Locals to speak at garden conference
Residents George Campbell, Ed Buyarski and Melissa Aronson will speak at the Southeast Alaska Garden Conference, to be held in Skagway for the first time July 19-21.
Speakers also will include Anchorage garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels.
Campbell, Buyarski and others have undertaken a large garden project at 18 Mile Haines Highway, where they are experimenting with 23 varieties of certified organic potatoes with the goal of commercial distribution of seed and edible potatoes as well as organic hardneck garlic.
Buyarski will present on landscaping with edible plants, including fruit trees and berries. Campbell will give a workshop on landscape planning, organization and proper drainage as well as ideas for helping maintain gardens over time.
Aronson, chair of Haines Friends of Recycling, has taught classes on permaculture around Haines for two years. She said her distaste for weeding has led to the discovery of permaculture methods to nearly eliminate the need for weeding.
Keynote speaker Lowenfels is author of “Teaming with Microbes, A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web.” Other topics to be discussed include gardening for Alaska’s pollinators, cooking with local edibles and the science behind the process of composting.
“We are excited for the opportunity to bring gardeners from across the region together for the chance to network and create stronger bonds between garden communities,” said conference chairwoman Charlotte Jewell.
Registration is $99 and includes several meals, garden tours, a glassblowing demonstration and hands-on workshops. For more information, contact Jewell at 907-612-0115 or buy a weekend pass at Skagway Garden Club’s website, http://www.skagwaygardenclub.weebly.com.