• Optimistic Gardeners: What to do with a bumper crop? The UAF Cooperative Extension Service can help

SarahLewisGreetings, Sitka. My name is Sarah Lewis and I’m the new Home, Health and Family Development Agent for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. My home is in Juneau, but my district is all of Southeast.

On Sunday, March 10, I’ll be in Sitka to participate in the Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event. But I won’t be there to give you tips on how to grow abundant food — fine Master Gardeners and other local and national experts will be on hand do that. I’m coming to motivate you! I have so much confidence in the gardeners of Sitka that my job is to prepare you for your bumper crops. Imagine winter meals with food stored and preserved from your garden.

I will have information about preparing and safely preserving your harvest, and I’ll have a pressure canning gauge tester on hand to test your gauges. I’ll have information about a wide range of vegetables and how you can enjoy them over the summer and even after your garden has been put to rest for the winter.

I look forward to coming to Sitka regularly in the coming years, and welcome calls and emails from Sitkans with questions about food (preparation, preservation, safety, and entrepreneurship), home resource use and conservation (energy, food, finances, and consumer goods), and family emergency preparedness. I’m here to assist individuals and support agencies and groups in their own work, with Cooperative Extension classes, information, and publications.

Please stop by the Let’s Grow Sitka event from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at the ANB Founders Hall at 235 Katlian. Come chat with me, bring your questions and ideas, and take advantage of all the resources Let’s Grow Sitka will have to offer.

And always feel free to contact me at 907-796-6241 or sarah.lewis@alaska.edu at the UAF Cooperative Extension Service office in Juneau.