Archive for the “Uncategorized” Category
In the following TED talk, Pam Warhurst, Chair of the Board of the Forestry Commission in Great Britain, discusses the creation of Incredible Edible. Incredible Edible is a world-wide initiative Warhurst co-founded which is dedicated to growing food locally and which has also helped to implement food and garden education programs in schools and communities.
The local food movement, Warhurst states, “is a movement for everyone…if you eat, you’re in.” The language of food, Warhurst states, cuts across age, income, and culture, and “we are all part of the solution.”
Warhust urges communities to “make food visible” and to “encourage our schools to take [food issues] seriously.” “If we want to inspire the farmers of tomorrow,” Warhurst states, “let us say to every school: create a sense of purpose around the importance of the environment, local food, and soils. Put that at the heart of your school culture and you will create a different generation.”
Ready to get involved in the local food movement? Learn about specific vegetables and how to grow them with our Growing Guides. Check out our Seed to Salad project which engages young people in growing salad gardens of their own. Get involved with Youth Grow, a leadership program that trains youth to become actively involved in learning about and transforming their local food systems. Read about Discovering our Food System, an experiential learning program about how food gets from farm to table and how we, as eaters, are part of the process.
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PERMACULTURE I, II, & III
offered online by
Cornell University, Department of Horticulture
The study of permaculture helps gardeners, landowners, and farmers
combine a knowledge of ecology combined with it’s application to
supporting healthy soil, water conservation, and biodiversity.
Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.
Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest
gardening, and agroforestry.
Each course is 6.5 weeks long and provides an opportunity for you to
build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design.
Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and
activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing.
While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent
interaction between facilitators and students through forums and live
video conferences. Readings and presentations will be directly applied
through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.
Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion
from the Department of Horticulture and continuing education credits.
Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary
to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture
Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.
Classes are best taken in order but can be taken as a stand-alone course
as well. Tuition for each class is $600. Sign up for all three at once and
tuition is $1500.
To view a full syllabus of each class visit
REGISTRATION IS OPEN DECEMBER 10th!
(email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified)
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The summer cohort of botanical illustration courses is already coming to a close.
Nearly 40 hard working students have produced images in graphite and ink, as well as in media ranging from color pencil and pen, to watercolor, charcoal and chalk, and pastel. Witness these beautiful renderings by Jodi Robison!
Registration will be live in December for a January course run with limited enrollment. Email email@example.com to be put on the list to notify.
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Back by popular demand, we will offer a session of our on-line Introduction to Garden Design course this summer.
We are fortunate to have Melinda (Mindy) Appold, a landscape architect with 15 years of experience in the field, currently a graduate student at Cornell, teaching the course this summer. You may want to enroll to take advantage of her considerable experience and passion for teaching!
The course will be offered June 11 – July 28, an ideal time of year to engage in this study. As with all our courses, it will integrate readings, exercises you do on your own, reflective writing, and participation in a lively forum with others. You take it on your own time, in your own location.
You’ll find the online course page and syllabus here.
To help make your experience and transition to working with the interface an easy one, you’ll need:
- A recent version of an internet browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.
- Acrobat reader, so that you can read pdfs.
- A good, working scanner, which you will use to scan your work, save it in jpg or pdf format, and upload to the interface.
Hope you join us!
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Welcome to the Cornell Garden-Based
Learning Spring Newsletter!
Did you know that Mycobacterium Vaccae, a soil bacterium, has been found to trigger the release of serotonin, which elevates mood and decreases anxiety? This bacterium has also been found to improve cognitive function.* Stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Go outside. Smell the soil. Garden.
Spring is a busy-time for many… Cornell Garden-Based Learning is facilitating state-wide Professional Development Train ings and implementing a Vegetable Variety Trailin 20 New York State counties. It’s not too late to design your garden, and it is the perfect time to plant seeds. Working with youth? Check out our Seed to Salad activity.
Have a garden-related program success story? CGBL is soliciting success stories to feature in our newsletter and blog. Email us two – three paragraphs that includes the garden project’s mission or goals, a description of the success story and its impacts, and attach two to three JPG. photos of the project (with rights released). Be sure to include your address, phone #, email, and project website (if applicable). First five submissions will receive a complimentary copy of our Discovering Our Food System curriculum.
Visit our updated website, stay informed by joining our blog, and Like Us on Facebook.
-The CGBL Team
Seed to Salad
Seed to Salad engages young people in growing their own salad gardens by combining classroom experiences with hands-on garden activities. S2S is a February-June school based program and available for download in Spanish.
Taking some time to design your backyard, garden, or farmscape can save time and money in the long term and is simpler than many realize. Before diving into a design it is important todo an assessment of your landscape and set goals. Just a few simple steps and you can be on your way to a great garden design!
Did you Know Source: *Lowry C.A., et al. “Identification of an immune-responsive mesolimbocortical serotonergic system: potential role in regulation of emotional behavior.” Neuroscience (2011) 146.2: 756-772.
Newsletter Header Image Source: http://hort.cals.cornell.edu/cals/hort/
Cornell Garden-Based Learning · 48B Plant Sciences Building · Department of Horticulture, Cornell University · Ithaca, NY 14853
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Agricultural Literacy Week March 19th
- March 23rd
New York Agriculture
in the Classroom will be hosting its 7th annual Agricultural Literacy Week throughout the state this month.
Volunteers will be visiting elementary school classrooms for a week to read a book that highlights an aspect of agriculture. This year’s book is titled, “Seed, Soil, Sun” by Cris Peterson, in which the author describes the “seemingly miraculous process by which air and water combine with seed, soil, and sun to create nearly all the food we eat.” It is NY AITC’s goal to promote health and well-being through classroom gardens, and to teach children about how food is grown and raised. Awareness of the food we eat and where it comes from is an important lesson for people of all ages.
Following the reading, volunteers will engage the students in a discussion, introduce an activity, and share their experiences in agriculture. To find out more about New York Agriculture in the Classroom and Agricultural Literacy Week, visit http://www.nyaged.org/aitc/programs/literacy.htm
. “Seed, Soil, Sun” is also available for purchase at amazon.com
for a 15% reduced price of $15.34.
Visit the “Activities
” section of http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/
for more ideas on fun classroom, community, and family activities. We offer short, stand-alone activities and lessons that can be engaging and informative for any group. Explore “Discovering Our Food Systems
,” an experiential learning program about how food gets from farm to table, and how we, as eaters, are part of the process. Explore “Discovering Our Food Systems
” and much more at http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/
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Close up of Ithaca, NY area showing warmer zones around the finger lakes, and that Ithaca is in Zone 6
The USDA today released a new version of it’s hardiness zone map based on climate data from 1976 thru 2005. The map is the first update from the agency since 1990, and incorporates not only the data from over 8,000 monitoring stations, but also integrates GIS technology to improve both user experience and the accuracy of the map, which now partially takes into account variations from terrain, slope,and large bodies of water.
Plant hardiness zones represent the average extreme minimum temperatures at a location. They do not necessarily reflect the coldest a location has gotten or will get, but rather the average lowest winter temperature – the most critical of several factors in determining what plants will survive in a given region.
In a press conference held this morning, USDA officials outlined details of the effort and provided a demonstration of the maps features. While they noted the map is the most sophisticated it has ever been, speakers were quick to mention that the map is a guide and not absolute truth. Each site has its own unique microclimates and unique circumstances that determine its capacity to support various plants. As William Miller, professor of Horticulture at Cornell notes,
“One thing I have learned from growing plants in many locations in the U.S. is that plants can’t read! Experienced gardeners are always pushing the envelope by trying new plants, and especially those that ‘aren’t hardy’ in their area.”
“Aside from global warming or simply more and better data leading to a more accurate map, there is always microclimate variation in any locale and a few feet alteration in planting site, better drainage, locating a plant around a corner, presence of snow cover, mulch, or protection from wind can make a huge difference in winter hardiness.”
Perhaps the most compelling new feature of the site is that users can browse and search an interactive map that shows detailed information for local regions. The old map was simply a static image, not originally design for web use. The site also offers numerous print versions of the map that users can download and use.
The new map comes long overdue, as the 1990 map used data from 1974 to 1984. In 2003 the American Horticultural Society released a draft version of a new map based on data from 1986 to 2002, which showed dramatic northward movement of hardiness zones. USDA pulled this map from circulation and had said they would release an updated map in 2005. Instead, in 2006 the Arbor Day foundation issued a map noting that indeed climate zones had shifted significantly from 1990 to 2006, implying that the climate was warming. The map released today by USDA confirms many of these trends.
USDA Press Release
New Hardiness Zone Map
Posts on Dept of Horticulture Blog
Weather/Climate page @ gardening.cornell.edu
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Apples at Cornell Orchards. Click on photo to learn more.
An interesting article recently appeared in the New York Times, promoting a new book by apple grower Michael Phillips, who has spent the past 20 years growing organic apples at his farmstead, Heartsong Farm. A new book by the orchardist emphasizes soil building and biological controls including the use of comfrey, nettles, and horsetail in orchard management.
His original book, titled The Apple Grower: A Guide for the Organic Orchardist was published in 1998 and broke ground on the idea that apples and other fruits might be successfully raised without pesticides, widely thought to be impossible. Phillips did advocate for the use of copper and sulfur sprays, which are common to man organic orchards.
The new book will be published by Chelsea Green and is due out next month. Called The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way, phillips contends that he can successfully raise apples through careful species selection, and the use of only neem oil (an extract from the neem tree), soil building practices, and a spray containing fish fertilizer, nettle, and horsetail. These ideas are of interest to both the commercial and home fruit grower.
Check out the article and the publishers website for more information on the book. Don’t forget that Cornell University has excellent manuals on organic apple (2009) and grape (2011) production, available as a free PDF download on the Cornell Fruit Homepage. The classic guide for home growers is also available for free: Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home at the gardening resources page.
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Whether your garden project is just starting or has been around for some time and is quite extensive, fundraising is bound to be on your To-Do list. For many projects, fundraising is always on the top of the list and is daunting to take on. But, fundraising is not only writing grants or asking people for money. It can take on many shapes from hosting events such as a harvest party or a tour of the garden, to selling plant starts in the spring, to holding a public movie night on a garden or food related topic. Really, the only limit to your fundraising options is creativity. Remember though, similar to designing a garden, forming a garden committee and selecting plants, the greater diversity of funding sources you have, the stronger your garden project will be. It’s like that saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.
Before you start raising money there are some things you’ll need to think about. Are you required to keep track of donations with receipts? Is your garden project a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization? How much money do you need? We have a long list of fundraising ideas, tips for writing grants, and much more on our web site: http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/grow-your-program/how-to-plan-and-organize-your-youth-gardening-program/fundraising/
For those of you are already diving into grants, we thought you may like to know about these upcoming opportunities:
Southern SARE Producer Grants
Producer Grant Program CFP
Deadline: November 15, 2011
Eligibility: Any producer or producer organization in the Southern region
More Informationcan be found at Southern SARE.
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
Request for Application (RFA)
Deadline: November 17, 2011
Eligibility: Grants are intended to help eligible private nonprofit organizations that need a one-time infusion of federal assistance to establish and carry out multipurpose community food projects.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
Request for Application
Deadline:November 22, 2011
Eligibility:Beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories
More information can be found on the BFRDP website. Or contact Suresh Sureshwaran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
2011 Grant Call for Proposals
Deadline:December 2, 2011.
What is Funded: Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results. New this year, there are three types of competitive grants: individual grants, partner grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together, and group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together.
More Information can be found at North Central SARE.
Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grants
Deadline: December 31, 2011
Learning about the process of growing food helps children develop a deep understanding of the connection between healthy eating and a healthy body. School gardens offer an opportunity to integrate math, science and health curriculum into a dynamic, interactive setting. They also provide a base of knowledge that allows children to take an active role in healthy food choices.
Healthy & Humane Farm Funds Grant
Deadline:April 1, 2012
Eligibility: Qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals.
More Information: see Grant Application Guidelines
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A recent National Geographic article, “Our Dwindling Food Variety,” highlights an important issue that Cornell Garden-Based Learning’s Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners (VVfG) citizen science project is working to ameliorate – the rapid rate at which heirloom vegetable varieties are disappearing, and the overall reduction in commercially available variety diversity.
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