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Reminder: You Are Invited to the Next MG Communications Meeting on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 in News and Events

The next meeting of all Committee Chairs and the Executive Board will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, October 25, 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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Welcome the Class of 2017/2018

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in News and Events

I could use some MGers to assist with welcoming the new class on Tuesday Oct 17th at 9:30AM!

To refresh your memory – we have name tags to give out, binders/USB’s to sign for, Soil Test Kits to sign for, and folders to give out!!

Also, if anyone would like to bake a treat or two for the new class, that would be great!  I usually bake something, but I am in temporary quarters and cannot bake very well without my tools!!!

Please contact me at the office 908-654-9854  or email me at   ASAP!!

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Volunteer Opportunity: Fanwood Library Rain Garden

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

We are looking for volunteers to serve on the Fanwood Library Rain Garden Project.

Here is some information about this garden.

Descrip of Rain Garden Fanwood

Many thanks to Edith Wells and Mary Gosnell for chairing this project the past several years.  If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please contact Diane Borman, MG community beautification project coordinator, at


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You Are Invited to the Next MG Communications Meeting on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in News and Events

The next meeting of all Committee Chairs and the Executive Board will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, October 25, 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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Open House for Judi Laganga October 27

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Please join us on Friday October 27 for an Open House (2pm -7pm at the RCE office)  to celebrate our good friend and Office Manager Judi Laganga.  Judi will be officially retiring at the end of the month, so stop by to wish her well!  Light refreshments will be served, so please RSVP to Dr. Karen Ensle, RCE Dept. Chair, or 908-654-9854 ext. 1 .  See the flyer below for details.

Judi Laganga Retirement Invite Flyer

Hope to see you there!


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October Newsletter

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in News and Events, Newsletters and Bulletins

Hello Master Gardeners!

Happy Fall! Here is this month’s Master Gardener Newsletter.  Highlights this month:

  • Walk in registrations will be accepted at State Master Gardener Conference on Saturday Oct. 7
  • Oct 18 – Monthly Meeting
  • Summer 2017 Children’s Program
  • Hops, Celosia and Things to do in October
  • Review of Deep Cut Gardens
  • Demonstration Garden News

October 2017



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Message from Caryl Hannemann

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in News and Events

For those who didn’t register for the Statewide Conference –  this year walk-ins will be accepted at the door with no penalties.

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Master Gardener State Conference

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in News and Events

Register for the Rutgers Master Gardener State Conference “Treasure Our Trees” on Saturday, 10/7/17 from 8:30-3:30 pm.

Get to see your fellow MGs honored for the Award for Excellence AND earn 4.5 CEUs! Forms are in the office or online Rutgers Master Gardeners Association of New Jersey 2017 Conference | Treasure Our Trees

(Download “2017 RMGANJ Reg Form.pdf “).

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Master Gardener Continuing Education Meeting with Nick Polanin

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in News and Events

Please join us for our continuing education meeting on 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, from 7:30-9 pm
in the RCE Meeting Room, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield, NJ 07090.
Our guest speaker will be Nick Polanin.  Topic to be Announced.
He currently serves as statewide coordinator for the Rutgers NJAES Master Gardener Program.
Since joining Rutgers University in 1999, Nick has been nationally recognized for his leadership and educational initiatives in training arborists and other tree care professionals, Green Industry workforce development programs, distance education for consumer and commercial audiences, and volunteer management.  Nick holds an M.S. in Horticulture/Urban Forestry (1989), and a B.S. in Natural Resource Management/Forestry (1982), both from Rutgers University. Areas of expertise include urban and community forestry, street tree management, christmas tree and nursery production, landscape IPM, and public relations. Prior to joining Rutgers, Nick was the Assistant City Forester in Jersey City, and in sales for private tree care companies serving clientele in Essex, Morris, Union, and Somerset Counties. 
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Thanks for Making the Recognition Party a Success

Posted by on Sep 23, 2017 in News and Events

Thank you to all the master gardeners for all the help making Tuesday evening’s Recognition Party a success. Thanks to Althea, Richard, Carol, and Madeline for helping with set up. Fred for running around picking up all the food. Uschi and company for growing the best flowers for the arrangements. And the many of you all that stayed after to help clean up. I also want to thank Vinny’s Pizza in Cranford for preparing the sandwich trays and cheese platter. Wholefoods in Clark Commons for the sushi, that was such a big hit this year. Special thanks for Ono Bowls in Westfield for donating the wonderful acai bowls for dessert.

Thank you Nancy Muñoz our distinguished guest, for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining us for the evening.
Congratulations again to all our award recipients. Thank you to Judi for all of the hard work in preparation and organizing the awards, adding up our hours and keeping us on point. She keeps us up to date and organized. We will miss you. Thank you Madeline for the constant encouragement and advise, our fearless leader in an ever changing growing garden community. Thank you to the Westfield Presbyterian Church for the use of their facility and the staff, for setting up the room yet again. It is wonderful to work with such helpful people.
Tina Helmstetter
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Are You Attending the Master Gardener Awards Ceremony?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in News and Events

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
at the Presbyterian Church, Assembly Hall, 140 Mountain Ave., Westfield

This is a gentle reminder to please let Judi know ASAP if you are coming: OR call Judi 908-654- 9854.


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Demo Garden open this Sat- Sept 16- 9am -12pm

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in News and Events


The Demo Garden will be open this Saturday, Sept 16 from 9am until 12pm for your perennial donations for next year’s plant sale.

If you are bringing plants that need to be divided and potted, please arrive by 11am so we may leave at 12pm. We have pots, soil and labels for your use.

We can also use help digging up perennials, dividing, writing plant labels and doing inventory.

We will also be open on Saturday, Sept 30 from 9am until 12pm for your donations.

Demo Garden volunteers – feel free to come Saturday and work on your plot as we will also be open to the public on Sunday, Sept 24 from 11am – 5pm.

Thank you – Joanne Krueger

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September Newsletter

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

Hello Master Gardeners,

Happy September – we have a busy month ahead of us!  In this issue, the Pin Party (Sept 19) , State Master Gardener Conference (Oct. 7) , Composting Program (Sept 7), fall plant donations for  the fair (Sept 16 & 30) and the Harvest Festival Sunday, Sept. 24. Enjoy the articles on herbs, our Plant of the Month, and houseplant fall care. Also, a tribute to Marie Clark, RCE Agriculture Secretary.



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Upcoming Sept. Events at the Demo Garden

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Committees & Projects, Continuing Education, News and Events, SpringFair, The Gardens

The Demo Garden will be open every Tuesday and Thursday (weather permitting) by 9am until approx. 12pm. We also have these upcoming special events:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL COMPOSTING – The new Vegetable Gardening Series ends with a Sharing Garden tour and then a lecture in the TMA room from 6 pm – 8pm. Contact Madeline to volunteer or to register to attend the lecture.

TIME TO DIVIDE! PERENNIALS WILL BE ACCEPTED THIS FALL FOR THE 2018 SPRING GARDEN FAIR – Saturday, September 16, 9am – 12pm and Saturday, September 30, 9am – 12pm

August and September is the perfect time to divide your iris, daylilies and hosta. We will be accepting your potted plants in September at the Demo Garden. We will be open two Saturdays this fall for your donations and we can also use help these days digging up perennials out of the garden and potting them up. We will have soil, pots and plant labels if you want to bring your clumps and divide them at the demo garden.  The September newsletter contains a list of plants we accept in the fall. Contact Joanne if you have any questions.

DEMO GARDEN OPEN DURING ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL – WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! – Sunday, September 24, 2017 – 11 am – 5 pm, Rain or Shine

Master Gardener volunteers are needed to staff a table at the entrance to our garden during this event. This is a very easy job – just meet and greet the public, keep track of attendance and give out some brochures on the Master Gardener program. We will also be offering free Children’s Activities – helping the children pot up baby plants to take home and making bird feeders, so your help is needed! We had over 100 children take home a plant last year. Help is also needed to set up and clean up at the end.

Contact Joanne Krueger or 908-313-2734 if you can volunteer. Thank you for your help keeping our garden beautiful!

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Continuing Education Events

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Here is a list of upcoming events you might be interested in attending.   Thanks to Tina Helmsetter for compiling the list.

CEUs Aug thr Dec2017

Remember, we do have free continuing education events through-out the year, such as most of our monthly meetings and demo garden talks.  Recent MG graduates do not need to acquire continuing education hours until after the new year, January 2018.



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Reporting your hours

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in News and Events

Hello Dear Volunteers –

I wanted to address an issue I’m seeing as you are all getting your hours to me for the Aug 31st deadline.

Because I will no longer be here after Oct 31st – you will have a new person trying to learn everything during the incredibly accelerated Fall busy season.  So I’d like to clarify something for you all so that she doesn’t get confused and then have an issue later on with correct Volunteer hours logged.

Some of you, when sending your hours in, are including OLD HOURS. Meaning, hours you have already reported to me.  I realize a large part of that is because, rather than start a new sheet, and wasting paper, you just continue on.  I am familiar with the system we have in place, and I can look at a spreadsheet or log sheet and realize something is duplicated right away. I’ve been here a long time. But I will tell you, that for a new person in this position, that will confuse the heck out things.  She will not be as familiar with things and will need your assistance in the beginning.

So, if you could just remember, you only need to report hours ONE TIME!  Once you submit them, we’ve got it. No need to include old hours ever!

We log by the month!   So please don’t just tell the “new kid” you’ve got 40 hours for the year….. we then have to break that up.  Please start to be as specific as you can – and remember, it is in .25 hours;                                                                                                15 minutes=.25   30 minutes =.50  45 minutes =.75

If you would like to know how many hours you currently have, or to what date (month) you’ve reported, e-mail me at   It is literally just a few clicks for me to look it up.  It is never a problem (for me) to give a few clicks and answer your question.

Thanks everyone!!!

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Volunteer Opportunity at Brunner School

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

New Master Gardener member Teresa Keeler is recruiting volunteers to help maintain the Brunner School Children’s Garden in Scotch Plains.  This project has been approved for volunteer hours.  If you are interested in helping at the garden over the summer, please contact Teresa by email, or text 908-403-7319.


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“Treasure Our Trees” the 2017 State Master Gardener Conference Oct 7, 2017

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Hope you are enjoying the summer.

When fall arrives and the leaves are changing color, what a perfect time to “Treasure Our Trees,” which happens to be the theme of this year’s Annual State Master Gardener conference! This year during the state MG program’s  “Awards for Excellence” ceremony,  we will be honoring Mary Krauss with the individual award for excellence and the Gardening with Children committee for the team award for excellence.

The conference is on Saturday, October 7 at the Cook Campus Center at Rutgers University.  A link to the program information is below.

2017 RMGANJ Reg Form

You have 2 options to register, one is to use the online registration the other is to print the form and mail it to the NJAES Office of Continuing Education with a check or credit card information.  I suggest registering soon, as this event often fills to room capacity.

Hope to see you there – it’s a great way to meet Master Gardeners from around the state.


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Volunteer Hours

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in News and Events

Ladies & Gents, it is that time! With the Pin Party coming up on September 19, 2017, I need all your hours through the end of August 2017. I thought I’d start bugging you early as I do put a lot of information together before that deadline, so I have a better idea as to who might be close to an award level. That’s when I can then bug you to put in a few more hours to make that level. We also use these reported hours for Madeline’s Rutgers reports! So they are not just for recognition, they are important statistics!!!
Start getting them together for me – you do not need to repeat/copy what you have already reported, I’ve recorded all of that.
So that’s the heads up everyone – start sending me those hours! Lots to coordinate before the party, the earlier I have everything together, the less you’ll hear from me!!!!

Thanks for all of your help over these last few years! This is the last Pin Party I get to coordinate and attend before my retirement on Oct 31, 2017!

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Volunteer Opportunities at our “Vegetable Gardening Series” Lectures

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners:

This summer we are having our first evening Vegetable Community Gardening Series Lecture at our Sharing Garden. We had our first program on June 22 with Tom Mulligan lecturing on Starting a Vegetable / Community Garden.

The programs will start at 6pm and people will park in the main Trailside Parking Lot. We’ll gather outside the TMA classroom. The classroom is in the building where the bathrooms are, closest to the demo garden and amphitheater.  We’ll take the group into the Sharing Garden via the back demo garden gate from 6:00 -6:45, than we will be using the TMA classroom for the Power Point Lecture.  We should be done by 8:00 to get everyone out of the parking lot by dark.

I have attached the flyer for the program.

Rutgers Vegetable Gardening Series

The dates/speakers are:

Tuesday, July 25 –“Keeping Pests Out of the Garden” Madeline DiNardo and Jackie Park Albaum

Wednesday , August 9 “Harvesting and Food Safety” Dennis Lenahan

Thursday Sept 7 Composting – Dennis Lenahan

For each evening, we will need Master Gardeners to help with the program. Here are some of the opportunities:

Parking Lot Greeter

Registration (people signing in) and helping distribute handouts & pre/post quizzes

Tour Guides – we can meet before the program to plan the tour highlights

I could also use clerical help in the office to put together program handouts.

If you would like to volunteer at any of the programs, please sign up at:

This link should bring you to a sign-up sheet. If you have trouble getting on the sign up page, or would prefer to just mail me back what day(s) / and job you would like to help with, that would be fine.



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