Horticulture professor Susan Brown, left, offers an apple sample to Bonnie Reichman '76 and talks about three in-development apple varieties and a partnership formed exclusively with New York growers. Joe Wilensky/Cornell Chronicle.

Horticulture professor Susan Brown, left, offers an apple sample to Bonnie Reichman ’76 and talks about three in-development apple varieties and a partnership formed exclusively with New York growers. Joe Wilensky/Cornell Chronicle.

Barton Hall banquet celebrates public engagement mission [Cornell Chronicle 10/29/2012] – In an event that honored Cornell’s tradition of public engagement and its founding as a land-grant university, a dinner banquet at Barton Hall, “Cornell Now: Celebrating Our Land-Grant Mission,” was held Oct. 26 as part of the 62nd annual meeting of the Cornell University Council and the Cornell University Board of Trustees. The 600 attendees were treated to a new, seven-minute video, Cornell’s Land-Grant Mission and the Spirit of Public Engagement, which featured the on-camera creation of a large chalkboard mural by local artist Marshall Hopkins, charting Cornell’s historic land-grant founding and how that mission has evolved into the university’s global engagement today. View the video.

Federal grants will fund study of food system, environment [Cornell Chronicle 10/29/2012] – How can farmers battle marmorated stink bugs in vineyards or late blight threatening a tomato crop? Can urban trees help mitigate climate change? What breeding programs will keep American crops competitive? Cornell faculty and extension educators will tackle these and other questions this year with $9 million in Federal Formula Funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Cornellians plan historic gardens for Harriet Tubman home [Cornell Chronicle 10/26/2012] – A collaborative project involving the Cornell Plantations and Cornell landscape architecture students focuses on planting for the future while preserving the past. Plantations staff and summer interns from Cornell have been creating plans for new gardens at the historic Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, N.Y.

Honey, The Americans Shrank The Apple Trees [NPR's The Salt 10/8/2012] – Adjunct professor in the Department of Horticulture Gennaro Fazio, a geneticist with the USDA’s Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, N.Y., explains the benefits of dwarfing including doubling or tripling apple yields compared to standard size trees.

Yield from Freeville farm volunteers was no small potatoes [Cornell Chronicle 10/31/2012] – About 20 volunteers harvested about 5 tons of red and white potatoes at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm Oct. 27 for distribution to food aid programs. The potato gleaners were participating in Make a Difference Day, an annual day of volunteering established 22 years ago by USA Weekend Magazine.

Pumpkin 2011 U.S. sales: $113 million [San Francisco Chronicle 10/29/2012] – Demand for pumpkins has risen since the late 1980s, with the emerging popularity of pick-your-own pumpkin farms across the country, according to Steve Reiners, an associate professor in horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Pumpkins Thriving Amid Midwest Drought Signals Glut on Halloween [Bloomberg 10/28/2012] – Demand for pumpkins rose in the late ’80’s with the emerging popularity of pick-your-own farms, says Steve Reiners. “We’ve got people that are willing to spend incredible amounts of money to have that farm experience,” Reiners said. “Growers started to realize this could be a real money-making crop.”

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