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.

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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

Meet Ashley Grant, new CES Invasive Plant Instructor

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Ashley Grant is the new Invasive Plant Instructor for the UAF Cooperative Extension Service. Photo by Michael Rasy.Ashley Grant is the new Invasive Plant Instructor for the UAF Cooperative Extension Service. Photo by Michael Rasy.The UAF Cooperative Extension Service recently announced the addition of an Invasive Plant Instructor, a statewide position based in Anchorage:

"Ashley Grant has just joined the Cooperative Extension Program's IPM team as the Invasive Plant Instructor. With a background in ecological research and environmental education, she recently received her Master's degree from the University of Montana. Her thesis project focused on the effects of seed-mix composition and soil properties on vegetative establishment after road removal."

"Ashley's involvement with research projects allowed her to collaborate with a number of academic institutes, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to conducting research, Ashley has experience teaching ecological concepts in the classroom, laboratory, and field. She has also been involved with curriculum development and program assessment through her positions working as Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana and environmental educator in Washington State."

Michael Rasy, the CES IPM technician added in a phone call today that Ashley is settling in and getting to know everyone. Since this is a statewide position, she'll be doing a fair amount of travelling and for starters, will be going to the Greenhouse and Nursery Conference in Juneau in February.

Although they are still working out the nuts and bolts of her schedule, the hope is that, with her experience, Ashley will be able to jump into the issue of revegetation along road corridors. We all have seen the rampant proliferation of invasive weeds along the Parks and Seward Highways and her experience and input should be welcomed in that particular area.

Ashley will be at a "Meet and Greet," 2:30 Wednesday (that's tomorrow, 1/13) just before the Anchorage Cooperative Weed Managment Area monthly meeting at the BLM field office, 4700 BLM Road. It's also an opportunity to meet Gretchen Gary, the new-ish Anchorage Invasive Weeds Program Coordinator.

The ANC-CWMA monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in the issue of invasive plants in Alaska. Do come by - all are welcome!

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