Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Canandaigua Botanical Society visits the Nazareth College Greenhouse

Saturday, March 16, 2013
 Attending:  Bev Brown, Michael Hannen, Judy Ferman; Bill Bross, Victoria Harris, Sharon Horton, Peggy Kane, Laura Ouimette, Kathy Picula, Norm Sacks

Bev, Mike, and Judy welcomed us to the new Peckham Hall in room 101.  We enjoyed warm beverages and treats while Bev told us about the new greenhouse and some entertaining adventures of Peckham Hall.  She told us about the new Horticultural Therapy Minor which is available all online. 

Peckham Hall was financed by the Peckham Family and is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified with two green roofs.  The Integrated Center for Math and Science at Peckham Hall features state-of-the-art labs for instruction and research, classrooms, and spaces designed to support collaboration between students and faculty.

The Ecology/Plant Biology Lab has adjacent areas for Ecology Plant Biology Research, Prep, greenhouse storage, potting, and the greenhouse with three separate zones (temperate, hot and humid, and hot and arid).
The greenhouse which has been open since August 2012 is computer run with lighting (sunrise and sunset), weather station, swamp coolers, and an automatic water system. 

 Bev demonstrates one of the adaptive gardening tools.

Outside of the greenhouse are areas with future plans for a waterfall of raised beds, hay bail garden, and permaculture gardening. 

This is an aeroponic unit which arrived the previous day is awaiting a few parts to be completely assembled.  Bev told us about phytoremediation – using plants to remove toxins from soil and water.

Michael did a demonstration on cultivating plants from seed using his tried and true mixture for drainage, moisture control, and hot/dry conditions.

                        3 parts each
                                    Pro-mix without fertilizer
                        ½ part sand
                        1 part chicken grit

After seeds are added they should be watered three times – draining between each watering.
Michael retrieved seeds from a Cardoon milk thistle flower head and planted them in a small plastic container with drain holes.

Two small pots were then labeled and placed in a zip lock bag.  Michael used old screen slats and sticks from his yard to form a frame for the pots in the bag – acting as a mini-greenhouse. 

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