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Tools for Thought (Hort 6350) Organizational Meeting Aug. 27

Eureka moment

From Tom Whitlow:

Had any Eureka moments lately?

Hort 6350 Tools for Thought
1 credit S/U graduate seminar, readings and discussion
Instructor: Tom Whitlow (thw2@cornell,edu)

Ever wanted to read Kuhn or Popper (but put it off until retirement), wonder how to use neural networks to make sense of your exobytes of raw data, or get confused about a career path? If you answered yes (or no) to one of these, here is a chance to explore these and other subjects with your peers. I invite you to join a graduate discussion seminar, Tools for Thought, a weekly for-credit discussion, this fall.

We are having an organizational meeting to decide on a mutually agreeable time and place to meet at 5:00 PM this coming Wednesday, August 27 in Room 22 Plant Science. Can’t make it then? Contact me directly and I’ll make sure your availability gets consideration.

Pizza & Organizational Meeting
5:00-6:00 PM
Wednesday, August 27
Room 22 Plant Science

Claim your place in the community of science!

Big day for horticulture love

Violet Stone and Joshua Pezet wed at Cornell Plantations F.R. Newman Arboretum.

Violet Stone and Joshua Pezet wed at Cornell Plantations F.R. Newman Arboretum.

From Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section chair:

August 16 was a big day for our ‘horticulture family’:

  • Jenny Kao-Kniffin and family welcomed their newest addition, Mary Susquehanna Kniffin, who entered the world at 7 pounds 8 ounces.
  • Violet Stone and Joshua Pezet — who both work with the Cornell Small Farms Program — were wed at Cornell Plantations F.R. Newman Arboretum.

  • Steve Gabriel and Liz Falk — who both work in the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program — got married.
  • Graduate Field of Horticulture PhD candidate Stephanie Beeks married Adam Brace.

Three weddings and a birth. Not bad for one day.

Other recent horticultural nuptials include:

  • Franny Doerflinger (PhD candidate) and Vinay Pagay (PhD ’13) wed June 1.
  • Romi Tasaki (PhD candidate) and Brent Wilson wed July 19.
  • Bill Kreuser (PhD ’13) and Katie King (MPS ’13) wed August 2.
  • And coming up, Ethan Dropkin (MPS ’13) and Liz Kushner August 31.


CALS invests in ‘greener’ greenhouses


Associate professor Neil Mattson (right) discusses energy-efficient lighting options with growers at this summer's Greenhouse IPM Workshop in the Plant Science Purple Greenhouses on Tower Road.

Associate professor Neil Mattson (right) discusses energy-efficient lighting options with growers at this summer’s Greenhouse IPM Workshop in the Plant Science Purple Greenhouses on Tower Road.

Reposted from CALS Notes [2014-08-17]:

CALS is about to become a whole lot “greener” thanks to a major greenhouse renovation scheme now underway at both the Ithaca and Geneva campuses. The initiative, called for in the college’s Master Plan, aims to eliminate or replace older, energy inefficient greenhouses with state-of-the-art structures that will provide faculty, staff and students with safe, spacious and sustainable facilities in which to conduct research.

New greenhouses are already under construction at CALS satellite campus at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, thanks to $4.3M in funds received from New York State. Construction also began earlier this month to replace the Bailey Conservatory Greenhouse adjacent to the Plant Science Building, which wasclosed in 2010 due to health and safety concerns. And CALS is also building new greenhouses (rendering above) at the Guterman complex on the Ithaca campus with a mix of college funds and a $500,000 grant awarded through the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council.

These renovations are taking place in concert with a new lean process improvement initiative undertaken by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station that’s designed to save on greenhouse energy usage without diminishing the essential value of Cornell’s greenhouses. Not only will this effort save money, it will also help to diminish the carbon footprint of both CALS and Cornell.

What a way to save green by going green!

Robert J. ‘Jack’ Lambert, artist and professor, dies at 86

Jack LambertRobert J. “Jack” Lambert Jr. ’50, professor emeritus of freehand drawing, died August 8 at Kendal at Ithaca. He was 86.

Lambert studied ornithology, anthropology, drawing and fine arts as an undergraduate at Cornell, and completed a master’s degree in anthropology and zoology at the University of Michigan in 1951. After doing anthropological field work in Peru, he returned to Cornell as a drawing instructor in 1953 and spent the next 45 years teaching freehand, nature and scientific drawing and watercolor in the College of Agriculture, primarily in the Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture.

Starting in 1962, Lambert led the Freehand Drawing Program, which traces its roots back to Cornell’s founding, and was promoted to full professor in 1977. During that time, he nurtured the artistic abilities of innumerable students throughout the University, especially those studying landscape architecture and design.

“Jack inspired generations of artists who now engage in all walks of life, from the life sciences, to communications, marketing, medicine and a host of other disciplines,” said Marcia Eames-Sheavly, senior extension associate/lecturer in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science.

“He taught the power of keen observation, and encouraged students to pause to record nature’s beauty everywhere,” she added. “He possessed a wry wit, strong opinion, and a unique lens through which he viewed the world. And his dedication to teaching made him beloved by students.” Eames-Sheavly was one of those students, and she is carrying on Lambert’s legacy by teaching the Art of Horticulture and a series of online botanical illustration courses.

Lambert retired in 1997, but continued teaching as an emeritus professor, including a weekly lunchtime art class for employees.

His artwork has been exhibited in numerous galleries, museums and juried shows, and is included in many publications and private collections. He also planned and supervised the construction of a rock garden at Cornell Plantations.

He and his late wife Nina were active members of numerous horticultural organizations including the North American Rock Garden Society, and hosted many tours of their Cayuga Heights garden.

“Jack was a gifted artist, endearing professor and valued member of a department where art and science did not always intermingle comfortably,” said professor emeritus Thomas Weiler, former chair of the Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. “He generously shared his finely honed techniques, bringing out unrealized talents in his students. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

Lambert is survived by his daughter, Sarah L. Lambert and son-in-law Michael J. Ward, of Port Jervis, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jack’s memory may be made to Kendal at Ithaca.

Visit Jack Lambert’s memorial page.

In retirement, Lambert continued teaching a weekly lunchtime art class for employees.

In retirement, Lambert continued teaching a weekly lunchtime art class for employees.

Jack and students at Flatrock

When then Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture chair Tom Weiler retired, he requested Jack paint a picture for him of Jack with his students. The result: This scene at Flat Rock on Fall Creek.


Minns Garden and the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory


What do local gardeners grow? A lot!

low tunnelFrom Heather Scott, technician, Drinkwater Lab:

As part of the Food Dignity Project, I am working with local gardeners to measure how much produce they grow in their gardens in one season. I have 18 home gardeners and 32 community gardeners participating this year!

We hope to find out if gardeners are producing nutritionally and economically significant amounts of food. Based on preliminary data from 22 gardens last year, they are indeed! They averaged 181 pounds of food, valued at over $550. The top producer grew over 450 pounds of food!

If you’d like to find out more about some the gardeners who are participating, visit our Ithaca Garden Harvest Log Blog.

Food Dignity is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68004-30074 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

They said it: Frank Rossi in The New York Times

Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

From How Important Is a Perfect Lawn When You’re Selling Your Home? [New York Times 2014-08-06]:

“The simplest way to not screw up your lawn is to set your mower as high as it will go and make sure your mower blade is very sharp, so you’re cutting the grass blade, not tearing it. When you cut it lower, the grass doesn’t have the leaf material to do the photosynthesis that it needs to sustain itself. … The best time to take care of our lawns in northern climates is in the fall: Labor Day to Halloween. Any grass seed you put down at that time should do fairly well.”

Read the whole article.

2014 Floriculture Field Day

More than 100 greenhouse growers and retailers, florists, educators and others from around the state attended the 2014 Cornell Floriculture Field Day. The day included morning presentations on campus followed by afternoon walkabouts on flower trials and pests and diseases at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility.

In the morning, judges rated entries in the 11th annual Kathy Pufahl Container Competition, which has raised more than $10,000 since its inception for IBD research at Mt. Sinai Hospital. View all entries.

Container contest judging

Don Horowitz (’77), Wittendale’s Florist & Greenhouses, East Hampton, N.Y., took home the blue ribbon in the Open Division.

container contest winner

Attendees placed flags to vote for their favorite annual and perennial flower and foliage varieties

placing flags

Christian Lesage, one of the Cornell undergrads who managed the flower trials, explains the creative vegetable and flower pallet plantings they incorporated into the demonstrations this season.


David Harris, another of the Cornell undergrads who managed the flower trials, discusses annual flower trial with attendees.


John Sanderson, Department of Entomology, talks about pest problems in perennial plantings.


Brian Eshenaur, New York State IPM Program, moves in for a closer look at pest problems.


Attendees admire container contest entries.


If you attend the 2015 Floriculture Field Day, don’t forget your camera.


On the far right in the above image is garden columnist Carol Bradford. View her photo gallery at

(Another) Hortus Forum perennial sale August 11

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, will have a plant sale on the perennial pad by the green greenhouse complex at Kenneth Post Lab 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday August 11. Offerings include:

  • Astilbe
  • Peony
  • Sedum
  • Hosta
  • Hemerocallis
  • Eupatorium
  • Eucomis
  • And more

Prices: $5 per pot/$20 per five pots

Details and pictures on Hortus Forum Facebook page.

find the plant in you hofo poster

Mushroom farms turn a profit in Tier woodlots

Ken Mudge gives shiitake mushroom demo at MacDaniels Nut Grove

Ken Mudge gives shiitake mushroom demo at MacDaniels Nut Grove.

From the Ithaca Journal [2014-08-04]:

“… ‘You’re not going to get rich, but it’s not just a hobby, or it doesn’t have to be,’ said Ken Mudge, Associate Professor at Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science.

“[A] Cornell-UVM study found that growing mushrooms outdoors during a four-month period can be profitable to farmers with at least 500 logs. With prices as high as $16 per pound in some parts of the Northeast, a 500-log operation could earn $11,190 in gross income. Locally, prices hover about $10 per pound.

“‘Really, if you have access to the woods, it’s not that hard to get started,’ said [local grower Steve] Sierigk.

Read the whole article.

Hortus Forum perennial sale August 6

Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, will  have a plant sale on the perennial pad by the green greenhouse complex at Kenneth Post Lab 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday August 6.  

All 1-gallon pots will be $5 or 5 for $20. All 2-gallon bleeding hearts and peonies will be $10.

find the plant in you hofo poster


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