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heart-shaped cookies and plug trays

Our volunteers have been making progress in counting, randomizing, and weighing Echinacea achenes from 2011 and cleaning achenes from 2012. We are over half-way through randomizing and weighing achenes from the sizable 1999 experiment and have made progress counting achenes from the remaining 2011 harvest. And what better way to celebrate progress than with heart-shaped cookies, courtesy of Bob’s wife (Bob is on the left, counting achenes)?

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In other news, intern Jill Pastick is making progress with her experiment comparing Echinacea germination on agar vs. blotter paper. Last week she transferred the newly-germinated sprouts from petri dishes to plug trays in order to monitor their growth. So far, it looks like the agar method worked well in promoting germination and minimizing mold. However, we will know more once Jill analyzes the data on germination rates and seedling growth. The results of this pilot study will help guide our methods in two upcoming germination experiments.

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