Make Your Own Wild Game Stock, It’s Easy!

                  With the shorter days and snow on the ground, hearty soups and stews are often on the menu. A good stock is the foundation of these recipes as well as the base for many sauces and gravies. If you hunt game meat, or know someone who does, don’t let those wonderful bones go to waste. Making your own stock from moose, caribou, or beef is surprisingly simple. A wild game stock can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken Read More …

Rhodiola Rosea: Medicinal Plant for Alaska

Photograph Courtesy of Brian Pettinger Rhodiola Rosea in Alaska Rhodiola rosea L.is currently being explored as a commercial crop in Alaska.   Several news agencies have given exposure to this emerging crop in Alaska.   Some research suggests that our climate, like its native Siberia, produces more potent compounds to be used as a supplement.   This plant should also be of interest to the home gardener as a landscaping plant, or part of a medicinal herb garden.    R. rosea L. has constituents that have been reported as adaptogens, Read More …

Growing an Indoor Edible Garden

When we moved into our house in October, I started itching to grow something. This is the first time I’ve owned my own little part of the earth, and that is about as tangible as life gets for a gardener. The weather was turning colder, and everyone around us was settling in for winter. Cutting wood is a more appropriate fall time activity in Alaska, or so my husband tells me, but I decided I was going to grow food in our tiny cabin. So, I did what I do Read More …

Lemon Grass: Superhero Among Herbs

When I worked in garden centers down South there was one particular herb that was always in demand: lemongrass. I turned away customers on a regular basis because my vendors couldn’t grow enough to meet the demand. It’s such an easy, versatile plant that has many uses: culinary, medicinal and aesthetic. Then I moved to Juneau. I was perusing my weekly availability sheet and was thrilled to find the elusive lemongrass! I ordered 2 flats of it. And it sat in the greenhouse all season. I couldn’t understand why they Read More …

Yarrow, more than your common weed!

Stop and enjoy the roadside weeds! Not only did  we name our daughter after this elegant wildflower but have learned that it is quite the miracle worker when used as a healing herb. It’s Latin name is achillea millefollium. Myth has it that Achillea carried this plant with him into battle as a wound healing agent. Yarrow can stop bleeding, relieve pain and act as a anti-microbial which makes it a must for your medicine cabinet. Yarrow can also be used as an effective insect repellent when rubbed on the 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 …

Learning to Love Chickweed

Like many Alaskans I have spent countless summers struggling with chickweed in my garden and lawn. I painstakingly remove plant after plant until I am feeling smug about myself. Then I see “just one more plant’ and I delve back in again. It’s almost to the point of needing a support group. This year I decided to try a little reverse psychology on myself and research my nemesis — know thy enemy so to speak — just to see if we could all get along. Common Chickweed ‘s Latin name Read More …

In Honor of Herbs

I love growing herbs. They have so many great qualities to recommend them. They can be grown anywhere, even  in a small space, such as  a  kitchen window. For the most part, they  aren’t fussy, are easy to process and store, and only a few plants can supply you with wonderful flavor from your garden year round. I like to plant them in pots on the porch.  They are usually the  very first harvest, as leaves can be used as soon as there are enough to spare.  I  pinch a Read More …