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Online organic gardening, garden design courses start March 15

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? View FAQ or contact, Fiona Doherty: fcd9@cornell.edu.

Hortus Forum prepares for annual Poinsettia Sale

Reposted from the SIPS blog, Discovery that Connects:

Hortus Forum members at the 2017 Poinsettia Sale

Hortus Forum members at the 2017 Poinsettia Sale

The trees may still be showing fall color, but Hortus Forum is busy getting ready for the winter holiday.  A subset of the club’s members are growing over 500 poinsettias in 16 different varieties ranging from “Christmas Feelings Merlot” to “Whitestar” and “Venus Hot Pink”. Pre-order yours today and select from one of these beautiful varieties!

Hortus Forum’s mission is to provide a welcoming community for all plant enthusiasts and cultivate an appreciation for plants and horticulture in the broader Cornell community through sales and hands-on experience with horticulture. All profits from our annual Poinsettia Sale will go towards paying for greenhouse space and funding club activities that provide members with the opportunity to explore the world of horticulture.

Cornell’s new Sustainable Landscapes Trail opens Oct. 5

Cornell Chronicle [2018-10-02]:

Lace up your walking shoes and head to Cornell’s new Sustainable Landscapes Trail, which will open with a ceremony Friday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m., at the newly refurbished Peterson parking lot across from Stocking Hall and the Dairy Bar on Tower Road.

In lieu of a ribbon-cutting, officials will offer a celebratory “downpour” of water on the sustainable, permeable asphalt. Afterward, Nina Bassuk, professor of plant science, will lead a tour of the Sustainable Landscapes Trail.

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (PLHORT/LA 4910) plant trees and shrubs in the Peterson Lot bioswale.

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (PLHORT/LA 4910) plant trees and shrubs in the Peterson Lot bioswale.

Stretching from the Libe Slope Meadow to the Botanic Gardens’ Native Lawn, the trail features 20 stops that show how design, construction and the management of campus grounds can enhance and promote healthy landscape ecosystems.

The Peterson green parking lot was constructed this summer as a state-of-the-art example of green infrastructure and is the latest project to join the trail. It was designed by landscape architecture students and Cornell staff to demonstrate an alternative to traditional impervious parking lots and the resulting storm water runoff.

As a cause of water pollution, runoff from impervious roads and parking lots collect oil, sediment and other pollutants – and carries this material into waterways.

Green infrastructure practices will turn this parking lot into a natural landscape by capturing rainwater where it falls, filtering out pollutants and reducing large volumes of runoff, said David Cutter, Cornell’s campus landscape architect.

The Peterson lot’s porous pavement allows storm water to drain into a stone reservoir below the lot’s surface, while CU-Structural Soil along the lot’s central bioswale (a landscape element designed to remove pollution) allows the roots of bushes and trees to succeed under paved surfaces.

The parking lot is expected to be certified by both SITES, an initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council to certify sustainable land design and development, and by Parksmart, a rating system for green parking structures.

Other highlights of the trail include Fernow Hall’s rain garden and green roof; a green roof consists of a shallow layer of light-weight soil and plants that filter runoff. Fernow Hall’s rain garden diverts storm water from paved areas and roofs and channels it into the ground using a well-draining soil that helps to prevent polluted water from flowing directly to streams and lakes.

The trail also includes Mann Library’s entrance garden and green roof, the Ag Quad biodetention basins, which control pollution, and the Tower Road bioswale, which filters polluted water runoff with carefully selected plants growing in engineered soil and it provides a habitat for insects and pollinators.

The trail is a living laboratory for open spaces, natural areas and landscapes with unique sustainability features. On the trail, see the Rice Hall bioswale that undergraduate students built by using a technique called “scoop and dump” during a project in the “Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design and Landscape Establishment,” taught by Bassuk and Peter Trowbridge, professor of landscape architecture.

The Sustainable Landscapes Trail was developed by the Land Team of the President’s Sustainability Campus Committee. It fulfills a goal in Cornell’s Climate Action Plan, by demonstrating best practices in sustainable landscape planning, design and management, according to Sarah Brylinsky, Cornell’s sustainability communications manager.

Life of Carl F. Gortzig to be celebrated Sept. 23

Carl Gortzig

Carl Gortzig

CALS News [2018-08-31]:

A memorial celebration of the life of Carl F. Gortzig ’52 will be held Sunday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center of Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Gortzig, professor emeritus and chair of the former Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, died June 2 in Ithaca at age 87. Gortzig served as the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations (now Cornell Botanic Gardens) from 1993-95, after a previous stint as acting director in 1989, and four years as chair of the Plantations Advisory Board from 1980-84.

In addition to his enduring support for the Botanic Gardens, Gortzig was devoted to the field of horticulture, working closely with the floriculture industry in New York state. His efforts were recognized in 1989 with the granting of the George L. Good Gold Medal of Horticulture, the highest honor of the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association. He also cared deeply about the students he taught and advised, and in 2002 a former advisee, Joanna Beitel ’92, established the Carl Gortzig scholarship in his honor.

Gortzig recognized the importance of local cultural organizations, and served in leadership positions on the boards of the History Center in Tompkins County, The Tompkins County Public Library, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra.  He and his wife Jean were also devoted fans of the Cornell men’s basketball team.

He served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant from 1952-54; taught biology, botany and math at the McKinley Vocational High School in Buffalo from 1954-55; worked as an Erie County associate agricultural agent from 1955-64; and was employed by Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as an admissions counselor from 1957 -58. He joined Cornell’s faculty in 1965, earned tenure in 1971 and was promoted to full professor in 1978.

He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 55 years, Jean.

Those planning to attend the memorial are asked to respond in advance to dr14@cornell.edu with the subject heading Gortzig Memorial. Memorial gifts may be directed to Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Bluegrass Lane Open House August 11

flyer

Click image for flyer

Come and see:

  • Annual and perennial plant trials.
  • Pollinator garden.
  • Grafted tomatoes.
  • Planting media trials.
  • Containers planted by the Botanic Gardens’ amazing gardeners!
  • Staff will be available to answer questions..

Saturday, August 11
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Center
232 Bluegrass Lane, Ithaca, NY
Off Warren Rd., near Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, follow signs for parking. Map.

This event is open to the public; bring your friends and family!

If you have questions or need special accommodations please contact Tara Reed tln2@cornell.edu or 607-592-5620.

Learn the latest at industrial hemp field day August 14 at Cornell AgriTech

Join Cornell researchers and other industrial hemp experts to learn the latest about this emerging crop at an Aug.14 field day at the Cornell AgriTech Fruit and Vegetable Research Farm, 1097 County Road 4, in Geneva, New York. The Cornell Industrial Hemp Research Team Field Day is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

Researchers in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) have expanded their efforts during their second year of field testing to improve agronomic outcomes for farmers. Cornell has been funded to identify and breed cultivars suitable for New York and to establish certified seed production in the state. They have expanded cultivar trials to the northernmost and southernmost parts of New York, and have initiated a long-term hemp breeding program aided by $2 million in new state funding.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. for the field day, which includes research and policy updates as well as field tours where Cornell scientists will describe the research trials underway.

The morning program includes:

  • Hemp disease update from Cornell plant pathologist Gary Bergstrom..
  • Hemp seed review by Cornell seed scientist Alan Taylor, who will provide an update on seed quality and coating studies plus information on the current status of the hemp seed certification program in New York .
  • Updates on the NYS Hemp Pilot Program, including procedures for licensing and other regulatory issues, led by Tim Sweeney of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Field tours starting at 10:30 a.m. include:

  • Cultivar evaluation trial: Members of Cornell plant breeders Don Viands’ and Larry Smart’s labs will describe the 2018 cultivar evaluation trials, including the 35 cultivars under evaluation at Cornell AgriTech. A member of Cornell entomologist Elson Shields’ lab will provide an update on insect pest surveys they have been conducting in New York hemp fields in 2018.
  • Pollination distance trial: Larry Smart will describe a study to better understand the risks to CBD production due to pollination from adjacent hemp fields with male plants.  Members of Cornell entomologist Katja Poveda’s lab will describe the bee surveys they are conducting in NYS hemp fields.
  • CBD production trial: Members of Larry Smart’s and Cornell plant pathologist Chris Smart’s labs will describe trials to evaluate cultivars selected for CBD production.

First New York Soil Health Summit harvests collaboration

Donn Branton of Branton Farms illustrates the connection between water quality and soil health by showing two samples of water, one cloudy with sediment from the creek entering his property and the other with clear water that exits his farm.

Cornell Chronicle, CALS News [2019-07-27]:

New York government policy and nonprofit leaders, researchers, farmers and agricultural professionals from 40 organizations attended the first statewide Soil Health Summit July 18 in Albany, New York. It was organized by New York Soil Health, which is funded by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and coordinated by Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

“The setting of this soil summit next to the state capital was by intention,” said David Wolfe, Cornell professor of plant and soil ecology and program lead for New York Soil Health. He said New York has been at the forefront of the global soil health movement and summit participants would discuss where to go from here.

“We were pleased to have representatives from Gov. Cuomo’s administration and agency partners as well as representatives from the state Senate and Assembly in attendance,” said Wolfe. “The summit goals were to expand collaboration among the many farmers and organizations working on soil health issues, and also to identify research, outreach and policy priorities for the future.”

Topics included economic analyses of soil health costs and benefits; the relationship between soil health and climate change; addressing challenges of reducing tillage on vegetable farms; soil health for apple orchard systems; fortifying biochar with manure wastes as marketable fertilizer; and research on cover crop interseeding and perennial grains.

Read the whole article.

Online organic gardening, garden design courses start September 5

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.

Plant Sciences Undergraduate Symposium May 11

flyer click for pdf

  • May 11, 2018 – 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
  • 233 Plant Science Building
  • Sponsored by the School of Integrative Plant Science.
  • All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Program:

1:00 to 2:30 p.m. – Student presenters:

  • Grant Thompson (PhD candidate)
  • Zeran Lin
  • James Winans
  • Cairo M. Archer
  • Samantha Hackett
  • Allison Coomber
  • William Dahl
  • Jeffrey Yen

2:30 to 3:00 p.m.  – Student poster session:

  • Braulio Castillo
  • Yuqi Chen
  • Felix Fernandez-Penny
  • Annika Gomez
  • Harris Liou
  • Jonathan Price
  • Alan Zhong

3:00 to 4:30 p.m. – Student presenters:

  • Ben Sword
  • Kellie Damann
  • Patrick O’Briant
  • Kady Maser
  • Natalie Roche
  • Patricia Chan
  • Megan Dodge
  • Matthew A. Siemon

Questions? Contact Leah Cynara Cook lcc2@cornell.edu

Join Hortus Forum for garden and greenhouse tour this weekend

From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Director, Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center:

You are invited to spend this Saturday and Sunday with the Hortus Forum (Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club) and Pi Alpha Xi (the honor society for plant science) on a weekend bus trip to Long Island and New York City to tour gardens and greenhouse.

All students and staff in CALS, and their friends and family, are invited to participate.

The itinerary includes:

The cost to students for this trip is only $53 per person ($23 of this cost is for an admission ticket to the NYBG). The cost for staff members and non-students is $75.  The registration fee includes 1 night of cabin accommodations, luxury bus transportation, admission to the NYBG, and dinner on Saturday night.

I hope to see you there.

More information:

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