Publications make great gift ideas

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2001

As I browsed through our publication rack at the Extension office, I started to see a multitude of gift giving ideas for the holidays. Many of our publications are free and some we have to charge a small fee to cover the cost of printing. Perhaps some of these titles will inspire an idea for you.

Between now and Christmas, the University of Alaska Fair-banks is offering our berry book for half price. This book is popular among Alaskans and would make a nice gift for anyone you know who harvests and uses our Alaska berries. When you come into our office, ask for "Collecting and Using Alaska's Wild Berries and Other Wild Products."

Another food-related publication that would serve as a gift alone or in a gift basket is, "Make Your Own Mix." This is a 34-page booklet filled with homemade mixes such as a master mix used for waffles, pancakes, quick breads, biscuits, cookies and cakes. I can picture this booklet along with a prepared recipe of Master Mix, placed in a bread pan -- an inexpensive gift, but one from the heart.

For someone on your gift list who likes to sew, I'd suggest our publication "Alaska Mittens." This publication includes a 19-page instruction booklet, plus the patterns for five different mitten designs in three sizes: child (size 4 to 7 years), youth (size 8 to 12 years) and adult (size 8 and 8 1/2).

This publication also contains information regarding fabric selection, making mittens from skins and mittens from recycled knits, such as worn sweaters and socks. For a limited time there is a coupon worth $1 off the publication.

There are many publications for the horticulture enthusiast. If you haven't taken the time to visit our office, I strongly encourage you to come in and take a look at the wide array of publications on gardening, food storage and landscaping. Looking through our catalog. I counted 35 free publications related to horticulture, including one of our most requested brochures, "Recommended Variety List for Southcentral Alaska."

Titles of some of our cost publications related to horticulture include "Landscape Plants for Alaska," "Growing Tree and Bush Fruits in Alaska," "Home Land-scaping Kit," "16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska," "A Key to Flower Growing in Alaska," "Weed Control in AK Vegetable Gardens" and the "Alaska Gardener's Manual."

One of my favorite publications is "Home Storage of Fruits and Vegetables." For someone who goes to the effort to grow produce, this 30-page publication is a must-have. It is packed with information related to preservation methods and best conditions for storage for specific vegetables and fruit. I refer to this publication frequently myself.

If you have someone on your gift list interested in managing the trees and shrubs on their land in Alaska, we have a three-part series publication on this subject: Part One: Determining Your Goals and Assessing Your Forest; Part Two: Planting Guide for Trees in Urban and Rural Alaska; and Part Three: A Guide to Collecting Seed and Growing Seedlings.

To inquire about any of these publications, contact the Cooper-ative Extension office at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, in Soldotna in the Doors and Windows building or call 262-5824.

Linda Athons is an agent at the Alaska Cooperative Extension office on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna. She is a home economist and involved in the 4-H/Youth Development programs.

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