Skip to main content


Register now for Camp Mushroom

camp-mushroomIf you’ve gotten shut out in years past because Camp Mushroom sold out before you even heard about it, now’s the time to sign-up for the annual event which will be held June 3 – 4 at Hidden Valley Camp, Watkins Glen NY.

Camp Mushroom is Cornell University’s annual two-day event for farmers, woodlot owners, and hobby growers who want to cultivate their own shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms. This year marks the 11th year of the course, as forest mushroom cultivation blossoms in the Northeast as a new small farm industry.

This course is geared for those interest in the commercial production of mushrooms. Participants will be trained in four methods of mushroom cultivation; shiitake on bolts, lions mane/oyster on totems, oysters on straw, and stropharia in woodchip beds. Additional topics include laying yard and management considerations and the economics of production.

Each participant will also inoculate a shiitake bolt to take home. Anyone who wants to get into mushroom growing as a serious pursuit should not miss out on this opportunity to learn from the experienced growers and researchers who will present for this event.

Visit the Camp Mushroom webpage for more details and registration information.

Meantime, you can view new series of short videos that detail forest cultivation of lions mane, oyster, and wine cap stropharia mushrooms. Here’s a sample:

‘For the love of soil’ time lapse

If you missed the painting with soils activity organized by the Soil and Crop Sciences Section to celebrate World Soil Week Dec. 10, you can watch a one-minute time-lapse video to see what you missed. Read more about the event in the Cornell Chronicle.

2015 annual flower trial results

This successful mixed container combined 'Sweet Heat' pepper, 'Taishan Orange' marigold, 'Summer Picnic' lettuce.

This successful mixed container combined ‘Sweet Heat’ pepper, ‘Taishan Orange’ marigold, ‘Summer Picnic’ lettuce.

If you missed last summer’s Cornell Floriculture Field Day held at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility adjacent to campus, you can still view 2015’s top performing annual flower and foliage plants and the results of mixed container trials combining vegetables, ornamentals and herbs.

And mark your calendars now: The 2016 Cornell Floriculture Field Day will be held August 9, 2016 at Bluegrass Lane.

‘Soil art’ in Mann Lobby Thursday

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Aubrey Fine, Kirsten Kurtz and Kelly Hanley prepared the soils to make the paints.

Need a study break?  Swing by the Mann Library Lobby on Thursday anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and contribute to a mural created with paints made from soil.

“To celebrate World Soil Week this year, we thought it would be appropriate to do something fun and help relieve a little exam-time stress,” says Kirsten Kurtz, manager of the Cornell Soil Health Testing Laboratory who spearheaded the project.

Kurtz is an artist herself who has experimented in the past with extracting pigments from soils to make paint. Last weekend, she and volunteers crushed and sieved soils ranging from light tan to reddish brown to near black. If you join in Thursday, part of the activity will be turning those soils into paint.

“Or you can just grab a brush for a few minutes and help us fill the in the scene we’ll have sketched out on the canvases,” says Kurtz.

click image for .pdf version of poster

.pdf version of poster


Dilmun Hill Student Farm season wrap-up Dec. 5

From the Dilmun Hill student managers:

Dilmun Hill Student Farm season wrap-up
Saturday, December 5, 2015
12:15pm- 1:15pm
102 Mann Library

As our growing season comes to a close, we would like to gather community members for a celebration and reflection of this past season. A brief presentation will be accompanied by a light lunch and an open floor for conversation.

All are welcome!

Dilmun Hill is Cornell’s student-run farm that has been practicing sustainable agriculture on Cornell University’s campus for more than a decade. Our mission is to provide students, faculty, staff and community with opportunities for experiential learning, group collaboration and research. More info.

dilmun hill wrap up

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale Dec. 7-8

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, will hold it’s annual poinsettia sale December 7 and 8.


  • 6-inch foil-wrapped pots – $12
  • 8-inch foil-wrapped pots – $16
  • 7-percent discount for orders exceeding 9 items.
  • Delivery available.
  • Now accepting pre-orders. See order form for details.

Proceeds support Hortus Forum activities.

Our mission: Cultivating a positive social community which fosters a passion for plants and teaches the value of horticulture.

Follow us on Facebook.

poinsettias at kpl

Gathering honors Pritts

Co-workers, friends and family gathered Wednesday to celebrate Marvin Pritts‘ 13-year tenure as Horticulture Chair. Pritts passed the torch to Steve Reiners in July to take over new responsibilities as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Plant Sciences Major.

Reiners and Chris Watkins, Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, toasted Pritts’ accomplishments during his years of service. Pritts heaped praise on all of the people who helped Horticulture thrive in the new millennium, from administrative assistants to CALS administrators.

Thanks Marvin!

Pritts thanked all the people who helped Horticulture thrive during his tenure.

Pritts thanked all the people who helped Horticulture thrive during his tenure.


Ithaca Applefest sales aid Cornell SOHO members

Reposted from CALS Notes:

Members of the Cornell University Society of Horticulture for Graduate Students (SOHO) are selling 18 different varieties of apples this weekend during the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival. The festival marks the biggest fundraiser of the year for SOHO, with sales helping to defray costs and fund activities throughout the school year.

More than just a fundraiser, the event helps the club get involved in the community.

“It’s a great way for us to reach out to folks in Ithaca,” said Miles S. Sax, a graduate student who has helped staff the booth for the last few years. “You start to have people come back who tried this weird, unnamed variety that they’ve never had before, and they come back and want to try it again,” he said.

Sax was joined by fellow graduate students Zach Stansell and Laura Dougherty on Friday afternoon. Be sure to stop by their booth on the east end of The Commons during the festival, which runs until 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Zach Stansell and Laura Dougherty

Zach Stansell and Laura Dougherty preparing samples.

 Miles S. Sax

Miles S. Sax bagging apples.

More images on CALS Facebook.

Monday seminar: The Invention of Nature

Horticulture seminar series presents historian and author Andrea Wulf speaking on her new book:
Alexander von Humboldt and the Invention of Nature
Monday, September 28, 2015 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm
Note location: Riley Robb, 125

Book synopsis from Wulf’s website:

invention of nature coverThe Invention of Nature reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin.

Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes in the world, paddling down the Orinoco or racing through anthrax–infested Siberia.

Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change. He turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth and Goethe but also politicians such as Jefferson.

Wulf also argues that it was Humboldt’s influence that led John Muir to his ideas of preservation and that shaped Thoreau’s ‘Walden’. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he inspired in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature. In The Invention of Nature, Wulf brings this lost hero to science and the forgotten father of environmentalism back to life.

Humboldt was, after all, as one contemporary said, ‘the greatest man since the Deluge’.

Biotechnology Benefits webinar series starts today

Kenong Xu (Photo: Robyn Wishna/Cornell University)

Kenong Xu will speak on Getting Ready for the Coming Arctic Apples in Part 3 of the webinar. (Photo: Robyn Wishna/Cornell University)

From Lori Brewer:

Webinars are open to all. We hope we are joined by youth, classrooms, educators, volunteers, gardeners, growers and other interested citizens from throughout our communities.

Three Part Webinar Series:
Biotechnology Benefits in Food Production Systems

Turn to your favorite news outlet and chances are you will hear biotechnology mentioned. Just what is biotech? Have you ever eaten genetically engineered food? How will biotechnology affect the environment?

In this three-part webinar series a panel of six university researchers share perspectives about the application of biotechnology in our food production systems. Each session will end with an audience Q & A. Join our conversations. Be inspired to move beyond denial or unquestioning acceptance to meaningfully participate in discussions where science is key source of knowledge in decision-making.

Part 1: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

  • Resistance to Viruses in Plants: A Successful Application of Biotechnology Dr. Marc Fuchs – Associate Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY
  • Breeding: Workhorse of Agriculture Sustainability Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam – Cooperative Extension Specialist, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, UCDavis, Davis, CA

Join this session via:
Use password: Cce2015!

Part 2: Wednesday September 30, 2015 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

  • What is GMO Anyway? Dr. Peggy G. Lemaux – Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • What Would Rachel Carson Say About Biotechnology? Dr. Tony Shelton – International Professor, Department of Entomology, Assoc. Director of International Programs, Cornell University, NYSAES, Geneva, NY

Join this session via:
Use password: Cce2015!

Part 3: Monday, October 5, 2015 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

  • How the Trees got their Shape Dr. Chris Dardick – Plant Molecular Biologist/Pathologist, USDA ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV
  • Getting Ready for the Coming Arctic Apples Dr. Kenong Xu – Assistant Professor of Tree Fruit Genomics, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY

Join this session via:
Use password: Cce2015!

This series of webinars is organized by Lori Brewer and Kenong Xu with funding support from an NSF-Plant Genome Research Program grant award (IOS-1339211).

Skip to toolbar