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News from the Media

UMass preparing reports on pipeline effects
November 10, 2014

The University of Massachusetts is reviewing the state’s environmental resources that could be affected by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed 128-mile route across the state.

The University’s Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment plans to issue a series of reports beginning early this month that will put the environmental effects of the company’s proposal in context, according to Scott Jackson, associate professor of environmental conservation. (11/10/14 Recorder)
 

Pumpkin smashing good time
November 3, 2014

SHELBURNE — The age-old tradition of pumpkin smashing is usually considered to be the realm of Halloween vandals, hooligans and mischief-makers, but Pumpkin Smash 2014, held at Hager’s Farm Market in Shelburne Saturday afternoon, proved the practice can be used for good as well.

According to WHAI general manager Dan Guin, all of the proceeds from the event will be donated to local 4-H clubs and all of the pumpkin scraps would be composted. Tom Waskiewicz, a 4-H educator from UMass Extension, said the event is a great way to raise money for the rapidly growing 4-H program. (11/3/14 Recorder)

Mount Tom forest mayhem has an upside — greater biodiversity
October 13, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Once overshadowed by swaths of soaring, leafy-green trees, the road into Mount Tom State Reservation from Route 141 now offers sweeping vistas after last week’s microburst wreaked havoc on the mountain landscape. 10/13/14 Gazette)

Assuring Good Nutrition for Astronauts
October 8, 2014

AMHERST, Mass. – Maintaining the nutritional value of astronauts’ food in space over long periods without refrigeration is a challenge, particularly for the essential vitamins. Now University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientists Hang Xiao and colleagues have received a three-year, $982,685 grant from NASA to investigate the degradation of essential vitamins over time in spaceflight foods, and develop strategies to minimize loss. (10/8/14 UMass News Office)

 

Rice is growing in Franklin County
October 7, 2014

It may not sound entirely astounding, since Franklin County agriculture yields everything from hops and barley and wheat to barramundi, but rice, a crop that’s believed to have little historical precedent in Massachusetts, has been alive and well as a crop here for decades.

Sue Bridge, who created an edible permaculture garden surrounding a home she built in Conway about seven years ago to demonstrate sustainable living practices, has about 450 square feet of rice ready for harvest probably sometime this week. (Recorder 10/7/14)

For the DeMoranvilles, cranberries run in the family
October 5, 2014

WAREHAM — UMass Amherst's Cranberry Station in Wareham is full of DeMoranvilles. That's the name of a variety of cranberry grown there and named after the station's former director, Irving DeMoranville.

Though Irving died in 1998, his daughters are keeping the cranberries in the family, working at the station on One State Bog Road. His eldest daughter, Carolyn, has directed the station since 2002. Nancy, his younger daughter, currently works as a technician combatting predatory weeds at the bog.

"He was pretty happy when I decided to work here," Carolyn said. "He liked having us close to home." (SouthCoastTODAY.com 10/5/14)

100th anniversary of UMass Extension Celebrated
September 26, 2014

The University of Massachusetts celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the extension service Friday. More than 125 extension workers, area farmers and descendants of those original Polish farming families attended. Food, speeches and music, marked the event along with a sharing of history, exhibits and the collection of memorabilia for a time capsule. (MassLive, Septeember 26, 2014)

UMass celebrating Cooperative Extension Service founding Friday
September 24, 2014

AMHERST - Richard Sullivan, Gov. Deval Patrick's chief of staff, will speak Friday at the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the University of Massachusetts' Cooperative Extension
 Service.

Sullivan, the former 
secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, will speak at 2 p.m. with the program beginning at 1:30 on the Student Union north lawn. Many academic and community leaders, farmers
 and business people keeping the service moving
 forward plus staff and faculty will participate.(MassLive 9/24/14)

 

Western Mass tomatoes stricken with blight
September 5, 2014

Many tomato growers are finding it impossible to catch up with the harvest after a blight ruined their crops. “It has been very serious, particularly for organic farmers,” said Ruth V. Hazzard, vegetable specialist for the UMass Extension, explaining that the fungicide they can use for late blight is more limited and not as effective in controlling the spread of the disease as those that can be used more broadly by non-organic farmers. The blight is affecting farmers and home gardeners in Massachusetts. (MassLive, September 5, 2014)

Recent cooler, rainier weather in Valley creates problems for some crops
August 22, 2014

Area farmers are once again on the front lines of weather patterns that in recent weeks have brought cooler, rainier weather to the region. That’s translated into problems for some growers of potatoes and tomatoes as well as for those growing vine crops such as pumpkins and squash, says University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension vegetable specialist Ruth Hazzard. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/22/14)

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