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New Experiment Station Communications Officer

Amanda Garris

Amanda Garris

Crossposted from Station News:

Please join NYSAES and CALS Communications in welcoming Amanda Garris as the Agricultural Experiment Stations Communications Officer. Amanda is certainly a familiar face here, and we are thrilled that she has come on-board in this capacity. As you probably know, Amanda has already been working on behalf of CALS as a star freelance writer, reporter, and editor for several years, and that wealth of knowledge and experience is a great asset.

She will be sharing time between Geneva and Ithaca, as this position supports both NYSAES and CUAES. If you haven’t already, stop by 130 Jordan Hall to say hello!

In the news

Nate Leonard, left, and Lois Levitan have helped New York farmers recycle more than 1 million pounds of plastic since 2011. (Jason Koski/University Photo)

RAPP’s Nate Leonard, left, and Lois Levitan have helped New York farmers recycle more than 1 million pounds of plastic since 2011. (Jason Koski/University Photo)

Recycling farm plastics gains momentum [Cornell Chronicle 2013-05-30] – Cornell’s Recycling Agricultural Plastics Project (RAPP) is helping to develop an efficient recycling infrastructure to help agricultural plastics get to post-recycling markets. Farmers throughout New York can bale the plastic and distribute plastic to new post-recycling markets through RAPP, which has collected more than 1 million pounds since May 2011.

Workshops spread the science of selling wine [Cornell Chronicle 2013-05-30] – In a series of workshops, the Cornell Enology Extension team offered to nearly 200 winery tasting room staff a crash course in viticulture, the mechanics of winemaking, the answers to common consumer questions, as well as the latest research on wine consumer behavior.

Battling a blight on New York’s apples [CALS Notes 2013-05-30] – Since the discovery in late 2011 of streptomycin-resistant strains of Fire Blight bacteria in several locations around the state, researchers from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) have worked to develop new orchard management guidelines to help growers control outbreaks among existing trees and prevent them in new plantings.

Berry, berry tough [Glens Falls Post-Star 2013-05-23] – Interested in growing your own fruit? Laura McDermott, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s berry specialist for the commercial horticulture program of Eastern New York, suggests that New York gardeners start small by growing berries.

Commencement pictures

To relive some of the magic from last weekend, check out Carol Grove’s Picasa gallery.

If you have pictures you’d like to share, send a link to your gallery to cdc25@cornell.edu and I’ll add to this post.

Sarah celebrates!

Sarah celebrates!

North Street School Third Graders Visit NYSAES

Steve ReinersFrom Amanda Garris. Reposted from Station News 2013-05-23:

Last week, students from North Street Elementary School visited NYSAES to meet scientists, tour labs and greenhouses, and learn to use microscopes.

Their visit is part of a hands-on program developed by Christine Smart (Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology) and Stephen Reiners (Horticulture) to teach elementary school students about plant science.

In early May, Smart and Reiners gave the Geneva City School District’s third-graders a crash course in seed biology and helped the students sow a garden’s worth of vegetable and flower seeds.

The seedlings Reiners is showing the students in the photo (right) will be planted soon in the school’s garden, which is used as a living laboratory for district’s summer science program.

New bed system, permaculture projects take root at Dilmun Hill

Preventing water runoff is one of the goals of student farm manager Liz Camuti’s plan for this steep slope.

Preventing water runoff is one of the goals of student farm manager Liz Camuti’s plan for this steep slope.

From Anja Timm, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station:

This season, farm managers and volunteers are installing two innovative food-producing systems at Dilmun Hill, Cornell’s student-run farm.

The first is a permanent raised bed system for annual crops that follows the contours of the sloping ground at the farm. Now that they’re established, the beds won’t require additional mechanical tillage, further reducing erosion at the site.

The second project is a perennial garden on a very steep slope. Using permaculture principles, Liz Camuti, one of the student farm managers, designed a system of swales to catch water that might otherwise run off. The area will be planted with a variety of fruit trees, berries and other crops.

Workshops at Dilmun Hill this year will explore techniques used for these projects, which are supported by the Towards Sustainability Foundation and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.

Look for the Dilmun Hill farmstand on the Ag Quad later in June. Read more about projects at Dilmun Hill.

Student farm managers plant newly constructed raised beds at Dilmun Hill.

Student farm managers plant newly constructed raised beds at Dilmun Hill.

David Wolfe on NPR’s Science Friday

David Wolfe

David Wolfe

If you missed it last week, David Wolfe was part of a panel discussing Reinventing Farming for a Changing Climate on the National Public Radio program Science Friday.

Listen.

Volunteers pitch in to plant trees at Freeville research farm

Anna Golovkova stakes a maple sapling while Sarah Loftus collects data that will help researchers assess which methods best protect young trees from deer and rodents. Photos: Anja Timm

Anna Golovkova stakes a maple sapling while Sarah Loftus collects data that will help researchers assess which methods best protect young trees from deer and rodents. Photos: Anja Timm

From Anja Timm, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.

More than 30 volunteers from Cornell University and George Junior Republic School planted about 800 trees on two acres at Cornell’s Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y., May 18. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) and Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources hosted the tree-planting party.

The planting is part of a research project evaluating six methods of protecting saplings from browsing deer, including different tubes, liners and bud caps. As volunteers planted the white oak, sugar maple, and black locust seedlings, they measured, staked and tagged them, and the trees’ growth will be carefully tracked over the next few years.

“The goal of the research is to help landowners and managers find the most economical and sustainable ways to protect vulnerable trees from deer when replanting forestland or establishing windbreaks,” says Peter Smallidge, State Extension Forester with the Department of Natural Resources, who leads the project.

The applied research project will be used in extension programming to provide guidance to foresters, maple producers, woodlot owners, and farmers. Tree planting is a popular activity, and the mix of species is linked to the diverse interests of owners and managers throughout New York.

Nick Vail and growers in CUAES’s Caldwell greenhouses grew the year-old seedlings for the trial.

More information about tree planting from the Department of Natural Resources: Northeastern Tree Planting & Reforestation

Volunteers planted more than 800 trees on two acres at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm. Above, student volunteer Radoslav Zlatev pounds in tree stake while Thompson Farm field assistant  Rick Randolph looks on.

Volunteers planted more than 800 trees on two acres at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm. Above, student volunteer Radoslav Zlatev pounds in tree stake while Thompson Farm field assistant Rick Randolph looks on.

Video: Orchard walk with Ian Merwin

If you missed the orchard walk with Ian Merwin as part of his retirement celebration at Cornell Orchards May 10, it’s now available online.

From taxi driver to cider maker: Orchard audience treated to Merwin tribute

Ian Merwin.  Photo by Stacey ShackfordBy Stacey Shackford.
crossposted from CALS Notes.

Before he became a world-renowned expert in pomology and viticulture, he was a taxi driver in New York City, a trolley coach conductor in San Francisco, and a Neruda translator exploring Latin America from the back of a motorcycle, all of his worldly possessions packed in one saddle bag.

Ian Merwin has a colorful history, one he has happily shared with students in the 23 years he has been teaching at Cornell. Many of them gathered at Cornell Orchards on May 10, alongside more than 100 colleagues and friends, to hear him recount the tales one more time as he presented a final lecture to commemorate his retirement.

“What will you do when you graduate? It doesn’t really matter,” Merwin said. “It’s all interesting. You learn something from each one.”

Read the whole post.

View Carol Grove’s Picasa album, Happy Retirement Ian.

View video of orchard walk led by Ian May 10, 2013.

Northern Grapes Project on NPR

Tim MartinsonOn National Public Radio’s Morning Edition this morning:

Researchers Don’t ‘Wine’ About The Cold, Their Grapes Thrive

A dozen universities are collaborating on a sort of extreme winemaking project: How cold a climate can a grape survive and still make good wine? The Northern Grapes Project is inventing wines the world has never seen before, winning wine awards and creating a new crop for struggling rural economies.

Senior Extension Associate Tim Martinson (right) is featured.

Listen.

See also transcript and photos at North Country Public Radio.

See also CALS Notes: Raise your glass to Northern New York wines

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