Gardeners of Somerset Valley

October 2004					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


			NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 20, 7:30 PM,
				At the North Branch Reformed Church

Every once in awhile GOSV schedules a speaker with the potential to make our monthly meeting not just a night out, but a truly unique experience. Memories of Gary Pavlik’s program on grapes and wines, or the dynamic cooking demonstration by chef Demetrius vividly come to mind. This month we have Sam Wasitowski, current president of the Northwest NJ Beekeepers Association and owner of S&F Honey Farm in Flemington. Mr. Wasitowski plans to delight us with photographs of Hawaiian flowers and tales of adventure from his visit to the island several years ago with fellow apiarists from across America. He will also challenge our senses with a honey tasting, which along with wine offers the widest and most complex range of flavors of any natural product. For further information about this special guest, he is currently profiled in the October 2004 Somerset Style magazine in a story titled ‘The Only Insect to Produce Food for Man’.

Last month’s dahlia contest was a great success with many beautiful entries of all sizes and colors, and this humbled editor won first prize with a majestic orange-red flower. On the day of the meeting, for no earthly reason that I can point to, my dahlia plant was approaching a height of 7 feet, so I sensed that this year was an opportunity to finally do well. As silly as these contests seem at times, it really felt satisfying when the judges announced my name and handed over the ribbon. In another fierce competition, once again President Fred Swan outdueled Ray Hawkins for the largest sunflower honor. The seed head was so massive; it appeared to stun the audience into a state of awe. Congratulations Fred, but beware, while speaking with Ray the other day, he believes redemption will be at hand during next week’s pumpkin contest, where all growers as well as non-growers are encouraged to participate in the hoopla.

Cook College scholarship student Nina Zinn presented an interesting slide show last month detailing her backpack trip to Japan last spring with three of her college friends. She fondly described Tokyo, their first destination as a “bustling place with kind, accommodating people who treasure green space”, no matter how limited. Dale Davis, our second scholarship winner attending Delaware Valley College also came by for a visit. His family owns Stony Hill Gardens in Chester where they grow all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and also this year have an extremely popular T-Rex corn maze. Besides carrying a full course load, he supervises the farm’s production and spraying operations. Once again we appear to have two very well rounded, mature, and articulate students, and often during their talks I sat pondering with pride, what came first, the scholarships or the poise.

GOSV is proud to announce the first Cook College student to win the George Osterman Family Scholarship. A member of the graduating class of 2005, Mary Provance/Bowley lives in Woodbridge and is a Plant Science major. In appreciation of the club’s expansion of the scholarship program with Cook College, everyone has been invited to the 14th Annual Dean’s Recognition Event of Donors held on the New Brunswick campus, October 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The theme is for donors to meet students and vice versa, and to share the good will these scholarships create both at the university and within the donor organizations. Following an hour of socializing over snacks and soft beverages, there is a round of often inspiring student/faculty speeches, concluding with a song or two by the renowned Rutgers choir. To attend, you must RSVP by 0ctober 18 to either 732-932-2586 or If you are available, this is something not to be missed.

Upcoming GOSV Events

Odds and Ends Whether you have recently traveled to Hawaii or not, next week’s program really looks to be special. So come on out on a crisp autumn evening to enjoy a show on tropical flowers, and keep those palates clean and ready for the honey.