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March 2017 Board Agenda

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in Board Mtg Agenda, News and Events, The Executive Board

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march, 2017 board agenda

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in Board Mtg Agenda, News and Events, The Executive Board


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Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in News and Events

An intro to pruning trees and shrubs: Learn what, when, where, and why.   Aesthetic, ecological and economic values of the trees and shrubs that add quality to our lives and define our space in our urban forest.

Please join us for our continuing education meeting on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, from 7:30-9 pm in the RCE Meeting Room, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090.

Our Speaker, Stephen Schuckman, Instructor for Office of Rutgers Professional Education Program, Owner of First Mountain Arboriculture LLC,  a professional horticulturist, municipal forester and New Jersey Certified Tree Expert.

You are welcome to bring a guest for this event!  RSVP  by emailing Judi Laganga, or calling (908) 654-9854, option 2.

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Master Gardener Silk-Screened Items ‘Made to Order’

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in News and Events


 This year Master Gardeners Sweatshirts, T-shirts, Aprons and Long-sleeve T-shirts are offered for sale. The best price is available with an order of 12 or more, so these items are available only when we can fill an order.


These thick, high-quality Champion sweatshirts are green (same color as the T-shirt), with the 7” high MG logo screen-printed in the center. Please be aware that they run large, even if you want to wear something under it.

We will arrange to have a sample in the office. These sweatshirts are not returnable or refundable so care must be taken when ordering your size.


Crew neck

Small to XL-                                                          $30.00

XXL                                                                         $34.00

XXXL additional                                                  $38.00

Hooded (includes a pouch in front)

Small to XL-                                                $38.00

XXL-                                                            $42.00

XXXL not available



Small to XL                                                     $10.00

XXL                                                                  $12.00

LONG SLEEVE T-SHIRTS                   

Small to XL                                                     $12.00



Adjustable length with pocket in front                $14.00


Payment is required before the order is placed.

If you are interested please contact James Keane before Wednesday, March 1, 2017.


1015 Richard Blvd., Rahway, NJ 07065

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RCE Community Gardening Conference March 25 and County Grant Program

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Events, MG Chronicles

Hello Master Gardeners,

RCE of Union County is having its 5th Annual “Get Your Vegetable Garden Growing: Home-School-Community” on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions Building on the Union County Vo-Tech Campus in Scotch Plains.  4 CEU’s are being offered for this conference.

Here is the program, including registration information:

Community Gardening Brochure 2017

Please share the brochure with family, friends or colleagues who are interested in community gardening!  Hope to see you at the conference!

If you are involved with a non-profit organization or school that is interested in starting or currently has a community garden, did you know that the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is offering community garden grants?  For more information please visit  Grant applications are available at and are due Tuesday, March 7, 2017.


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The Next MG Communications Meeting is Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Committees & Projects, News and Events

The next meeting of all Committee Chairs and the Executive Board will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, March 29, in the meeting room of the RCE, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ. Everyone is invited to attend and discuss any concerns.

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Reminder about February Continuing Education Meeting: How Much Do You Know about our Neighbors, Trailside Nature and Science Center and the Watchung Reservation?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in News and Events

Did you know that Union County recently celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Watchung Reservation, including  Trailside as county parks?  Please join us for our continuing education meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, from 7:30-9 pm in the RCE Meeting Room, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090.  Our Speaker, Ruth Yablonsky, will give us a history of the Watchung Reseravation and Trailside Nature and Science Center.

For almost three decades, Ruth Yablonsky has been teaching children and adults about the natural world both at the Trailside Nature and Science Center and on visits to schools.  In recognition of her achievements, Ruth, a master gardener, was awarded the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education’s Patrica R. Kane Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 for excellence in environmental education. She grew up in The Bronx, went to Hunter College and then to the University of Michigan, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Geology. In 1985 she joined Trailside Nature & Science Center.

You are welcome to bring a guest for this event!  RSVP  by emailing Judi Laganga, or calling (908) 654-9854, option 2.

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Minutes from Communications Meeting of October 26, 2016

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in News and Events

Attendance:  Richard Leister, Linda Henry, Dave Regal, Joanne Krueger, Diane Voight,

Karen Mulvihill, Terry Moore, Dolores Batz-Culp, Dennis Lenahan, Fred Taylor, Magali Felix, Christina Lewis, Althea Llewellyn.

The meeting was called to order by Richard Leister, President, at 7:12 p.m.


Correspondence:  Richard Leister received a letter from Marina Stapleton, Program Coordinator, County of Union, Department of Parks and Recreation, dated October 4, 2016 thanking the Master Gardeners for participating in the Harvest Festival this year.  She stated in part, “An event of this magnitude would be impossible to hold without participants like you”.

 Berry Patch:  This committee, represented by Fred Taylor, Cristina Lewis (who will be moving), Magali Felix, Dennis Lenahan and Althea Llewellyn, reported that they were successful growing a lot of fruit and berries despite problems with squirrels and chipmunks entering the garden.  The raspberries had excellent flavor, about ¾ lbs. figs were harvested.   Apples were grown, but no blueberries.  Magali reported that she will be checking into grafting one of the two plum trees.  The exact totals of the harvest will be submitted at a later date, but it was less than last year.  The netting that was installed on top of the garden was done in sections.  The openings created problems of holes for small animals to enter and steal the crops.  The solution would be to have one piece netting.  The committee will work with TJ Karns on a grant request for new netting and present the request to the Board.

 Helpline:  Dolores Batz-Culp reported that all shifts are covered for the Helpline.  The new class will be coming in December.  There was technical difficulty in printing the new business cards, but they should be available by 2017.   The Helpline has been receiving requests for Master Gardener speakers.  Dolores would appreciate being advised via email of the availability of speakers.  The office acquired a new microscope.  This was possible thanks to Master Gardener Libby Reiss via a grant from her workplace.  Thank you to Madeline also for placing the purchase order for it.

 Herb Garden:  Dolores Batz-Culp reported for Caryl Hannemann that the Herb Garden has been winterized.  The new class will be visiting on Tuesday.  The pineapple sage was lost in the windstorm.  The hops have been taken down.  Fresh herbs – including chives, basil, mint, stevia, lemon balm and lemon grass – were donated to the Sharing Garden.  The produce is labeled.  Next year the label will include what the item can be used for.

The conifers are creating too much shade.  It is hoped that they can be pruned.  It was noted that the county needs to do this and we’re still waiting since July for them to come to do other tree pruning.  It was pointed out that in some areas of the gardens it is a safety issue with falling tree parts.  It was noted that the phone was out of service because a tree was on the wires.  This will be on the agenda to discuss at the next Board Meeting.

Sharing Garden:  Karen Mulvihill reported that a total of 2,396 lbs of food was harvested for this year.  The tomato crop was better than last year.  They plan to plant more Swiss chard, turnips and kale next year.  The electric fence worked better this year until the squirrels found a way around it and into the tomatoes.   The irrigation system worked better this year.

 There is a problem with the mushroom soil in all the raised beds and Annex.  It needs to be amended with good top soil.  Madeline is working on getting the top soil, but she is awaiting the results of a soil test.  Some of the existing soil needs to be removed by wheel barrow and placed by the woods.  The new class could help with this on Tuesday when they come up to the gardens.

The Annex needs help.   This will be discussed at the end-of-year meeting next week.

 The new pamphlet is being worked on with technical help from the Vo-Tech School.  The photos of the garden were redone with the date included as well as the names of the agencies that we donated to.


Community Beautification:  Althea Llewellyn reported for Diane Borman.  Diane did a booklet

(pink in color) that includes a table of contents and a description of all the Community Beautification projects.  It will be kept in the Helpline office for Master Gardeners to review when looking for volunteer hours.  An announcement will be put on the website and in the newsletter that this is available.

 Newsletter:  Althea Llewellyn reported for Caryl Hannemann that the Newsletter Committee is pleased with writers who are submitting articles on time.  The only concern is to have information on monthly speaker meetings and nominating committee announcements in advance so they can be included in the newsletter.

 Cutting Garden:  Diane Voight reported that they will be providing a list of flowers.  The zinnias work the best in bouquets and the dahlias are very well used.  The dahlias will be over wintered until the spring.  Diane indicated that they can use more help.  The irrigation system was not working last summer in the back garden so some plants were lost.  New plans were planted in their place.

 The Rain Garden by the greenhouse will be have the rudbeckia removed and replaced with coreopsis.  Once the berm is set up it shouldn’t need much weeding.   Richard Leister indicated that the new rain gardens will be maintained by two new class members, Tina Macry and Martha Saitta.

It was reported that the new compost bin is great!  Easy to use.

 Demonstration Garden:  Joanne Krueger reviewed the report that she submitted on the Demonstration Garden.  It is attached hereto.  Some highlights of her report include the following.  She recommends discontinuing the MG home-grown contest.  There is little interest and only a few entries.  It was pointed out that more help is needed at the gardens.  There was a suggestion to ask the VoTech School for volunteers to help at the gardens for community service hours.  We will check with Madeline on this issue at the Board meeting.   It was suggested that a back-up MG be identified who can work along with Joanne Krueger.  It was felt that someone who is knowledgeable of her duties would be able to assist her and fill in for Joanne if she is not available.  Joanne would welcome this help.  This will be discussed at the next Board meeting.

 Rose Garden Pergola:  It was reported that they are happy with the 3 new drift roses.  The pergola looks great.

 Perennial Bed:  Pat Leonard was not able to attend this meeting, but her issues are included in Joanne Krueger’s report.  She would like to see more signs advertising our Spring Garden Fair.  Pat requests that the sign in the front garden, which is peeling, should be replaced.  She would like the dumpster moved away from it’s current location as it is not attractive by the gardens.  There was mention of over-wintering plants.  The thought of wintering-over plants in the greenhouse is not a good idea, Joanne said,  particularly if the power should go off, and it is not safe if the road is not snow plowed.

 Richard Leister asked if there were any other items to be discussed.  There were none.

 A motion was made by Dave Regal and seconded by Fred Taylor to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m.



My apologies for the delay in posting these minutes.  –  Richard Leister

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Home Gardeners School Scholarship Opportunity

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in News and Events

Applications are now being accepted for consideration from Certified Active Union County Master Gardeners (CAMGs) for 2 scholarships for Rutgers Home Gardeners School, courtesy of the Union County Master Gardeners. The Rutgers Home Gardener School will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9am-4pm on the Rutgers Cook/Douglass Campus in New Brunswick. Please click on the link for program and registration information. The Program early registration deadline is March 10, and the late registration fee is after March 10.

Applicants must be able to attend on March18, 2017.  The Master Gardener Executive Board will select the scholarship recipients.

The scholarship recipients are responsible for registering for the Home Garden School program and paying the appropriate registration fee. After attending the HGS program, the awardees must submit proof of attendance and the reservation fee receipt to the RMGUC Treasurer who will process the reimbursement check.

Deadline for the Union County scholarship applications is February 28, 2017.

Please note: only the registration fee is reimbursed, the CAMG is responsible for paying any additional fees or box lunch.

Criteria for application:
Individual must be a CAMG with over 100 (cumulative ) hours of volunteer service. Individual has demonstrated outstanding contribution to the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County program and/or dedication to a Rutgers Master Gardener committee. Individual has not been awarded a scholarship in the prior three(3) calendar years.

Applications can be sent via email to MG president, or can be sent to the Extension Office c/o Richard Leister, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090 or fax 908-518-7925.  Application should state how you have contributed to the Master Gardeners of Union County program or committee.


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February Newsletter

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in News and Events, Newsletters and Bulletins

Hello Master Gardeners

Here is our February Newsletter.  Highlights this month  our Feb Monthly Meeting, Trip to Phillip Academy Aero Farm Greenhouse, Rutgers Home Gardener’s School , MG Apparel Sale, and other interesting articles!





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