Sunday, March 18, 2012

Seedy Saturday II!

Growing Ester's Biodiversity is hosting its second seed exchange and gardening hobnob on Saturday, March 24, from 3 to 5 pm at Hartung Community Hall in Ester.

Come share your seeds, meet fellow gardeners, find out about seed-saving and local agriculture, and help keep heirloom and Alaska-adapted vegetables, herbs, and flowers growing strong! Gardeners are encouraged to bring heirloom, organic, or other sustainable varieties, and seeds you have saved yourself from plants you know to grow well in the Interior and that will breed true.

No seeds? no problem! Come anyway and get some seeds. There will be plenty to choose from, and even some local seed company catalogs! We ask that if you take seeds away, let some of your plants mature and save their seed to bring to next year's Seedy Saturdays!

Set up at 3, trading begins at 3:30. Some seed packets and small containers will be provided, but bring envelopes and as much information about your seeds as possible to share with other gardeners. Information on seed-saving and other topics will be provided. Farmers, greenhouses, garden clubs, and CSAs are invited to share information and literature on their offerings for the public to take away. Parking & beverages are available at the Golden Eagle Saloon down the street. Guidelines for the seed swap and seed-saving guides are posted at the GEB Facebook page and at

GEB is a community seed-sharing program of the the John Trigg Ester Library (JTEL); it hosts seed swaps, gardening work parties, lectures, and more on food security and sustainable agriculture issues. The JTEL is a home-grown community library that provides a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment where community members can meet and share ideas and information. The Library strives to instill a love of reading and learning, to showcase Ester-area history and culture, and to provide resources that will enrich the whole community. The Library is raising funds to construct a new library building in downtown Ester. When completed, it will be the first public building in Alaska constructed to meet strict Passiv Haus, nearly net-zero, energy efficiency standards.

During the summer and fall, the GEB program and the library lecture series intersect: lecturers will be focusing on topics relating to agriculture and biodiversity.

  • April 18: marine ecologist Peter McRoy
  • May 16: Tom Zimmer & Susan Willsrud of Calypso Farm & Ecology Center
  • June 20: ecologist Trish Wurtz on invasive weeds
  • August 15: Mike Emers of Rosie Creek Farm
  • September 19: Deirdre Helfferich on seed libraries & seedsheds

Visit the library website at or the library's or GEB's Facebook page for more information.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Long View of Alaska history: Ross Coen

Ross Coen is the next featured speaker for the 2012 John Trigg Ester Library Lecture Series. Coen is the author of The Long View: Dispatches on Alaska History, published by the Ester Republic Press, and Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil: The Epic Voyage of the SS Manahattan Through the Northwest Passage, to be released this spring by the University of Alaska Press. Coen will discuss his book and talk about the snapshots of Alaska history and events it provides. "The Long View" was a monthly column that ran in The Ester Republic for four years, covering topics ranging from Joe Vogler's letters to the editor to Sputnik to riding snowmachines in Denali National Park.
Examples of his writing are available online, including "Alaska or Bust," reprinted in The Arctic Sounder.

Coen is employed at UAF's Center for Energy and Power as a rural energy specialist, a joint position with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, where he coordinates the development of small-scale alternative and renewable energy systems for Interior villages.