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Growing a Productive, Sustainable Garden in Alaska – NRM 194

Growing a Productive, Sustainable Garden in Alaska – NRM 194 will be taught by Heidi Rader who has taught the Alaska Master Gardener Online Course for 15 years. She teaches hands-on and virtual gardening workshops in villages across Alaska (especially in Interior Alaska) through the Tribes Extension Program. She writes the blog, It Grows in Alaska, and has filmed a series of Alaska Gardening Videos available on YouTube.

brightly colored daisies

Growing a Productive, Sustainable Garden in Alaska – NRM 194 is very similar to the Alaska Master Gardener Online Course, without the commitment to volunteer. This course will be taught in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Spring Semester as a 3 credit class at UAF in the Natural Resources and Environment Department. Registration information can be found here.

The course consists of weekly readings, presentations, discussions, and quizzes. The class is a media-rich experience filled with research-based resources that are relevant to Alaska. Students will be challenged and engaged through various assignments–from determining your soil texture to calculating how much food you need to grow to meet your personal goals to making a plan to fulfill your volunteer hours. On average, the course takes students 3 hours each week to complete.

The course  covers botany, starting plants, soil, composting, growing vegetables, growing fruit and berries, flowers, season extension, greenhouses, landscaping, house plants, entomology, pest management, and plant disease diagnostics. 

purple basil with blooming orange flowers

Students should be proficient with Canvas, have reliable and fast Internet, and be ready for a fast-paced, engaging course.

All required reading material is provided in the course, digitally. Students may wish to purchase a hard-copy of the Alaska’s Sustainable Gardening Handbook but it is not required. The handbook can be ordered by calling (907) 474-5211 or emailing ianre-comm@alaska.edu or by stopping by your local Cooperative Extension Service office.