WEIRENS | Just Peachy: What Cornell Can Learn From Their Orchards

I dragged the cutters behind me, leaving behind a small divot in the dirt. Despite a lifetime of weightlifting, these were far too heavy for me to hoist with ease. “Aren’t these what criminals use to steal bikes,” I wheezed to Aleks, my fellow intern. She shrugged, pulling a cart weighed down with rusty metal stakes. It was a beautiful, sunny, 95 degree day and we were in the vineyard. Our task for the day? Remove hundreds of heavy metal stakes, each driven through the center of an individual grape plant. A tragic minority of the stakes could be pulled out with our hands, while the rest had to be chopped at the root with iron bike lock cutters.

WEIRENS | Sow Much to Discover: The Flourishing Agriculture of Cornell

On my first day ever at Cornell, my family and I got a bit lost. It was the day before move-in, and we were exploring campus for ourselves, far off the beaten path toward the easternmost part of campus where the teaching barns are. A Minnesotan family of animal lovers, we had seen farms on the campus map and were determined to investigate them ourselves. Finally, after a long walk in the rain, we stumbled upon a collection of several different barns, sheds and greenhouses. 

POGGI | Lean Into the Agriculture Land Grant Mission

Now why was I at a dirt farm at 2 p.m. on a Monday? I was on a field trip in PLSCS 2600: Soil Science. As an agricultural science major, my classes expose me to unique places near Cornell, from cider orchards to dairies, and the occasional soil pit. Our transportation varies from rented party bus to eight-seater van, and long drives make for interesting conversations with unlikely companions.