If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, The WVU Organic Farm – 15 years of research and education with SSven Verlinden, Associate Professor, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, it is available online.
Among the images in the latest collection at Picture Cornell are these by Lindsay France, Cornell Marketing Group:
Strawberry fans, rejoice. The newest Cornell strawberry variety concentrates intense flavor in a berry big enough to fill the palm of your hand.
Topping out at over 50 grams, Archer, the latest creation from Cornell berry breeder Courtney Weber, is comparable in size to a plum or small peach. But this behemoth stands out in ways beyond just its proportions: the flavor and aroma exceed what you’d expect from a strawberry of such unusual size.
“Archer is an extraordinarily high-flavored berry,” said Weber, associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “It has an intense aroma, so when you bite into it you get a strong strawberry smell, and it’s very sweet, so you get a strong strawberry flavor that really makes an impact.”
Weber says the combination of large fruit and strong flavor hits the sweet spot for local growers who sell in farmers markets, u-pick sites and roadside stands. Archer ripens in June and holds its large size through multiple harvests for two to three weeks.
In September 12 Horticulture Section seminar, Weber explains the long road he had to take to bring ‘Archer’ to market:
High stakes: Tomato production in hoop houses
Hosted by Dilmun Hill Student Organic Farm, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Saturday September 10 at 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Extending the New York growing season with unheated greenhouses (also called high tunnels or hoop houses) is a growing technology with organic vegetable farmers. At this workshop led by one of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s vegetable specialists, we will discuss the production of tomatoes in high tunnels, strategies to manage soil and plant nutrient levels, tomato disease management, and other topics in Dilmun Hill’s new moveable high tunnel. All knowledge and experience levels are welcome.
It figures. The Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) began its dramatic two-day flower display — its first since being moved to the new water feature in the Palm House this summer — just as the Conservatory was closing for the holiday weekend. Fortunately, we were able to capture the event on video.
The plant was started from seed by horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz Sax in spring of 2015. It has much in common with the Conservatory’s titan arums (Amorphophallus titanum), even though the two species are not at all closely related,
- It’s a large plant. The cultivar we’re growing is a cross between South American natives V. cruziana and V. amazonica. The latter is the larger of the two parents, and under the right conditions it can produce pads nearly 10 feet in diameter. People often photograph small children supported by the pads to demonstrate their strength. (Obey the signage and do not try it here. It’s dangerous and you’ll injure our smaller plant.)
- The bloom time is short. Victoria lilies bloom at dusk and the blooms last only about 48 hours or so.
- The flowers use fragrance and heat to attract pollinators. The first evening, the flower is white and releases a pineapple-like scent and generates heat to attract beetles. It’s a lot more pleasant than the foul odor titan arums use to attract pollinators in search of rotting flesh.
- The flower goes to great lengths to assure cross-pollination. During the first evening, the flower’s female parts are ready to receive pollen the beetles might be carrying from another Victoria lily. The flower then closes, trapping the beetles inside. During the next day, the anthers mature and start releasing pollen that the beetles carry from the flower when it opens in the evening. The flower changes to a purplish red, signaling to beetles that their pollination services are no longer needed.
One important difference: If you missed flowering this time, you won’t need to wait as long to have another chance to view this phenomena in person. Our specimen already has another flower bud poised to open soon. Subscribe to our email updates and we’ll let you know when it’s happening.
In the field: Pomologists dig roots into cider apple research [CIDERCRAFT Magazine, Volume 6] – Scientists like Greg Peck, Thomas Chao and Susan Brown are responding to the growing interest in cider with field trials and lab work that promise rewards for growers, cider producers and consumer. Peck is evaluating how cider apple varieties perform in high-density plantings. Chao curates the largest and most diverse apple collection in the world at the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, N.Y. And Brown is crossing cider apple varieties with other Malus species to try to improve performance while maintaining the fruit qualities cidermakers value.
USDA grant could boost eastern broccoli production [The Packer 2016-08-24] – “The project will provide better varieties so growers can extend their season and reduce their risk. To get the market going, having a year-round supply with the quality the retailers expect, will make it a lot easier for everyone on the supply end,” says Thomas Björkman, associate professor, Horticulture Section, who leads the effort.
Early-onset spring models may indicate ‘nightmare’ for ag [Cornell Chronicle 2016-08-24] – Warm springs in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions – which create havoc for agriculture – may start earlier by mid-century if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a new study published in Climate Dynamics. “The spring of 2012, with its summerlike warmth, brought plants out of dormancy and then had a lengthy freeze. This was a nightmare scenario for many growers, and it showed us a snapshot of what global warming might look like in this region,” said Toby Ault, assistant professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, an author on the study.
Rebranding of Cornell Plantations to better reflect mission, vision [Cornell Chronicle 2016-08-25] – In early September, Dean Kathryn Boor will present to the Buildings and Properties Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees that “Cornell Plantations” be changed to “Cornell Botanic Gardens,” a fitting moniker that succinctly captures the organization’s mission and aspirations.
Plant Breeders Carry the Weight of the World on Their Shoulders [2016-08-30] – SeedWorld interviews Michael Gore, associate professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, on making rubber from a nearly wild desert shrub, hidden hunger, climate change and the importance of new breeding techniques.
Hundreds flocked to the west end of the Ag Quad Thursday for the first Farmers’ Market at Cornell of the season.
Vendors included …
Markets run Thursdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. View vendors.
Photos: Matt Hayes, CALS Communications.
Students in the Art of Horticulture (PLHRT 2010) got a quick introduction on how to create digital botanical art during their class on Tuesday. Working in teams, they arranged locally sourced flowers from trials at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility and a local flower farm, Plenty of Posies, on flatbed scanners to capture their form and color in two-dimensional form.
Later, they took their scan files and digitally manipulatedthem to create works of art. Here’s an example:
Students finished up the class applying floral design principles to more traditional arrangements.
Mark Bridgen, Horticulture Section professor and director of the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, will lead an eco tour and natural history workshop to the Galapagos Islands June 1 – 12, 2017.
Participants will spend a full 11 days/10 nights aboard the Tip Top IV yacht visiting all of the significant outer islands, allowing for maximum wildlife observations. Each day the yacht travels to a different island during the night while people are sleeping. Then, early in the morning, the small group will go ashore to observe and photograph the unique wildlife — the same types of plants and animals that led Darwin to his Theory of Evolution when he visited in 1835.
Every day is different as the group voyages around the archipelago, and every excursion offers new opportunities to experience the natural wonders of the Galápagos. The days are filled with early-morning and late-afternoon outings to catch the peak animal activity, including land iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises, and countless types of unique birds. There are also one or two snorkeling sessions during the days to observe the coral reefs, sea lions, Galápagos penguins, marine iguanas, sea turtles, hundreds of fish, and much more. There will be the opportunity to kayak several of the days and the evenings are devoted to natural history lectures and stargazing.
Jenny Kao-Kniffin, assistant professor in the Horticulture Section, kicks off the Fall 2016 Horticulture Section Seminar Series on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 12:20 p.m. in 404 Plant Science Building.
This and other Horticulture Section seminars are also available via videoconference to A134 Barton in Geneva. View the full fall line-up for the seminar series.
Most seminars are also recorded and available online on the Horticulture Section seminar YouTube playlist.