Talk Dirt To Me

Gardening in Alaska presents big challenges, whether it's the extra effort in finding plants tough enough to survive our Zone 2-4 climate, communicating with like-minded Alaska gardeners, or keeping up with the latest trends, issues and solutions. We'll try to help with that. We'll also tour gardens from Homer to Anchorage to Wasilla to Willow whenever we get the chance, and post the best garden photos around. Presenting a forum about cold-weather gardening and for cold-weather gardeners is what we are all about. We hope you'll join us on the Talk Dirt garden blog.

Photographer and gardener Fran Durner (fdurner@adn.com) writes the blog.

February Garden Calendar - 1/29/2010 9:28 am

UA Anchorage recognized as a Tree Campus USA - 1/27/2010 10:36 am

Stone walls provide beauty and exercise - 1/26/2010 8:43 am

USDA program for high tunnels offered - 1/25/2010 8:08 pm

Worms could eat your garbage too - 1/24/2010 8:01 pm

Wildflower Garden Club offers annual scholarship - 1/21/2010 1:08 pm

Where did you find inspiration last year? - 1/19/2010 3:57 pm

Zaumseils say farewell for now - 1/18/2010 3:57 pm

Save the dates for these upcoming events

January Garden Calendar
View Garden Gallery
Submit Your Garden Photos!

Noteworthy upcoming events, conferences and workshops of interest to Alaska gardeners.

Sign up now! for a five week Organic Gardening course at Mat-Su College (AGRI 138) with Ellen Vande Visse. Five Friday evenings and a Saturday field trip from March 19 - April 17. (907) 745-9746 for more info.

I still can't get over the amount of plantings and hardscape that went into each display garden. Fran Durner/ADNI still can't get over the amount of plantings and hardscape that went into each display garden. Fran Durner/ADN• February 3 - 7, Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Many excellent speakers and acres of indoor display gardens. Great winter break for Alaskans.

• February 8-12, 12th Alaska Forum on the Environment - 2010 The largest environmental conference in Alaska brings together rural and urban, industry and private, agency and public, students and scholars, youth and elders from around the world. With a diverse agenda, the conference offers more than 150 presenters, 80 sessions and 4 special keynote events. Session topics include climate change, energy and alternative energy options, invasive species, fish and wildlife habitat, arctic development, environmental justice and many more. At the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

The "Party Potato" on display at last year's conference. Fran Durner/ADNThe "Party Potato" on display at last year's conference. Fran Durner/ADN• February 16 - 17, Produce Growers Conference (formerly the Potato and Veggie Conference) in Palmer at the Train Depot. Presentations include the latest on potato research and the rhubarb project. Lunch catered by the Red Beet Cafe. Open to everyone.

Sue Kent with peonies. Photo by Colleen James.Sue Kent with peonies. Photo by Colleen James.• February 19 - 20, Alaska Peony Growers Association Conference, "Lessons Learned," at the Providence Medical Center Building in Anchorage. Jesse de la Garza from Miami will discuss Alaska's position in the worldwide peony market. Home gardeners and those considering peony production on a larger scale are welcome to attend to hear the 'lessons learned' from growers who already have plants in the ground.

• February 25 - 26, Nursery & Greenhouse Conference and Polar Grower Trade Show in Juneau at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Topics include "Slugs and snails" and "Low maintenance landscape design." John Peter Thompson is a featured speaker. Everyone is welcome to attend. Stay for the Juneau Garden Workshop on Saturday, February 27.

• February 27, Delta Farm Forum in Delta Junction. Call Delta CES agent Phil Kaspari at 895-4215 for more info.

• March 5 - 6, Alaska Master Gardener Conference, Back to Our Roots, sponsored by the Mat-Su Master Gardeners at the Grandview Inn & Suites, Wasilla. Keynote speaker is Marianne Krasny, PhD, Cornell University. All are welcome - you do not need to be an MG to attend.

• March 16 - 19, SARE Conference (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) and Organic Growers School at the Princess Lodge, Fairbanks. Chris Blanchard, who raises certified organic vegetables and herbs at Rock Spring Farm in northeast Iowa is a confirmed speaker. 907-474-1530 or Michele Hebert, mahebert@alaska.edu for more info

Becky Myrvold talking to a standing-room-only crowd at the seed exchange last year.  Photo by Fran Durner.Becky Myrvold talking to a standing-room-only crowd at the seed exchange last year. Photo by Fran Durner.• March 20, Tentative date for the 2nd Annual Seed Exchange at the Red Beet Cafe in Palmer. This was great fun and a success last year!

• March 26 - 27, Spring Garden Conference at UAA/APU Consortium Library. Celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity. Permaculture expert , Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden, is keynote speaker both days. All are welcome.

• April 3, Spring Garden Day at the Mall at Sears. Garden groups and organizations hold forth at the unofficial start of the growing season! FREE.

• April 17, North Root Big Lake Gardeners Annual Spring Symposium. Les Brake and River Bean are two of the confirmed speakers for the daylong event so far. A new, larger venue is in the works. Call Linda Lockhart at 892-8119 for more info.

Check back on the monthly garden calendar for more information as it becomes available.

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