SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - A new season of Master Gardener classes will be starting soon at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson Mill Pond Park, located at 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is offering both daytime and evening sessions for this program. Orientation (attendance is optional) will be on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. for the evening class and Friday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m. for the Friday morning class. The program officially starts on Sept. 17 and 18. The class is open to all New Jersey residents.

The Master Gardeners are community volunteers trained in earth-friendly gardening and environmental principles. Lecture classes meet once per week for 3 hours from mid-September through mid-April. These classes will incorporate some outdoor time in a County park.

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The hands-on garden classes meet weekly from April through mid-September (every other week in summer). During these sessions, new students will create and care for demonstration vegetable and herb gardens.

Topics covered in the program include: sound gardening techniques; composting; creative methods of conserving resources, and horticulture therapy. The program also requires participants to volunteer some hours of service towards Extension projects, activities and events throughout the year.

“This looks to be another productive season for the Master Gardeners program,” says Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County’s Agriculture Department who supervise these classes deserve thanks for planning and teaching such a popular program.”

“I hope that all County residents interested in gardening and the environment will consider taking this course,” says Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee. “It’s a great way to learn more about our local environment, and to collaborate with other residents in making our county greener, cleaner and more beautiful.”

Those interested in joining the program can call the EARTH Center at 732-398-5262 for more information or visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us and search Master Gardeners.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.