Department Personnel at WPT’s 2017 Garden Expo

Julie Dawson, Vegetable Specialist

Amy Freidig, Master Gardener Program

Elin Meliska, Allen Centennial Garden

Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo, in its 24th year, was held February 10-12.  The warm weather invited 10’s of 1000’s to attend.  Horticulture staff who participated include Julie Dawson, Eileen Nelson, Madeline Wimmer, Amaya Atucha.  Also participating: Ben Futa, Elin Meliska and Abby Granite of the Allen Centennial Garden, Johanna Oosterwyk from The DC Smith Greenhouse, Mike Maddox, Susan Mahr and Amy Freidig of the Master Gardener Program.

CALS Vegetable Breeders Leave Their Mark

Tucked behind campus’ Walnut Street Greenhouses sits a nondescript brick building known colloquially as the “Carrot and Beet Lab.” It doesn’t look like much, but its exterior tells the story of an important campus legacy. Etched into its walls are various names, dates and symbols carved by UW-Madison faculty, staff and students who were—or are—involved in the university’s carrot and beet breeding research efforts.name.

The small building, built in 1910, originally functioned as a barn to house campus animals. In 1949, it was converted into a cooler to store carrot, beet and onion roots by Warren “Buck” Gabelman, who grew into an internationally respected plant breeder over the course of his 42 years with the Department of Horticulture. Ever since, the facility has functioned as a common space for campus’ various vegetable breeding labs.

Irwin Goldman, professor and chair of the horticulture department, recalls students and researchers nicknaming the building “The Clubhouse” which accurately portrays the building as a common ground used for lunch breaks, yard games, and conversation.

“Yes, it’s a campus building. Yes, it’s a place where we house our research materials, but it is also a gathering place, a place for people to play cards at lunch time and park their bikes,” says Goldman, who has been in charge of the Carrot and Beet Lab for the past 24 years.

From early on, as students and researchers moved on from the lab, they began carving their names on the south-facing wall to commemorate their time spent there. Thus, a new tradition was born.

One of the bricks bears the name of Robert Kane, who works as a plant breeder in the horticulture department. According to Kane, who has witnessed the evolution of the wall over time, the names are like a family tree of campus’ vegetable breeders. While each engraving represents a unique individual, the wall gives viewers a sense of the depth of the Lab’s alumni and current membership and the cumulative impact of their efforts.

“I’ve heard UW-Madison referred to as ‘the well’ of horticulture because of its variety and depth of talent,” says Kane. “If researchers needed anything—from someone with decades of professional experience to a fresh pair of eyes—they would go to ‘the well’ to recruit new team members.”

Upon close inspection, the wall contains the names of a number of veggie celebrities such as Warren Gabelman, Rodger Freeman, Fred Bliss and JF “Rick” Watson II. All trained at UW-Madison and carved their names before going on to make influential contributions to the world of agriculture.

“These are people in our field who are now legendary figures, but who all once trained there in the modest little place called the Carrot and Beet Lab,” says Goldman.

The carving tradition still lives on today. With the names of such famous predecessors written just to the left or the right of fresh signatures, one can’t help but wonder what incredible accomplishments these recent graduates might achieve.

Originally posted by:  Gilliane Davison, student employee, CALS Office of External Relations in ecals newsletter Friday, August 5th, 2016

Combined Town Hall Meeting via Twitter

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Extension specialists and Master Gardeners from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Extension and the University of Wisconsin-Extension will partner with Agriculture is America (AgIsAmerica), a national communications initiative aimed at highlighting the nation’s land-grant institutions, to host a Twitter Town Hall on July 8 at 2 PM ET.

Extension Educators and Master Gardeners will answer questions regarding Master Gardener volunteer programs and additional gardening topics including urban gardening, beginner tips, and more.

A Twitter Town Hall, like a public meeting or webinar, gives the opportunity for a live question and answer period with subject matter experts. To follow the conversation or submit a question, include the hashtag “#agischat” in your tweet. All agriculture-related organizations, industry leaders, friends, and supporters are invited to join the discussion.

WHAT: Twitter Town Hall on Master Gardener Programs and Gardening

WHO:

  • Pamela Bennett, Associate Professor at the Ohio State University, Master Gardener Volunteer Program Director, Horticulture Educator/Director, OSU Extension, Clark County
  • Mike Maddox, Master Gardener Program Director at the University of Wisconsin-Extension

WHEN: Friday, July 8
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: Participating Twitter handles include: @agisamerica, @osuemgv, and @UWEXMG.

About the Ohio State University Extension – Clark County
Ohio State University Extension brings the knowledge of the university directly to you. They fulfill the land-grant mission of TheOhio State University by interpreting knowledge and research developed by Extension and other faculty and staff at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State main campus, and other land-grant universities – so Ohioans can use the scientifically based information to better their lives, businesses and communities.

About the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Horticulture
The University of Wisconsin-Extension works in partnership with 26 UW System campuses, 72 Wisconsin counties, three tribal governments, and other public and private organizations to fulfill its public service mission. This is the “Wisconsin Idea” – extending the university’s boundaries to the corners of the state. Through statewide outreach networks, UW-Extension also connects university research to the specific needs and interests of residents and communities. Educators, working on campuses and in communities, use up-to-date research and careful analysis to help Wisconsin people address economic, social and environmental issues.

The Cooperative Extension works with individuals, families, farms, business and communities, applying university knowledge and research to address issues in rural, suburban and urban settings. Locally-based Cooperative Extension staff collaborates with University of Wisconsin campus specialists to provide educational programming in Wisconsin’s 72 counties and within three tribal nations.

About Agriculture is America (Ag is America)
The agriculture industry – sustained in large part by the American land-grant university system through Colleges of Agriculture, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Cooperative Extension – is integral to jobs, national security, and health. Ag is America works to promote research and news from land-grant universities across the United States. To learn more, visithttp://agisamerica.org/.

SOURCE Agriculture is America (AgIsAmerica)

CrazyLegs Team

The “HortLegs and More” team participated in the CrazyLegs Classic race the eighth consecutive year.

The HortLegs and Moore team. Front Row (left to right): Pingdong Zhang, Xiaobiao Zhu, Bo Zhu, Yuan Lin, Tao Zhang. Middle Row (l to r): Axel Ramirez Madera, Joe Gage, Kevin Coe, Jiming Jiang, Susan Wielgus. Back Row (l to r): Alex Marand, Paul Bethke, Tom Frank, Dennis Halterman, Hainan Zhao. Not pictured: Irwin Goldman and Yan Bin.

The HortLegs and Moore team. Front Row (left to right): Pingdong Zhang, Xiaobiao Zhu, Bo Zhu, Yuan Lin, Tao Zhang. Middle Row (l to r): Axel Ramirez Madera, Joe Gage, Kevin Coe, Jiming Jiang, Susan Wielgus. Back Row (l to r): Alex Marand, Paul Bethke, Tom Frank, Dennis Halterman, Hainan Zhao. Not pictured: Irwin Goldman and Yan Bin.

Know Your Nutmeg

1. It’s not a nut. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside a yellow fruit of the nutmeg tree, an evergreen native to the Molucca Islands (sometimes called the Spice Islands) of Indonesia. Whole nutmeg seeds are oval, brown and about an inch long, with a nutty aroma and taste—but they don’t pose a risk to people with nut allergies.

nutmeg-crop2-600x414

2. This beloved holiday spice can be dangerous.But only in fairly large amounts. It takes two tablespoons or more to produce symptoms of nutmeg poisoning, toxicologists say. Those symptoms may include acute nausea, dry mouth, dizziness and a slowdown of brain function to the point where victims experience blackouts. Higher doses can cause shock and hallucinations.

3. That’s due to the nutmeg’s essential oil.Myristica, as the oil is called, contains myristicin, a narcotic that functions in the plant as a natural insecticide. Nutmeg also—as do its frequent recipe companions, cinnamon and clove—acts as an antibiotic.

4. Nutmeg has other medicinal properties as well. Consumed in small doses, nutmeg can serve as a digestive aid in reducing flatulence and indigestion, and can also help treat nausea and diarrhea as well as lower blood pressure. Applied topically, it can offer pain relief and has been used for rheumatism, mouth sores and toothache.

5. Nutmeg was more valuable than Manhattan. By the 16th century, nutmeg—coveted as a flavoring, hallucinogen, alleged aphrodisiac and deterrent to the plague—was being sold by European traders at a 6,000 percent markup. The Dutch soon wrested control of all the nutmeg-producing Moluccas except for a tiny island called Run, which was controlled by the British. At that time, Run seemed more valuable than Manhattan, then under Dutch control as New Amsterdam. In order to seal their nutmeg monopoly, the Dutch gave the British New Amsterdam in exchange for Run. It seemed like a good idea.

Johanna Oosterwyk, a faculty associate in the Department of Horticulture, is manager of the D.C. Smith Greenhouse, a facility that provides plant-growing space for the instructional needs of departments and programs of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

This story was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Grow magazine.

Sustainability Garden at Allen Gardens

1374209_10151680947843017_1613710544_nThe Sustainability Garden,which will demonstrate rain, meadow and xeriscape gardens, nears completion with the boardwalk finished yesterday. This elevated walk, made of TimberTech composite, was a concept I came up with two years ago. Accurate Custom Creations from Waunakee put my vision into reality and exceeded my expectations. Tuesday 4-6″ of a 3/4″ clean quartzite gravel will be spread as the surface substrate, around 1,000 perennials and about that many bulbs are ready for planting immediately thereafter. This really helps cap off a good year at the Gardens. Funded by a Stanley Smith Horticultural grant.  For more images check our Facebook Page

 

Sustainability Garden at Allen Gardens

1374209_10151680947843017_1613710544_nThe Sustainability Garden,which will demonstrate rain, meadow and xeriscape gardens, nears completion with the boardwalk finished yesterday. This elevated walk, made of TimberTech composite, was a concept I came up with two years ago. Accurate Custom Creations from Waunakee put my vision into reality and exceeded my expectations. Tuesday 4-6″ of a 3/4″ clean quartzite gravel will be spread as the surface substrate, around 1,000 perennials and about that many bulbs are ready for planting immediately thereafter. This really helps cap off a good year at the Gardens. Funded by a Stanley Smith Horticultural grant.  For more images check our Facebook Page

 

CALS Faces – Johanna Oosterwyk

Johanna_Oosterwyk_CALS_Faces-75x75In her role as D.C. Smith Greenhouse manager, Johanna Oosterwyk requires an interesting skill set to succeed.

Not only does she need a deep understanding of plant care and cultivation, but she needs to know a thing or two about plumbing and mechanics—enough to keep the facility’s hoses, water filters, fertilizer injectors and other key pieces of equipment up and running. (For big problems she calls UW’s Physical Plant.)

“I’m a Jill-of-all trades,” explains Oosterwyk, who took the manager position in 2007.

Her primary responsibilities are keeping the plants healthy, supervising the greenhouse staff and consulting with UW faculty and staff on greenhouse space availability and scheduling. Oosterwyk also plans and runs a large number of outreach and extension activities to promote the greenhouse as a destination and resource for instruction in plant sciences. And she teaches classes for the Department of Horticulture—including lectures and labs—on greenhouse production, ornamental plants and other topics.

She credits her dedicated crew of student employees for making a great job even better. They help her water plants, host events and give tours.

“They are my extra eyes and ears in the greenhouse, letting me know when something needs attention,” she says.