Monday, March 4, 2013

Alaska Botanical Garden Spring Conference this Friday and Saturday

The atmosphere was quite strange in Glacier Valley today. It was not fully blue bird day although there was lots of blue sky to be seen. Yet it was not really cloudy either, as the image above displays. The high pressure to the north east is holding off the low that is approaching from the west. I feel like Girdwood is in the calm between the two extremes of weather. The temperature in Girdwood was very warm, nearly 40° today. Everyone who was skiing said they were hot when they came in for lunch. Wow! It really is spring, it really is  March! 

Alaska Botanical Garden Spring Conference this Friday and Saturday, March 8-9!

This coming weekend is the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Spring Conference. The keynote speaker is author and food activist and Gary Paul Nabhan. Mr. Nabhan will be speaking Friday night between 6:30 and 8:30 at the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Annual Spring Garden Conference at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel. Visit the Botanical Garden’s website for schedule and registration information. 

Mr. Nabhan has written and co-authored many influential books relating to food sustainability, local and native food use, pollination, and farming. These include: Where Our Food Comes From; Renewing Salmon Nation’s Food Traditions; The Forgotten Pollinators co-authored with Stephen Buchmann; and many more. If you are not familiar with his work, visit Gary Paul Nabhan’s website

Though Mr. Nabhan is from Arizona, his teachings are appropriate to many locations. This is especially true for us in Alaska, we are similar to Arizona because Alaska has limited terrains with the appropriate climate for common crop production. There are not a wide variety of pollinators in Alaska which also places challenges on food producers. Additionally, Alaska tends to place high demands on food from the marine environment, on animal life that is. Perhaps Mr. Nabhan will put a new bug in our ears such as broadening our palates to utilize marine plants to supplement our food needs. Any sustainable local resource we can take advantage of in Alaska will lessen our dependence on shipping. Shipping food products over long miles, wether by truck, plane or boat, uses fuel that we could be apply higher purposes.

I encourage anyone interested in changing the way you think about food production to attend. There are a variety of presenters covering not only native plants and gardening, but beekeeping and chicken roosting! We can all be a part of sustainability, in our own ways, even if just a little bit over time. 

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