“These smaller products are necessarily more expensive, and they may lack some refinement. But people get that they’re all handmade, local, often organic. That’s the tradeoff. They can show some rough edges and be more appealing for it.”
–Chris Gerling, Extension Associate in Food Science, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y., in Dec. 21 story in the New York Times about the growing popularity of Northeast microdistilleries, Just Don’t Call It Moonshine.
Also featured in the article is Derek Grout, a Cornell graduate who runs Harvest Spirits distillery in Valatie, N.Y. “This is my way to maximize my family’s agricultural heritage. From the farmer’s perspective, the only way to increase the value of an apple is to make it into spirit and put that in oak.”
One drawback of spring-flowering bulbs is that some gardeners find their fading foliage unsightly. Miller’s pairings take into account not only how colorful spring bulb flowers can complement emerging perennial foliage, for example, but also how maturing foliage can mask the fading leaves of post-bloom bulbs.
“The idea of pairing bulbs and perennials to achieve multiple goals is so desirable,” says Miller. “We felt it deserved more than an anecdotal approach. We created an objective study to document what works and what doesn’t in a typical spring garden.”
Foliage of Geranium \’Mayflower\’ makes the blooms of Tulipa ‘Ballade’ look as if they are floating in a sea of green. The foliage and purple flowers of the geranium later mask the old tulip leaves.
View an interview with Dean Kathryn Boor from last summer. She lauds the Department of Horticulture for its “… true clarity from the point of fundamental discovery up through problem-solving — not only research, but outreach” and for embodying “… that philosophy of the Land Grant spirit.”
Transcript from the middle of the interview:
We embed this philosophy of public scholarship throughout our entire process whether it’s education, research or outreach. I think I’ll use Horticulture as a really good example of programs where there is true clarity from the point of fundamental discovery up through problem-solving — not only research, but outreach.
For example, if have visited New York City and you have enjoyed urban trees, you have enjoyed the benefits of some of the work of Nina Bassuk in the Department of Horticulture where she studies and understands how trees and other plants can thrive in urban settings, which certainly makes those settings much more pleasant for all of us.
We have a chair in that department, Marvin Pritts, who still personally delivers outreach programs for those who are interested in growing berries, whether those are at the individual level or the larger level.
And we have students who work with both of those faculty members to ensure that not only will they carry this information on to the next generation as they enter their own careers, but they can also enact a lot of their work in practice at the time. So I think our Horticulture Department really embodies that philosophy of the Land Grant spirit.
Thinking of staying in Ithaca this summer? Interested in organic vegetable production and student-run farms? Looking to get your hands dirty and become more involved in the local food movement on campus?
If so, apply to be a Market Garden Manager at Dilmun Hill for the 2011 season!
The Market Garden position at Dilmun offers managers a hands-on and self empowered learning experience in sustainable agricultural production. Managers develop a close relationship with the land of Dilmun Hill. See the 2011 Market Garden Manager Application and a job description for more information.
Mail applications to me (Ryan Devlin at firstname.lastname@example.org) by 4 p.m. January 28th 2011. Feel free to send any questions about the job or application my way!