Monday, April 27, 2009

Seth and Eric's Hot Ag Field Day

Seth and I enjoyed Rutgers and the Garden State's agricultural bounty on Saturday, April 25, at the annual Ag Field Day on the Cook/Douglass campus. It was a beautiful but very hot day, with a long walk over from the Bristol-Myers Squibb parking lot on Route 1. The campus was full of adults, college kids, young kids, and lots of dogs. We sampled the homemade ice cream (chocolate for me; and a rainbow of fruit flavors for Seth). The ice cream was served outdoors in foam cups, so we didn't get to see the students merrily churning.

The photos in the slideshow below are from the Scarlet Chef demonstration, with the chef showing us how to prepare healthful foods (a salad and a chutney) with Jersey Fresh ingredients. We picked up the recipe cards and free RU Express bags but mostly hung out by the ice sculptures. We skipped the samples because we had "all we cared to eat" for $6 apiece at Neilson Dining Hall.

We also walked over to Woodlawn for the New Jersey Folk Festival, but we didn't get a chance to see any of the performances. Seth got to ride for the first time on a Rutgers bus, a non-air-conditioned one at that, as we rode across Route 1 to the Rutgers Gardens. There were lots of young smiling faces in the official Rutgers Day shirts guiding people on College Farm Road, but not over at the Gardens. A Farmers Market over at the Gardens turned out to be a market of breads, pickles, sandwiches and kielbasa -- nary a vegetable in sight. We learned from the nice ladies over there that the season really kicks off with the Spring Flower Fair, Mothers Day Weekend (May 8-10). The Gardens will have a real Farmers Market on Friday afternoons, starting May 1.

At the end of the day, Seth got some bargain plants, including some catnip that Nero went over the moon for, and now Seth is hiding in the basement, and a hanging plant that's not safe for kitties, so he may do a neighborly plant exchange.

Rutgers Day seemed to be a great showcase for the university, which added events on College Avenue and Busch campuses to the traditional events on Cook/Douglass. Many of the events were for prospective students on college tours; they couldn't go very far without seeing a "Did you know?" sign with a Rutgers factoid. Hopefully, they'll join Mr. Magoo, me and hundreds of thousands of others as students and then alumni at New Jersey's State U.