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Gardener State: Have a peach of a summer – MyCentralJersey.com |

Gardener State: Have a peach of a summer – MyCentralJersey.com

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As weird as the names of some fruits are, you’re not going to believe how they came into those names.
Wochit

Despite the dire news from such peach producing states as Georgia and South Carolina, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture recently reported that it projects New Jersey’s peach crop to be one of its largest in years.

“New Jersey’s crop of peaches are shaping up and will be available in abundance throughout the state,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “We want produce retailers and buyers as well as consumers of Jersey Fresh produce to know that we anticipate having a plentiful supply of peaches.”

New Jersey is one of the nation’s top growers of peaches. In 2015, farmers grew 42.2 million pounds of peaches on 4,700 acres valued at $27.6 million. The 2017 peach crop is projected to produce between 55 and 60 million pounds of peaches on 5,500 acres, according to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council.

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“The New Jersey Peach crop is looking strong and healthy for all varieties within the fruit set,” said Francisco Allende, the general manager of Sunny Valley International in Glassboro. “We expect this to be one of our better harvests in recent years.”

The beginning of peach season is expected to start in South Jersey in about week and will gradually work its way northward. The first peach variety of New Jersey’s season is ‘Sentry’. The crop then moves into ‘Gala’ and ‘Flavorcrest’ varieties and finishes with ‘Loring’ and ‘Red Haven’ followed by ‘John Boy’ season. New Jersey then moves into ‘Crest Haven’ season, which also includes ‘Gloria’ variety, followed by ‘Jersey Queen’ and ‘Fayette’. The ‘Encore’ and ‘Laurol’ varieties will wrap up the season sometime in mid- to late-September, when the last of New Jersey’s peaches should be picked. White peaches are expected to begin shipping around the end of July and continue through mid-September.

“We are excited with the way our peaches look right now,” said Santo Maccherone, a peach grower who owns Circle M Farms in Salem. “Our crop has come along nicely and we have high expectations for quantity and quality.”

To find Jersey Fresh peaches, search for farmers markets, pick-your-own farms and roadside markets on the Jersey Fresh website at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov. Also, check out Jersey Fresh peach recipes at http://bit.ly/1x7KZd6.

Do you have a Jersey Freshcipe?

Everyone has great summertime recipes that promise to quench and delight. But did you know that the 2017 Jersey Freshcipes contest started a few weeks ago, encouraging people to create and share recipes using Jersey Fresh produce as one of the main ingredients?

The recipes can be entered by going to http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/recipecontest.html. There will be weekly winners as well as a grand prize of a $500 Visa gift card and Jersey Fresh kitchen accessories.

Recipe entries must include a name for the dish, a brief description, the ingredients, preparation directions and a photo of the finished recipe. There is no limit to how many times one person can enter. The weekly winners will be highlighted on the Jersey Fresh Facebook page and on the Jersey Fresh website.

“The Jersey Freschipes contest is a great way for those who like cooking to share the many ways our wonderful produce can be enjoyed,” Fisher said. “We appreciate all who participate and your ongoing support of all who grow and harvest Jersey Fresh produce. We urge people to show us how much they love Jersey Fresh food with the personal touch of their own recipe.”

The final week of submissions is Aug. 8. After that, three finalists will be selected, and the Jersey Fresh team will record videos recreating those three recipes. The three recipe videos will then be shared on the Jersey Fresh Facebook page. The video with the most likes as of Sept. 26 will win.

To learn more about Jersey Freshcipes recipe contest, follow Jersey Fresh on Facebook or visit www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/recipecontest.html.

School’s out? Not in Hunterdon County

The Rutgers Master Gardener program of Hunterdon County is accepting applications for the new class of 2018, which will begin on Sept. 19. Classes will be conducted on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension office located in the Route 12 County Complex.

Rutgers Master Gardeners receive in-depth, hands-on training in horticulture from Rutgers faculty and professional staff. Some topics included in the course are plant biology, propagation, and soil science; disease and pest identification; turf management for home lawns; and environmental principles. Rutgers Master Gardeners are a unique group of individuals who provide outreach programs to home gardeners and their community on behalf of Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Successful graduates become Certified Rutgers Master Gardeners after they complete the course work and volunteer service hours. No previous education or experience in horticulture is required. Any resident who enjoy gardening, has a natural curiosity about their environment, and wants to make a commitment to volunteer service can become a Rutgers Master Gardener.

For more information about the program, contact Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County at 908-788-1338, or stop in to pick up an application for the program. Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County is at 314 Route 12 County Complex, Building #2 in Flemington.

For more information on the statewide efforts of the Rutgers Master Gardener program, visit http://njaes.rutgers.edu/mastergardeners/.

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