Archive for June, 2009

Another summer, another set of beach closures at Pier Beach and adjacent beaches.

One of the key problems with Wreck Pond (besides the need for some serious dredging all the way up the old Jimmy Byrne’s site) are the grassy areas alongside Wreck Pond in Spring Lake. They tend to be geese magnets and don’t provide a real buffer against the adjoining road and their runoff.

So every time there’s a series of hard rains, Pier Beach and many adjoining beaches in Spring Lake and Sea Girt are closed. For the most part, the Sea Girt side of the pond contains vegetative buffers. The Spring Lake Heights shoreline above the railroad bridge is a mix of trees, shrubs, and grasses. However, most of the immediate shoreline in SLH does have a vegetative buffer.

The key push back against vegetative buffers in Spring Lake has been access and view. However the best access to the pond tends to be the shoreline in Spring Lake Heights and a small area in Spring Lake just south of the railroad bridge.

Could community gardens be a solution? Gardens that utilize IPM or natural pesticide control could serve as an edible buffer that keeps geese from congregating during the summer and fall months and allows Spring Lakers access to fresh grown vegetables and fruits without digging up their own yards. Raised beds could be used in order to avoid any underlying soil issues with road runoff. A mix of shrubs and fruit bearing trees could help with geese control for the remainder of the year.

Alternatively, the Wreck Pond Gardens could become a community project that provides seasonal produce to community food banks and perhaps even to domestic violence shelters in the county. Manasquan High School could even take the lead in conjunction with nearby elementary schools in developing and managing the plots as a community service project. Rutgers Agricultural Extension in Freehold, may even be interested in becoming a lead partner in this experiment.

Unconventional yes. As a way to preserve views and direct access to the pond while protecting water quality it may be the optimal solution.


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2:30PM to 7:00PM at Waverly Place in the heart of downtown Madison. Farmers will include Melick’s Town Farm from Oldwick, Alstede Farms from Chester, and Vacchiano Farms of Washington Township.

Shore Catch, which sells fresh seafod from New Jersey’s own waters will be there as well as vendors selling bread, pickles and kettle corn. Shore Catch also sells at other New Jersey farmers markets such as the one in Highland Park.

This will be a full year test run through October 1st with the market held downtown every Thursday afternoon from 2:30PM – 7:00PM. In past years the market has been split among various sites because of parking and traffic issues. But this year Madison is working together to integrate the market with the downtown business district.

Story Time will be offered begining July 2nd by the Madison Public Library at the Farmers Market. So even with young kids there’s no excuse not to go! Make a family day out of it.

If you live in the Madison area come on out and support a downtown Farmers Market and our local NJ Farmers.

Hat Tip to the Madison Eagle

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I’m back from Cornell and getting ready for my trip to Minnesota. Here’s the roundup for last week. Normally these will run on Friday mornings.

Keep the Garden in the Garden State

Great editorial in the Daily Record by NJ Farm Bureau head Richard Nieuwenhuis on the need to reauthorize bonding for open space preservation programs in NJ.

Nieuwenhuis points out the critical role that farmland plays in open space preservation in New Jersey and the historic support for open space bonding by New Jersey voters.

A Great overview of NJ’s Farmland Preservation Program is here:

Farmland preservation is a win-win for all NJ residents

To date Roughly 17% of New Jersey’s 4.75M acres have been preserved as farmland.

Open Space legislation
sponsored by Assemblymen Albano & Milam clears the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

More on Albano & Milam’s Made with Jersey Fresh Bill:

Support the Made with Jersey Fresh Bill

Call or email your state legislator and voice your support for New Jersey’s producers, growers, and small business community.

Find your state legislators here

Seeds to Salad with NJ’s Secretary of Agriculture

NJ Ag Secretary Douglas Fisher enjoys lunch at Branchburg’s Old York School’s Salad Extravaganza. The lunch is a year end celebration of the school’s Seeds to Salad program run with Rutgers Agricultural Extension of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.

Lunch included greens, onions, radishes, carrots, broccoli and beets all grown by students at the school assisted by Master Gardeners from Rutgers.

Advanced training for NJ beekeepers

New Winery in Cape May County

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I’ll be attending Cornell’s summer strategic research program sponsored by the School of Industrial & Labor Relations and the AFL-CIO.

Regular posting will resume next weekend.

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Assembly Bill A4038 directs the State Division of Purchase & Property to buy, bid for, and establish contracts with Jersey Growers wherever feasible. The bill also allows for the sale of baked goods and “other food products” made with Jersey Fresh ingredients to be sold by the various toll authorities. The goal of the toll roads provisions is to increase the likelihood of sale to visitors entering and leaving the state.

Given the draconian cuts to the Jersey Fresh program in this year’s state budget, this bill provides a non-cash way for the state to continue to support Jersey grown fruits and vegetables.

Continued Marketing and Category support for our Jersey growers and producers is a no-brainer.

The combination of a very severe economic downturn and growing consumer trends towards fresh locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, breads, and baked goods provides a tremendous opportunity to grow market share, raise “Jersey Fresh” brand awareness and economically support our local growers and producers.

Call or email your state legislators and tell them you support Bills A4038 and S2839.

Find your state legislators here

The bill’s sponsors are Assemblymen Matthew Milam, Nelson Albano and State Senator Jeff Van Drew.

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The New Jersey Farm Bureau” favors anOpen Space Ballot Initiative.

The Farm Bureau supports the $600M, 3 year Garden State Preservation Trust bonds and believes it should be on the ballot in November. Current Polling from the Trust for Public Land shows that a large majority of NJ Residents (59% to 33%) support the bonds. The bonds would only be issued if no other sources of funding were found. The bonds would ensure the continuance of New Jersey’s Green Acres open space preservation program, started in 1981.

June 8th Public Meeting on the proposed Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway.

See Also a a Tour Route here

Upper Freehold Township Municipal Building
County Route 539
Upper Freehold Township, NJ

NJ Agriculture’s contribution to state GDP falls. NJ ranks 31 overall for real GDP growth.

NJ Assembly discusses possible Raw Milk Sales.

Retail Locally Grown Grows Quickly article from The Packer
features Vineland Farmer Kevin Flaim of Flaim Farms and NJ Assistant Agriculture Secretary Al Murray

The Flaims sell at the Collingswood Farmers Market.

Collingswood Farmers Market
Saturdays 8AM – Noon; May – November
Between Collings & Irving Avenues
(along PATCO)
Collingswood NJ

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Volunteers are ensuring that the market will begin its 17th season of operation tomorrow, June 6th. Montclair’s Farmers Market will include a beekeeper and fishmonger, sausage maker, cheeses, and an organic baker.

Montclair Farmers Market
Walnut Street, Train Station Parking Lot
Montclair, NJ

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