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Bigger than ever, Cornell corpse flower poised to bloom

Paul Cooper, head grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, measures Wee Stinky with the help of Bill Crepet, professor and chair in the Plant Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. The Titan arum is one of hundreds of plants in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium managed by the Plant Biology Section.

Paul Cooper, head grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, measures Wee Stinky with the help of Bill Crepet, professor and chair in the Plant Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. The Titan arum is one of hundreds of plants in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium managed by the Plant Biology Section.

Cornell Chronicle [2016-10-10]:

One of Cornell’s famous corpse flowers is getting ready once again to unfurl its fetid bloom.

The plant nicknamed Wee Stinky, one of two flowering-sized titan arums in the living collection of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, is prepping for a dazzling reproductive effort to make itself big, hot and smelly.

Called a corpse flower for the putrid aroma unleashed when it flowers, the titan arum has evolved a reproductive strategy to lure pollinators with pungent signals akin to rotting flesh. Dark purple coloring, a sickly scent, blasts of heat and plumes of carbon dioxide are all deployed to resemble carrion favored by certain pollinator insects. It takes years for the plant to build up the necessary energy to put on such a macabre display, only to burn it all off in a few days before wilting back to a vegetative state.

Read the whole article.

Color-changing squash reveals ripeness

Honeynut squash

Honeynut squash

Cornell Chronicle [2016-10-06]

How do you know when squash is at its ripest and tastiest? Most vegetables offer a unique hint. Bananas turn a summery yellow. Peaches are soft but not too squishy. Squash, however, is an anomaly in that it shows no exterior sign of ripeness.

At least it didn’t until Michael Mazourek, assistant professor in plant breeding and genetics, bred one into it.

All it took was a little color.

With his new honeynut squash it’s now possible to see where an individual squash is in its eight-week ripening process. Beginning as a bright green color, like a zucchini, and then — depending on temperature, sunlight and other factors — it turns orange in the last couple weeks, signaling it has achieved peak flavor and nutrition.

Read the whole article.

Dilmun Hill Student Farm celebrates 20 years

Alena Hutchinson ’18 works in a high-tunnel she designed and helped construct over the summer at Dilmun Hill.

Alena Hutchinson ’18 works in a high-tunnel she designed and helped construct over the summer at Dilmun Hill.

Cornell Chronicle [2016-10-06]

It started as a simple idea: Cornell students learning about farming should have someplace to actually farm. Thus was born Dilmun Hill.

In the 20 years since students tilled those first three acres, the farm has expanded and improved, provided opportunities for research and experimentation, started students on a path toward agricultural careers and fostered lifelong friendships. Today, Dilmun Hill Student Farm encompasses 12 acres of land, and it produces organically grown vegetables for its community-supported agriculture program and on-campus restaurants.

To celebrate the anniversary of the farm’s founding in 1996, students will welcome the community to a farm tour Oct. 29, 1-4 p.m., at 705 Dryden Road (Route 366), Ithaca. There will be booths and exhibits plus activities from many agriculture-related clubs on campus, such as the Bee Club and the Cornell Fantastic Fungi Fanatics. The party is a chance to learn more about agriculture, the joys and challenges of growing food, and the dedication it takes to be a student farmer.

Read the whole article.

More cider news

Greg Peck  (Photo: Kathi Colen Peck)

Greg Peck (Photo: Kathi Colen Peck)

Apple harvest season has been a busy one for assistant professor Greg Peck.

Along with hosting a very successful cider event at Cornell Orchards last weekend and being featured in the Cornell Chronicle, he’s also featured in two other recent articles:

Peck will also be at the Apple Identification and Documentation Day @ Reisinger’s Apple Country (October 8 at 9 am to – 12 noon) where he and others can help you identify mystery apples from old trees from your backyard or farm.

 

Seminar video: Waste management at Cornell

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Waste management at Cornell: How does it work and why should we care? with Horticulture Sustainability Committee, it  is available online.

More information about Cornell University R5 Operations (Respect, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle): r5.fs.cornell.edu

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

150+ attend cider tasting, tours at Cornell Orchards

More than 150 people flocked to Cornell Orchards Sunday to sample cider from six local producers (Black Diamond CiderGood Life CiderRedbyrd Orchard CiderRootstock Ciderworks,  South Hill Cider and Star Cider), tour cider apple research plots, and mix their own juice blends from apple varieties grown expressly to enhance cider flavor. The event was part of Finger Lakes Cider Week, which continues through October 9.

If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed:

Horticulture professor emeritus Ian Merwin pours a sample of his Black Diamond Farm cider.

Horticulture professor emeritus Ian Merwin pours a sample of his Black Diamond Farm cider.

Multiple cider hues ready for tasting.

Multiple cider hues ready for tasting.

Slicing cider apples for sampling.

Slicing cider apples for sampling.

Horticulture graduate students Adam Karl and Nathan Wojtyna juice cider apples for hands-on 'make your own blend' tasting activity.

Horticulture graduate students Adam Karl and Nathan Wojtyna juice cider apples for hands-on ‘make your own blend’ tasting activity.

Assistant professor Greg Peck began the orchard tour in front of historic 100-year-old trees.

Assistant professor Greg Peck began the orchard tour in front of historic 100-year-old trees.

Later on the walk, participants viewed cider apple varieties newly established in a  modern, high-density planting.

Later on the walk, participants viewed cider apple varieties newly established in a modern, high-density planting.

' Ellis Bitter' a traditional English cider apple, is one of the many varieties in the trial.

‘ Ellis Bitter’ a traditional English cider apple, is one of the many varieties in the trial.

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