All in the Family: Propagating a unique variety of Colorado Blue Spruce from cuttings

My father-in-law is a long time wholesale nursery owner in Oregon.   He learned the trade from his nurseryman uncle, who also inspired the Waconda Blue, a variety  of the Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) that is now living in my family’s backyard in Alaska.   The original was selected in 1977 for its very…

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Hunting the Hawk(weed)

Upon purchasing our land, our terra-knowledgeable neighbor informed us that he has Hieracium aurantiacum, aka Orange Hawkweed, growing on his property so it’s likely we do as well.   Not knowing what Hieracium aurantiacum was, I wasn’t sure if I should be excited, relieved, or worried.   I promptly went home, searched the internet, and…

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One Species, Many Vegetables – An Introduction to Artificial Selection

Brassica oleracea — An introduction to artificial selection Subject area: Biological Science — 6-8th grade Season: Best in early fall when Brussels sprouts attached to stem would be available and whole plants could be brought into classroom. Could be taught any time of year using vegetables from the grocery store. Time: This lesson is a…

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How are Seeds Dispersed in Alaska?

A Lesson Plant for Gardening in the Classrooms of Alaska, By Mylinda A. Klein, an Alaskan Master Gardener  Snap Beans. Photo by Heidi Rader.   Subject Area: Science Grade Level: 2nd grade Ideal season for lesson: Fall Materials Required: Various seeds either collected by teacher or by students including an acorn and seeds that have…

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“Handy” Parts of a Plant

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in Classrooms in Alaska, by Cheryl Illg, an Alaskan Master Gardener   Subject Area: Writing/Reading/Science Appropriate Grade Level: Grade 2 Ideal season for lesson: Spring Time to complete lesson: 2-3 hours, in four activities that can be divided over several days, if desired. An Asiatic Lily. Photo by Heidi Rader.…

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