Opportunity of a Lifetime: How I Came to be the Manager of a School District Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska

Looking For Direction and Purpose We’ve all heard of people obtaining their dream job, but finding and getting my own seemed a long shot.  Over the course of my adult life thoughts of a dream job often came to mind, especially on those days I dreaded going to work at all, those days I forced myself to get up and show up.   When my co-worker said to my sister-in-law, “She just shows up, does her job, and leaves,” I knew it was time to change the mindset I had Read More …

Perilla (shiso)-bring out the flavor of sushi

What is the Perilla (Shiso)? Perilla is a traditional Japanese herb with refreshing, aromatic, green-frilled leaves. It is called Shiso in Japanese. The plant has tender, flat and soft-textured leaves that are very popular for using in Sushi. It is also known as beefsteak plant. Perilla is a bushing plant. It is also grown as sprouts or micro-greens. As the plant matures, you can pinch off leaves for use which promotes branching and leaf production. I am interested in Asian vegetables and herbs. Every year I grow this plant from Read More …

Grow your garden in Spanish

Date: July 31, 2015 Time: 1-3 hours a week Materials needed: outdoor garden area Student level: Secondary Spanish students intermediate to advanced level Learning Standard: Common Core            Presentational writing Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well’chosen details, and well’ structured event sequences Language Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard grammar and usage when writing or speaking Overview: Plant and grow an outdoor garden to practice tense changes and broaden Spanish vocabulary base. Objectives: By the end of Read More …

Gardening in the Snow, sometimes.

In April, when the average temperature hovers around 20 above, and the snow glistens in the 12 hour sunlight, arctic gardeners like to start their seeds.   Throughout the year, we wash out yogurt containers, sour cream and cottage cheese containers save egg cartons, paper towel tubes, and even those clear plastic takeout containers.   We start seeds because the nearest greenhouse is 600 air miles away and we can’t afford to wait for the weather. While the kids are ice fishing, my husband and I set up two folding Read More …

Quirky Alaska Greenhouse Tomatoes

I have to admit, I didn’t like tomatoes before my husband built a greenhouse for me 6 years ago. He grew up on the sweet tomatoes his father grew in California and compared all others to those. I planted them initially for him, then I tasted my first homegrown cherry tomato and I was hooked. My unheated greenhouse is an 8×8 structure with clear Tuftex corrugated polycarbonate roof panels. My husband wanted panels that wouldn’t yellow and would allow the most light possible to pass. There is a 70 CFM Read More …

Growing Broccoli and Cauliflower in a Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska to Extend the Season

By Mary Hinckley We experimented with broccoli and cauliflower this year, the purpose of the experiment was to find out where they grew best. The seeds were started very early, and ready to be transplanted before the ground was outside, so most of the plants went into the greenhouse first.  We kept some indoors until the ground was warm enough to transplant. Last year both broccoli and cauliflower grew quite well in our greenhouse, but this year we insulated it and thought that could make a difference. Both species seemed Read More …

Building a Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska

by Mary Hinckley, An Alaska Master Gardener in Tok, Alaska Last summer my husband, Snooks, built  me a greenhouse. He had the green thumb but he said the greenhouse was for me. It was beautiful and I was touched, but I was no gardener. I’d spent a lot of time dodging gardening responsibilities for fear of killing something beautiful. I was willing to learn, however, and at a friend’s suggestion I enrolled in the Alaska Master Gardener Online course.  The class fit perfectly into my schedule and gave me the Read More …