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Check out the menu for the "Passion for Peppers" event

6 days 13 hours ago
When it comes to peppers, some like ‘em hot!  But don’t worry – there are plenty of sweet and tasty varieties for the more sensitive palate.  Chef Eric from Taverna Banfi has had a love affair with peppers since the dawn of his culinary career. This class will give him the opportunity to share his passion for peppers and teach you some delicious ways to wield these botanical marvels in the kitchen. The program will begin with guided walk through the gardens to view and harvest selected varieties from our pepper collection. We will then reconvene at Taverna Banfi in the Statler Hotel for a cooking demo and three course tasting featuring delectable, pepper-enhanced creations from around the world – with a range of hotness to suit everyone’s tastes. 


1st Course:
Scallop and shrimp ceviche: aji amarillo, avocado, corn tortilla cup

2nd Course:
Scotch bonnet lime marmalade glazed salmon: jicama citrus slaw, grilled hearts of palm

3rd Course
Spiced pineapple upside down cakes with a wicked hot chocolate shooter

Date/time: Saturday, September 12; 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $55 ($50 for Plantations members) Pre-registration is required.
Instructor: Chef Eric Szymczak
Location: Botanical Garden and Taverna Banfi

Click here to register.

Still spots left for "Beautiful Botanicals" with Camille Doucet

1 week 5 days ago
This hands-on class offers an introduction to painting the flora of the Plantations’ botanical collections while guiding artists of all levels to greater breadth of skills. From plant observation and drawing, to plant perspective, composition and color mixing, we will explore black and white, color pencil, pen and ink, and go into greater depth with watercolor. A suggested materials list is available. Pre-registration is required.

Dates/times: Tuesdays from September 1 - October 6
Cost: $200 ($180 for Plantations members)
Instructor: Camille Doucet
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Click here to register.

2015 Fall Lecture Series kicks off with author Robin Kimmerer

1 week 6 days ago
Our Annual Fall Lecture Series begins Wednesday, September 2, with a lecture by the renowned botanist, professor and award-wining author of “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,” Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer.  The Harder Lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall and will be followed by a complimentary garden party in the botanical garden of Cornell Plantations.

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer will lecture on topics found in her new book “Braiding Sweetgrass” in which she shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Kimmerer will be kicking-off our lecture series,” stated Dr. Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations.  “I believe that Jane Goodall said it best– ‘[this is] an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people.’ We are very pleased that Dr. Kimmerer will be sharing her eloquence and wisdom with the Cornell community.”

Dr. Kimmerer is a distinguished teaching professor and the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.  As a writer and scientist, she has delivered a TEDx Talk, has addressed the general assembly of the United Nations at the request of UN President Sam Kahamba Kutesa, of Uganda, and has won the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Writing and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

Date/time: Wednesday, September 2; 5:30 (immediately followed by a garden party in Plantations botanical garden)
Cost: Free
Location: Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall on Cornell campus

Click here for the full lecture line up.

Student interns say "thank you"

2 weeks 1 day ago
Our Summer Internship Program offers Cornell students hands-on experience working with expert staff in our gardens, natural areas, and education programs. Click here to view a short video, created by marketing intern Jessica Zheng ’17, as a special thank you to all of our supporters.

View video here.

Ten scenic spots you must visit before graduating Cornell

2 weeks 1 day ago
Our summer marketing intern Jessica Zheng '17 explored many of Plantations' gardens and natural areas during her time with us. To share her newfound love of these places, she created a top ten list on Buzzfeed. Her wish to Cornell students is: "Be sure to explore this beautiful place and don’t leave Cornell without seeing its gorgeous wonders."

Click here to view the list on Buzzfeed.

A week of pepper-themed events ends with a Family Pepper Party

2 weeks 1 day ago

Each year in our vegetable garden we display dozens of varieties of a widely-grown vegetable. This year, we chose the pepper and have a line-up of activities to explore the world of peppers:

A cooking demo and 3 course tasting of delectable pepper creations by Taverna Banfi.
Saturday, September 12; 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Lecture by Dave Dewitt, author and food historian
Wednesday, September 16; 7:30 p.m.

Pepper tour and tasting with food historian Dave Dewitt
Thursday, September 17; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Pepper activities for kids of all ages at this family event including tastings from Agava.
Saturday, September 19; 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Visit the Nevin Welcome Center to see the exhibit “Peppers Around the World.” This exhibit traces how cultivated peppers traveled from Central and South America to quickly make their way around the globe. A delectable display of pepper-based salsas, curries and pastes highlight how peppers are key ingredients of signature dishes worldwide.

Check out the Climate Change Garden

2 weeks 1 day ago
Last summer, Plantations staff partnered with faculty in the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture departments to install a climate change garden. By growing plants inside and outside a high tunnel, visitors have the opportunity to compare how plants grow differently in today’s garden (the outside portion) with the garden of 2050 (the inside portion).  Plants inside the high tunnel are being subjected to projected climatic conditions for 2050, which include higher temperatures, periods of drought and heavy rainfall and heat waves.

This summer, we added five interpretive signs to guide visitors through the garden. Hand-written labels call attention to differences between the plants growing inside and outside the high tunnel, and we provided a space for visitors to share their observations. If you live close by, we hope you visit to make some observations for yourself. If not, you can follow what’s been happening on our Climate Change Garden blog. Also, see what’s happening on our Instagram account.

Cocktail Party in the Herb Garden on August 13!

4 weeks 14 hours ago
Booze and Botany: Herb Garden Cocktail Party

Join Roland Coggin, one of Ithaca’s top mixologists, for a cocktail party in the Robison Herb Garden featuring drinks made with fresh herbal ingredients. Registration fee for this event includes light hors d’oeuvres and tickets for three cocktails, provided by Agava Restaurant. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase. Proceeds support the mission of Cornell Plantations. Participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age. Pre-registration is required.
(Rain location: Nevin Welcome Center)

Date/time: Thursday, August 13; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $50 per person
Location: Robison York State Herb Garden in the Botanical Garden

Click here to register.

Sign up for "Shoot, Edit and Share" on August 8

5 weeks 1 day ago
Digital technology has revolutionized photography for the non-professional: you no longer have to wait for a roll of film to be processed, computer software allows you to edit your images in a variety of ways, and the internet allows you to quickly share your beautiful work with others. This program will cover the basic steps from capturing the best digital photos on your camera, to editing and sharing them, and safely storing them on your computer. We will spend time in the botanical garden to practice shooting, then head inside to download, edit and discuss your work. Bring your own digital camera -- smartphone, point-and-shoot, or digital single-lens reflex (DSLR). All skill levels are welcome but please have a basic understanding of your camera’s operation. Pre-registration is required.

Date/time: Saturday, August 8; 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cost:$40; $36 for Plantations members
Instructor: Paul Schmitt, local photographer
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center.

Click here to register.

Free public preview of "Hemlock Woolly Adelgid" film this Thursday

6 weeks 17 hours ago
The Hemlock Woolly Adeglid is devastating the Hemlock forests and the delicate ecosystems that depend upon them. This film beautifully illustrates the vital importance of The Eastern Hemlock Tree, what should be done to prevent the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and the growing phenomena of invasive species as a whole. This film includes appearances by Plantations staff Zeb Strickland.


Date/time: Thursday, July 23, 7:00 p.m. Q & A following film with: Mark Whitmore - Forest Entomologist; Hilary Lambert - Executive Director of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network; Chris Foito - Filmmaker (and former Cinemapolis staffer) 

Location: Cinemapolis, 120 East Green St., Ithaca

Cost: Free

Click here for more information on the Cinemapolis website.