By Michele Hébert, Land Resources Agent, Alaska Cooperative Extension
As a teacher of the Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener program, I am always in search of a good guide. I have many books about gardening. What has been missing from my library has been a comprehensive book about vegetable gardening in Alaska -- Till now!
Ann Roberts is a true gardener. She was born with dirt under her nails, has a passion for growing things, and years of Alaska gardening experience. Gardening was in her family genes and the growing passion was passed on from one generation to the next just as surely as dandelions pass on yellow flowers. Helping with the family garden was not enough; Ann wanted to understand all the science from soil chemistry to soil biology. She spent years -- asking questions, taking classes like the Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener program, and doing her own research. There was more than a desire to grow things well.
Her enthusiasm took her a step further -- to write a book and share her wealth of knowledge with others. I am especially thankful for the amount of work that has gone into Alaska Gardening Guide. She has written from her own knowledge and summarized information from agricultural professionals and gardeners from across Alaska. These individuals have spent years experimenting and working to overcome the challenges posed by the unique growing conditions at Alaska latitudes.
This excellent guide for vegetable gardening in Alaska brings together practical information and scientific knowledge. It is full of how-to, scientific explanations, and resources for further information. It gives the reader the know-how to overcome the climatic challenges and take advantage of the benefits of gardening in the far north. I look forward to sharing the book with my Master Gardener students in years to come.
Alaska Gardening Guide is an excellent tool for both new and seasoned gardeners -- and it is about time!