Have you grown vegetables this growing season? Want to become part of an important citizen science project? Then go online and register at the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website - vegvariety.cce.cornell.edu/ - to start rating your vegetables today.
For centuries, gardeners have asked fellow gardeners what varieties they should grow. Now the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website provides an avenue for gardeners to share their knowledge with a much wider community. The concept is simple: Gardeners visit the VVfG site and report what varieties perform well - and not so well - in their gardens. Other gardeners can then visit the site to view the variety ratings and read the reviews to decide which might work well for them.
The VVfG citizen science project also provides an opportunity for researchers to involve knowledgeable and motivated citizens in meaningful scientific research. Research on the performance of vegetable varieties is often limited to commercial production for many reasons. Home and community gardens may be overlooked, in part, because visiting thousands of home gardens to collect data would be an overwhelming task. Asking gardeners to partner with researchers by collecting and sharing their own observations via the Web has proven to be a winning combination for all.
With a multitude of gardener observations at their finger-tips, researchers can gain new insight into the performance of vegetable varieties under a wide range of conditions and practices, and ultimately provide more insight into which varieties perform best. At the same time, gardeners can get advice from a larger community of gardeners to help decide which varieties to try in their own garden.
Gardeners - young, old, beginners, experts - please join the research team today.
For more information on the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners project or the Master Gardener Program, please contact: Betsy Burgeson, Master Gardener coordinator at 664-9502, ext. 204 or Emh92@cornell.edu.
The mission of the Chautauqua County Master Gardener Program is to educate and serve the community, utilizing university and research-based horticultural information. Volunteers are from the community who have successfully completed 50-plus hours of Cornell-approved training and volunteer a minimum of 50 hours per year.
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