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Seminar video: Exercises in Grapevine Breeding and Genetics

If you missed Peter Cousin’s seminar, Dwarves, Worms, Sex Change, and Bunch Rot: Exercises in Grapevine Breeding and Genetics, it’s now available online.

Garden-based learning webinar series starts Feb. 29

Garden-Based Learning Program

Garden-Based Learning Program

From Lori Brewer:

Webinar Series: Cultivating Community with Garden-Based Learning Programs

The Extension-Military Partnership community gardening project invites you to register to participate in a 5 week webinar series with an emphasis on engaging audiences with military family members. Please share this opportunity with others.

Are you working with an audience that includes military family members? Develop your knowledge and skills to create a success garden-based learning experience that spreads the benefits of gardening to your target audience.

Physical activity, fresh food and stress reduction are a few of the many well-being benefits of gardening. Gardening also helps people connect, can engage the whole family, strengthen youth-adult and family relationships, and reduce family food expenses.

Webinar series

Cultivating Community with Garden-Based Learning Programs Join this Cornell Garden-Based Learning (CGBL) program webinar series with a special emphasize on audience inclusive of military family members. The five-week webinar series will begin on Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time) and continues Wednesdays for five weeks. Webinars will last approximately 1 hour. They are free and open to educators and volunteers interested in garden-based learning.

Advance registration for each session is required. To register, go to:

Though attending all sessions is not required, in the first session we will spend some time having webinar participants’ share their interests and professional development needs related to garden-based learning programs. This will help tailor sessions that follow.

The distance-learning course Planning and Organizing Sustainable Gardening Programs for Children, Youth, Adults and Communities 101a complements, and is uniquely different from, this webinar series in the degree to which it offers more depth, instruction, and individual support and feedback, across a range of topics related to planning and organizing. That course began February 20, 2012 but late registration is possible contact Lori (

Webinar session 1: Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time)
Find research to support gardening benefits. Enthusiasts state that a garden is a creative, inter-generational environment with many opportunities. More importantly research supports the positive outcomes of gardening. In this session we’ll discuss where to find research? And how might you share it? Participants will also be encourage to share resources, comments and questions.

Webinar session 2: Wednesday March 7, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time)
Garden-based learning projects for all ages. One benefit of the garden is that it has the potential to engage the whole family and multiple generations. Cornell’s Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners (VVfG) and Vegetable varieties investigation (Vvi) national projects will be highlighted. Participants will be encouraged to share their favorite projects. Discussion will include keys to success in implementing projects in specific settings.

Webinar session 3: Wednesday March 14, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time)
Community gardens basics. Starting a community garden is not a quick process. Sustaining a community garden also has challenges. Some basic keys to success and critical resources will be discussed. Participants will be encourage to share resources, comments and questions related to community gardening.

Webinar session 4: Wednesday March 21, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time)
Outcome-based garden program planning, evaluation & funding. What is the desired result of your program effort? Understanding and creating realistic potential outcomes is key to success. We’ll share an approach to program planning, evaluation and identifying funding opportunities will the foundation in program outcomes.

Webinar session 5: Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 4PM Eastern Time (3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific Time)
Engaging partners and volunteers. Don’t garden alone. Identifying critical partners and effective approaches to engaging local volunteers is critical to the success of many garden-based learning programs. We will discuss strategies and have you share success stories in this area.

They said it: Warm winter edition

David Wolfe“This winter, when they do the final analysis, will be close to an all-time record breaker. It’s a rare event. But I think it will become less rare.”

David Wolfe in Much to Savor, and Worry About, Amid Mild Winter’s Early Blooms, New York Times, 2/26/2012

Seminar videos

In case you missed these recent seminars:

Bridging Ecology and Design to Construct, Monitor and Adapt Urban Ecosystems
Alexander Felson, Assistant Professor, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University
Department of Horticulture Seminar, February 20, 2012

Ecovillages as campuses for sustainability education
Daniel Greenberg, Living Routes, Amherst, Mass.
New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG) at Cornell seminar, February 15, 2012

High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries publication updated and expanded

New for 2012

New for 2012

Northeast growers can capture more of the lucrative local market for fresh berries by growing brambles (raspberries and blackberries) in high tunnels. And the place to start is with the updated and expanded edition of High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries.

These relatively low-cost, usually unheated, plastic-covered hoop houses can help growers fill late-spring and late-fall gaps in the market. Instead of mid-June, high-tunnel berries can be harvested in May. The field-grown season for brambles usually ends in early October. But growers using high tunnels continue to harvest berries through November.

Other benefits of high tunnels include:

  • Floricane-fruiting raspberries and blackberries can over winter in climates where they would otherwise be killed by cold temperatures.
  • Primocane-fruiting blackberries ripen where the growing season is otherwise too short.
  • Berry yields from tunnels can be two to three times greater than field-grown, and the berries can be significantly larger.
  • Tunnel-grown berries also have longer shelf-life with reduced pesticide inputs.

The 50-page production guide is available free online and features sections on:

  • Site and tunnel selection.
  • Tunnel construction.
  • Plant selection and planting.
  • Care and management of plantings.
  • Season extension and overwintering.
  • Pest management.
  • Harvesting.
  • Crop budgets.

The 2012 edition includes a new section on multiple-bay tunnel production, additional crop budgets, and new information on varieties, pests and diseases. The authors include berry researchers from Cornell University, Penn State University and Michigan State University who have helped pioneer berry production in high tunnels.

Visit to download the guide.  To order print copies ($10 each includes shipping and handling) please contact Maxine Welcome at or phone 607-255-5439.

Landscapes & Lawns webinar postponed to May 7

Landscapes & Lawns – A Timely Update for Management Professionals

A program designed to update turf & ornamentals managers about the timely pests and environmental pressures present in the 2012 growing season.

Date: Monday April 9 May 7, 2012 from 5:15 PM – 7:45 PM
Location: Your Local Cornell Cooperative Extension Office

Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office find out if they will be hosting this webinar. Contact info is here:

These counties have committed to the April 9 May 7 webinar (others may be added):

  • Chautauqua
  • Chemung
  • Clinton
  • Dutchess
  • Lewis
  • Monroe
  • Oneida
  • Orleans
  • Putnam
  • Saratoga
  • Seneca
  • Steuben
  • Westchester
  • Wyoming

DEC has awarded 2 credits for 3a, 10 & 25 and 1 credit for 3b.


Frank RTurfgrass ShortCUTT’s: What’s Up?

Cornell University Associate Professor & NYS Turfgrass Extension Specialist Frank Rossi, Ph.D., will update professionals about timely seasonal pest and environmental stress factors that managers are contending with thus far in the 2012 growing season. Particular emphasis will be placed on using an integrated, environmentally-responsible pest management approach.




Brian EDiseases of Landscape Woody Ornamentals
Brian Eshenaur, Extension Specialist with the NYS IPM Program at Cornell University will discuss the diagnosis and management of the latest diseases of landscape trees and shrubs.






Recording of other programs sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Sustainable Landscapes-Horticulture Program Work Team are available at:

More webinars:

  • 2/27 – Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) & Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – More information.
  • 3/26 – Tree health and turf webinar March 26 (Nina Bassuk/Frank Rossi) – More information.

In the news

Chris WatkinsA Role for Coal [New York Times 2/20/2012] – Can putting a lump of coal in a sealed container with lettuce help keep the lettuce fresh? Gavin Sacks, Dept. of Food Science, and Chris Watkins (right), Dept. of Horticulture, are skeptical.

Alumna’s $1 million bequest will boost agricultural sciences [Cornell Chronicle 2/20/2012] – Marcia Stofman Morton ’61 has decided to leave a $1 million bequest to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. $750,000 will fund undergraduate scholarships in the agricultural sciences program. The rest will endow internships at Cornell Plantations and undergraduate research at the Laboratory of Ornithology.

Farmers and food banks team up to feed the hungry [Cornell Chronicle 2/16/2012] – A new collaboration among farmers and New York state’s food banks hopes to increase the amount of food donated directly from those who produce our food to those who need it most. The Cornell Gleaning Project was launched in summer 2011 to help farmers who wanted guidance about the opportunities and obstacles that crop gathering and donation provide.

2011 cut flower research report

Cutflower data.Chris Wien’s 2011 cut flower cultural practice studies and variety trials report is now available online. This year’s trials include:

  • Amaranth Topping Trial
  • Larkspur Topping Trial
  • Sunflower Pinching and Spacing Experiment
  • Sunflower Photoperiod Experiment
  • Sunflower Pollination Experiment
  • Varietal Differences in Sunflower Petal Detachment Force
  • Influence of angle of pull on detachment force values

Wien also reports on variety trials of Ammi majus, Aster (Callistephus), Basil, Craspedia, Celosia, Cosmos, Grasses, Lisianthus and Mums.

To see previous years’ reports, visit Wien’s research page.

Pollinator book ‘first of its kind’

Fair use version also available online

Fair use version also available online

From Marty Sailus, Plant and Life Sciences Publishing (PALS) (formerly NRAES):

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists, NRAES 186, is a first-of-its kind, full-color guide for rearing and managing bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, and other alternatives to honey bee pollinators. The book features 130+ color photos, 10 chapters, 7 appendices, nest construction details, guidelines for parasite and disease management, and more. The book was published in 2010 and is available from Plant and Life Sciences Publishing (PALS), formerly NRAES.

A copy of the book is in Rm 22 Plant Science. It can be purchased in the PALS office, Rm 34 Plant Science.

Horticulture staff and students receive a 40% discount off the list price for all PALS books. Shipping and handling is not charged if you pick up the book.

For more information or to download a fair use copy of the book, visit Scroll down the home page for a link to the book’s description and ordering information. All PALS/NRAES books are available for viewing in Rm 34 Plant Science and many have fair use PDF’s posted on our web site.

Marty Sailus
Manager of Extension Publications
Department of Horticulture
607 255-7654

Willow biomass boiler, harvesting videos

Two new videos have been added to Larry Smart‘s Willowpedia video gallery:

Take a tour of the willow biomass boiler at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, N.Y. David Dungate, Advanced Climate Technologies, Schenectady, N.Y. explains how the boiler works.

See how researchers at NYSAES harvest small willow plots to collect data

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