UAF Cooperative Extension Service updates Alaska’s Sustainable Gardening Handbook

Sustainable Gardening 2015 cover

Alaska’s Sustainable Gardening Handbook” has been updated.

This publication was first produced in 2010 as an adaptation of “Sustainable Gardening: The Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook” and this is the first revision. It is used as one component in Master Gardener training programs for University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service volunteers in Alaska, but is also a must-have for all Alaska gardeners.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service agriculture and horticulture agents have contributed their expertise to provide information on topics such as basic botany, lawns, vegetable gardening, orchards, entomology, pest management and more.

Call 877-520-5211 (toll-free in Alaska) to order the handbook, or check with Jasmine Shaw of the Sitka District Office at 747-9440 to see if she has any copies available locally. The 490-page book costs $50.

• Sitka office of UAF Cooperative Extension Service to host Master Gardener class

Bob Gorman, Extension Agent of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, shows some germinating seed starts during a free garden workshop on March 11, 2009.

Bob Gorman, Extension Agent of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, shows some germinating seed starts during a free garden workshop on March 11, 2009.

The Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will host a Master Gardener class in Sitka starting on Thursday, March 7. This will be the last Master Gardener certification course offered in Sitka until at least 2015.

The course is a basic horticulture class covering such topics as soil and pest management, food gardening, greenhouses and season extenders, and plant propagation.

The purpose of the service learning class is to train community people who will provide 40 hours of Master Gardener-related community service in Sitka.

MG March 2013 SitkaThe class costs $150 including the manual, handouts, supplies, and instruction. The class consists of lectures, demonstrations, reading, laboratory exercises, videos and DVD’s. The instructor is Sitka-based UAF Cooperative Extension Service Agent Bob Gorman.

Preregistration is necessary. To register for the class go to http://bit.ly/ces-workshops or call 907-747-9440.

The class begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7,  and finishes April 18 with a final exam. Instruction is on six Saturdays and four Thursdays. Part of the Alaska Master Gardener and Southeast Alaska Master Gardener programs include public service, where Master Gardener students help with community gardening projects.

Students should be high school graduates, GED or similar education level. Home school and high school students are welcome.

For questions about the class or course content, contact the instructor at 907-747-9440.

• Sitka Master Gardener Class Syllabus, Spring 2013

• Sitka Master Gardener class press release

• UAF Cooperative Extension Service flier for Master Gardener class in Sitka

• UAF Cooperative Extension Service publishes new sustainable gardening manual for Alaska

(The following is a press release from the University of Alaska Fairbanks news service)

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has published a new comprehensive gardening manual.

“Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual” was adapted for Alaska from an Oregon State University publication, “Sustainable Gardening: The Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook.”

The 490-page manual, which sells for $40, is a basic gardening text. It also offers information on soils and fertilizers, propagation, berry crops, pruning, composting, flowers, greenhouses and season extenders, lawns, plant diseases, pesticides and integrated pest management. The manual is a good resource for home gardeners and also will be used as one component in Extension’s master gardener training programs.

Michele Hebert, Extension’s Tanana District agriculture and horticulture agent, was one of several people who contributed to the manual. She said gardeners need additional information to overcome the challenges and capitalize on the benefits of growing vegetables and flowers in the Far North.

The manual focuses on sustainable gardening practices, a holistic method for growing plants that is good for the environment, good for families and good for the community, said Hebert. “It takes a minimal input of labor, water, fertilizer and pesticides while building the soil into a healthy living system. A thoughtful balance is made between the resources used and the results gained.”

Other contributors to the manual include current and former Alaska Extension faculty Stephen Brown, Jeff Smeenk, Tom Jahns, Robert Gorman (of Sitka), Fred Sorensen, Julie Riley, Heidi Rader, Bob Wheeler, Peter Bierman and Jay Moore. Copies may be ordered through Extension’s toll-free line at 1-877-520-5211 or by clicking this link.

(The Alaska Public Radio Network ran this story about the book on the Tuesday, Sept. 7, Alaska News Nightly show.)

• Sitka office of UAF Cooperative Extension Service to host Master Gardener class

Master gardener Bob Gorman shows off seed starts in wet paper towels during a March garden workshop

The Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will host a 40-hour Master Gardener class from 6-9 p.m. every Wednesday night from March 3 through May 12 in Sitka.

The class also will involve two 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday sessions, on March 20 and May. All classes take place at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. Local field trips and growing projects are part of the class.

The non-credit course costs $50 for materials and a student agreement to provide 40 hours of gardening-related service to the community within 12 months of completing the course. UAF Cooperative Extension Service Resource Development Agent Bob Gorman will be the course’s instructor. Guest presenters will assist during the classes.

The class includes topics such as plant propagation, soil management, pest identification and control, extending the growing season, vegetable and fruit gardening, greenhouse and indoor gardening, and ornamental gardening.

The purpose of the program is to train volunteers to assist the UAF Cooperative Extension Service by providing the public with gardening-related information. Volunteer service includes help with the Sitka native plants and demonstration garden, youth and in-school gardening, community gardening events, helping with plant pest identification, and assisting with the Sitka Local Foods Network.

Class size is limited and students are encouraged to register early. Those people interested in the class are encouraged to leave their names, contact information and a phone message on the Sitka office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service at 747-9440. Registration packets are available at the UAS Sitka Campus front desk. The course is offered by the UAF Cooperative Extension Service and the UAS Sitka Campus.

For more information about master gardeners, here are links to the Alaska Master Gardeners and the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners pages.