Among the images in the latest collection at Picture Cornell are these by Lindsay France, Cornell Marketing Group:
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.
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.
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.
From the Dilmun Hill Student Farm farm managers: firstname.lastname@example.org:
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!
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.
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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.
Reunion is coming up fast (June 9-12). Mark your calendar for these events of plant science interest:
- The Liberty Hyde Bailey Lecture: Genomics and the Future of Agriculture – In honor of professor emeritus Steve Tanksley, winner of the 2016 Japan Prize, three former lab members — Greg Martin, Jim Giovannoni, and Susan McCouch — will celebrate his contributions to plant breeding and genetics and the spirit of genomic discovery in the School of Integrative Plant Science with a panel discussion. Friday, June 10, 2016 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm, Kennedy Hall, David L. Call Alumni Auditorium
- School of Integrative Plant Science Alumni Reunion Gathering – Please join us for light refreshments and an opportunity to reminisce with friends, faculty, and alumni, tour the new L. H. Bailey Conservatory, and view the slide show, Plant Science, Then & Now. Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11:30am to 1:30pm, G22 Plant Science Building.
- Tour the new L. H. Bailey Conservatory – Our new Conservatory will be open and staffed to answer questions about its history and plant collections. Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11:00am to 1:00pm.