Gardeners of Somerset Valley

September 2008					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 7:00 PM
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

If NJ tomato vines respond to drought like wine grapes by developing more intense flavoring, then next week’s meeting where members are being asked to bring in homegrown or purchased tomatoes will be a tasting extravaganza for the record books. August was bone dry, and due to the cold month of May ripening has generally been delayed by about two weeks. Add in a hot September, and the late season tomatoes should be at their mouth watering peak. Also at this first meeting after the long summer break, pasta and bread will be served and everyone is encouraged to whip up something fresh from the garden or pick other fruits and vegetables to round out the feast. Please notify Dottie ( if planning to attend and pass along your contribution to the meal. Try and arrive on or about 7:00 PM so the tasting trays can be set up early and help keep the meeting from running late. It’s hard to believe that there was a time in the U.S. when the tomato was considered a forbidden fruit and shunned as unhealthy or poisonous. Thankfully that kind of thinking is passé. Can you imagine a better way to say goodbye to summer than gorging on delicious Garden State tomatoes and vegetables?

Based on a sneak preview of the upcoming meetings and outside activities from October through June, we’re about to embark on a journey to become flower show experts. First off, GOSV has volunteered to be the host location at the North Branch Reformed Church for the inaugural District IV Flower Show scheduled June 12th and 13th. Entitled “A Little Bit Country”, the two days offer workshops on the three standard show categories- Horticulture, Design and Special Exhibits. Organizers claim that attendance and participation will go a long way towards taking the mystery out of exhibiting while promising to make the activities fun and informative. In preparation for this big event, several of this year’s meetings will address topics related to the show. Next month, Peggy Koehler demonstrates making a cacti/dish garden, as well as providing an overview of show awards. During the early part of 2009 you can expect several programs covering design techniques, including miniatures. Then mid-winter on February 12-15, the Garden Club of NJ conducts a Flower Show for the 7th annual MAC event held at Raritan Center. So from October to June, flowers take center stage. However, over the next several weeks, new Programs Director John Reamer can expect a few nudges to sneak in alternative topics for one or two of the remaining open meeting nights.

To support the June flower show initiative, CGNJ has organized an Allium and Cammassia bulb fundraiser. A description of these unique varieties and the order form are soon to be uploaded on the website. The Allium family (flowering onions) is of particular interest as most bloom for several months and have natural resistance to deer, critters and disease.

Odds & Ends:

By September, members are rearing to go and more than ready for a meeting. Let’s hope autumn-like weather holds off until after the tomato tasting festivities.