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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.

 

Video: Three Sisters in Soil

If you missed last week’s soil painting celebration in the lobby of Mann Library, this video will give you the flavor of the event. Many thanks to Kirsten Kurtz, manager of the Cornell Soil Health Lab and natural resources graduate student who organized the event and served as principal artist.  Learn more about  painting with soil.

Three Sisters in Soil

Three Sisters in Soil

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.

Viticulture and enology research and outreach featured in periodiCALS

Drones collect detailed measurements of grape growing operations. Justine Vanden Heuvel, associate professor in the Horticulture Section, is providing New York growers with the tools to understand and make use of the rich data. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

Drones collect detailed measurements of grape growing operations. Justine Vanden Heuvel, associate professor in the Horticulture Section, is providing New York growers with the tools to understand and make use of the rich data. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

The rich history and current cutting-edge viticulture and enology research and outreach is featured in  Perfect pairing: From vine to glass, our science has elevated how grapes are grown—and enjoyed in the latest issue of periodiCALS.

“For decades, our researchers have been transforming how grapes are bred and grown as well as how wine is crafted. From nurturing promising new grape hybrids to shaping the aroma of the wine that fills a glass, our scientists have affected nearly every piece of the grape growing and winemaking process.”

Read the whole article.

Restoration Ecology video: Restoring ecosystem functions and services at Lake Treman

Students in Restoration Ecology (PLHRT 4400) presented findings from their semester-long study of Lake Treman, constructed outside Ithaca in 1930 but now mostly a sediment-filled wetland. The class, led by Tom Whitlow, professor in the Horticulture Section, spent the fall mapping the site and gathering and analyzing soil, sediment and biodiversity data in partnership with the New York State Parks Department.

“Some of their recommendations ranged from large-scale major projects for us, as far as financial and resource commitment, and other recommendations were just very simple things that we could implement just with our existing maintenance crews and things like that,” New York State Park Manager 3 Jim Brophy told the Ithaca Journal after the presentation. “We feel like we have a much better understanding of the resource now because of that, and not only the diversity of the organisms but also soil types and the history.”

More information:

Seminar video: Active Canopy Cooling Strategies to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Heatwaves on Grapevines

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section and Dreer Award seminar, Active Canopy Cooling Strategies to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Heatwaves on Grapevines with Raquel Kallas, M.P.S. Horticulture ’16 and 2016 Dreer Award winner, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Miller receives USDA National Teaching Award

 

Chad Miller Ph.D. '11

Chad Miller Ph.D. ’11

From Greenhouse Product News [2017-11-22]:

Chad Miller (Ph.D.  Horticulture ’11) , Associate Professor of Landscape Horticulture at Kansas State University,  was one of two educators honored with the USDA’s 2017 Best New Teacher Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 130th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The New Teacher Award recognizes a faculty with no more than seven consecutive years of experience in higher education teaching who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in teaching, has exhibited meritorious teaching through scholarship of teaching and learning, and exemplary service to students.

Miller teaches several undergraduate horticulture courses in the KSU horticulture program including an orientation course, plant propagation, and two plant identification courses. In addition, Miller assists with developing and leading departmental international study abroad course experiences. He advises an average of 25 undergraduate students each year and is also the co-advisor for the Horticulture Club.

Miller has been previously recognized for his teaching and advising, receiving the Perennial Plant Association Academic Award; North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award; K-State College of Agriculture Advisor of the Year; K-State College of Agriculture Teaching Faculty of the Semester; the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award; KState College of Agriculture Innovative Teaching and Learning Award; Association of Public Land Grant Universities Innovative Teaching Award; Big 12 Faculty Fellow and was a recipient of the Greenhouse Product News Top 40 under 40 award.

Congratulations Chad!

Hop growers face challenges to meet rising brewery demands

Cornell plant disease experts Bill Weldon, left, and David Gadoury inspect a hop plant at a greenhouse at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

Cornell plant disease experts Bill Weldon, left, and David Gadoury inspect a hop plant at a greenhouse at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

CALS News [2017-11-30]:

The New York craft beer industry is really hopping. From 2012 to 2016, the number of breweries more than tripled, from 95 to 302, according to the New York State Brewers Association, and the industry contributes $3.5 billion to the state’s economy annually.

Lawmakers seeking to tap into the industry’s economic potential have passed new policies that provide incentives for New York hop growers to jump on the bandwagon and supply the growing demand for local ingredients. As these growers have learned, cultivating hops has its challenges, mainly from pests and two pervasive diseases, and Cornell researchers are lending a hand.

Plant disease experts David Gadoury and doctoral student Bill Weldon, both at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, are providing expertise to help everyone from hops hobbyists to professional farmers through outreach materials, public presentations and field visits.

Read the whole article.

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