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George Fitzpatrick* and Kimberly Moore

The Academic Program at Fort Lauderdale (APF), founded in 1984, and the Academic Program at Homestead (APH), founded in 2000, were established to enable place bound students to earn the Univ. of Fla. B.S. degree in horticulture. Although both programs are located within 60 miles of each other in the same general geographical area in southeastern Florida, there are significant demographic contrasts, as well as some similarities, between them. According to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the area defined by a 10-mile radius around the site of the APH has a population of ≈83,500, while the same area at the site of the APF has a population of more than 1,100,000, a 13-fold difference. The student profile at the two programs indicates a higher enrollment at APF, a higher average student age at APH, and a higher distance traveled to attend class at APF. Similarities include a student body comprised of people working in the horticultural industry who are working to earn a B.S. degree for career advancement, as well as an increasing number of students who are not currently working in horticulture but who are planning a career change.

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Kimberlv A. Klock and George Fitzpatrick

Three compost products [biosolids (SYT), refuse derived fuel residues (RYT), and municipal solid waste (MSW)] were compared to a commercial bedding plant medium of 60% Sphagnum peat: 25% shredded bark: 15% aerolite to support Impatiens wallerana `Accent Red' growth. The treatments consisted of 100% compost as a stand alone medium plus blends in which compost was combined with control medium components at 60% compost or 30% compost. Shoot dry mass of plants grown in 100% SYT and RYT was greater than shoot dry mass of Impatiens plants grown in 100% MSW. Plants grown in SYT showed an increase in shoot dry mass from 1.29 to 1.64 g as the percentage of compost in the mix increased from 0% to 100%, while plants grown in MSW showed a linear decrease in. shoot dry mass from 1.29 to 0.18 g. Shoot dry mass of plants grown in RYT did not differ significantly from 0% to 100% compost in the media.

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Mary Lamberts, Slyvia Gordon, and George Fitzpatrick

Production budgets for both field grown vegetables and ornamental crops, field and container grown, are fairly common. Container grown vegetables, other than transplants, are much less common and do not have specific budgets which would allow growers to set realistic prices for individual plants. A specialized budget was adapted from one developed for container nurseries. Specific production costs were taken from a budget for field grown vegetables. This process could be adapted for use with other specialty crops. It could be used for county or state fairs and other situations where individual vegetable plants need to be raised in containers.

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Laura A. Sanagorski and George E. Fitzpatrick

Trees in urban settings require more care because they are more likely to develop structural defects that can be costly, dangerous, or more maintenance-intensive than those in natural settings. People need to understand how trees grow in the urban environment and how to recognize potentially hazardous structural defects, yet this is not a topic regularly presented in school curriculum. The objectives of this study were to determine if structural defect recognition in trees is an appropriate topic for sixth grade curriculum, and to explore the efficacy of two methods of teaching this topic. We introduced structural defects in trees to sixth grade students, as part of the normal science instruction at three public middle schools located in Broward County, FL. We found sixth grade students to be capable of recognizing and comprehending the implications of structural defects in trees following a short period of instruction. We compared hands-on, experiential instruction with a passive, illustrated lecture style instruction for teaching students to recognize structural defects in trees and determined that students exposed to both methods of instruction increased their ability to recognize defects overall. Moreover, we observed that students exposed to defects in trees via illustrated lecture style classroom instruction received significantly higher scores in the post-test than students exposed to the same material via a hands-on approach.

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George Fitzpatrick*, Mary Lamberts, and Eva Worden

Horticultural activities in Florida have been chronicled in many sources, including the technical literature and the popular press. One often-overlooked source is the visual images on postcards that were sold in Florida in the early years of the 20th century. Many such cards have images featuring scenes of landscape horticulture, olericulture and pomology. While dates of postmarks may not be accurate reflections of publication dates, deltiology, the study of postcards, can involve the analysis of pigments, rag content of card stock, and other measurable parameters to determine the age of particular images. The introduction, development, ascendancy and sometimes decline of certain horticultural crops in Florida are reflected in postcard images taken between the years 1908-1950. Representative images are shown of past and present plants that have been important in Florida horticulture.

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George E. Fitzpatrick and Kimberly A. Klock-Moore

Over the 10-year period of 1987-1997, the demographics of the student population enrolled in the University of Florida off-campus BS degree in horticulture program at Fort Lauderdale have changed. Average student age has increased from 35.5 years to 38.1 years. Age range has increased from 22 to 54 years to 21 to 75 years. Age distribution changes have been most notable. In 1987, the age of the student population was normally distributed, whereas by 1997 the distribution had become bimodal, with one mode in the age group 26 to 30 and the other mode in the 41 to 45 age group. Estimated median one-way distance traveled to attend classes has not changed significantly, from 13.2 miles (range 3.9-89.8 miles) in 1987 to 14.2 miles (range 1.0-59.8 miles) in 1997.

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Dennis B. McConnell and George F. Fitzpatrick

Environmental Horticulture-undergraduate student enrollment at the University of Florida (UF) Gainesville campus decreased from 88 students in 1980/81 to 34 students in 1989/90. In 1983/84 a resident instruction program in Environmental Horticulture for placebound students was initiated by UF at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center. Enrollment rapidly increased from 6 students in 1984 to 67 students in 1989, with an average student credit load of 3.5 credits per semester. In 1990/91 increased student recruiting efforts were made with a common undergraduate handbook, recruiting brochure, and guides for academic program specializations developed to serve both locations. These efforts and others have increased enrollment at both sites. Currently there are 73 students in the Environmental Horticulture program at Gainesville and 87 students at Ft. Lauderdale. Students may begin their academic program at one location and transfer to the other site to complete their undergraduate requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. A Bachelor of Science program in Environmental Horticulture will be initiated in the fall of 1994 in Milton, Florida, a small community in northwest Florida.

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George E. Fitzpatrick and Wagner A. Vendrame

One of the largest horticultural trade shows in the United States, the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition, takes place each January in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The timing of this show coincides with the offering, during the spring semester, of an undergraduate horticulture course, Palm Production and Culture (ORH 4321C, 3 credits). We have developed a guided activity in which we assign the students to visit several preselected exhibits in this show, so that each exhibit in the show is visited by at least one student. The students complete a questionnaire for each exhibit in which they note the identity of the palm species present, the number of species present, the number of individuals of each species, and the total number of palms in each exhibit. Data in the questionnaires are compiled and used to augment and reinforce class discussions on morphology, cultural requirements, interiorscape management, species richness, species diversity, and field laboratory work in morphology and taxonomy. Procedures used have the potential for adaptation to other types of horticultural trade shows and other types of horticultural crops, as well as for other courses in horticulture.

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George E. Fitzpatrick and Stephen D. Verkade

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore and George E. Fitzpatrick

Analytical determination and confirmation of minimum compost processing times and minimum curing times can aid commercial growers in selecting compost materials that should give them more reliable and consistent results in their operations. Five-cubic-yard volumes of yard-trimmings were assembled into three 1.25-cubic-yard compost piles at 60-day intervals. At the conclusion of the experiment, there were three piles each of compost of the following ages: 10 months, 8 months, 6 months, and 2 months. Compost was collected from each pile and screened through a 0.75-inch screen. Bulk density, water-holding capacity, air-filled porosity, carbon to nitrogen ratio, electrical conductivity, and ATPase activity were determined on samples from each reference compost pile. A bioassay using beans also was performed. These data will be presented.