Kenai Garden Talk

11 a.m. the second Saturday of the month

Anything to do with growing, raising and producing your own food on the Kenai Peninsula is fodder for this show, from aphids to zucchini, maintaining high tunnels to processing high-bush cranberries, selling at farmers markets to putting up produce for winter. In each show, we’ll pick seasonal trends and topics, harvest tips from master gardeners, profile people who are cultivating creative ideas and dig into whatever other interesting things crop up.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Dave Ianson thinks rhubarb could be the next big thing in Alaska agriculture, if only growers would show it a little love.

And if you're thinking about raising dairy goats, make sure you plan ahead so your experience doesn't turn sour.

Links from this episode:

Karluk Acres, Julie Wendt and& Paul Vass:

Phone: 907-252-3980

Website: www.karlukacres.com

Facebook: Karluk Acres

Wild plants sometimes get a bad rap. When they’re pretty, we call them wildflowers. But usually, when they’re in our gardens without being intentionally planted, they’re weeds. And if they’re especially tenacious, like horsetail, they might get called even worse names.

But how often do we look at them as food or medicine? Tia Holley, an ethnobotanist who works in the wellness program at the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, gives us tips on how and what to pick locally.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

It continues to be a slow, cold, soggy start to spring this May, but the gardening scene is heating up.

The Central Peninsula Garden Club is holding workshops every Saturday this month, giving gardeners a chance to pick the brains of experts on a variety of topics. Last week, KDLL tagged along for some sweet insight into growing berries at Alaska Berries farm and gathered snippits of information on tree pruning with Curtis Stigall of An Arboristic View.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

It's April — the snow is melting but not fast enough to be gardening outside anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be harvesting. Greenhouses get you a jump on spring and hydroponics can be a vault toward productivity. Tour Cheryl and Steve Beesun's hydroponic greenhouse in Soldotna, with cucumbers, lettuce and zucchini already ready to eat.

Alaska Farm Tours

 

With the growth of agriculture on the Kenai Peninsula, the next opportunity could be agritourism. Margaret Adsit, founder of Alaska Farm Tours in Palmer, was in Soldotna Thursday to give local growers some insight into another way to get people to their products.

 

 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Spring is in the air, if not quite evident on the ground yet. We’re at least a month from digging in the dirt but if you’re planning to grow or raise your own food this year, now is the time to get started — and we’re here to help. On this month's Kenai Garden Talk, we’ve got the buzz on beginner beekeeping, some tips for your chicks and a plea for pest patrol. And if you're fresh out of patience waiting for farmer's market season, there's now a mobile option on the Kenai Peninsula, bringing produce to a parking lot near you.

As part of KDLL’s fall membership drive, we’re featuring KDLL’s original feature shows.

Here are excerpts from Kenai Garden Talk, Adventure Talks and Drinking on the Last Frontier with Bill Howell.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Sink your teeth into one of fall’s tastiest treats, cozy up for fall with a different kind of fleece and take a walk on the wild side with local plants that can be used for medicinal purposes.

Links in this episode:

O'Brien Garden and Trees:
https://www.facebook.com/obriengardenandtrees/

The Alpaca Guy:
http://www.thealpacaguy.com/

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

It’s harvest time on the central Kenai Peninsula. But what to do with all that garden goodness? On today’s show, we’ll turn flowers into food, follow food from the high tunnel to the soup pot at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, and we’ll grill local chef Willow King for a quick-and-easy preparation for fresh, local produce.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service fireweed recipes

Kenai Peninsula Food Bank

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

We've got tips on what to do with spruce tips, a food guide that makes harvesting local produce way easier than growing it yourself, greenhouse grow boxes that'll about raise the roof, and there are some farmers who are loving the cool, wet weather this year. Thanks to our guests, Jacki Michels, Marcia Kardatzke, Wayne and Patti Floyd of Cool Cache Farms and Heidi Chay with the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District.

Don't have your own garden but still want to eat fresh and local? Never fear — farmers markets and the Kenai Food Hub are here. While you're at it, get the dirt on how to maintain healthy dirt. And Brenda Adams, author of “Cool Plants for Cold Climates,” offers advice to avoid the perils of impulse planting.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

High tunnels can mean high yields for Kenai Peninsula crops. Rupert Scribner with Kenai Feed tells us how to avoid high stress by installing them correctly. Then, kids at Soldotna Montessori have the dirt on what it takes to grow good gardeners. Finally, May is morel mushroom season on the central Kenai Peninsula. Dr.  George Spady shares tips for finding fungi on the forest floor.

Yes, there's still snow on the ground but that doesn't mean gardeners can't get some dirt under their fingernails. Get your seeds started indoors, plan to grow your farming business and harvest tips from experienced gardeners at a season kickoff roundtable event.