• Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event is Sunday, March 11, at ANB Hall

Mark your calendars, because the 2012 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Don’t forget to set your clocks to spring forward so you can get ready to grow.

This annual event brings together local garden supply stores, local gardeners, landscapers and anybody who is interested in learning how to grow food and/or flowers. Sitka Local Foods Network Vice President Linda Wilson, who is coordinating the event with SLFN Board Member Cathy Lieser, was interviewed during the Morning Edition show Thursday on KCAW-Raven Radio and she provided more details about this event (click the link to listen to the interview), which helps Sitka residents get excited about the upcoming garden season.

There will be a wide variety of individuals and businesses with booths for the event, with some booths providing gardening information geared toward and others selling gardening supplies. Lunch will be available for purchase. Here is a tentative list of some of those planning to host booths:

  • Linda Wilson, Sitka Farmers Market, Grow a Row for the Market
  • Cathy Lieser, Let’s Grow Sitka, Sitka Local Foods Network
  • Doug Osborne. Sitka Local Foods Network?
  • Johanna Willingham, Pacific H.S./Sitka Farmers Market backup.
  • Jud Kirkness, Sicka Waste compost project, Fruit tree map
  • Tom Hart, compost, NZ composter ?
  • Kerry MacLane. Pest management
  • Lisa Sadleir-Hart. St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm
  • Laura Schmidt, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm/Seed swap & share
  • Maybelle Filler, ???
  • Stanley Schoening, Chickens, fig trees, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
  • Judy Johnstone, High Tunnel program
  • David Lendrum, Guest speaker 3:15, info on new/unusual varieties for Southeast Alaska
  • Jeren Schmidt, Sitka Spruce Catering, lunch for purchase
  • Robert Gorman, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, history of Experimental Station
  • Andrianna Natsoulas, Food Sovereignty
  • Tracy Gagnon, Sitka 4H Club
  • Eve Grutter, Chickens, produce
  • Adam Chinalski, Model greenhouse
  • Penny Brown, Garden Ventures – products for sale
  • Amanda Grearson, True Value – products for sale
  • Lowell Frank, Spenard Building Supply Garden Center ??
  • Michelle Putz, Locally grown environmental benefits?
  • Rick Peterson, Gardening 101 – easiest to grow, need to amend soil, etc…
  • Lori Adams, Down-to-Earth U-Pick Garden – garden promotion and information
  • Mike Tackaberry/Robin Grewe, White’s Inc. – products for sale
  • Mandy Summers, Pacific High School
  • Kelly Smitherman, National Park Service – garden at Bishops House, etc…
  • Lisa Teas, Sitka Farmers Market art debut
  • Florence Welsh, Forget-Me-Not Gardens, local garden booklet, possible plant starts
  • Hope Merritt, Gimbal Botanicals herbal teas – info on wild herbs and herbs to grow

Right after the three-hour Let’s Grow Sitka event ends, guest speaker Dave Lendrum of Juneau will speak at 3:15 p.m. on “New Vegetable Varieties, Small Fruits, and Ornamentals for Southeast Alaska.” Lendrum is a landscape designer who just finished a two-year term as president of the Southeast Alaska Master Gardener Association and with his landscape architect wife, Margaret Tharp, owns Landscape Alaska.

Dave’s life has evolved in partnership with the natural world. He grew up in California on an organic u-pick vegetable farm, learning horticulture from his parents and the 4H club. He did nursery work and continued his post-college adventure in Ecuador by starting a fresh market produce business. After being a city horticulturist at the Eugene (Ore.) Parks Department, Dave started his first nursery, Western Oregon Perennials. A few years later, he found himself in a high-temperature photosynthesis lab at Stanford. In the Pacific Northwest, Dave restored old estate gardens. When he heard Alaska’s call, he moved north to Elfin Cove. Dave and his wife started Landscape Alaska in Juneau 28 years ago. They design and build landscapes on every scale and have won numerous awards both locally and nationally. In addition, Dave is the landscape superintendent for the University of Alaska Southeast and the Southeast representative on the statewide invasive species organization (SNIPM).

For more information about Let’s Grow Sitka, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings, weekends) or lawilson87@hotmail.com, or Cathy Lieser at 978-2572. The two event fliers for this event are posted below as Adobe Acrobat files (PDF files).

• Main flier for 2012 Let’s Grow Sitka event

• Flier for Dave Lendrum presentation after Let’s Grow Sitka event ends

• Southeast Alaska Gardeners Conference and Garden Tours take place May 20-23 in Juneau

David Lendrum, co-president for the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association this year, sent this invitation to Sitka gardeners about the Southeast Alaska Gardeners Conference and Garden Tours on May 20-23 in Juneau:

I would like to invite the Sitka local foods community to our biennial Southeast Garden Conference on May 20-23 at the University of Alaska Southeast-Juneau Campus (Auke Lake). The agenda will be available at our website, http://www.sealaskamastergardeners.org/.

The Extended Stay hotel by the airport has offered an rate of $79.00 per night to conference attendees.

Sitka’s own Florence Welsh of The Welsh Family Forget-Me-Not Gardens and Bob Gorman of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service are featured speakers. They will be accompanied by Sam Benowitz of RainTree Nursery (Morton, Wash.), anthropological researcher Betsy Kunibe (Juneau), who has been exploring the early agriculture of Southeast Alaska, especially the early potato introduction to native peoples, and Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries (Canby, Ore.), who has reinvented perennial gardening in our modern times.

We also will have a trade show and demonstration venue, and if the Sitka Local Foods Network would like to have a display we would welcome it. You can call me with any questions,

David Lendrum
Landscape Alaska, landscapealaska@gci.net
Co-President of the Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association for this year

Some of the conference highlights include workshops on tool use and maintenance, planter/container design and maintenance, nutrition in wild plants, landscaping to attract native pollinators, birds in the garden, greenhouses in Alaska, low-maintenance landscape design, native plant propagation, meconopsis, fruiting plants for Southeast Alaska, organic edibles, creating flower arrangements to last, rock setting and plant choice for Southeast Alaska, tree grafting, creating color and flash with new perennials, perennials around the world, taking cuttings and how to get roots on sticks, and compost and worms. A PDF file to the agenda is linked below.

Southeast Alaska Gardeners Conference and Garden Tours flier

Southeast Alaska Gardeners Conference and Garden Tours poster

Southeast Alaska Gardeners Conference and Garden Tours agenda