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Permaculture garden grows food for Trillium

Plant science students Sarah Nechamen '15 and Celine Jennison '14 helped create a garden outside Kennedy Hall to demonstrate permaculture. Photo: Alex Koeberle

Plant science students Sarah Nechamen ’15 and Celine Jennison ’14 helped create a garden outside Kennedy Hall to demonstrate permaculture. Photo: Alex Koeberle

From Cornell Chronicle article by Alex Koeberle 2013-06-26:

Diners at Trillium need not look farther than out the window to see where part of their meal originates.

The basil in their pasta or cilantro in their quesadilla may have been plucked from the new garden adjacent to Kennedy Hall, constructed by students last week.

The site will also enable staff and students to stroll around and learn about permaculture – a self-sustaining agricultural system in which herbs, fruits and vegetables are strategically planted so that they work together in mutual benefit. Some plants provide shade, for instance, while others offer pest resistance.

More pictures: See CALS Notes.

Read the whole article.

Garden construction timelapse:

CALS on Facebook

In case you weren’t aware, CALS is on Facebook. And if you visit now, you might see a familiar scene in the cover photo:

CALS on Facebook

In the news

Minns GardenMinns Garden [CALS Notes 2013-06-15] – Photo essay features Minns Garden, for countless Cornellians a cherished campus landmark.

Giant ‘Cucumber’ From Brazil … [Huffington Post 2013-06-19] – Stephen Reiners, associate professor, Department of Horticulture, told The Huffington Post there’s a pretty good chance the 40-kilogram fruit is not actually a cucumber: “My guess is that it was not a cucumber but may have been in with some seeds that they thought were cucumbers and instead it was an entirely different species of watermelon or squash.”

This year marks a new harvest for the Canadian juneberry [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 2013-06-14] – If Mother Nature cooperates, one Rochester-area farm will offer consumers the chance to pick their own juneberries, a fruit native to the Canadian prairies, which should be ripe by the first official day of summer. “It’s a very promising crop for our region,” says Jim Ochterski of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County. “Once you start eating them fresh, you can’t stop.”

Soil Health Field Day, July 11, Clyde, N.Y.

No-till planting into a multi-species cover crop (photo: Jim LaGioia, USDA-NRCS, Lyons)

No-till planting into a multi-species cover crop (photo: Jim LaGioia, USDA-NRCS, Lyons)

From:   Carol MacNeil, Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program,

Soil health is never more important, nor more obvious, than in a very wet year.  At a field day July 11th in Clyde, NY, learn about options for improving crop and soil performance through rainfall extremes.  In fields with well-working tile, cleared outlets, minimal compaction, some surface residues, and water-stable soil aggregates, water percolates through the soil with little ponding or run-off and crops suffer much less damage.  The deeper rooting of crops in healthy soils also sustains them longer through dry periods.  More and more farmers in New York State are taking a second look at their crop rotations, cover crops and reduced tillage, in an effort to improve the health of their soil.

Join us on Thursday, July 11th, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm, at Roger and Scott Arliss’ Pit Farms, 895 Lockpit Rd., east of Clyde, off Rt. 31, for a Soil Health Field Day.  Observe the dramatically different effect of simulated rainfall on a soil with good health vs one that’s been overworked.  See soil layers, compaction and crop root growth in a soil pit.  On-farm trial results with a wide range of grass, legume and crucifer cover crops will be presented, including information on winter triticale and winter malting barley.  Reduced tillage equipment, including planters, will be demonstrated. There will time for you to discuss your experiences with other growers, as well as to ask questions of Roger and Scott Arliss, and the speakers.

Registration for the field day is at 9:30 am and costs $5.  A picnic lunch with hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided.  For more information on the Soil Health Field Day contact Ron Thorn at: 315-946-9912 or  Sponsored by Wayne County Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS, Wayne County SWCD, Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

In the news

 Antonio DiTommaso examines a wild oat seedling at the Cornell Weed Garden. Photo: Blaine Friedlander/Cornell Chronicle

Antonio DiTommaso examines a wild oat seedling at the Cornell Weed Garden. Photo: Blaine Friedlander/Cornell Chronicle

Tour allure: Enjoy Cornell’s ‘garden of weedin” [Cornell Chronicle 2013-06-11] – The Cornell Weed Garden is a scientific utopia that features 85 of the Northeast’s most tenacious, loathsome and frustrating plants known to farmers and home gardeners, but sometimes surprisingly tasty to naturalists. “Students appreciate hands-on learning, and the Cornell Weed Garden is experiential,” says Antonio DiTommaso, associate professor of weed ecology and management in crop and soil sciences.

For a Healthier Diet, Go Wild [ABC News Radio 2013-06-05] – “Many phytochemicals are toxic or unpalatable, so it’s a good thing they’ve been engineered out of our food,” says Michael Mazourek, an assistant professor of plant breeding and genetics. “By breeding out the unsafe aspects, we’ve created healthy fruits and vegetables that are appealing enough to be consumed in large quantities.”

New gardens planned for Cornell Plantations [Ithaca Journal 2013-06-14] – The Town of Ithaca Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the Cornell Plantations’ Botantial Garden redevelopment project. The three-phased proposal would add a one-acre peony and perennial garden and a quarter-acre East Asian garden around the plantations’ Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center. The new gardens would be designed with meandering pathways that trace the topography of the site and will return the Plantations’ peony collection, which was removed when the Nevin Center was constructed in 2010. The gardens would also include many other perennials, shrubs and small-statured trees that will integrate the center and its parking area into the existing landscape.

Keep tabs on spotted wing drosophila at new SWD blog

SWD male. Note spot on each wing.

SWD male. Note spot on each wing.

Damage to fruit by spotted wing drosophila (SWD) — an introduced pest from East Asia — is expected to increase this season. In response, Cornell researchers and extension educators have trap network covering some 30 counties around the state to keep tabs on the pest. (As of June 7, none have been reported.)

Growers and gardeners who want to stay up-to-date on the latest SWD monitoring, management options and more, can visit the new Spotted Wing Drosophila blog, managed by Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator for the New York State IPM Program.

The crops at highest risk for SWD infestation include fall raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. June-bearing strawberries may escape injury, but late summer fruit or day-neutral varieties may suffer damage. Cherries, both tart and sweet, elderberries, and peaches are also susceptible. Thin-skinned grapes can be infested directly, though cracked or damaged berries are more susceptible.

For more information:

Dilmun Hill farmstand opens Thursday

Dilmun Hill farmstandDilmun Hill, Cornell’s student-run farm, will begin its weekly farmstand Thursday, June 13 from 3 to 6 p.m. on the Ag Quad outside Mann Library. In the event of rain, the stand will be in the library lobby.

Dilmun’s student managers expect that the first market will feature tomato, squash and cucumber plants you can transplant into your own garden, plus lettuce, scallions and herbs.

Get involved! Join Dilmun Hill work parties Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sundays 2 to 5 p.m.

Find out more about Dilmun Hill at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station website.

Brown named NYSAES associate director

Susan Brown

Susan Brown

From Kathryn J. Boor, PhD, The Ronald P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

I am pleased to announce that Susan Brown, currently associate chair of the Department of Horticulture and Herman M. Cohn Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been named associate director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), effective July 1.

As associate director, Brown will work with Tom Burr, CALS associate dean and Goichman Family director of the NYSAES, and assistant director Marc Smith on developing a strategic plan for NYSAES to remain an engine of agricultural innovation and economic development in the upstate New York economy. In addition, they will collaborate on major initiatives including working with stakeholders to secure funding for applied research at NYSAES and its satellite campuses including the Hudson Valley Laboratory and the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory.

Dr. Brown offers a unique and essential mix of highly respected scientific expertise; a background of forward thinking administrative leadership; and a deep commitment to the critical work being done at NYSAES in applied research, extension, and education. She has been a member of the faculty since 1985.

I echo Tom’s sentiments that “New York’s food and agriculture sectors are facing critical challenges, and to have someone of Susan’s caliber helping to direct the Station’s role in meeting them is fortunate for us all.”

In collaboration with the Horticulture Department, CALS leadership will identify and name an associate chair to succeed Dr. Brown in that departmental role.

Please join me in welcoming Susan into this new role.

Thank you,
Kathryn J. Boor

See also CALS Notes.

Wien named Plantations interim director

Crossposted from CALS Notes:

Chris Wien

Chris Wien

Horticulture professor Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations – the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University – while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Wien, who will take up the helm on July 1, previously served as acting director of the Plantations from July 2006 to January 2007. Wien received his master’s degree from Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D in 1971, joined the Department of Vegetable Crops as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971, and returned as assistant professor in 1979, after working abroad as a research scientist studying grain legume physiology in Nigeria. He served as chair of the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, then the Department of Horticulture, from 1996-2002. His research focus has been the production of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. He also leads outreach projects encouraging the use of high tunnels among both growers and in school gardens. And he has continued international work in Africa, working with smallholder horticulturists in Zimbabwe, and leading student trips through the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development’s SMART program.

Rakow, who joined Cornell Plantations more than 20 years ago, will return full time to the Department of Horticulture. Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said: “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.”

“Don’s leadership has been a key part of the transformation of Cornell Plantations in the last two decades. I am grateful for his expertise, enthusiasm and partnership,” saidKathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Plantations will be establishing a new fund in his honor.

Art featured at Canadian Botanical Association conference

A watercolor diptych by Marcia Eames-Sheavly Native and Exotic Coupling is one of the works featured currently at the exhibition Art and Science: Drawing and Botany at the 49th annual meeting and conference of the Canadian Botanical Association June 1 to 5 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The exhibition’s organizers invited artists and botanists to submit works that respond to the assertion that “art inhabits the teaching and practice of botany, and conversely botanical subjects and scientific methods have a legitimate place in teaching and practicing art.”

The show runs through June 21, and then Eames-Sheavly will display her work in Plant Science Building.

Native and Exotic Coupling

Native and Exotic Coupling

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