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Extension and outreach

Cornell research is growing the hard cider industry in New York

Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, tags apple trees as part of a research trial at Cornell Orchards.

Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, tags apple trees as part of a research trial at Cornell Orchards.

Cornell Chronicle 2018-05-15:

To say that hard cider has been making a comeback is an understatement. In the U.S. alone, the hard cider market has increased more than 10-fold in the past decade, with sales reaching $1.5 billion in 2017. And Gregory Peck, assistant professor of horticulture, has been paying attention.

Taking advantage of this upward trend, Peck has been tapping cider’s full potential to grow New York state’s apple market. Now he’s at the forefront of a hard cider renaissance.

“The industry has been booming because cider producers are innovative,” Peck said. “Consumers want to experience something different in their food and drinks. Cider has a rich depth of flavor and range of products that appeal to a large and growing consumer base.”

Read the whole article.

Online botanical illustration courses start May 29

Hellebore watercolor by Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Learn botanical illustration online.  Three courses taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly start May 29, 2018:

You can view works by students in previous classes on display in the cases in the west wing of the first floor of Plant Science Building. The course webpages also have links to previous students who have posted their works online.

Seminar video: Diversified weed management in NY vegetable crops

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Diversified weed management in NY vegetable crops – Challenges and opportunities with John Wallace, Horticulture Section, Cornell University, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Rossi recognized for environmental efforts

Frank Rossi and McGraw Tower

Associate professor and turfgrass specialist Frank Rossi has been an intellectual force behind some of the most environmentally conscious concepts embraced by the golf industry. A profile in GCM Magazine celebrating Rossi’s selection as the GCSAA’s 2018 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship notes that he is “renowned for his hands-on work with golf superintendents and  reputation for challenging convention at every turn.”

Read the whole article.

Restoration ecology class surveys Lake Treman

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Students Stevanica Augustine, left, and Jonas Soe examine invertebrates along the streams that feed into Lake Trema

Cornell Chronicle/CALS News [2018-02-06]

Far above Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca sits a reservoir dam impounding Lake Treman. Hiking trails wend through the area, which for eight decades has slowly accumulated enough sediment to turn the lake into plodding marsh. Sometime in the next 30 years, it will completely fill and become a riparian marsh.

Cornell students in Tom Whitlow’s Restoration Ecology class spent the fall semester examining Lake Treman’s many components, and they worked with the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a plan for managing it.

The students presented their research to state parks officials in December. (View presentation video.) Generally, the class found no compelling reason to remove the dam, in spite of the increasing sediment, said Audrey Stanton ’19, a teaching assistant for the course.

Read the whole article.

Seminar video: Root of the matter – exploring the hidden half

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Root of the matter – exploring the hidden half with Shimon Rachmilevitch, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Visiting Scholar, Horticulture Section, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: The Seed Your Future Program: Promoting Horticulture in the U.S.

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, The Seed Your Future Program: Promoting Horticulture in the U.S. with John Dole, North Carolina State University, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Online organic gardening, garden design courses start March 12

Registration is now open for two online courses offered by the Horticulture Section in Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science:

Raised bed vegetable gardenOrganic Gardening is designed to help new gardeners get started and help experienced gardeners broaden their understanding of organic techniques for all kinds of gardens.

Starting with a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, the course then explores tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants including food plants, trees and shrubs and lawn.

Participants read assigned essays and book excerpts, participate in online group discussions with other students, complete reflective writing/design work and take part in some hands-on activities. 
Most students spend about 5 hours each week with the content, though there are always ample resources and opportunity to do more.

View more information and full course syllabus for Organic Gardening.

garden_designx300Introduction to Garden Design will help you apply basic garden design techniques to your own garden. We teach an approach to gardening that is based on the principle of right plant, right place. In other words, we will consider the needs of the plant in addition to the needs of the gardener.

You’ll learn garden site analysis and apply the concepts to your personal space, gain proficiency in garden design principles and lay out a rough site plan overview of your garden design.

You will write and reflect on the process as you learn with the instructor taking an active role in this creative endeavor by providing feedback on your assignments and journal entries.

View more information and full course syllabus for Introduction to Garden Design.

Questions about either course? Please contact, Fiona Doherty: fcd9@cornell.edu.

In the news

Kalenga Banda and professor emeritus Chris Wien, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ‘71 in the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouse complex. Photo by Matt Hayes.

Kalenga Banda and professor emeritus Chris Wien, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ‘71 in the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouse complex. Photo by Matt Hayes.

Some recent articles of horticultural interest:

The sweet gift of knowledge [periodiCALS 2017-11-28] – A gift in 2006 from professor emeritus Chris Wien created the Cornell Assistantship for Horticulture in Africa (CAHA), which provides a doctoral assistantship to one student from sub-Saharan Africa who completes coursework at Cornell but conducts dissertation research in the region. The position is contingent upon the student returning to his or her home country after their doctoral degree is complete. “Too often you see students get really involved in some fascinating project at Cornell and lose sight of the fact that they came from a country that could really use their help,” says Wien, who in the 1970s spent time working in Africa at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture. That experience awakened him to the continent’s need for greater support in horticulture education.

Cornell program trains new farm owners for business success [CALS News/Cornell Chronicle 2017-12-12] – The Cornell Small Farms Program is preparing the next generation of farmers and ranchers to scale up their operations and reach key business milestones by preparing them to hire, manage and retain skilled employees, thanks to a USDA grant. “Our long-term goal is to ensure that all new farmers in our region can access high-quality information, supportive networks and proven tactics essential to starting and scaling viable farms,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program (CSFP) and senior extension associate in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science

Northeast farmers weigh warm climate, drenched fields [CALS News/Cornell Chronicle 2017-12-13] – Farmers in the Northeast are adopting production habits tailored to longer, warming climate conditions, but they may face spring planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a new Cornell-led paper in the journal Climatic Change, November 2017. Climate change in the Northeast could present two faces. “Climate change can easily intensify agricultural susceptibility, but also present fresh, surprising opportunities,” said David Wolfe, professor of plant and soil ecology and senior author of the paper.  Earlier this fall, Wolfe also delivered the prestigious 2017 John MacLeod Lecture at the Royal Horticultural Society in London, where he detailed how gardeners can adapt to climate change as well as help mitigate its effects. View video.

Herbs From the Underground [New York Times 2017-12-06] – A hydroponic garden in a TriBeCa basement is growing rare herbs and edible flowers, and many prominent chefs are flocking to it. “People who find it weird to eat food grown in a basement have no reason to worry, said Neil Mattson, associate professor and greenhouse extension specialist at Cornell University. ‘There is nothing icky about it. Plants don’t care whether they get light from the sun or the lamps. It’s the same thing.’”

Honeynut Squash Is a Tiny Squash with a Big History [Bon Appétit 2017-11-30] – The fascinating story of how Cornell plant breeder Michael Mazourek created the shrunken butternut squash that’s increasingly popular in farmers’ markets and elsewhere. “Whether it’s farmers, chefs, or food enthusiasts talking about it, it’s clear that word of mouth is what boosted the popularity of the Honeynut. Two years ago, half the farms in the Northeast that grew squash had it, Mazourek revealed. ‘Now 90 percent of the farms grow it—you see it moving beyond regional to Cleveland going west and Virginia going south,’” he added.

Trees – the True Urban Warriors [Scientia 2017-12-12] – Trees benefit cities in many often-overlooked ways. They not only beautify concrete backdrops, but also improve the quality of our urban lives by providing shade, reducing storm runoff, filtering air and providing homes for birds and insects. Trees face big challenges, however, growing up in cities, largely because of drought and poor soils. To help trees survive these concrete deserts, Nina Bassuk and her colleagues at Cornell University have been evaluating trees and shrubs for their ability to adapt, including developing resilient hybrid oak trees. A parallel research track aims at remediating urban soil conditions to reduce urban tree stress.

 

Join Nature Rx club for Conservatory tour

CUAES greenhouse grower Paul Cooper leads tour for the Nature Rx Club at the Conservatory Dec. 7.

CUAES greenhouse grower Paul Cooper leads tour for the Nature Rx Club at the Conservatory Dec. 7.

Feeling stressed? The Nature Rx @ Cornell Club is hosting a tour of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory December 14 from noon to 1 p.m.

Kick back in the warm confines of the Conservatory and learn about some of the fascinating plants there from CUAES greenhouse greenhouse grower Paul Cooper.

If you can’t make it then, feel free to come on your own when the Conservatory is open to the public, most weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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