“Let’s Grow Sitka” garden education event is Sunday, March 20

Mark your calendars, because the 2011 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening  education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Celebrate the first day of spring and get ready to garden. Gardening is a great way to get children outdoors so they can learn about nature, and kids love watching things grow that they planted.

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. This year’s theme is “Adding edibles to your  landscape — focus on fruit trees and berry bushes.”

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau will be on hand to provide expertise during the show. Buyarski will give a special presentation on “Growing Fruit in Southeast Alaska” at 11 a.m. on March 20 at ANB Hall (just before the show opens). He also will lead some tree pruning workshops on Saturday, March 19, with the first tree pruning workshop at 10:30 a.m. at Patty Bickar’s house, 310 Cascade (at the top of the hill).

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages people to share their  knowledge by hosting a booth or posting an educational display about a  specific garden topic. We especially want people with experience growing  fruit trees to share their knowledge about growing apple, cherry or  crabapple trees in Sitka; growing strawberries; growing rhubarb; growing  unusual berry varieties that do well in our climate such as aronia, sea  buckthorn, honeysuckle (fruiting), gooseberry, currant and elderberry; and how to legally transplant and cultivate wild berry bushes to your  property.

Young girls check out a baby chick during the Let's Grow Sitka garden education event on March 21, 2010, at ANB Hall in Sitka

Young girls check out a baby chick during the Let

In addition, you can learn about home greenhouses, how to prepare your  soil, how to raise chickens and what to do with all those slugs. Buy seeds and plant starts. Swap ideas and tips. Come learn, share, and get ready to grow your garden. Learn about plans for the Sitka Farmers  Markets this summer. Let’s Grow Sitka is organized by the Sitka Local  Foods Network and is part of the Arti Gras Sitka Music and Arts Festival, which takes place March 6-20.

There still are a few FREE tables available for vendors, education and  demonstrations. For more information or to reserve table space, contact  Linda Wilson at lawilson87@hotmail.com or call her at 747-3096 (in the  evenings or on weekends only).

Master gardeners are encouraged to sign up to share their personal   experience on how to create a successful garden in Sitka. Also, anyone   with a garden-related product or service to sell is invited to participate. Some of the expected booths are from:

  • True Value Garden Center (type Sitka or 99835 into the store locator search bar) — garden supplies
  • White’s, Inc/Harry Race Pharmacy — garden books, magazines, accessories
  • Garden Ventures — lots of lovely primroses for sale along with garden supplies
  • Lori Adams — Down-To-Earth U-Pick garden promotion
  • Andrew Thoms — raising chickens and chicks for sale (Andrew suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible  so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or  andrew@sitkawild.org.)
  • Eve Grutter — jams for sale, garden and raising chickens expertise to share
  • Sitka Local Foods Network — garden information and volunteer sign up
  • Sitka Farmers Market — tomato plant starts for sale, Farmers Market information
  • St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm — seed starter kits
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — information on growing your own fruit trees and berry bushes in Sitka
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — community fruit tree mapping project
  • Sitka  Seed Savers — information on how to save your own garden seed, and a  sign up to participate in an educational workshop on how to save  vegetable seed and start a seed savers group in Sitka
  • Display and information handouts on growing rhubarb and its nutritional benefits
  • UAF Cooperative Extension Service — lots of free garden handouts
  • Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau — edible landscaping

• Let’s Grow Sitka event flier for March 20, 2011, at ANB Hall (please print and post around town)

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About Charles Bingham

I build community and health project websites in Sitka, Alaska. My sites include http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, http://walksitka.wordpress.com/, http://sitkacycling.wordpress.com/, and https://getoutsitka.wordpress.com/. My portfolio site is http://charlesbingham.wordpress.com/.
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