Summer Fest

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



A Record Year in the Gardens

Summer Fest is an annual festival, held in the Gardens each year on the last Saturday in July. The event is presented as a part of the Rutgers Gardens Summer Internship program which includes a 3 credit class on Public Garden Management under the direction of the Gardens Director, Bruce Crawford. As part of the class the Interns are responsible to plan every aspect of the day from parking to promotion. The festival's pupose is to showcase the agriculture research that is going on at Rutgers. The goal is to stimulate awareness and appreciation for horticulture.

Meet the 2018 Interns planning Summer Fest. 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).

The Gardens will be closed from 12pm - 3pm so that our Interns can set up for the event.


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


Taste and Tour Rutgers Gardens

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.



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

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.
STRAWBERRY Rutgers Scarlet strawberry, the first in a series of more flavorful strawberry varieties NJAES plans to release – was developed through a traditional cross-breeding program led by Gojko Ellen, a retired plant biology professor. He has been working for 20 years to develop a better tasting strawberry and has tested hundreds of varieties. The variety that became the Rutgers Scarlet (a trademarked name) was selected for further development because it was considered one of the best in Jelenkovic’s program.
Rutgers Tomatoes
Rutgers plant breeders continue to develop tomatoes best-suited for New Jersey’s ever-changing climate. Their efforts benefit both small-scale home gardeners and large-scale commercial farmers. See the Tomato Availability page to learn more about where to find Rutgers tomato seeds and plants.
Hazel nuts The Rutgers NJAES All-Star Variety is the eastern filbert blight-resistant hazelnut! The hazelnut program is on the verge of releasing a hazelnut tree variety that is well-adapted to the Northeast climate. Tom Molnar, hazelnut breeder, is overcoming challenges facing regional agriculture through traditional breeding techniques. Dr. Molnar conducts valuable research that can result in the emergence of a new industry for New Jersey’s commercial growers.



Food and Drink Vendors


Fritzs shore shake Bites and Bowls
Bringing some of their favorites from the restaurant and bakery located at 115 Easton Ave., New Brunswick, along with some new options inspired by the fresh produce of summer.
Shoreshake food truck based out of Toms River, specializing in shakes and smoothies.
Fast Casual Fusion Cantina Grill with Flavors Around the globe, healthy choice of fresh, non-frozen quality food of unique flavors. Food does not have any added colors or preservatives.



Schedule for the Day

Time Area of Interest Docent

3:30 pm and

6:30 pm

Amazing Annuals
See the Garden’s most colorful offerings, including flowers, herbs, and other ornamental plants.
Features: Donald B. Lacey Display Garden

Ira Grasgreen, Eason Horticulture and MaryAnne McMilllan, Volunteer Coordinator, Rutgers Gardens

Record Breaking Trees in the Gardens
Learn the stories of some of the oldest trees within the Gardens and their historical significance in plant research and the history of the Gardens.

Featuring: Larry the Magnolia, Holly collection, prominent members of the small trees collection and evergreen garden

Bruce Crawford, Director Rutgers Gardens

3:30 pm and

6:00 pm

Student Farm
Learn the ins and outs of organic farming, planting strategies, and the many creative uses of herbs and vegetables in the student farm. Meet the newest addition to the farm our 12 chickens.
Features: Organic farm, Volunteer Supported Agriculture, high tunnel , and the chicken coup

Arianna Lindberg, Manager Student Farm
4:30 pm
Erica's Magical, Mystery Tour
Meet our most vibrant and personable intern as she gives a tour of two of the not-to-be-missed areas of the Gardens!
Learn about the gardens from the perspective of the students. Features: Succulent Garden, Sun and Shade Garden, and the Otkens Garden
Erica Weber,
Public Garden Intern
5:00 pm

Prehistoric Plants
Follows the evolution of plant life from earliest forms of plant life to modern-date pollinators.
Features: Magnolia trees and the Pollinator garden

Bruce Crawford,
Director Rutgers Gardens

On the hour between 3pm - 7pm

Herb Tour
Join Gardens volunteer Caren, our herb expert, as she teaches you all about the uses for herbs in cooking, medicine, and aromatherapy.

Caren White



Games in the Evergreen Garden

Game of Gnomes
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.


Join the Youth Programs Interns and play musical games all afternoon.

The Record Race Obstacle Course
Top of the Charts
Visit the Music Hall of Fame
Karaoke and Games