(subject to change)
We are pleased to announce Amy Goldman will be the keynote speaker at Cucurbitaceae 2006. Amy Goldman is a renowned horticulturalist and impassioned advocate for heirloom vegetables. She is the author of The Compleat Squash and Melons for thePassionate Grower (Artisan, 2004, 2004) – both recipients of American Horticultural Society Book of the Year awards and James Beard Foundation Award nominees. She appears regularly on television and has been profiled in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many gardening publications; Ms. Goldman is a Contributing Editor at Garden Design. Goldman is a board member of the New York Botanical Garden and New York Restoration Project; and is Vice President of the Board of Seed Savers Exchange. She lectures extensively and has given keynote addresses at annual meetings of The American Society for Horticultural Science, Seed Savers Exchange, and Cucurbitaceae 2002. Her most recent venture is the creation of Rare Forms, a line of limited-edition bronze sculptures of heirloom vegetables grown in her garden. Ms. Goldman holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University, but has retired from clinical practice to devote herself full-time to the heirloom seed movement. For more information on Ms. Goldman, visit her website, www.rareforms.com
International Cucurbit Genomics Consortium
This session is open to everyone. Session will include an explanation of the International Cucurbit Genomics Initiative (ICuGI) and the main objectives. The scientific proposal in melon genomics prepared some months ago will be reviewed. It may be funded by a group of private companies. A major goal of this session is to obtain final approval from the private companies attending the Cucurbitaceae conference in order to start the project as soon as possible. The rest of time will be used for discussion with the participants to decide future directions of the ICuGI.
We will visit the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station which will feature several demonstration trials. An impressive display of fall cucurbit crops will be featured, including watermelon, melons, squash, cucumber and pumpkin. Disease control strategies will be demonstrated for Phytophthora blight, downy mildew and powdery mildew field plots. Advances in genetic improvement will be the focal point for cucumber and watermelon. Several specialty melons will be grown for display and taste testing, and a squash cultivar evaluation trial will represent trials conducted annually in North Carolina. A visit to the North Carolina Arboretum is also scheduled. The Arboretum is a 426-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest. Surrounded by the dense folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Arboretum is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America.
The Western North Carolina Farmers Market is the final stop. The Farmers Market features displays of high quality fruits and vegetables (including an impressive display of fall cucurbits), mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, and dozens of other farm fresh items. It is one of five Farmers Markets owned by the State of North Carolina and operated by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.