Monday, May 7, 2012

Seasonal Star: Asparagus

Happy spring! It’s time for planting flowers, enjoying the sunshine on our faces, and discovering all the fresh and yummy produce that’s becoming available as local farmer’s markets open up for the season.

We're celebrating the renewal of the season and our senses with asparagus. This super-healthy and versatile veggie is rich in vitamins A (good for the eyes) and K (important for bone health) as well as folate (to prevent heart disease and birth defects).

Look for signs of freshness when you buy asparagus: bright green stalks and tight tops. Thickness of the stalk is just a matter of preference; you can easily peel and trim any tough, woody stems. Asparagus is best when eaten within 1 or 2 days of purchase.

No matter how you prepare it—sautéed, roasted, steamed, grilled—asparagus is a delicious and easy way to celebrate springtime. Try this quick recipe for garlicky asparagus, and then check out this mouth-watering slideshow for even more recipes and pictures that look good enough to eat!
Did you know? 
  • Asparagus is part of the lily family (so are onions and garlic!)
  • The name asparagus is from the Greek word aspharagos meaning “sprout”
  • Asparagus can grow up to 10 inches in a 24-hour period!

Friday, May 4, 2012

May Community Calendar

May is shaping up to be an eventful month! Here are some events we're excited about in our community:

Every Friday
Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market
12:00 - 5:00 pm
Rutgers Gardens, 112 Ryder's Lane, New Brunswick, NJ.
The mission of the Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market is to provide the local community, including residents, students, university faculty and staff, University Dining, and restaurants the opportunity to experience and purchase fresh, locally grown and/or prepared food products.
Most of your favorite vendors will be returning along with some new exciting vendors. Here is just a sample:
Bakers Bounty - cakes, pies, cookies
Bamboo Hollow Apiaries- honey and bees wax products
Charley's Organic Toffee - unique toffee candy
Donna and Company - artisanal chocolates
Jacqueline Mazza - seasonal stuffed pretzels
Roaming Acres Farm - bison and ostrich meat

Friday, May 4, 2012
Lets Start a Prairie Fire
A benefit to support the Prairiefyre Time Exchange
A community movement in honor of Leigh Davis
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Reformed Church of Highland Park, 19 S. 2nd Ave., Highland Park, NJ
The Time Exchange brings people together to share their time and talents to build a new, more equitable economy and stronger community.
Dinner & Music; Childcare available.

Saturday, May 5, 2012
"Get Your Garden Started" Day & Plant Sale
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
EARTH Center, Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., North Brunswick, NJ.
Celebrate National Herb Day; Consult with Master Gardeners; Take home fact sheets.
Plants for sale include; heirloom tomatoes, perennials & annuals, flowering vines, ornamental grasses, and culinary herbs & vegetables for your garden.
Don’t forget your plant wagon.

Monday, May 7, 2012
ECOCULTURE - Sustainability Study Group
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Raices Cultural Center, 100 Jersey Ave., C-108, New Brunswick, NJ
(Inside the New Brunswick Technology Center)
"Growing sustainable roots for a sustainable future."
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. Join Raices Cultural Center to explore and discuss the essential role that sustainable living plays in the preservation of culture and of life itself. These study group meetings are open to the public and intend to provoke critical analysis, exploration and dialogue in the field of sustainability.
$3 donation to Raices Cultural Center.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Garden
6:30 pm
EARTH Center, Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., North Brunswick, NJ.
Learn plants & features to make your yard a haven for winged wildlife.
$20 per person.
To register, call (732)398-5262. (May 7th registration deadline)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
"Food Matters"
Part of the "Food For Thought" Community Film Series
6:00 pm
Promise Culinary School, 211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ
Free soup dinner and childcare available.
Cosponsored by our friends at Elijah's Promise, Rutgers CESEP, the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement, NJ PolicyOptions, the Unity Square Partnership, and Food and Water Watch.

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Meals on Wheels in Greater New Brunswick's Wine Tasting
6:00 - 8:00 pm
St. Paul the Apostle Church (Parish Hall), 502 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ
(Parking lot accessible at 23 S. 5th Ave.)
Meals on Wheels in Greater New Brunswick has been serving the homebound, infirm and at-risk adults in New Brunswick and Highland Park for over 35 years.
$40 per person includes wine tasting and light hors d'oeuvres.
For tickets or more information, contact Meals on Wheels at (732)249-3488 or

Friday, May 18, 2012
Dancing in the Park
A dance party and fundraiser for Who Is My Neighbor? Inc.
8:00 - 11:00 pm
IM Gallery, 235 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ
Featuring DJ Jeff Zajac
$25 advance / $30 at the door, refreshments included.
For tickets or more information, visit or call Lara at (732)379-0897.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Main Street Highland Park Planting Day
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Each May, Main Street organizes and sponsors a PLANTING DAY along Raritan and Woodbridge Avenues. Main Street Highland Park contracts with local landscapers and volunteers to plant and maintain the beautiful planters along Raritan and Woodbridge Avenues, as well as those in the “Doughboy” Park. This year there will be a total of 110 planters.
Volunteers fertilize and prepare the soil and spread out across the downtown bringing a touch of color to the streets.
For more information or to volunteer, come in person to the Main Street Highland Park office at 212 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ, after 10:00 am.

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Highland Park Street Fair
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
The 22nd Annual Highland Park Street Fair is one of Highland Park's signature events. The Street Fair features something for everyone. It has Crafters, Vendors, Artists, Music, Food, Games, Pony Rides, a Petting Zoo and Inflatable Rides.
Admission is free.
For more information, contact Main Street Highland Park at (732) 828-8444.