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50+ attend reduced tillage field day

More than 50 growers, educators and others attended the Reduced Tillage in Organic Vegetables Field Day at Cornell’s Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y. August 17.

The hay wagon tour include stops on the NOFA-NY certified organic portion of the Thompson Farm to view research on reduced tillage practices on permanent beds, a strip tillage demonstration, and talks on pests, organic soil amendments and soil health.

The farm is managed by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. The event was co-sponsored by NOFA-NY.

Research technician Ryan Maher explains his trial evaluating reduced tillage practices on permanent beds.

Research technician Ryan Maher explains his trial evaluating reduced tillage practices on permanent beds.

Christy Hoepting, Extension vegetable specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses organic management of Swede midge, a growing pest problem in brassica crops.

Christy Hoepting, Extension vegetable specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses organic management of Swede midge, a growing pest problem in brassica crops.

Anusuya Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, explains features of strip tillage equipment used to limit soil disturbance to the area around the row and break up hardpans that limit rooting.

Anusuya Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, explains features of strip tillage equipment used to limit soil disturbance to the area around the row and break up hardpans that limit rooting.

Attendees await strip tillage demo.

Attendees await strip tillage demo.

 

Join Dilmun Hill Student Farm’s Fall CSA

click for flyerFrom the Dilmun Hill Student Farm farm managers: dilmunmanagers@gmail.com:

We are excited to announce our CSA share during the fall semester! Following a successful 12-week summer share, we will have a six-week long fall CSA running from September 8 through October 13. Members will pick up their share on campus at the Farmer’s Market at Cornell on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Shares will consist of 6 to 8 vegetables per week. We encourage larger families to purchase two shares or supplement the share with vegetables from the Cornell farmer’s market. Due to the nature of fall crops, a lot of the produce will keep and store well, so don’t be worried about needing to finish your share in a week. We hope our onions and winter squash will be able to nourish you into the winter. Additionally, CSA members will receive 20% off Dilmun purchases at the farmer’s market.

Payment for our CSA is a sliding scale. We hope that people who can will pay more for their share so that we are able to make the share more affordable to others. With that in mind, the CSA is valued at $120 for the six weeks, but people can pay anywhere between $100 and $140. As CSAs will be delivered in a reusable wax box, there is also a $5 box deposit that will be returned at the end of the CSA if you return your boxes week to week.

Work for a share will also be offered this fall. Dilmun benefits greatly from the hard work of our volunteers, and help from volunteers will be especially important once classes start back up. For 3 hours of volunteering a week, you will receive a CSA share. Volunteers need to commit to volunteering at one of our weekly work parties. The Sunday work party from 1 to 4 p.m. will in general focus on tasks such as weeding and farm up keep. Our Tuesday work party from 4 to 7 p.m. will focus on harvesting for Thursdays farmer’s market. Everyone’s schedules are busy, so volunteers must be able to come to the same work parties each week.

We are excited to be able to provide yummy vegetables into the fall for the Cornell community and hope you are interested in participating. Email us for an application if you want to join or have any questions!

 

Dilmun Hill high tunnel nears completion

On August 4, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) staff, Dilmun Hill Student Farm farm managers and farm  steering committee member Alena Hutchinson took advantage of a relatively calm morning to install plastic on Dilmun Hill’s new high tunnel.

Read more about the high tunnel and view time-lapse of framework construction.

CUAES organic farm coordinator Betsy Leonard helps pull plastic over the high tunnel.

CUAES organic farm coordinator Betsy Leonard helps pull plastic over the high tunnel.

CUAES operations director Glen Evans, Thompson Research Farm farm manager Steve McKay, and technician Ethan Tilebein secure plastic to the east ...

CUAES operations director Glen Evans, Thompson Research Farm farm manager Steve McKay, and technician Ethan Tilebein secure plastic to the east …

... and west endwalls.

… and west endwalls.

The warmer temperatures inside the tunnel will help extend harvest of heat-loving crops like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant later in the fall.

The warmer temperatures inside the tunnel will help extend harvest of heat-loving crops like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant later in the fall.

 

 

High tunnel rises at Dilmun Hill Student Farm

A production-scale high tunnel is rising at Dilmun Hill Student Farm. Once complete, it will not only extend the growing season for the farm, but also serve as an educational resource for the many classes that visit the farm.  A high tunnel production workshop series is being planned in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension that will draw on the knowledge and experience of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates across many different departments.

Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) staff, along with members of the Dilmun Hill Steering Committee, have been laying the groundwork at the high tunnel site since early spring, grading the land, spreading and incorporating compost, and installing the foundation. This past Wednesday afternoon, they made short work of installing the frame. (See time-lapse video.)

The high tunnel was made possible by the Toward Sustainability Foundation grant program. Undergraduate Steering Committee member and former Dilmun Hill Farm Manager Alena Hutchinson (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, ’18) secured funding for the tunnel, and worked with builder Howard Hoover of Penn Yan, N.Y., to design a custom tunnel to meet the specialized needs of small- and medium-sized growers in Upstate New York.

The tunnel will feature a solar-powered, automated sidewall system designed by Hutchinson and fellow undergraduate engineering students to make ventilating the structure easier.

Another innovative feature of the high tunnel:  It is mounted on rails, so that the tunnel can be easily moved between two different growing areas.  Along with increasing production capacity, this design has environmental benefits, such as making crop rotation possible and allowing rain to leach salt from soil, avoiding the salt build up that can be a problem with stationary high tunnels.

Detailed design plans and assembly manuals for all aspects of the tunnel will be available upon the tunnel’s completion. For questions and/or if you want to be involved in the project, contact Alena Hutchinson (amh345@cornell.edu).

Hutchinson and CUAES technician Ethan Tilebein begin rafter intallation.

Hutchinson and CUAES technician Ethan Tilebein begin rafter intallation.

Betsy Leonard, CUAES organic farm coordinator, and Glen Evans, CUAES operations director, install sidewalls.

Betsy Leonard, CUAES organic farm coordinator, and Glen Evans, CUAES operations director, install sidewalls.

Anja Timm, CUAES communications coordinator, Hutchinson and Evans work on sidewall. Note roller and rail that allow the high tunnel to be moved easily.

Anja Timm, CUAES communications coordinator, Hutchinson and Evans work on sidewall. Note roller and rail (lower right) that allow the high tunnel to be moved easily.

Tilebein, Hutchinson and Thompson Research Farm farm manager Steve McKay install rafters.

Tilebein, Hutchinson and CUAES Thompson Research Farm farm manager Steve McKay install rafters.

McKay secures ridgepole.

McKay secures ridgepoles.


Update [2017-07-29]

On June 28, while still under construction, the tunnel took it’s first trip, traveling from a fallow area to an area newly planted with tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.

LIHREC open house July 9

Demonstration garden and greenhouses at the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center.

Display gardens and greenhouses at the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center.

Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center Open House
3059 Sound Ave., Riverhead, N.Y.
July 9, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. rain or shine

During the Open House the display gardens will be open all day and there will be guided garden tours on the hour.  Special seminars on flower arranging, growing daylilies, and using structures in the garden will be held.  Throughout the day a children’s activity will be available free of charge to children.  A plant sale focusing on herbs and unusual perennial plants will also be held all day for those who are interested in finding something new for their home.  Special presentations during the Open House include Victory Garden demonstrations where guests can learn about growing vegetables, special tours of the potted flowering annual trials, wagon ride tours of the 68-acre research farm, and a workshop where participants can learn how to make concrete leaf sculptures for the garden.

More information and detailed schedule.

lihrec-open-housex640

Wagon tour at LIHREC

Reunion events

Reunion is coming up fast (June 9-12). Mark your calendar for these events of plant science interest:

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

In addition, Cornell Plantations will be hosting walks, tours and other events including a plant sale June 11.

Christine Smart named interim SIPS director

Christine Smart

Christine Smart

CALS Notes [2016-05-18]:

Christine Smart, professor of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, has been named interim director of the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS), effective July 1.

She will take over for Alan Collmer, the Andrew J. and Grace B. Nichols Professor in the SIPS Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology when his two-year appointment as the school’s inaugural director concludes.

Launched in June 2014 to enhance the visibility and impact of the plant sciences at Cornell, the school integrated the departments of Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology and Soil and Crop Sciences into a single administrative unit within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The college will conduct an open search for a new director.

“Alan Collmer transformed plant sciences at Cornell into a single dynamic school with a bold vision to meet major world challenges through agricultural innovation,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS. “His legacy will be of a transformative thinker who broke down barriers to forge constructive collaboration across our top-ranked plant science disciplines. He established solid roots that will undoubtedly lead to continued innovation and discovery, and I thank him for his extraordinary efforts.”

Smart has broad professional experience encompassing research on fungal and bacterial plant pathogens, extension work in vegetable pathology, and outreach to K-12 students. At her lab at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva,  NY, she explores ways to improve vegetable disease management while promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Most recently, she has served as head of the SIPS Council of Extension Leaders and initiated the “Skills for Public Engagement” class for undergraduate and graduate students.

Read the whole article.

CUAES Director and CALS Associate Dean Jan Nyrop announces Smart's appointment at SIPS open house.

CUAES Director and CALS Associate Dean Jan Nyrop announces Smart’s appointment at SIPS open house.

Chris Smart talks with colleagues at the SIPS open house.

Chris Smart talks with colleagues at the SIPS open house. (Lindsay France, University Photo)

Video: Conservatory ribbon-cutting

If you missed yesterday’s remarks and ribbon-cutting at the Student Open House at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, it’s available online.

Kevin Nixon, Glenn Evans, Alan Collmer and Ed Cobb cut the ribbon.

Kevin Nixon, Glenn Evans, Alan Collmer and Ed Cobb cut the ribbon.

Bonus video: The Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory – History, features, plants.

More information: Visit the Conservatory website.

College Farms of America Speaker Series starts March 2

Dilmun-Hill-Speaker-Series-flyerx400From Betsy Leonard, CUAES Organic Coordinator:

College farms are important centers for learning and community on campuses throughout the country. Dilmun Hill Student Farm invites you to learn about and celebrate some of the Nation’s most well-regarded college farms as we invite their members to speak about their innovative and important work, and the benefits to their students and communities that these farms provide.

Speakers:

  • March 2:
    Bob Harned, Berea College Farm Manager
    Berea College, Kentucky
  • April 6:
    Todd McLane, TC3 Farm Director
    Tompkins Cortland Community College, New York
  • May 4:
    Beth Hooker, Ph.D., Sustainability Initiative Director and Nancy Hanson, CSA Program Manager
    Hampshire College, Massachusetts

All three events will be held from 4-5pm, in 102 Mann Library.

Free of charge, and all are welcome!

Supported by: Cornell Dining, the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, and Mann Library.

 

After six years, Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory reopens

Greenhouse grower Paul Cooper in the newly reopened Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory. (Lindsay France/University Photography)

Greenhouse grower Paul Cooper in the newly reopened Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory. (Lindsay France/University Photography)

Cornell Chronicle [2016-02-09]

The rebuilt Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory Greenhouse opens Feb. 9 as Cornell continues the botanical legacy of engagement and discovery established by the first dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The 4,000-square-foot facility at 236 Tower Road features modern equipment designed for increased energy savings and improved plant growth. But the spirit of the conservatory remains fixed on the ideals of education and outreach, says Professor Karl Niklas.

“The collection is a living archive describing the wondrous diversity of plant life,” says Niklas, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Botany. “Generations of Cornell students have relied on the conservatory to bolster their knowledge. The conservatory also provides students, staff and faculty with a green oasis in which to seek solace during the winter months. It promises to extend these important intellectual and emotional functions for many more years to come.”

Read the whole article.

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