Summer Fest

The Gardens will be closed from 12 pm - 3pm as we set up for this event.

Saturday, July 28, 2018
3:00PM - 7:00PM

This event is free to Rutgers Gardens Members with a nominal fee of $5.00 (cash/check payable at front gate) to all others (17 and under are free when accompanied by an adult).

Check out what the Interns planned at the 2017 Summer Fest. Check back at the end of June to see what they have in store for 2018.

Summer Fest 2017

Taste and Tour:  Rutgers Jersey Fresh Varieties

Spend the afternoon in the Gardens tasting and touring some of the different varieties of vegetables, herbs and plants that have been developed at Rutgers University where plant breeding has taken place since the early 1900s. Over the years, breeding efforts have resulted in superior varieties of NJ natives, such as blueberries, cranberries, and oysters, as well as important traditional NJ crops such as tomatoes, strawberries, and peaches. In addition, innovative crops for new markets have been developed, including asparagus, hazelnuts, lettuce and hot peppers, plus ornamentals like dogwoods and hollies.


Plant Diagnostics Taking photos in the gardens. Garden Tours Lectures. Garden Tours Garden Tours



Harvest Rachel Weston

From 3:00pm - 6:30 cooking demonstrations and tastings will be held at the student farm.

Join Ian Keith from Harvest at Rutgers Institute Food and Nutrition . Ian is responsible for the menu at harvest which includes dishes that are focused on whole, minimally processed food, with "from scratch" culinary techniques that develop flavor without additives, chemicals, sugars, and artificial enhancers found in most processed foods.

Rachel Weston, award-winning journalist, chef and author of "New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons from Farm to Table", joins Ian at a demonstration using Jersey fresh products. Some which are straight from the Student Sustainable Farm at Rutgers Gardens.

Rutgers Scarlet™  Strawberry
River Horse Brewery will be here with their craft beer "Farmers Daughter", a strawberry rhubarb blonde ale which is brewed from the Rutgers strawberry.
Edible Garden
Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce™ Rutgers has a license with Edible Garden Corp., a family-run hydroponics business selling Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce™ under the brand name “Superleaf.” The deep-burgundy colored lettuce was developed by Ilya Raskin, a plant biologist in the Department of Plant Biology & Pathology in New Brunswick.
Basil – ‘Sweet Dani’ and Lemon Basil Basil research is headed by Jim Simon, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology in New Brunswick, and Andy Wyenandt, from the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center near Bridgeton, New Jersey. They have focused on flavor, aroma, and disease resistance. Sweet basil varieties are currently undergoing trials to select for less sensitivity to cold and resistance to basil downy mildew.
Rutgers 250
‘Rutgers 250’ tomato
The ‘Rutgers 250’ tomato, developed by plant breeder Tom Orton, is a recreation of the coveted ‘Rutgers’ tomato from 1934, bringing back the flavor, color, and attributes that made the original so popular. The project was made possible by a discovery eight years ago that Campbell’s Soup Co. had retained derivatives of the original Rutgers parent seeds. The NJAES and Rutgers plant breeders work to develop tomatoes best-suited for New Jersey, boost local agriculture, and share Rutgers research with the public.



Play the Game Of Gnomes at Summer fest. How many Gnomes can you find? What are the Gnomes doing? to see all the details of this fun and interactive game visit the Game of Gnomes page. Follow @rutgersgardens on Twitter and Instagram to see what the Gnomes are up to.




Schedule for the Day

Time Area of Interest Docent
3:30 pm
Ira Grasgreen, Eason Horticulture and MaryAnne McMilllan, Volunteer Coordinator, Rutgers Gardens
Rutgers Plant Breeding
Rutgers Gardens Interns
4:30 pm
Student Farm/VSA/Youth Garden
Arianna Lindberg, Manager Student Farm, Jonathan Student Intern
5:30 pm
Learn how to create and care for a succulent Garden
Bruce Crawford, director, Rutgers Gardens
6:30 pm
Ira Grasgreen, Eason Horticulture and MaryAnne McMilllan, Volunteer Coordinator, Rutgers Gardens