new rules adopted at the October freeholders meeting, Camden County has banned single-use plastic bags, plastic utensils. Additionally, styrofoam food containers and single-serve disposable plastic water bottles - that come in bottles smaller than one liter - will no longer be allowed in county facilities or at county-sponsored events. "The research speaks for itself on the impact of plastics to our oceans, wildlife, and other natural resources," Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Office of Sustainability, said. "We cannot deny reality any longer and must begin taking whatever steps we have to reduce our reliance on these harmful materials. The Board is committed to finding environmentally-friendly alternatives that can serve the same functions at a fraction of the cost to our planet's health." 

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Put Your Leaves To Work

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.

Published in Stewardship
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