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Small Farm Program is hiring

From Anu Rangarajan:

I am looking for a person to assist with the Cornell Small Farm Program. We have new funding to support training of beginning farmers. This individual would be part of our 3-year project management team. It is 0.50 FTE and only open to internal CU candidates at this point.

More information at the Cornell OHR website, job number 11775.

They said it

At 3 degrees Celsius warming [roughly what 550 ppm of CO2 would yield], we would have some chance to adapt, but if we allow emissions and temperatures to go higher than this, the impacts could be catastrophic and beyond our capacity to adapt.

David Wolfe, professor, Department of Horticulture, in the Cornell Chronicle [11/25/2009], Climate experts debate strategies for reducing atmospheric carbon and future warming.

David Wolfe briefs Congress on carbon offsets

David Wolfe

David Wolfe, professor in the Department of horticulture, and Antonio Bento, associate professor in the Department of Applied Economics and Management, spoke on “The Role of Agriculture and Forestry in Emerging Carbon Markets,” to the House and Senate November 18-19. From a November 24 Cornell Chronicle article:

“The agriculture and forestry industries are unique, Bento and Wolfe said, because land managers can do more than reduce their own emissions of such key greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Bento and Wolfe said that they can adopt plant, soil and livestock management practices that will sequester additional carbon and/or replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources — such as energy from biomass, manure and methane capture — thus becoming part of the solution and providing carbon offsets for other sectors.”

Wolfe studies the potential effects of carbon dioxide and climate change on natural and managed ecosystems. Bentos studies the economics of biofuels.

Read the whole article.

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Dec. 7 & 8

Poinsettias ready for the Hortus Forum sale.

Poinsettias ready for the Hortus Forum sale.

Cornell’s student horticulture club, Hortus Forum, presents it’s annual Poinsettia Sale:

December 7 & 8
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
KPL Greenhouse #9

6” pots: $12; $10 pre-order
10” pots: $25; $20 pre-order

Pre-orders are being taken right now!

Contact Mason Newark at to place your pre-order now.

Live view of the poinsettias via the Dept. of Horticulture greenhouse cam.


The Fall 2009 issue of CALS News features several articles of horticulture interest, including:

Feeding an Empire State – Feature focusing on local foods movement in New York: “Most new farms today are starting small and marketing local,” says Anu Rangarajan, a senior extension associate in the Department of Horticulture and director of the Cornell Small Farms Program. “We need to develop the infrastructure to provide more assistance to these farmers to tap into marketing, distribution, and processing systems and help them identify and produce the right type and right quality of foods for local markets.”

Wine Microbiology students evaluate grapes in the CALS Teaching Winery.

Wine Microbiology students evaluate grapes in the CALS Teaching Winery.

Aspiring Vintners Move into New Teaching Winery – Short report on new teaching winery at Cornell Orchards: “The $900,000, 1,800-square-foot winery, attached to the Cornell Orchards, acts as the Ithaca hub for CALS’ new viticulture and enology undergraduate major, which enrolls roughly 30 students and draws on more than 50 faculty members from the horticulture, food science technology, plant pathology, and applied economics and management departments.

Mann’s Rooftop Garden Named for Dean Susan Henry – Working with students in Peter Trowbridge’s landscape architecture class, John Dyson ’65, past chair of the CALS Advisory Council, and Janet McCue, former director of Mann Library, oversaw the beautification of the space—once an unsightly concrete expanse. The garden will be maintained by Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture, and her students.

New Apple Selections Are Fast-Tracked at 30 NY Orchards – Thirty New York orchard owners are growing new apple selections developed at CALS’ Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva to test whether the apples could be a commercial success.

New online botanical illustration course

lily watercolorBotanical Illustration II: Working with watercolor is a new online course to be taught by Senior Extension Associate Marcia Eames-Sheavly starting January 25.

This is the second online botanical illustration course developed by Eames-Sheavly, a Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow. It joins Botanical Illustration I: Basic Drawing Techniques in the growing stable of distance learning courses offered by the Department of Horticulture, which also includes online courses in organic gardening and plant propagation.

Both of the six-week botanical illustration courses will be offered this winter. Cost is $500 and enrollment is limited to 20 students.

“The new watercolor course is designed to encourage your discovery of plants as the subject of art and to express your interest in the plant world by introducing color to your botanical illustration repertoire,” says Eames-Sheavly.

The majority of her previous participants were new to online courses, she adds. But most quickly got the hang of sharing ideas with fellow participants in the forum and interacting with the instructor. “It’s common for students to be nervous about taking an online course at first. But they’re well-supported and feeling confident by the end.”

For more information, visit the Department of Horticulture’s Distance Learning site.

The New York Beginning Farmer Project also offers Beginning Farmer 101 online courses. The next one, Markets and Profits: Making Money Selling What You Grow, starts Jan. 8.

Retirement Party for Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson

From Jenny Rothenberg:

After 31 years of hard work and dedication, it’s time to take a permanent vacation! Please join us as we celebrate and offer Bill Thompson best wishes in his retirement.

Wednesday, December 9th
1 pm – 3 pm
KPL Greenhouses, Tower Road

Refreshments will be provided, just bring a smile and some good stories!

We are working on preparing a scrapbook for Bill to keep. We would like everyone to write a little something to or about Bill. Please send us your contributions as soon as possible, and we will place them in the book for you. If you prefer to write your own in the book, just let us know and we will find a time for you to do so.

Any donation towards gifts is greatly appreciated. A card will be available for everyone to sign. We are attempting to keep details of the party a secret, so please do not call 255-5494. Contact Kim Goodwin by cell phone or email (, 227-5890) with any questions, donations, and contributions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

New York wine industry growing, survey finds

From the Ithaca Journal, Nov. 16:

New wineries are sprouting up around the state, investments are growing, and visits by tourists and wine lovers have increased by more than 20 percent since 2003, despite record gasoline prices in 2008.

A survey of 169 wineries conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that the state wine industry not only has weathered the recession but also has exploded in size.

Read the whole article.

Garden-based learning internship

Garden-Based Learning Program

Garden-Based Learning Program

This internship will provide the opportunity for a Cornell University student(s) with a demonstrated interest in garden-based learning to engage in an intensive experience over the course of two consecutive fall and spring semesters (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011). The student will work with the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program to carry out activities with Kids Growing Food, a project of the NYS Ag in the Classroom Program.

Read full description.

Questions? Contact Marcia Eames-Sheavly,

Part-Time Farmers: Dilmun Hill Student Farm

Dilmun Hill student organic farm.

Dilmun Hill student organic farm.

November 12 article in the Cornell Daily Sun: Part-Time Farmers: Dilmun Hill Student Farm:

“‘I got the opportunity to manage a market garden and engage in all of the other components of a running a farm,’ said Davis Archer ’11, a natural resources major. ‘In this way, Dilmun Hill is a really unique and outstanding opportunity for experiential learning and personal growth.'”

Read the whole story.

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