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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
As winter is upon us, eventually our chickens will molt and we will be hard pressed to find enough eggs to make breakfast on a Sunday morning . . . So what to do? Even though it might not sound like a difficult job, freezing fresh eggs has come to be somewhat of a skill. Merchantville-Pennsauken Backyard Chickens shares what everyone, who has their own hens, needs to know. Having some eggs ready for an omelet or french toast in winter is always good and eggs are not frozen whole. You will need to crack your eggs into an ice cube tray - preferably silicone. The Prairie Homestead shows you all there is to know about how to easily freeze fresh eggs - separately or together - in just a few minutes.
Thank you to Merchantville School Class of 2019 who donated a Water Bottle filling station that has already helped to saved our local environment from more than 2,000 plastic bottles. Elkay's bottle filling stations provide convenient hydration with a rapid fill of filtered water to quench thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment. Students can now fill up using water bottles that are eco-friendly and, at the same time, promote healthy choices by reducing the consumption of sugary drinks. The addition of this filling station will generate enthusiasm for school-wide sustainability, improve the overall health of students and reduce the number of disposable water bottles used at the school. Bottled water is the second most popular beverage in the United States and currently, only 20% of disposable water bottles are recycled. Plastic water bottles take a large amount of petroleum to make and transport and, up to 700 years to biodegrade.