Middlesex has found a way to introduce the joys of gardening to the public through a hands-on class that covers a variety of horticulture topics.
The EARTH Center Master Gardener Class trains community volunteers in earth-friendly gardening and environment-friendly principles. Held at the center’s headquarters at Davidson Mill Pond Park (42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick), it covers gardening techniques, composting, and horticulture therapy.
Classes begin tomorrow and meet three hours per week. They run through mid-April and provide 60 to 70 total hours of experience. In summer, the class meets in outdoor, hands-on classes every other week, where students work at large demonstration vegetable and herb gardens.
Bill Hlubik, Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, said the county was experiencing a resurgence of people looking to “reconnect with the land” in home gardens and small farms.
Master gardeners range from 20 to 70 years old and have a passion for gardening, he noted.
“We have one of the most active programs in the state,” he stated. “Master Gardener graduates in Middlesex County are most fortunate to have a beautiful home and garden space at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, thanks to the support of Middlesex County Freeholders. “
Middlesex County is currently the only county that holds Master Gardeners classes in the evening.
Anyone looking to get involved can call the EARTH Center at 732-398-5278 for more information or visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us/extensionservices.
“This popular program is just another way that the county can meet the needs of our residents while offering quality and fun education,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I commend the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program for all of the earth-friendly and educational programs they provide.”
Erin Petenko, a Journalism major at Rutgers University, is a native of Edison in Middlesex County. She has a passion for traveling and eating – and combining the two! Her favorite foods include Indian, Thai, and Jersey Shore boardwalk food. Outside of class, she works as editor for Rutgers’ newspaper, The Daily Targum. She would love to continue to share her passion for traveling and exploring both new locales and new dishes beyond college.