Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Kenai Resilience and Kenai Peninsula Garden Club are co-sponsoring two special workshops on June 16 featuring permaculture expert Saskia Esslinger of Red Edge Design in Anchorage, 9am – 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. Registrations must in by June 10. Email your interest to Marion Nelson – firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP and send 1/2 of the workshop fee to CPGC, PO Box 767, Kenai 99611.
9am-Noon – Workshop #1. ECOLOGICAL GARDEN DESIGN: Learn how to use Permaculture design principles to begin designing your abundant, low-maintenance landscape. Good design reduces inputs of money, time, and toxins to maintain the system. It helps us make better decisions and learn from our failures. In this workshop you will learn the basics of design and how to take cues from nature to help improve your designs. We will practice applying Permaculture design principles to come up with some novel ideas for our landscape.
1pm-4pm – Workshop #2. INSTANT GARDENS aka, yards to gardens: Tired of mowing? Turn your lawn into a garden in just a few hours, using mostly recycled materials. Sheet mulching is a great technique for building garden beds for many reasons: they are quick and easy to install over grass or other poor or degraded soil, they are significantly warmer, and they are easier to maintain. In this workshop we will talk about why and how it works as we build a garden together.
FOR WORKSHOP #2, PLEASE BRING A SHOVEL, AND BAG UP YOUR NON-MEAT KITCHEN WASTE INCLUDING COFFEE GROUNDS, TO ADD TO THAT GARDEN BED.
Workshop fee: $35 per workshop or two workshops for $60. (for same person)
Group size limit: 15 people (register by June 10!)
Location: Off K-Beach Rd., off Cannery Rd.
Workshop times: 9-12 and 1-4 on Thursday, June 16
As a new season of local food production gets underway, let’s take a look back at last year’s Peak of the Season Food Fest. Videographer Lincoln Wensley, who’s graduating from Kenai Central High School this week, captured the celebratory spirit of the event perfectly!! Thanks again to Lincoln, along with Harold and Bobbi Jackson of Jackson Gardens, who hosted the event.
Thanks so much to The Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology (ACAT), Kenai Resilience volunteers, and the Soldotna United Methodist Church for sponsoring a workshop entitled “Lessons Learned from Off-Grid Homes”. (Topics included: Net Zero Energy; designing solar and wind systems; and up-to-date, energy efficient construction methods.) Also, many thanks to Dr. Phil St. John for bringing the Alaska Solar Tour to our doorstop. (Featured on the tour were wind turbines, solar panels, an earthship house (in construction), and a tour of the Ecovillage of Ionia.) In addition, millions of thanks to everyone who chipped in to celebrate the Solar Tour Potluck afterwards! We are so fortunate to have these solar, efficiency, & new design ideas brought to our doorstop on the Peninsula!
Many thanks to Jeff Babitt, the local farmer who runs Alaskan HomeGrown, for speaking about the business of farming on the Central Peninsula! Jeff discussed his experience with farming and starting up a local food business, food law and how it affects his practice, and what drew him to the vocation of farming. According to Jeff’s research, the proportion of locally produced or harvested food in Alaska has dropped from 80% in the 1960′s to less that 10% today. He’s a strong advocate for increasing food security with locally grown food and he encouraged everyone in the room to plant a large garden. For helpful information on growing in our cold climate, Jeff and other gardeners in the room highly recommended books by Maine farmer, Eliot Coleman, including The Winter Harvest Handbook. Jeff’s vision is to make his storefront on K-Beach Road in front of Save-U-More a place where local farmers and gardeners can easily market their surplus produce. If you missed Jeff’s speech, you might enjoy watching Michael Pollan’s presentation at the Bioneers in 2009 (Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3).
Thanks to Scott Waterman of the Alaska Housing & Finance Corporation for presenting “The Economics of Energy Efficiency: The End of Cheap Oil” at the K.R. get-together on November 18th. We got the basics about the fossil fuel situation on an int’L, nat’L, & state-wide scale, and we learned about the incredible powers & worth of this liquid we often take for granted – oil. If you missed the discussion, you might browse through this National Geographic article to get an overview of what was presented.
Again, we are so grateful to Scott & everyone who filled up the room for this important & timely presentation!
David Thomas lead a discussion about energy production on the Peninsula & state-wide. He took suggestions from the audience & based his discussion on what people wanted to hear. It was a very interesting & thought-provoking discussion, even for people who are new to the field of energy. We learned about local energy policy, state energy policy, home-owner energy generation, & renewables. We discovered the amount of energy that industry requires, the amount of energy your average homeowners requires, & how energy is produced on the Kenai. Interestingly we found out that HEA peaks at 88 megawatts and the railbelt peaks at about 800 megawatts. Thanks to David for an interesting talk (in layman’s terms)!
We had a tasty pot luck dinner & some intriguing conversation about what people on the Peninsula are doing to be more sustainable. Lots of great folks make for an enjoyable evening!
On August 14th, Jackson Gardens hosted the “Peak of the Season” Local Foods Potluck. Approximately 60 folks showed up with tasty morsels that were harvested or grown in the state of Alaska (or the local grocery store, if they were new to the local foods idea). Local musicians chipped in to provide musical entertainment, and there were plenty of places for the kids to play.
The Jacksons were amazing hosts, as they gave us a tour of their wonderful garden. It was fantastic to simply walk through the paths of blooming & beautiful flowers and experience the life of a fruit tree inside of their greenhouse. We are so grateful that the weather cooperated as well! A great article was written up about the experience in the Redoubt Reporter. Check it out!
It was great to have a FULL HOUSE for last night’s showing of “A Sea Change,” a beautiful and thought-provoking documentary film on ocean acidification. Experts featured in this film along with University of Alaska researchers are concerned that the oceans are becoming measurably more acidic as they absorb increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The possible consequences for life in the sea, as well as for humans, are far-reaching. (I guess that’s why the subtitle of the film is “Imagine a world without fish”!) The film concludes on a hopeful note featuring pioneers of “clean tech, ” including solar power, wind power, heat exchangers, and net zero carbon buildings. Quite a few of the interviews were done in Alaska. If you missed it, “A Sea Change” is available on Netflix or at www.aseachange.net!
For those of you who weren’t there Feb. 12 at the Kenai River Center, 45+ people came (students, growers, grandparents with grandkids, newcomers, oldtimers…), and the potluck spread was impressive! There was lots of lively sharing of ideas about what people would like to see happen in this community with regard to increasing local food production and consumption. We conducted a quick poll (voting with sticky dots), and the projects that drew the most interest were: raising awareness/2010 Harvest Party; creating a directory of local producers; and helping people learn skills. Sign-up sheets resulted in a list of volunteers for each of the three. Full results will be posted on this website so that newcomers see what interests there are out in the community. If you’re interested to volunteer, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
There was a good turn-out tonight for this evening’s showing of “The Power of Community.” In the discussion following, people got to sharing some of their experiments with gardening, greenhouse building and alternative energy, along with thoughts about what it would take to get Americans to be proactive with regard to peak oil. Two more films coming up on Mar. 11 and Apr. 8.