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Susan Wilson Hamilton

Phenomenological interviewing is a research approach used extensively and successfully in the social sciences and has implications for those working with people-plant interactions. Although many research methods are available for horticulturists to use in obtaining information about a target audience, most methods used (e.g., surveys and questionnaires) are quantitative in nature in that they provide numerical data on statistical generalizable patterns. Phenomenological interviewing allows investigators, through open-ended interview questions, to obtain more in-depth data than traditional quantitative techniques. Transcribed interview tapes become the data from which analysis and interpretation follows. “Coding” the data by searching for words, phrases, patterns of behavior, subjects' ways of thinking, and events which are repeated and stand out classify and categorize the data helping with its interpretation and write up. Writing up such data must develop how you interpret what you found by carefully integrating themes that support a thesis and create or augment theoretical explanations. This research method allows investigators to understand and capture the points of view of the participants without predetermining those points of view through prior selection of questionnaire or survey categories.

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Dru N. Montri, Bridget K. Behe and Kimberly Chung

Patton, M. 2002 Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Sage Publ., Thousand Oaks, CA Pothukuchi, K. Thomas, B. 2004 Food deserts and access to retail grocery in inner cities Communities News Views 17 1 6 7 Project for Public Spaces 2003 Public

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Yuan-Yu Chang, Wei-Chia Su, I-Chun Tang and Chun-Yen Chang

insight into the benefits of school gardening for children in Taiwan and to further identify factors influencing these benefits. By choosing qualitative research methods, this study was able to probe deeply into the rich answers given by participants

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Candice A. Shoemaker, Paula Diane Relf and Virginia I. Lohr

Many of the research questions that have been posed regarding the effects of plants on people can only be answered using methodologies from the social sciences. Lack of familiarity with these methods and their underlying concepts has limited the role that horticulturists have taken in this research. Horticulturists, because of their particular sensitivity to the various aspects of plants and the nature of the ways that people interact with plants, must be involved in this type of research to generate the information that is needed by horticultural industries. This paper reviews many of the common methods that have been used in research on human issues in horticulture and presents examples of studies that have been conducted using these techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods are discussed.

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Amy Dirks and Kathryn Orvis*

Research has shown that hands-on, experiential learning is very effective in the classroom and school gardening utilizes this method of learning. Gardening has been shown to have many positive effects on children including in academic areas. Of the youth gardening programs that exist, little research has been done with the Junior Master Gardener® program to evaluate it for its use in the classroom. JMG® is a youth gardening program designed to teach aspects of horticulture and environmental science through hands-on activities in both informal and formal learning environments. A case study of one particular classroom evolved from a larger evaluation study of the JMG® program in Indiana third grade classrooms. Research with this classroom utilized a mixed approach to acquire quantitative and qualitative data of knowledge and attitudes toward science, horticulture, and the environment. Quantitative measurements were made pre, post, and post-post (after summer break) the program. Qualitative methods included weekly classroom observations during the study, student post and post-post program evaluations, and post program teacher evaluations. Results indicated that students had significant levels of knowledge and positive attitude gain from pre to post tests. Observations and evaluations supported the quantitative results showing that the students and teacher found the JMG® program to be valuable in the classroom, as well as enjoyable which may lead to more student interest in science. Through this case-study post-post program assessment showed that the students retained a significant amount of positive attitudes toward science, horticulture and the environment.

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J. Song and R.M. Beaudry

Aroma analysis of horticultural produce is an emerging field in which both flavor producing and malodorous compounds are detected from within a complex sample matrix. Qualitative and quantitative information is desired to monitor produce ripeness and provide quality control over processed products such as juices, preserves and canned products. Conventional analysis methods such as purge and trap and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry provide much of this information but are laborious and time consuming. Faster techniques are required when large numbers of samples are being analyzed and when rapid feedback to the produce harvester is required. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) has recently been shown to significantly reduce the sampling times required by more conventional methods. The use of fast gas chromatographic techniques along with the recently commercialized time-of-flight mass spectrometer has also significantly reduced the separation and analysis times. We have combined SPME with gas chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry as a rapid and quantitative tool for the analysis of flavor volatiles in apples and tomatoes. The sampling and analysis processes provide significant improvements to sample throughput, with analysis times taking only 2–6 minutes. The linear response of this system to butylacetate, ethyl-2-methylbutanoate and hexylacetate ranges from ppb to ppm levels, and the identification of unknown flavor compounds is possible even in the presence of other co-eluting compounds. The SPME technique is able to investigate volatiles changes in apple cuticle and tissues, which open the new possibility for flavor biochemistry research.

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Erja Rappe and Aino-Maija Evers

We would like to acknowledge Antti Hervonen for his advice and support and Leena Lindén for her suggestions and for her reading of the manuscript. This research was supported in part by Agronomiliitto, Finnish Association of Academic

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Anusuya Rangarajan

Both growers and vegetable seed companies have had long-term historic relationships with public agriculture extension educators and faculty to conduct unbiased evaluation of vegetable varieties. Reductions in both the number of vegetable seed companies as well as university human resources has led to questions about the viability and appropriateness of publicly-funded variety evaluation programs. Field based extension educators and regional staff have taken more leadership to evaluate varieties, but this often results in fragmented or repetitive trials with limited long term integration of data. Statewide vegetable extension specialists must provide the leadership in coordinating these trials to enhance the rigor of data collection and analysis. Fundamental to enhancing rigor is improving regional coordination and collaboration. The calculation of stability estimates for new and older varieties is most efficiently and quickly achieved through regional collaborations. Initial efforts should improve uniformity of trials by creating common evaluation methods for yield and qualitative evaluations (e.g., color, appearance), including two standard varieties (one local and one regional, long-term standard), standardizing field establishment practices, and selecting experimental designs and plot sizes to improve labor efficiency. These regionally coordinated trials will improve the ability to publish this type of applied research and demonstrate new levels of efficiency for university administrations. In the long term, carefully designed comparisons of genotypic performance among different environments could suggest new directions for university breeding programs as well as cropping systems research.

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Catherine Lavis

Oral Session 32—Horticulture Curriculum and Instruction, Instruction Methods Moderator: Michael A. Arnold 21 July 2005, 10:00–11:45 a.m. Room 107

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Susan Wilson Hamilton

This study examined how avid gardeners experience a public garden. Phenomenological interviewing was the qualitative research method used to collect data from six avid gardeners who frequently visited a public garden. Data about the gardener's beliefs and actions regarding their gardening history, gardening practices, and involvement with public gardens were gathered. From an inductive analysis, a conceptual model of a gardener's world was delineated. This study found that a gardener's world is composed of four dimensions that include: 1) personal history, 2) social connections, 3) human well-being, and 4) learning experiences. The dimensions of a gardener's world are the personal learning constructs through which gardeners experience their plant world. It is through these dimensions that the avid gardeners in this study experienced a public garden. Each of the four dimensions of an avid gardener's composition influenced how participants experienced a public garden. Participants used a public garden to socially interact with others, enhance their human well-being, strengthen their gardening background, and extend their gardening knowledge and skill. Several categories of activities and events emerged within the four dimensions of an avid gardener's world to inform us how gardening plays an integral role in gardeners' lives.