An important element of the social horticulture program at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has been the creation of school gardens to enhance educational efforts for children in Las Vegas. Since 2002, a variety of methods has been employed to train teachers and administrators in using gardens, and this has resulted in establishment of successful gardening programs. Southern Nevada has experienced a 400% population increase in 25 years. Results of surveys of area stakeholders between 2000 and 2002, Clark County elementary school staff in 2001, and Clark County school principals in 2004, indicate a desire to incorporate gardens in schools, but concerns about establishing and maintaining them persist. Furthermore, apprehension about trying to garden under challenging climatic conditions characteristic of the Mojave Desert is expressed frequently, as is hesitation about using gardens to enhance the school curriculum in at-risk schools. When offered training in use of gardens, however, a majority of principals surveyed responded positively. They also expressed interest in tracking the educational and social impacts of gardens on students and faculty. This article reports on results of community stakeholder meetings and surveys of Clark County schools, as well as the methods that are being used to create a school gardens program in the most rapidly growing metropolis in the United States.
Angela M. O'Callaghan
D.A. Devitt, R.L. Morris, D. Kopec, and M. Henry
Golf course superintendents in the southwestern United States (Tucson, Ariz.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Orange County, Calif.) were surveyed to assess attitudes toward using reuse water for irrigation. Eighty-nine golf course personnel returned the survey, with 28% indicating that they irrigate with municipal water, 36% with well water, and 27% with reuse water. The reason for switching to reuse water varied by state, with 40% of respondents switching in Arizona because of mandates, 47% switching in Nevada because of cost incentives, and 47% switching in California because it was considered a more reliable source of water. Less than 20% of the respondents rated the use of reuse water on golf courses and parks to have a negative impact on cost, the environment and health. However, respondents indicated that using reuse water does have a negative impact on the operations of the golf course, with pond maintenance and irrigation maintenance having the highest negative impact (∼80%). Multiple regression analysis revealed that among those who indicated that using reuse water would have a negative impact on golf course management, a higher percentage were individuals who had a greater number of years of experience irrigating with reuse water (P = 0.01) and individuals who have taken classes on how to use reuse water (P = 0.05). Respondents who currently irrigate with reuse water indicated they had changed a wide range of landscape and turfgrass management practices as a result of using reuse water. Based on the results of this survey, it was concluded that golf course personnel in the southwestern U.S. do not oppose the transition to reuse water for irrigation. However, it was also clear they recognize using such water negatively impacts their golf courses' operations.
Jill Shore Auburn
The Internet has experienced tremendous growth recently. The number of users, the amount and diversity of information available, and exposure in the mass media have all grown rapidly. Several authors recently have asserted that the media reports are overblown and that Internet is not as useful as most reports portray. Agricultural professionals need to assess whether or not the cost of using the Internet (in learning time as well as money) will benefit them in terms of increased knowledge and productivity. This paper describes current use of the Internet to answer practical questions from research and education, using a survey and practical examples from sustainable agriculture.
Tanya J. Hall, Jennifer H. Dennis, Roberto G. Lopez, and Maria I. Marshall
( Krug et al., 2008 ). Examples of sustainable practices include recycling irrigation water and plastic, implementing biological controls, and using alternative energy sources ( Lopez et al., 2008 ). According to an informal survey conducted by
Alan Stevens and Houchang Khatamian
Correctly anticipating consumer preferences for goods and services can have a large impact on profitability. Surveying patrons at individual retail outlets does insure the sampling is taken from a customer base, but such surveys are time and labor intensive. A survey sample, taken from attendees at Flower, Lawn and Garden Shows, offers the possibility of large sample sizes, of potential purchasers of horticultural goods and services, with reduced time and labor requirements. A survey to measure the influence of plant size, packaging and price on consumer purchasing habits was conducted at garden shows and garden centers. On the criteria of price and quality of nursery plant materials responses from the two samples were similar. Plant size and packaging appeared to be more influential criteria to the garden show sample.
Mary Lamberts, Teresa Olczyk, Stephen K. O'Hair, Juan Carranza, Herbert H. Bryan, Edward Hanlon, and George Hochmuth
A baseline survey was conducted to determine grower fertilizer management practices for five vegetable crops: beans, malanga, potatoes, sweet corn, and squash. This was done in conjunction with a 3-year replicated fertility trial with four vegetable crops (1993–94 through 1995–96) in the Homestead area. Questions included: fertilizer rates and timing, source(s) of fertilizer recommendations, soil and tissue testing, irrigation, changes in practices, summer cover crops, rock plowing, spacing, and type of fertilizer used. Survey results will be presented.
Luz Reyes*, Sylvia M. Blankenship*, Jonathan R. Schultheis*, and Michael D. Boyette
Sweetpotato roots, especially the cultivar Beauregard, tend to experience epidermal loss during harvest and postharvest handling which results in a less attractive product in the market. A survey study was conducted among North Carolina (N.C.) sweetpotato growers in Fall 2001 and 2002. The purpose of the survey was to gather information and try to correlate cultural practices, growing conditions and site characteristics with the occurrence of attractive roots and to define new scientific approaches to reducing epidermal loss. Samples were obtained from 42 N.C. farms. Survey field information and laboratory results were correlated to identify possible factors affecting the appearance of the roots. 1300 roots were used to measure skin adhesion, peeling susceptibility, skin moisture, skin anthocyanin and lignin content. From survey questions, 50 characteristics were defined for each sample, according to field characteristics, cultivar information, cultural practices and harvest and postharvest practices. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the relationship between the skin characteristics analyzed at the laboratory, and the survey descriptors information. Analysis of variance was used for laboratory data analysis. Person correlations were made between survey variables and laboratory characteristics. Several possible relationships between root appearance and other characteristics/practices were identified. Root skin adhesion may improve in later generations from elite propagation material. Early application of phosphate and potash fertilizers were correlated to improved root skin adhesion. There appeared to be a relationship between soil moisture at harvest time, increased lignin content in the skin and peeling susceptibility. Future areas of study were identified.
Rebecca H. Wehry, Kathleen M. Kelley, Robert D. Berghage, and James C. Sellmer
A consumer-research study was conducted in two locations in Pennsylvania utilizing two survey methods: intercept and telephone. This study was designed to assess: 1) what national brand name plant material participants purchased in the past; 2) the consumer's awareness of the Pennsylvania Gardener Selects (PGS) program; and 3) the gardening habits and demographics of Pennsylvania gardeners. The first survey was an intercept survey of 390 self-selected participants who attended Ag Progress Days (APD), a 3-day outdoor educational event and farm implement show from 20-22 Aug. 2002. The second survey was a telephone survey of 500 randomly selected households in the metro-Philadelphia area and was conducted from 20 Aug. through 17 Sept. 2002. Only responses from Pennsylvania gardeners were used in the analysis of the results. A comparison of survey results indicated that metro-Philadelphia-area participants spent more on plant material annually than APD participants, who primarily resided in rural locations. The results showed that metro-Philadelphia-area gardeners tend to live in single-adult households and have one or more children, whereas APD gardeners tend to live in a household with two or more adults and have no children. Eighty-one percent of APD participants and 62% of metro-Philadelphia participants reported that they would be willing to purchase plant material that has been evaluated and chosen as being outstanding for use in all areas of Pennsylvania, a premise for the PGS program.
Thomas L. Prince, Harry K. Tayama, and John R. Grabner Jr.
A survey analysis of retail florists in the Midwestern United States and floral mass marketers, nationally, profiled the level of service provided by their primary floral suppliers on 10 service characteristics. There is substantial variability in service levels provided to retail florists and mass marketers by suppliers. The greatest variability in service levels was for services relative to maintenance of product quality, product availability, communications/order information, product discounts, and product labeling. Retail florists perceived higher levels of service relative to delivery speed and order/delivery reliability than mass marketers. Mass marketers perceived higher levels of service from suppliers relative to communications/order information and product labeling, compared to retail florists. The service profiles provide floral suppliers management information for the development of service programs targeted for specific customer segments.
Susan Barton, Tom Ilvento, and Jo Mercer
Keeping up with cultural issues, recruiting new employees, motivating employees, and weed control were the issues most frequently cited as “very serious” or “somewhat serious” by surveyed members of the nursery and landscape industry. The focus of important issues changed somewhat based on the type of business. Retailers were more concerned with marketing and less concerned with plant maintenance. Pesticide regulation was more important to firms that provide some form of plant maintenance for consumers. Small firms were less concerned with employee issues, and large firms were more concerned with regulation. The most desirable method of receiving information was still printed materials, but firms with equipment (i.e., facsimile machines, computers) were more likely (30%) to use these forms of communication. E-mail was a very popular form of communication with firms that had e-mail access. Technology-oriented communication will probably increase in popularity as more firms gain access to technology.