>Registration is open for the 10th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference March 12-13 at the Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks. The theme is “Growing Alaska Farmers.” Sessions will focus on sustainable practices, raising animals and emerging markets. Preconference workshops March 11 will highlight participatory plant breeding and agricultural record keeping and taxes. The keynote speaker this year will be James R. Myers, a professor of vegetable breeding and genetics with Oregon State University. See the conference site for the agenda, registration and lodging information.
>Extension in Palmer will host 33 workshops and demonstrations March 10-13 as part of its Extension Days celebration. Agents and community volunteers will offer activities at the Palmer Extension office and 11 other community locations. See the brochure with the schedule, participating locations and registration information. It is also available at participating businesses and at the Extension office at 809 S. Chugach St., Suite 2.
>Extension will host a certified food protection manager workshop April 2 in Fairbanks and Palmer and at videoconference sites in Kodiak, Sitka and Valdez. The deadline to register is March 19 so participants may receive class materials and locations for the food safety class beforehand. State regulations require that all food establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See details here and register online.
>As it warms up this spring, birch sap will begin rise. Extension has a new publication on tapping birch trees for sap. Backyard Birch Tapping Basics includes information on when to collect sap and how to choose the right-size trees, insert taps (spiles), collect and store the sap, and process the sap into syrup. There are numerous photographs as well as information on the nutrients in birch sap. Palmer agent Julie Cascio and forestry specialist Val Barber are the authors.