908-654-9854 | Staff Directory
Master Gardeners of Union County Spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale
Deer-resistant perennials, herb and veggie seedlings, and potted annuals in full flower are just some of the offerings for sale at the 26th annual Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale on Sunday May 17, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in the Watchung Reservation, in Mountainside. Admission is free, and free parking is available.
Other popular offerings include easy-to-grow plants for beginning gardners, heirloom varieties of tomatoes, and tomato varieties for containers and small gardens, along with many other vegetables, several varieties of hot peppers, and a large selection of herbs, hanging baskets, houseplants, and annual and perennial flowers.
In addition to selling plants, baked goodies, garden crafts, and garden supplies, the Spring Garden Fair is packed with activities for gardeners young and old:
- Guided tours of the Demonstration Garden complex including the vegetable and herb gardens.
- Displays and information for “Square Foot Gardening,” Rain Barrels, and Rain Gardens.
- Information on joining the Master Gardeners and the 4-H Master Tree Stewards.
- Free children’s activities, including face painting, making bird feeders, making grass seed heads and planting seeds.
- Free Garden Helpline clinic and Rutgers information fact sheets for gardening problems (attendees can bring plant and insect samples for diagnosis, and a Rutgers soil test kit is available for sale).
- Union County Division of Mosquito Control Supervisors available to answer questions
Free nearby parking is located at the Trailside Nature & Science Center parking lot and the Scout Camping Area. Both are accessible from the corner of New Providence Road and Coles Avenue in Mountainside. Additional free parking is available in the Loop playground area, located a short walk away on the other side of Trailside.
Visitors are advised to bring a small wagon to convey their purchases. Sorry – no pets are permitted at the Garden Fair.
If you are an educator or afterschool program staff working with students in grades 8-12, here’s your chance to learn fun, hands-on activities that give youngsters the insider’s scoop on engineering and scientific exploration. It’s all part of the Design It! Explore It! workshop series.
These professional development workshops include everything you need to introduce the activities to your program, along with continued support from Rutgers 4-H and its community partners.
Registration closes on June 12 so reserve your place now by contacting visiting the Extension’s Rutgers University website, nj4h.rutgers.edu/educators For more details email Chad Ripberger of Rutgers 4-H, at email@example.com.
Union County 4-H Clubs
The historic 4-H youth activity program is alive and living in Union County! Students in grades 1-12 can join the fun while developing their skills at public speaking, organization, leadership, and teamwork. Archery, Lego Robotics, Cooking, Engineering, and Fashion Design are just some of the topics to explore in small groups headed up by local volunteers.
Union County 4-H runs concurrently with the school year, so plan ahead now and save Friday, September 18 for the annual 4-H Open House, where you can meet the club leaders and sign up for clubs for the 2015-16 school year.
For more information or to get on the 4-H mailing list, contact Judi LaGanga at the Extension, 908-654-9854 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A tentative list of next year’s clubs is available in the Extension’s “County Visions” newsletter.
Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County
If you love getting your hands dirty, this is the volunteer program for you! No previous horticultural experience is necessary — experts from Rutgers University will train you and certify you as a Master Gardener.
The Master Gardeners are one of Union County’s most beloved volunteer organizations and their beneficial touch is felt in communities everywhere. For many more details, gardening tips, and information on joining visit mastergardeners-uc.org or call the Extension office, 908-654-9854.
The centerpiece of the Master Tree Stewards’ efforts is a countywide “tree blitz” each spring, when they fan out to provide hundreds of 4th-grade students with a classroom lesson on the importance of trees in our environment. No previous experience with trees — or with children — is necessary. Extension staff will provide you with a lesson kit and other support.
Small Steps to Health and Wealth
Small Steps to Health and Wealth is a nationally recognized program developed by Extension experts at Rutgers University. The aim is to help you identify — and act on — modest behavior changes that lead to better health and financial stability.
Let the experts show you how small steps can add up to big improvements. You can read the Small Steps to Health and Wealth book for free on line at Rutgers University’s SSHW website.
If you don’t have time for a whole book you can check out the site’s monthly health and finance messages, take a quick personal assessment quiz, or pick from a list of 25 behavior strategies (we recommend starting with #1, Track Your Current Behavior).
Are you looking for more programs?
Links to all Union County Extension programs are at the top of the left column on this page including:
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County belongs to a national network of more than 3,100 county offices and research institutions, including Rutgers University, organized under the US Department of Agriculture to foster youth development and community health.