Skip to main content

Seminar video: Pursuing conservation potential of public participation in scientific research

If you missed today’s seminar Pursuing conservation potential of public participation in scientific research with Jennifer Shirk, Project Leader,, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Department of Program Development and Evaluation, it’s available online.

Pawpaw Production Workshop Nov. 6

pawpawsHave you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical fruit-like flavor that has been described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. They are rarely found in markets because the fruit is easily damaged when ripe.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County is offering a Pawpaw Production Workshop on Wednesday evening, November 6, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Vince’s Park at the intersection of Rt 314 and Rts 5+20 in Seneca Falls, NY.

Steven Gabriel, from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY will be the presenter. Steve has recently co-authored a book called Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge. The workshop will cover various topics related to growing pawpaws including pawpaw management, site selection and sourcing pawpaw trees.

Cost is $15 per Farm or Family

More information and online registration.

Willow Biomass Energy Short Course Nov. 18-19

willow harvestLarry Smart is among the presenters at the Willow Biomass Energy Short Course, Nov. 18-19, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse N.Y.

The two-day conference includes classroom and field training in sustainable production and multiple end-uses of shrub willow for heat, power, & environmental benefits!

  • Discover exciting opportunities for rural development with willow biomass energy
  • See how willow is being applied to reduce environmental impacts
  • Learn the latest best practices and applied research for commercial willow crops and how this is improving returns on investment
  • Familiarize yourself with new financial analysis tools for willow biomass crops
  • Tour innovative demonstration projects on the SUNY ESF campus showcasing cutting-edge biomass conversion technologies
  • See willow harvesting equipment available through the NEWBio equipment access program ( in action at commercial willow operations and NEWBio demonstration site in northern New York.

Early registration discount deadline is Oct. 18

More information: Willow conference website.

Or  contact: or 315-470-6775.

Help Cornell Plantations Internship Program reach its crowd funding goal

With 4 days left, Cornell Plantations Internship Program is $2,500 shy of its $10,000 goal. Help push them over the top.

Register now for Cornell Small Fruit Open House Oct. 3

low_tunnel_strawberriesx450Friday, October 3, 2014
12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cornell Orchards, Ithaca, NY

Part 1 of the program will be held at Cornell Orchards, located on Route 366 in Ithaca across from the College of Veterinary Medicine parking lot. Part 2 of the program will be held at the East Ithaca Farm located just around the corner from Cornell Orchards on Maple Ave. A refreshment break will be provided between program sessions.

Topics include:

  • Low tunnels
  • Cranberries
  • Bird and spotted wing drosophila management
  • Biopesticides
  • Soil health
  • Trellising systems
  • Variety Q&A
  • And more.

The open house is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required to ensure adequate transportation, handouts, and refreshments. Please register by phone or e-mail by contacting Cathy Heidenreich,, 315-787-2367 no later than Friday, September 26 30, 2014.

Full program line-up and more information.

Ian Merwin in The New York Times

Ian Merwin.  Photo by Stacey Shackford

Ian Merwin. Photo by Stacey Shackford

Professor emeritus Ian Merwin was featured in a Travel Section article in yesterday’s online edition of The New York Times, Sips From a Cider Spree in New York State.

Our host, Ian Merwin, ripped a Hudson’s Golden Gem from a nearby limb and, with a worn pocketknife, cut an imperfect wedge. It’s a “really bizarre” apple, said the orchard owner, who wore a walrus mustache and a newsboy cap. He described sandpaper skin and a grainy flesh. “This apple, to me, tastes like vanilla ice cream,” he said. The crowd oohed and aahed like circusgoers.

Of the 68 varieties in his orchard, Mr. Merwin, a recently retired Cornell researcher and internationally recognized horticulturist, clearly had his favorites. The novelties, like the Hudson’s, were among them. But there were also other, less glamorous apples. Some of the varieties are hundreds of years old; others were developed by Mr. Merwin himself. They are sharp, tannic or bitter — unfit to be “dessert apples,” as the eating, baking and pick-your-own varieties are dismissively called by cider makers, but perfect for juicing and fermenting. These apples are rare, peculiar, heirloom fruit. They are what I had come for.

Read the whole article.

Big Red Pumpkin Regatta Oct. 4 buoys attention


From the Dilmun Hill student organic farm near campus, Peter DelNero will pick a pentad of prime, plump pumpkins for the upcoming Big Red Pumpkin Regatta at Beebe Lake on Oct. 4. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

From the Dilmun Hill student organic farm near campus, Peter DelNero will pick a pentad of prime, plump pumpkins for the upcoming Big Red Pumpkin Regatta at Beebe Lake on Oct. 4. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

Via the Cornell Chronicle [2014-09-24]:

Relay teams hope to squash their competition at the first Big Red Pumpkin Regatta on Beebe Lake Saturday, Oct. 4. Hosted by Cornell Flotilla, a graduate student club, racers will decorate their giant pumpkins at noon, while the paddling starts at 2 p.m.

The racers must be out of their gourd – or, actually, the racers must stay in them. Five teams each with four people will have enough room in a 300-pound pumpkin to fit a single paddler. In a relay, the paddlers will race 100 meters four times around Beebe Lake. The grand prize: bragging rights.

Since the spring, Peter DelNero, a graduate student in the field of biomedical engineering, and his club colleagues, have been lovingly cultivating giant pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima) on several acres of the Dilmun Hill student organic farm. “I can’t wait to get out into the pumpkin boats. It’s going to be a riot,” says DelNero.

Read the whole article.

Cornell Flotilla on Facebook.

How’d it work out? See A tradition is born: the Big Red Pumpkin Regatta [Cornell Chronicle 2014-10-07].

Dilmun Hill Steering Committee accepting applications

dilmun logoFrom Alena Hutchinson ’16, Dilmun Hill Market Garden Manager:

Would you like to get more involved with Cornell’s student-run farm? Consider joining the Dilmun Hill Steering Committee.

Application deadline is October 3.

The Steering Committee, a small working group of dedicated Dilmun Hill undergrads and Organic Farm Coordinator Betsy Leonard, facilitates governance. This committee formed in Spring 2008 due to expressed need for greater transparency and coordination of the site. The work of the committee enhances the work of the Student Club at Dilmun, and also manages logistical and administrative needs implicit in running a farm, coordinating a variety of volunteers and collaborating with Cornell administration and departments. Membership on the committee is open every semester to undergrads, and one graduate or a non-student/community member position since they also comprise an active element at Dilmun. The Student/Faculty/Staff Advisory Board, comprised of four faculty/staff members and four Steering Committee alumni, facilitates policy making for Dilmun Hill.

Submit your written application by October 3rd to Betsy Leonard,

Climate change film screening Sept. 26 and 27

resilient ones posterThe Resilient Ones:
A Generation Takes on Climate Change

Go on a journey with a group of high school students seeking solutions to climate change. The Resilient Ones invites you along to meet with the local leaders and expert innovators as these students work to make a difference in the Adirondack mountains of Northern New York.

Cornell Professor Ken Mudge, Research Specialist Jonathan Comstock, and extension educator Steve Gabriel make brief appearances.

View trailer.

Film Screenings in Ithaca this week:

Friday, Sept. 26th, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
B25 Warren Hall
Cornell University
Short reception with food & drink starts at 2:30.
Immediately followed by Q&A with filmmakers and local individuals featured in the film.

Saturday, Sept. 27th, 7:30 p.m.
Lehman Alternative Community School
Black Box Theater
111 Chestnut Street, Ithaca
55 min. run time and Q&A with Filmmaker Victor Guadagno and individuals featured in the film immediately following.

Sponsored by the Sustainability Center and Co-Sponsored by New York Youth Against Fracking, The Youth Farm Project, Tompkins County Youth Action Network, New Roots Charter School, ICSD Green Teams

All ages!

Seminar video: Case studies in forest farming

If you missed today’s seminar, Case studies in forest farming, with Ken Mudge, it’s available online.

And don’t forget to pre-order his new book, Farming in the Woods.

Skip to toolbar