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Alpha Zeta picks peppers for food bank

From Betsy Leonard, technician, Department of Horticulture:

Left to right, Betsy Leonard and members of Alpha Zeta, Chris Tindell ('13 AnSci), Penelope Hobbs ('13 Biology and Mathematics), Keith Ciccaglione ('11 Entomology and Plant Science), Dan Demeree ('11 AgSci), and Kristen Vitro ('11 SNES). Photo by Jesse Ingall.

Left to right, Betsy Leonard and members of Alpha Zeta, Chris Tindell ('13 AnSci), Penelope Hobbs ('13 Biology and Mathematics), Keith Ciccaglione ('11 Entomology and Plant Science), Dan Demeree ('11 AgSci), and Kristen Vitro ('11 SNES). Photo by Jesse Ingall.

On September 28, members of Alpha Zeta fraternity picked 40 bushels of organic peppers from research plots at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm, Freeville, N.Y. The peppers were donated to Food Bank of the Southern Tier. ( Loaves and Fishes of Cortland and Friendship Donations Network also receive food from the farm.)

Total donations from the farm since 2004 topped 1,000,000 pounds this season.

Video: Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation

David Wolfe delivers the September 20, 2010 Department of Horticulture seminar on “Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation,” part of a series of talks on “Horticulture in a Changing Climate.”

Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation from Cornell Horticulture on Vimeo.

Wes Jackson to speak October 4

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute, Salina, Kansas will speak on “The Necessity and Possibility of the Ecosystem as the Conceptual Tool for a New Agriculture” at the Department of Horticulture Seminar, Monday October 4 at 4 p.m. in Room 404 Plant Science Building.

Jackson is the author of numerous books and publications, including the just published Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture. He is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), Right Livelihood Award (Stockholm), known as “Alternative Nobel Prize” (2000), and the Louis Bromfield Award (2010). He has received four honorary doctorates and in 2007 received the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award. Much of his work at The Land Institute has been focused on developing perennial grain polycultures.

If you would like to meet informally with Jackson during the day on October 4, contact Sam Bosco for scheduling information:

View Jackson’s bio.

In the news

Three articles of interest from the Cornell Chronicle yesterday:

Video: New Tools for Mechanical Weed Control in Vegetables

This classic video produced in the late ’90s by Robin Bellinder, weed scientist in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, is now available online. The video discusses cultivators and other weed control tools and their advantages and disadvantages, based on four years of research. See also the publication, New Tools for Mechanical Weed Control in Vegetables.

New Tools for Mechanical Weed Control in Vegetables from Cornell Horticulture on Vimeo.

They said it: Apple harvest edition

Susan BrownFrom an article in the Ithaca Journal, Strong, unusually sweet N.Y. apple crop credited to ideal summer weather:

“It is a wonderful year for apple quality. Fruit size is good because of the rain we had this season and sugars and flavors developed very well. I think consumers are going to get a wonderful degree of quality apples.” — Susan Brown, associate chair and apple breeder, Department of Horticulture.

“Growing season was great. The quality is very high and it was a pretty heavy crop. We are getting them quickly.” — Eric Schatt, manager at Cornell Orchards, who also noted that the Cornell Orchards retail store opened early this season because of the early harvest.

Grape Stomp 2010

Despite a chilly, overcast afternoon, dozens of students learned about wine grapes and relieved some early-semester stress by stomping them into juice at the third annual ‘Grape Stomp’ sponsored by the Cornell University Viticulture and Enology Club. If you missed it, here are some pictures …

grape stomp

grape stomp

grape stomp

grape stomp

grape stomp

CALS announces Geneva-Ithaca department mergers

Aerial view of Geneva campus (top) and Plant Science Building in Ithaca

Aerial view of Geneva campus (top) and Plant Science Building in Ithaca

A September 15 story Ithaca-Geneva department mergers strengthen CALS mission in the CALS Newsroom announced the July 1 merger of four Ithaca-based departments and four Geneva-based departments:

“The Ithaca and Geneva based sister departments – Entomology (Ithaca and Geneva), Food Science (Ithaca) and Food Science and Technology (Geneva), Horticulture (Ithaca) and Horticultural Sciences (Geneva), and Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe-Biology (Ithaca and Geneva)-merged as of July 1, 2010. The four new departments will be known as the Department of Horticulture, the Department of Entomology, the Department of Food Science, and the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology. …

“‘It really made sense to capitalize on the fact that the departments were already planning together and that the distinctions between the two locations were blurring a bit in terms of teaching and the types of research being done,’ said CALS Senior Associate Dean Jan Nyrop. …

“Marvin Pritts, chair of the newly formed Department of Horticulture, views the reorganization as a valuable and logical evolution: ‘Geneva and Ithaca have been getting together on a regular basis for years for retreats and curriculum planning and extension coordination. The thought of formally merging didn’t scare anybody because they’ve been collaborating for a long time.’

“No stranger to department mergers, having experienced three in his 26 years at CALS, Pritts feels that a larger department not only has the advantages of flexibility and adaptability, but that faculty will have new opportunities for collaboration in research and outreach.

“But the new possibilities for teaching excite Pritts most: ‘The Geneva faculty, traditionally, have not been able to be as involved in teaching as their Ithaca counterparts. But with newer technologies they will be able to take a more active teaching role, benefiting the students since they will have a greater breadth of faculty to learn from and courses to engage in.'”

Read the whole article.

Course: Experiential garden-based learning in Belize

gbl in belizeStudents in HORT/IARD 3200 Experiential garden-based learning in Belize travel to Belize during spring break and work with a community-based organization to create school gardens, learn about the theory and practice of garden-based learning in a global context and much, much more.

Sound interesting? Plan to attend an info session Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in Room 22, Plant Science Building.

More info.

Bulb-perennial combo research highlighted by trade group

Bulb-perennial combination homepageFall is the time when gardeners plant flower bulbs for spring bloom. And this fall, the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center/NA is featuring a Cornell research project and website in it’s fall promotions.

Spring bulbs can provide color and interest in gardens early in the season. But their fading foliage later on can be a liability. So The Department of Horticulture’s Flower Bulb Research Program conducted a project from 2004 to 2007 to see which perennial plants might complement the bulbs’ early display while covering up the bulbs’ unsightly foliage later on.

“The idea of pairing bulbs and perennials to achieve multiple goals is so desirable that we felt it deserved more than an anecdotal approach,” says Dr. William Miller, director of Flower Bulb Research Program. “We created an objective study to document what works and what doesn’t in a typical spring garden.”

The project website features the top combinations of perennials with daffodils, tulips, crocuses and other bulbs, how-to tips for creating your own combos, and more resources, including a summary of similar studies in Europe.

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