2018 Statewide Master Gardener Conference

Registration is now available for the upcoming Statewide Master Gardener Conference. The event will be hosted by the Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley and held March 24, 2018 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. It is an all-day event featuring Keynote speaker Bob Bors from the University of Saskatchewan, who will be presenting about what is on the horizon for northern fruit development and how to tend our current crop of honey berries and cherries.

Les Brake, from Coyote Gardens in Willow, will present a dinner program on March 23 about his recent trip to Africa, and will also speak during the conference. The dinner program has an additional fee of $20 to cover the cost of dinner, but we hope you will come and bring your spouse as a fun and economical date night.

As in past years, lunch is included with registration and we will have lots of door prizes. This is sure to be a fun and inspirational event to get you prepared for the upcoming growing season. Register soon as we do expect to sell-out!

We are low-tech this year, so we can only accept registration by mail or in-person at the March 6th Master Gardener meeting. Registration forms and additional information can be found on our website at: https://fairbanksmastergardeners.wordpress.com/conference/


Conference overview

Learning about herb blends at the monthly master gardener meeting

The Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley held their monthly meeting October 3, 2017 at the Food Bank conference room. The topic was drying herbs and using them in cooking.

Question: What’s a good way to dry and store garden herbs?
Answer: Snip them and put them in a paper bag. Leave them in a cool, dry place.
Once they are dried, store them in an airtight container.

Virginia Damron shared information on drying and storing garden-grown herbs and provided recipes for herb rubs and blends. She mixed an Italian seasoning blend for the group and provided samples for attendees to take home. Here are two of Virginia’s herb blends. The first is an Italian blend, and the other is an herb blend for seasoning wild game such as moose, caribou, or bison. Both are delicious! Enjoy.

Italian Seasoning Blend
2 Tbsp. each of: Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Marjoram, Cilantro, Thyme, and Savory
1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes (more if you like it hot)
Combine dried herbs in mixing bowl. Store in airtight jar. Run through food processor or herb mill prior to use. Grinding the herbs just before use retains their flavor.

Wild Game Herb Blend
1 Tbsp. each of: dried Parsley, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Rosemary, lemon balm (I used zest),
1 tsp each of: dried minced Garlic, Sage, Thyme, Mint
2 tsp crushed Juniper berries.
Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container away from heat. Variations: lemongrass, lemon verbena, or lemon basil are good additions. Juniper berries add a pleasing flavor so try to include them.

Rub onto a roast or steaks and let it sit in the frig for about 30 minutes before cooking.
(I made the blend without Juniper berries or mint and it was still wonderful. Use as many ingredients as you can, and don’t be afraid to give it a try, even if you’re missing something.)

-submitted by Barbara Sundberg

October meeting: Georgeson Botanical Garden planning

Help the Georgeson Botanical Gardens update their priorities and plans!

The Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is teaming up with the Georgeson Botanical Gardens (GBG) to develop the next master plan for the garden, and we want your help! ASLA is offering professional assistance to GBG to help outline and strategize their priorities for future growth.

The gardens are a very important part of Alaska’s plant growing community as they are used for research, community events, education and outreach, all while offering a beautiful setting for residents and tourists to enjoy.

Please come to the next Master Gardener’s meeting to tell them how you use the Gardens currently and how you’d like to use them in the future!

Meetings start at 6pm on the first Tuesday of each month (Oct 4) at the Fairbanks Food Bank. 6-6:30 is social and snack time. The program will begin at 6:30. One agenda item will be to update the bylaws.

Please bring a non-perishable food donation as a thank you to the food bank for using their space


Meeting tomorrow, with guest speaker!

Where did the summer (and this week) go???  Come join us to commiserate and share your gardening successes/ challenges.

Our first Master Gardener meeting of the season will be this Tuesday, Sept 6th.  An agenda will follow soon…

Our speaker will be long-time Fairbanks gardener Mary Calmes.  Mary has been gardening off Chena Hot Springs Road for years, and is going to share harvesting practices, a little about fermenting, maybe a little about garlic, and some hints and tips from her many years as a gardener in Fairbanks.

Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley

Regular Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, Sept 6th
Time: 6:00 p.m. social time, 6:30 pm meeting

Place: Food Bank (725 26th Avenue)

Bring a donation for the Food Bank, and if you feel inspired a small snack!

Time to send in your garden harvest photos!

The blog and Facebook page have been a bit slow lately, probably because we’re all out enjoying our gardens, in between the raindrops. We’re only about a month away from our first fall Master Gardener meeting (Tuesday Sept 6th); we’re hoping to have a good line-up of speakers for the coming year. Send in any suggestions you have for topics or speakers. In the meantime, send your photos and we’ll post them for you. Here’s a sample to get you inspired to share yours!

Upcoming events

Most of these events have more information available on the Fairbanks Daily News Miner community calendar, as well as contact information for sponsoring organizations.

Saturday May 14 :

  • Georgeson Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale, 10am-2pm
  • Breadline Stone Soup Garden Building Day, 11am-3pm, 11th and Lacey

Thursday May 19:

  • Planning the Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley perennial bed, 5:30pm-?, at the Georgeson Botanical Garden

Saturday May 21:

  • Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District  Tree Sale, 11am-4pm, Kiwanis Agricultural Hall at the Fairgrounds

Saturday May 28:

  • Hospice Plant Sale, 9am-4pm, Hospice Greenhouse at 20th Ave. and Turner

Saturday June 4

  • Breadline Stone Soup Garden Planting Day, 11am-3pm, 11th and Lacey

Wednesday June 8:

  • Planting the Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley perennial bed, 6pm-?, at the Georgeson Botanical Garden



Join the Master Gardeners at our next meeting!

Brenda Adams, author of There’s a Moose in my Garden, will talk to our group at our May meeting, Tuesday May 3rd, at the Food Bank. Social time starts at 6, meeting at 6:30.

Summer events and tours will follow rapidly, and I hope you’ll all keep in touch over the summer; we have a flyer explaining how to stay up to date on what’s happening with gardening over the summer. See you soon; in the meantime, enjoy green-up!

MG flyer


Meeting Tuesday, April 5th

Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley

Regular Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. social time, 6:30 pm meeting
Place: Food Bank (725 26th Avenue)

1. Elections for the Board, several positions open. This is your opportunity to contribute and shape the future!
2. Membership renewals – renew online on our website, or bring your check or cash to the meeting.
Speaker:   Steven Seefeldt, State Horticulture Specialist

Topic:    “Early Detection and Rapid Response.” Find out how researchers are discovering pest species new to the state, and how this method could help control them.

Please bring a donation for the Food Bank.