This June, Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Family & Community Health Sciences Department will host its first annual virtual Feed a Family 5K and Wellness Walk.
FCHS is partnering with Rutgers Against Hunger to raise funds for New Jersey food pantries to stock their shelves with nutritious foods and also help families learn easy, tasty ways to use that food. Proceeds from the event will bring food to New Jersey food pantries and enable FCHS to teach families with limited food budgets how to shop for and cook healthy meals through virtual nutrition/cooking lessons, using the “Cooking Matters” curriculum.
“Cooking Matters” is an evidenced-based program that teaches families with limited food budgets how to shop for and cook healthy meals, via virtual cooking lessons, and has been doing so since 1993.
FCHS, one of three departments within Rutgers Cooperative Extension, has faculty and staff who work in your neighborhood to promote healthy families, schools and communities. Through leadership, collaborative efforts, research, and science-based education, FCHS fosters a culture of health and wellness for New Jersey residents of all ages.
Everyone is encouraged to register at go.rutgers.edu/feedafamily5k and then plan on completing your walk/run anytime in June. Registration includes a race T-shirt.
Free Fishing Days
Catch a memory – and some fabulous fish.
New Jersey offers plenty of opportunities to do both. Fishing has never been better in the Garden State, and you owe it to yourself to make time to enjoy it.
Time on the water by yourself or with family and friends is the perfect antidote to our hectic 21st century lifestyle. Fishing is affordable, too, and one of the best gateways for getting kids interested in outdoor activities. As a bonus, there are tons of great fish just waiting to be caught in our plentiful streams, rivers, lakes and ponds.
New Jersey fishing has something for every level of angler, too. It can be as relaxing or as challenging as you want to make it. From a family outing for panfish on the banks of a public pond, to wading cold, clear streams for trout, or chasing world-class game fish such as muskellunge and walleye – New Jersey has it all.
Back in 2015, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife began offering spring and fall Free Fishing Days. This year, the first Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 5 and the second is Saturday, Oct. 23.
The June Free Fishing Day is held in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week; the October date allows the public to take advantage of the fall trout stocking season. On these days residents may fish on the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.
New Jersey’s two Free Fishing Days are a no-risk investment for an introduction to freshwater fishing in the Garden State and the perfect time for families to enjoy two days of outdoor fun for free. Though youngsters under age 16 do not need a license, these days provide a special benefit to adults who can join in the fun without having to purchase a license. Unless of course, you get hooked on a sport that just might become a lifetime of fun for the whole family.
For those just starting out, the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free fishing programs. Visit it online at njfishandwildlife.com/budding.htm or call 908-637-4125 ext. 0.
Lack of garden space can be overcome by planting favorite vegetables, flowers, and herbs in containers. Seed companies now offer many kinds of vegetables which have a dwarf growth habit and are well adapted to growing in restricted space. Container Gardening has become increasingly popular with gardeners over the past decade. From the familiar selection of annuals to the now-popular succulents and tropicals, to even bulbs and woody plants, the potential plant list from which to choose is vast.
Any site with ample light and accessibility for watering is perfect for container gardening, as many plants that can be grown in a garden can also be grown in a container. Container gardening is also ideal for anyone with an inability to tend to a traditional garden. Container gardening allows for creativity in a small area – bringing a garden of any size to a doorway, balcony, terrace, rooftop, windowsill, or practically any outdoor location.
Bruce Crawford, State Program Leader in Home and Public Horticulture at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, is hosting a two-day program on Container Gardening as part of his Gardening@Home online series. Held during the evenings of June 1 and June 8, Bruce will explore a variety of appropriate containers, soil mixes and amendments and some of the common mistakes that are made. How to combine plants to create a stunning and movable masterpiece will also be discussed. Both talks will include thoughts on a number of plants that can be used and where appropriate, how they can be overwintered for use in the years to come.
Registration is open and available online at bit.ly/3f9lacJ with a $20 fee covering both sessions.
Nicholas Polanin is associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. Email him at [email protected].