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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
January 2015					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT "MEETING": Wednesday, January 21, 7:30pm at the North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:

Many times last summer while heading to tennis in Warren a sign for the Wagner Farm Arboretum grabbed my attention and I often thought about taking a detour and explore. Now having reviewed the website, not doing so was a big mistake, as it looks to be a wonderful gardening locale. There is a gazebo with formal gardens, walking trails under development, a children’s area designed to attract birds, bees and butterflies, special events like a pumpkin glow and the centerpiece a large community garden utilizing organic practices. The beauty of this community garden and others like it besides access to fertile soil and protection from deer, woodchucks and rabbits, is the sharing, learning and mentoring that occurs within these friendly confines. Wagner also has a giving garden which supplied 44,000 pounds of food to charity organizations, requires volunteer work as part of the lease agreement and in the truest sense of the word creates the feeling of a home away from home. In the spring of 2014 Dottie Wright caught the fever and decided to rent a fairly substantial 10’x20’ plot. Dottie shows a tremendous amount of passion about things she loves (daffodils and history come to mind), and next Wednesday she’s going to share a pictorial of her many successes which included the vegetables peas, okra, leeks, red runner beans, Brussel sprouts, three adorable watermelons and too many others to name. Several of her neighbors had great yields with potatoes which in some opinion circles are the second best tasting home grown vegetable compared to store bought next to the tomato. She seemingly harvested enough chives to satisfy all the food banks and soup pantries in the state of NJ. Borage surrounded her whole plot and she’s took a stab at planting garlic this past fall for a late spring harvest in 2015. And don’t forget flowers, she managed to add those for beauty, scent and to attract beneficial insects. Please come by next week and observe Dottie entertain with stories of her exploits both good and bad and perhaps attempt to persuade others to join the growing trend of community gardening.

More news about dues for 2015 will follow.

Happy New Year!