Making seed tape and trying new carrot recipes. A good task for the long nights of winter

Why make seed tape? I hate to thin my seedlings. It’s just so sad to pull one of my dear little plants. I am also terrible at taking the time to seed carefully in the midst of the busy spring. This is particularly true when using tiny seeds like carrots.   Buying seed tape from the store is very expensive.   Making seed tape is certainly something that only a home gardener would do.   This is not time saving enough for true carrot farming.   Honestly though, I really Read More …

Peas Be With You

Well, it is now nearing August and my first Interior Alaska garden is thriving more than I ever imagined it would. I planted a little bit of everything to see how it would all do.  My most thriving vegetables happen to be my lettuce and snap peas.  I planted the last week of May, and my snow peas were the last thing I thought would do so well in my raised beds. Week after week,  night after night, after watering them I would check to see if there were any Read More …

Growing Garlic in Alaska

Growing beautiful and tasty garlic in Southcentral Alaska is easy and fun! I now grow so much that I have enjoyed giving it as gifts.   The dried bunches are very cute tied with a bow.   The Alaska Botanical Garden performs a growing garlic class each fall.   I thoroughly enjoyed this class.   Much of the information in this post, I gleaned from that class and through my own experience.   I also recommended the book Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers Read More …

From Rubbish To Radishes

Growing up in rural Missouri, I never imagined myself ever living in rural Alaska and though there are plenty of differences, my childhood experiences have certainly prepared me for, even made me well-suited to, living off the Alaska road system.  I am the product of a Depression-era father and an East German Communist escapee mother which made for an interesting combination of conservatism and organic lifestyle that many long for these days.  We reduced, reused and recycled out of necessity before it came into fashion and we were taught it Read More …

Sensory Gardens for Children With Special Needs

I am a Teacher’s Assistant in a Life Skills 2 classroom. The majority of our students are on the Autism Spectrum and are non-verbal.   There are many challenges working with our students. I try to make these challenges less stressful by creating positive learning experiences. I have chosen to use indoor container gardening for our sensory garden due to the fact that several of our students are flight risks. Container gardens also make it easier to garden throughout the school year and our students can more easily see the Read More …

Adaptive Gardening

At the end of a gardening session do you slowly rise to your feet, stretch, and feel the pains that toiling in the soil bring to your body?  How many of us take the time to think about how the same activity level would affect a person with limited flexibility, one who is an amputee, or a person who is wheelchair bound?  This summer I have been privileged to look at these issues from an up close and personal perspective.  When we are young, bending, reaching, hauling heavy items, and Read More …

Radical Rhubarb: Why is all of my rhubarb going to seed?!

I have grown up in a family of rhubarb fanatics! The sweet taste in pies, jams, and cakes is just the way to wake your body up after a long, dark winter. Recently, the rhubarb that I have growing has been flowering very frequently. I can go out a pull seed heads off of nearly every plant and it has always puzzled me (as well as frustrated me to no end). I have also had many friends post pictures on social media of their rhubarb going to seed asking “What Read More …

Love for the neglected Crabapple Trees: A lesson in pruning

By Andrea Hood, an Alaska Master Gardener My small yard is edged by two crabapple trees planted by the amazing couple that built this house so long ago. Every year, in spite of being ignored by the new residents and abused by snow hurled from the plows and occasional windstorms, they have produced small, tangy, beautiful fruit. This year, while they are sleeping, they will get some TLC. The idea is a bit overwhelming. They are now overgrown beautiful monsters. This is going to be a multi-year treatment plan. Sustainable Read More …

Tater Tires for Season Extension and Increased Potato Production in Alaska

By Mary Hinckley, an Alaska Master Gardener in Tok, Alaska Several years ago on a trip Outside, Snooks and I discovered Andean Fingerling potatoes. Up until then we’d become increasingly disappointed in grocery store potatoes. They seemed to have lost their savor, containing only starch and no flavor. We agreed that they were more like filler than food. But in a health food store we discovered potatoes called ‘Red Ruby Crescent.’ Brand new to us, we decided to give them a try and paid the outlandish price of five dollars Read More …