Monday, August 12, 2013

Matanuska Experiment Farm hosts ag event

The day would not have been complete without veggie bobbing.
Children enjoyed playing in the grain box.
Hay rides, cooking demonstrations and a lecture on peonies were some of the most popular draws at Alaska Agriculture Appreciation Day Aug. 8 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.

The children's games are always a big hit and this year was no exception. Youngsters drew with chalk on the pavement and silage bales, bobbed for vegetables, raced with eggs and potatoes and had good old-fashioned fun with many other activities.

Throughout the day "sheep to shawl" demonstrations were given by the Valley Fiber Arts Guild. UAF Cooperative Extension Service nutritionists gave demonstrations on cooking cabbage, zucchini and turnips and identifying wild berries.

Assistant Professor Valerie Barber taught a session on tinctures and lotions made with wild ingredients from nature. CES Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Steve Brown led GPS activities all afternoon. Other demonstrations included flour and barley cereal making, growing peonies, inoculating mushrooms and identifying noxious weeds.

A variety of nonprofit and business vendors added their special flair to the event, which was sponsored by SNRAS, the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the UAF Cooperative Extension Service.

Special thanks to the Alaska Division of Agriculture, ATS Portable Toilets, Aurora Nursery, Bushes Bunches Greenhouse, Country Legends 100.9, Craig Taylor Equipment Co., Far North Garden Supply, Gray Owl Farms, In & Out Grocery and Deli, the Matanuska-Susistna Borough, Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, Pioneer Equipment Inc., Radio Free Palmer, Three Bears Alaska and Wal-Mart.

Event coordinator Theresa Isaac, far left, Norman Harris and Laurie Wilson prepare to launch the event.

Weaving and spinning were demonstrated throughout the day.

Reindeer from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center were popular with all the guests.

Cooperative Extension Service's Julie Casio (left) and Winona Benson provided fun and educational cooking demonstrations.

Valerie Barber taught how to make tinctures and lotions with wild ingredients.

Jim Ericksen tinkers with the tractor so the hay rides can begin.

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