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How much would you pay for the perfect strawberry?

Marvin Pritts with high tunnel raspberries

Marvin Pritts with high tunnel raspberries.

According to an article in Time Magazine published online January 9,  high-end “Omakase berries”  —  a Japanese strawberry variety known for its “beautiful aroma and exceptional sweetness” with a seedless exterior and “creamy texture” — will set you back $50 for a package of eight.

Even if you could afford them, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see them in the supermarket any time soon at any price because “what supermarkets stock tends to be what they can sell with ease and consistency; a pesky thing like flavor is secondary,” explains Marvin Pritts, Professor of Horticulture at Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science.   “Consumer demand for a year-round supply of everything makes it challenging for supermarkets to provide consumers with consistently good-tasting fruits and vegetables — so they try to make everything generic,” he says.

Pritts believes that despite the fact that they are priced out of the reach of most consumers, innovations like the Omakase berry are only encouraging, and we should be excited about “anything that contributes to people eating more fruits and vegetables.”  He suggests checking out local farms and picking your own fruit. “This could be a blessing in disguise, as it will expose consumers to what really good fruit can taste like,” he points out.

Read the whole article.

Art of Horticulture final projects

poppy skateboardIf you’d like to catch a glimpse of students’ final projects in the Art of Horticulture course, you can sneak a peek online.

You can also see previous classes’ work (as well as other class projects and videos) by visiting the Art of Horticulture’s gallery page.

Emily Detrick (MPS Horticulture ’16), who is a lecturer in the Horticulture Section and Director of Horticulture at Cornell Botanic Gardens, teaches the course.  She started teaching the course —  created by Marcia Eames-Sheavly in 2003 — in 2018.

 

 

 

 

‘Locally grown’ broccoli looks, tastes better to consumers

Thomas Björkman in broccoli field

“Demonstrating that consumers do value ‘locally grown,’ and that the seller gets latitude on price and appearance, are valuable selling points in getting distributors and retailers to take that risk,” Thomas Björkman said.

 

Cornell Chronicle [2019-12-16]:

In blind tests conducted by Cornell researchers, consumers rated a California broccoli tastier and better-looking than a pair of varieties grown in New York.

But the New York broccoli fared much better in a subsequent series of tests. It earned the highest marks for flavor and consumers were willing to pay more for it – on par with the California variety.

What changed?

The second group was told the New York broccoli was “locally grown” in New York state, where the tests were conducted. That information improved consumers’ perceptions of the broccoli and its value compared with the California alternative.

“If you don’t tell the consumers anything, they will penalize the looks and they will even penalize the taste,” said Miguel Gómez, associate professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “But as soon as you tell them it’s local, it’s the other way around. They like it better – not only how it looks, but also how it tastes.”

Gómez and co-authors Xiaoli Fan, Ph.D. ’17, assistant professor at the University of Alberta, and Phillip Coles, M.S. ’15, professor of practice at Lehigh University, reported their findings in “Willingness to Pay, Quality Perception, and Local Foods: The Case of Broccoli,” published Oct. 4 in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Thomas Björkman, Cornell professor of horticulture at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York, and principal investigator for the Eastern Broccoli Project, served as project director for the experiments.

Read the whole article.

Seminar video: Woody plant ornamental breeding

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Woody plant ornamental breeding,  with Todd West, North Dakota State University, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Yale Climate Connections features Bassuk, sustainable landscapes trail

Peterson Lot near Stocking Hall features porous asphalt and a rain garden to reduce runoff.

Peterson Lot near Stocking Hall features porous asphalt and a rain garden to reduce runoff.

Yale Climate Connections is a nonpartisan, multimedia service providing daily broadcast radio programming and original web-based reporting, commentary, and analysis on the issue of climate change. Last week, they featured Nina Bassuk in an episode entitled. A walking trail shows how Cornell is adapting to extreme weather:

“On their way to class, Cornell University students stroll past a garden planted with bayberry and red-twigged dogwood shrubs. But they may not know that this is a rain garden that helps filter and hold water during heavy storms. Cornell horticulture professor Nina Bassuk says the university has been using techniques for sustainable landscapes for a long time, but people didn’t know that they were special in some way.”

Listen to the whole episode:

Learn more about the sustainable landscapes trail.

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Dec. 6&7

If you are looking for some gorgeous poinsettias, whether Tapestry or Red Glitter, Whitestar or Jubilee Jingle Bells, we’ve got you covered!

View all eight varieties available and fill out your pre-order preferences here. Or just come to our sale December 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or December 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Yellow Polyhouse 1135C at Post Circle Ithaca, NY.

Hortus Forum is Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, cultivating a positive community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture.

hortus forum poinsettia poster

Seminar video: Developing an Integrated Approach to Manage Agricultural Weeds

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Developing an Integrated Approach to Manage Agricultural Weeds, with Bryan Brown, NYSIPM Program, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Majors gather to bake pies

group shot of majors

To get in the holiday spirit, de-stress from prelims, and socialize, new Plant Sciences Majors gathered at the home of Director of Undergraduate Studies Marvin Pritts to bake a variety of pies with help from Plant Sciences Major Coordinator Leah Cook .  A festive time was had by all.

plant sciences majors baking pies

Seminar video: The Strawberry Special: An in-depth look at strawberry quality when comparing between growing practices in New York State

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, The Strawberry Special: An in-depth look at strawberry quality when comparing between growing practices in New York State, with Anya Osatuke, Graduate Field of Horticulture Master’s student, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: Biodiversity in the Concrete Jungle…

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Biodiversity in the Concrete Jungle: Ecology, Management and Design for Plant Diversity , with Myla Aronson, Rutgers University, it is available online.


More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

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