Beginning Farmer Workshop Program Continues

MONROE — Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County continues a program for those interested in farming, or implementing farming techniques on their residential property. Part two of the Beginner Farmers Workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., and is entitled Suburban Organic Homesteading. This seminar will take place in Monroe Township.
Address will be shared upon registration.

Led by Professor Joseph Heckman, Rutgers University Soil Scientist, with Agricultural Agent and Professor, Bill Hlubik, the class will explore small farm enterprises and the concepts of healthy soil and water quality as the foundation of healthy crops.

River Birch Micro-Farm in Middlesex County was established on two acres in 1998. On this tour you will see a variety of traditional and natural methods used in the design of a sustainable homestead. Demonstrations will include: chickens on pasture, tree crops and edible landscaping, soil fertility improvements using composting, organic vegetables, and barn construction with a portable sawmill.

Dr. Joseph Heckman teaches courses in Soil Fertility, Organic Crop Production, and Agro-ecology. As Soil Fertility Specialist for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, he provides recommendations for horticultural crops grown in New Jersey by conventional and organic farmers. The primary goal of his research is to support healthy plant and animal ecosystems producing nutritious food for human health and sustainable communities. Dr. Heckman publishes The Soil Profile, a statewide newsletter concerned with soil fertility and plant nutrition which can be found at the web address He is a board member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey.

To register for the program, call the Middlesex County Extension office at 1-732-398-5262. A donation of $15 will be accepted for program materials and an organic snack to be provided. Deadline for registration for Part 2 is April 26, no walk –ins will be accepted.

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