Planting Seeds of Change: Time to Grow a Garden
Take advantage of Alaska’s warming climate
Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Alaskans all over the state might do well to grow a garden of fruits, vegetables, and herbs this summer; after all, with the climate changing more rapidly in Alaska than anywhere else on the planet we can all be productive gardeners. The food we grow could bolster our own health and personal budgets.
According to the National Weather Service and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) every day this year Alaska has had above average temperatures—considerably. NOAA reported, “Alaska was record warm for January through March with a temperature [average] of 17.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 11.9 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Barrow, Bethel, Homer, Juneau, and King Salmon were record warm.”
With temperatures heating up across the state and the onset of summer, it’s time to grow a garden. There are many methods of gardening that would work, including straw bale, square foot, raised bed, container, vertical, cold frame, windowsill, and greenhouse. A garden doesn’t have to be big to put food on the table. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has outreach statewide for seasoned and aspiring gardeners alike. They offer newsletters, articles, and topical publications along with workshops, classes, programs, audio recordings, and many gardening links on their website (uaf.edu/ces/).
Businesses have already started gardening throughout Alaska. Many restaurants, lodges, resorts, and bed and breakfasts have on-site gardens that add beauty to the surroundings while providing fresh and delicious food for guests and patrons and boosting their bottom lines by saving on food purchases. Also, there are many towns in Alaska with community gardens where people can share garden plots.
Take advantage of Alaska’s warming climate and plant some seeds of change this summer: “believe in tomorrow.” Gardening is a magnificent way to spend a bit of each day—and so is reading Alaska Business Monthly. The June issue has three special sections (Petroleum Geology, Alaska & Pacific Northwest, and Transportation), along with more fantastic articles and our monthly fixtures. The team has put together another really great magazine—enjoy!
Susan Harrington, Managing Editor
This article first appeared in the June 2016 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly.