Gardeners of Somerset Valley

March 2006					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 15, 2006
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

Due to a last minute cancellation, the flower-arranging workshop will be rescheduled for another time. Instead, Master Gardener Charles Hildebrant has agreed to expand on the program he gave February 2005 and talk about ‘Understanding Fertilizers, Lawn Care and Dealing with Deer’. Proprietor of the long established (circa 1923) Oldwick nursery bearing his name, Mr. Hildebrant who at the previous program coyly skirted around divulging his age, has vast experience on the plants and techniques that work best in central New Jersey. The selected topic is broad enough for attendees to steer him in the direction of most interest to the group. His recent presentation ‘Winterizing Your Landscape’ had the largest turnout of all the off-season programs held this year at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum. This is the one evening where it would be recommended to bring a pencil and pad for taking notes.

Next week the polls open for election night. Though none of the positions are being contested, GOSV will be unveiling a new group of leaders. The nominees are:

President:		 Dorothy Wright
Vice-President: 	 Barry Weissman
Treasurer:		 Georgette Gawlik
Secretary:		 Catherine Mazauskas
Trustees:     		 Larry Haas, Dorothy Siegelman, Gayle Stroh & Pat Matson

So let’s come out and support our future management team and wish them great success as they embark on an exciting new term.

The teak bench has been ordered linking GOSV and WWII hero John Basilone literally forever. Don’t forget to mark June 8th on your calendars as everyone is invited to the dedication of the Freedom Trail for Great Americans. For a nominal fee, part of the celebration includes a formal tea and luncheon catered by Rutgers.

Good News. Jim Laubach, who broke his hip in January caused by a fall in front of his house after returning from a Flamenco dance show, has left the Bridgeway Care Center and is continuing to rehabilitate at home. He’s already using a walker and a cane. With Jim’s innate optimism and the wiry strength that comes from a lifetime of hard work, he should be back on his feet in no time at all. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and everyone looks forward to seeing you as early as the April meeting.

Because she’s always joking around and often looks at things from a lighter perspective, many of us don’t realize that Christine Feorino displays a very serious side especially involving matters affecting the less fortunate in our community. In a passionate plea at the February meeting, she was calling for members to help support the Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children. Donations of money, personal items and household goods would be greatly appreciated, but what these youths need most is stimulating outside activities that would be part of every day Somerset living if they had a normal family situation. So Christine hopes that some of the good folks at GOSV working together with her could come up with and sponsor events, and most importantly spend quality time with these needy kids. The reward and self-satisfaction would be akin to picking that first spring cutting flower or biting into a perfectly ripe homegrown tomato. Christine will not be at the March meeting but her phone number can be found on the roster, and you can bet that when not trying to make you laugh, she will be enlisting your help for this good cause.

Please make note that the Charter Night Dinner will be held at the Somerville Elks on April 25th which is a Tuesday not a Wednesday, and is the fourth week and not the usual third week of the month. Scheduled speaker Walter Choroszewski combines beautiful photographs, a keen wit and a wealth of knowledge about New Jersey in a program that has the potential to be another classic. Be on the lookout during the coming weeks for a flyer with the pricing and the meal selections.

Last Tuesday, the trustees met and responding to a cost hike of $.50 by our grower and along with the $.50 increase last year not passed along to our customers, a decision was made to add $1.00 to the geranium sell price (now $28/dz). GOSV plants have never been the cheapest around town, and membership will just have to work harder selling quality and promoting the benefits of the scholarship program. Also, remember to save some of your personal annual flower purchases for the Morristown Boy Scout’s who will be reciprocating and buying geraniums from GOSV.

The tentative date for landscaping the Habitat for Humanity home in Lambertville is April 29, dependent on the completion of the grading. This also happens to be the first day of the Shad Festival which could be a good thing from a food and entertainment standpoint after the work has been completed, but possibly a problem for parking and getting around by car. The $200 GOSV allocation will be used to buy a coupon on the internet from Ash’s where they are running a double your money promotion. A request for volunteers takes place at next week’s meeting.

Dues remittances are reportedly running behind schedule compared to last year. GOSV has already scheduled a full slate of exciting programs from now to December including a Meadowlands tour and the May plant exchange. Renew now and help keep GOSV vibrant.

There are probably dozens of reasons why February has the reputation for being the most depressing month of the year for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. But placing a bunch of avid gardeners together in a room right before the start of the spring planting season to coin a corny phrase could ‘lead to a group inspired horticultural high’, as en masse we happily wave goodbye to old man winter.

See you next week.