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3/18/2022 - Somerset County Celebrates Agricultural Day Virtually

Somerset County Celebrates Agricultural Day Virtually

 Public Can Root Where They Are by Watching ‘Bulb Planting’ and ‘Seed Planting 101’ DIY Videos

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SOMERVILLE, NJ – In recognition of Ag Day on March 18, the Somerset County Agricultural Development Board (SCADB) has created Do It Yourself (DIY) videos titled “Bulb Planting” and “Seed Planting 101” in response to the well-received 2021 “Dig In” series. The new videos can be viewed on the Somerset County Ag Board’s online story map.

After the Ag Board launched its 2021 “Dig In” series and received positive public feedback, the Ag Board chose to continue the series by creating new episodes for its 2022 Ag Day celebration.
“The Ag Board videos were so popular during the COVID lockdown because it gave people the feeling that they were right there along for the journey,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Melonie Marano. “We’ve received feedback that residents enjoyed ‘driving and walking’ through Somerset County’s farms and meeting the lovable animals, even if it was virtually.”
“As we are all just beginning to return to normal and many residents continue to limit group activities out in public, we’ve decided to offer the 2022 Ag Day celebration by creating a virtual experience anyone can enjoy,” said Commissioner Paul M. Drake. “The videos are great for residents who don’t have access to large back yards and gardens, and we also created a specific video for residents of long-term care facilities.”

The DIY videos show viewers how to grow flowers in their home and pre-plant bulbs indoors during the colder months. The videos feature Somerset County Commissioners Paul M. Drake, Deputy Director Melonie Marano, and Laura DePrado a horticultural therapy expert practitioner and member of the Somerset County Agriculture Development Board. With help from the commissioners, Laura DePrado provides step-by-step instructions for indoor bulb-planting in an esthetically pleasing nursery located at Madden Family Farms in Franklin, NJ.

In the “Bulb Planting” video Laura DePrado briefly explains the mental health benefits of horticulture, as well as how to “kick-start” the growth of bulbs by planting them indoors during the colder months before the bulbs are ready to be cultivated in outdoor pots or in the ground. She also offers tips and tricks for choosing the correct indoor container and how to determine if the home’s windowsill is conducive for growing plants.

“Seed Planting 101” is an ideal DIY video for residents who live in condominiums and apartments. In this video, Laura DePrado provides interesting facts about New Jersey’s State flower; explains the edible properties of blue violets, sunflowers, and peas; and gives instructions for windowsill planting as well as how to successfully cultivate the seedlings of all three types of plants.

In addition to the videos, physical copies of the coloring books, trading cards and more are also available throughout the Somerset County library system. To view the videos, and for more activities visit,

Somerset County Agricultural Development Board (SCADB)
Since the SCADB’s inception in 1983, over 8,630 acres of farmland in Somerset County have been preserved successfully with the assistance of municipalities, the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners, and the State Agriculture Development Committee. The SCADB also is responsible for resolving farmer-stewardship issues, mediation of right-to-farm matters, is a liaison to the County Board of Commissioners on agricultural-related issues, Advises the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners on all matters, disseminates information to farmers about agricultural-related issues, and educates the public on the importance of agriculture in Somerset County.

Dig-In Series
This is a series of online activities for all ages created by the Somerset County Agricultural Development Board to bring awareness to the public about the value of farming, farm-to-table nutrition, as well as the importance of supporting local agriculture, and inspiring young people to consider agriculture as a career.

Madden Family Farms
Madden Family Farms is a family-owned business, located in Princeton, NJ, and has been helping customers transform their homes and landscapes for more than 25 years by providing customers with advice about the appropriate plants, trees, shrubs, and landscape design.