Invasive Species

Homer grown: Invasive/Common Weeds, Dandelion Mead

Jul 13, 2021

For this episode host Desiree Hagen talks with the Invasive Species Manager from Homer Soil and Water Conservation District Katherine Schake about invasive species, common plants in the garden, what they are and how you might utilize them.

Then we head to the Brew Shop and make dandelion mead (with local honey!) with Sean Cullerton. Steve McCastlin from the Homer Brewery joins in the fun and conversation. 

Homer Grown

In this episode we talk with Jon Kee of Spruce Top Farm, Linda Gorman on overwintering bees, Katherine Schake and Nicole Arevalo on Reed Canary Grass and Brad Casar on fall soil sampling. 

Hosted by Desiree Hagen and produced in collaboration with Homer Soil & Water. Airing every other Saturday at 11 AM.



Homer Grown, Episode 7: Making Hay

Aug 23, 2020
Homer Grown

For the latest episode of Homer Grown, hosted by Desiree Hagen:

We visit Chris Rainwater at his family homestead near the head of Kachemak Bay and talk about hay, grazing animals, and the history and future of haying on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.

Invasive species specialist Katherine Schake from Homer Soil and Water Conservation District, talks weed-free hay, straw and gravel and addresses mitigation and prevention resources for land and buisness owners, contractors, hayers and recreationists. 

Wikimedia Commons

This month on Kachemak Science: Invasive crayfish in Buskin Lake on Kodiak, invasive northern pike in Threemile Lake and Native subsistence strategies for eradicating invasive species…by collecting and eating them.


Courtesy of Homer Soil and Water Conservation District

Residents in Homer will soon be able to receive help combating invasive weeds. Homer Soil and Water Conservation District is collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide technical assistance to Kenai Peninsula landowners to help protect native plants and animals.

Conservation district Natural Resource Specialist Matt Steffy said invasive weeds can disrupt the balance of native ecosystems, and they can threaten one of the most cherished recourses in Alaska: salmon habitat.  

Photo courtesy of Patrick Saltonstall

In recent decades, researchers around the world have become increasingly concerned about the introduction of invasive species to islands. Some species, like cattle and foxes, were intentionally introduced to Gulf of Alaska islands and have wreaked havoc on ecosystems.

Biologists assumed that settlers also brought Arctic ground squirrels to Gulf of Alaska Islands around the turn of the twentieth century. A new research study, however, has turned this notion on its head.

Photo by Rose Grech/KBBI

Earlier this month, local artist and KBBI volunteer Desiree Hagen received an individual artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation. She plans to use the grant on a community art project making paper out of invasive plants in the Homer area. She hopes to both help remove the species from native plant areas and create awareness of their effects on the ecosystem. KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver spoke with Hagen about her art.

  SGO: First of all, can you describe the scope of your project so people can have an idea of what you’re hoping to create with this?

Peninsula Spruce Threatened By Aphid

Apr 4, 2016
Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

Spruce trees are under attack in the Kachemak Bay area. Tiny insects called spruce aphids are draining sap from the trees leaving tell-tale signs of damage. Spruce aphids are not usually found on the Kenai Peninsula and their sudden appearance is making residents worry for the health of their trees.