Gardeners of Somerset Valley

February 2008					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 7:30PM
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

The November 2007 issue of the business magazine Fast Company describes fifty ways major organizations use green or sustainable methods to eliminate waste, improve energy efficiency or reduce carbon emissions while still enhancing the overall bottom line. These examples include burning leftover Cheerios oat hulls as fuel, capturing and reusing rainwater on the top story of the JP Morgan Chase Manhattan headquarters, and Wegmans sponsoring a NY based research farm to study and pass along best practices in organic gardening. With businesses and other institutions starting to mine serious gold from green initiatives, environmentalism could become the next great revolution of our time. At the February meeting, we get to hear from Dr. Emile Devito, Manager of Science and Stewardship at the NJ Conservation Foundation, who has been fighting for clean water and land preservation long before this became a mainstream activity. Known for his dynamism, this popular program is about migratory songbirds, those that spend summer in NJ and then overwinter in the tropics. Dr. Devito will detail the plight of these intercontinental flyers and explain how the continued loss of critical habitats affects their long term survival. He’s also a noted expert on deer overpopulation and it would be interesting to hear an experienced environmentalist’s take on strategies to help solve this out of control situation. Except for some of the club’s extra early seed starters, February still remains the gardening offseason and as fine time as any to assess the health of New Jersey’s general ecological climate with respect to birds, other species and ultimately our own lives.

The postponed January Amaryllis contest is back on the calendar for February. For those who showed extreme gardener’s patience with these slow starters, as mentioned previously based on the size and quality of the bulbs, this could be one of the more dramatic and competitive GOSV events of all time.

On the business side, don’t forget to bring your dues check, $25 for a single and $35 per family membership. Also, Larry Haas has been busy rounding up trustee/officer candidates and will be presenting the slate to the membership. The 2008 nominations are as follows:

President:		Dottie Wright
Vice President: 	Susan Dodge
Secretary:		Fred Yarnell
Treasurer:		Georgette Gawlik

Trustee:		Mitchell Greenbaum
Trustee:  		To be determined

Membership spoke and the board listened. The Charter Night meeting has been changed to a weekend luncheon at Somerville’s Café Picasso, 1-4 PM, the Sunday of April 13. Workers and commuters won’t feel so harried trying to arrive on time and the audience can remain attentive rather than worry about the program dragging late into the evening. Another notable change, a return to one of the older traditions, is to have the scholarship students both attend and be the speakers. Some of GOSV’s proudest moments were watching these typically poised, articulate young adults share their horticultural interests and dreams with the club. The other positive news is that by keeping the menu limited to one main entrée and a vegetarian option, the cost including salad, appetizer, coffee/tea and pastries has been reduced to $25 excluding drinks. The committee will report other details and take a poll for the main course selection of either Chicken Marsala or Chicken Francese at next week’s meeting.

For all you orchid lovers, Longwood Gardens brings to the east coast an ‘Orchid Extravaganza’ for the period of February 4 thru March 31 culminating with an international show March 28, 29 and 30. The show promises never-before-seen flowers from all over the world.

With an exciting Amaryllis contest, nominations, a vote on the Charter Night meal selection and a dynamic bird presentation, the February meeting has all the makings of a can’t miss night out. Now that you’re thinking of attending, please don’t forget the dues check.

Notice to readers: In an effort to save paper, stamps and to finally avoid the tedium of the folding, inserting, labeling and stamping activities, I have finally decided to distribute the newsletter primarily by e-mail. This will speed up transmission and also allow us to grow the mailing list to include current, past and prospective members without adding cost. If you receive this newsletter by mail and do have access to e-mail, please notify me at or call the phone number in the header. I sincerely understand that for many the thrill of viewing an e-mail attachment doesn’t provide the same level of intrigue or excitement as opening an envelope, but e-mail and other technological advancements have now become the norm for affective, efficient communication.