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Homer Soil and Water Conservation District hosts classes on soil health and seeds

Homer Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a local food security class on Wednesday.
Nicole Arevalo
Homer Soil and Water Conservation District
Homer Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a local food security class on Wednesday.

The Homer Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting an ongoing series of classes on soil and seeds just in time for spring planting.

Kyra Wagner is district manager of the local organization. She said they have two regular programs happening right now. Every other week, on Thursdays, they host a “Know Your Land” talk held at the Kachemak Bay Campus and virtually over Zoom. Those will go through May.

“In our office here, we get to see so many situations where we think, ‘Oh, man, if people just understood how to read their maps,’ or, ‘Oh, if people just understood wetlands. Oh, if people just understood what's happening in the soil.’ There's so many topics that are unique to Alaska, unique to Homer. So there's a lot of information that we have that we can share,” Wagner said.

On Thursday, starting at 6 p.m., the “Know Your Land” talk will feature a guest speaker from the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center talking about soil health and microbes. Wagner said learning about our soil is particularly important as the climate becomes more extreme and unpredictable.

“Soil health is massively important for being climate resilient,” she said. “If you want to have food security, that's going to be a ticket there, too. So soil is really the base of everything. It's what we're standing on, literally and figuratively.”

A second series of HSWCD events takes place on Saturdays at the Homer Public Library, focusing on seed saving and beginning gardening.

“Having local acclimated seed or even just having our own seed production is another aspect of food security,” Wagner said.

The goal of the seed-saving workshops is to collect and preserve seeds acclimated to Homer’s climate for the community’s seed library. The seed library — at the Homer Public Library — was started in 2021 and allows community members to take or donate local seeds.

“If you've never gardened here, it's a good place to look, because you'd be able to see varieties that have been tried here and we know work,” Wagner said.

To find out more about upcoming events, you can visit the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District’s website or visit their Facebook Page.

In 2019, Hope moved to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor to work for Alaska's Energy Desk and KUCB — the westernmost public radio newsroom in the country. She has lived, worked and filed stories from California, New York, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba and Alaska.
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