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Archive for the ‘NJ Resources for Local Agriculture and Sustainable Farming’ Category

Current List of Agricultural-Related Bills in the NJ Legislature 

With all eyes on Atlantic City , we can’t lose site of New Jersey’s $82 billion food and agricultural sectors.

Below are links to agricultural-bills currently before the NJ Legislature this session:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillsByKeyword.asp

Farmers Markets

When do farmers’ markets start in N.J.? 135 options for summer 2016

Farmers Market Returning To Brick

Burlington County seniors eligible for farmers’ market vouchers

Hunterdon Land Trust celebrates Farmers’ Market’s 10th anniversary

Other Happenings 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program on Healthy Eating

Staying true to its land grant mission, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County participated in the Cape May County Healthcare Resource Day on April 23rd. Marilou Rochford, the extension’s Family and Community Health Sciences Educator spoke about Eating Better on a Budget. Rutgers cooperative extension is located in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties and provides a number of services designed to improve family and community health, and to support New Jersey’s food and agricultural systems and infrastructure.

H/T Cape May Herald.com

 

 

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Earlier this week, I received this emailed press release about the NJ blueberry crop from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture: “POPULAR JERSEY FRESH BLUEBERRIES NOW AVAILABLE”.

“Jersey Fresh blueberries, the official state fruit, are now in season and available at local supermarkets, farmers markets, roadside stands, and pick-your-own farms, Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced today.”

This should be an interesting year for berries because strawberries are late this year and many farmers are still struggling with the strawberry crop this year because of the rain and wetness.

“Getting the strawberries out of the field this year is like mud wrestling” said a Farmers Market/Farmstand employee I talked to this week.

“They are going fast [the strawberries]” she added and they sell out early every day at every market.

I can attest to that having missed out on fresh strawberries every Sunday for the past three weeks at the Red Bank Farmers market.

If you’ve got a hankering for fresh blueberries and are trying to find some fresh ones visit the

Jersey Fresh Site

or

Visit NJ Farms

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Today’s announcement that Roche would be locating it’s new clinical transfer facility in the brand-new Alexandria Life Sciences Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side makes Lt. Governor Gudagno’s New Jersey’s agribusiness tour in August even more important, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more efforts like this.

Having been heavily engaged in the Roche negotiations and losing should serve as a wake-up call to Governor Christie and his administration that competing for jobs in the knowledge economy requires investments in intellectual capital resources such as public universities and in developing regional economic clusters that build off of the state’s competitive advantages.

Companies and creative class professionals want to locate near each other and not be reliant on traffic-choked highways to collaborate and meet.

By playing politics with the much-needed Rutgers University/UMDNJ merger last Spring, refusing to reverse the twenty-year decline in state funding to Rutgers, and killing transit projects, the Christie administration has failed to put together the basic building blocks needed to compete with a global city like New York for jobs and investments. It’s no surprise that the pharma industry is following the communications industry out the door and to other states when our state refuses to invest in the basics of success.

Education, transportation, and open space in the nation’s most densely populated state are essential to retaining and attracting companies and educated professionals. The days of growing an economy by offering tax incentives to build facilities in sprawling suburbs and on pancake flat farmland are gone. Those chickens have come home to roost in the form of traffic-choked highways, crumbling sewer and water infrastructures and property tax burdens that can barely meet the needs of municipal budgets and schools.

However, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture under the leadership of Secretary Doug Fisher, along with Lt. Governor Guadagno and her team, put together a tour of businesses in New Jersey’s agriculture and food sectors last August that highlighted this historic business ecosystem and the role it can play in New Jersey’s economic future. Throughout the month of August Lieutenant Governor Guadagno and Secretary Fisher visited both traditional and cutting edge food systems enterprises across the state.

New Jersey has 10,300 farms operating on roughly 550,000 acres of New Jersey’s 4.8 million acre land base and contributes annual sales of about $1.1 billion dollars to the state’s economy. The Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgton has assisted in the development of 40 new food products while serving 1,300 clients and training over 1,000 people since its launch in 2001. The open space and watersheds associated with New Jersey agriculture also help power a $45 billion dollar tourism, fisheries and marine industry.

New Jersey’s true competitive advantages can be found in the development of regional food systems that serve some of our nation’s largest markets. It’s going to become increasingly difficult to compete for intellectual capital driven businesses with New York and Philadelphia when we refuse to invest in our public colleges and universities and play politics with our flagship AAU-member state university.

Losing Roche’s facilities to a city and state that is pursuing an aggressive and forward looking approach to developing overlapping ecosystems of knowledge-intensive industries should come as no surprise.

While we need to invest in our intellectual capital long-term, short and medium term solutions to New Jersey’s economic woes exist via our farms and food companies. Let’s make the right choices and invest in this industry and business ecosystem while protecting our rapidly dwindling land base and increasingly threatened watersheds.

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey

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The NJ Agricultural Leadership Program is now accepting applications for the 2012 program.

Applications can be found here.

The program is run by the New Jersey Agricultural Society which was founded in 17871 and is focused on enhancing and improving agriculture in the Garden State.

The goal of the program is to develop experts in New Jersey agriculture who understand the intersection between policy, economics, business and the land.

Participation is limited to people already employed in agriculture or agricultural related activities.

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Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm at the 1st Avenue Green Space.  Next to the Watermark.

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In 1934 the NJ State Horticulture Society announced the birth of the Rutgers Tomato after eight years of breeding the tomato and field testing it at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The goal was to create a better tomato for marketing and manufacture. Camden’s iconic Campbell Soup Company was actually birthed in the fields of South Jersey and owes it’s existence to the New Jersey tomato. Have you had your soup today? It’s too bad Campbell’s no longer manufactures in New Jersey though.

In 1933 the Rutgers Tomato was field tested at 75 NJ farms from Sussex County in the highlands of northwest New Jersey to Cape May along the coast in the extreme southeastern part of the state.

The Rutgers tomatoes that you see today are merely descendents of the original Rutgers tomato stock.

I tried some container gardening with the Rutgers Tomato last year but didn’t have much success, though I did get two smaller tomatoes that were unbelievably red, juicy and that had a nice tang to them. I have challenging sun/shade conditions on my patio and there’s no real consistency of light over the course of the growing season as foliage and the sun’s angle changes.

Sickles Market in Little Silver sold the Rutgers as well as the Ramapo Tomato last year. The Ramapo Tomato was also cultivated at the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) way back when.

Both the Rutgers and Ramapo tomatoes are part of the Rediscovering the Jersey Tomato project at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

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Came across this wine from Auburn Road Vineyard and Winery in Pilesgrove Township last weekend at the  spring fever NJ wines tasting event at Branches in West Long Branch.

I really enjoyed this wine. It’s smooth like Miles and made with Atlantic County blueberries.  It will make an excellent desert wine and I’m picturing it paired with pound cake and fresh strawberries around Memorial Day.

UPDATE

Auburn Road will have a presence this year at The Glassboro Marketplace

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