Master Gardener Handbook California Edition Book Review.

Book Review Why would an Alaskan want to read a Master Gardener Handbook written for California? This California Master Gardener Handbook is very  well written.   It is a comprehensive work written by twenty-five different authors who have both vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of how to successfully grow all kinds of plants.   In addition to the authors there are eight collaborators all of whom are experts in their respective fields.   The book was rigorously peer reviewed and completely scrutinized.   This book was an enormous Read More …

Why I Enrolled In The Master Gardener Online Course – And Why You Should,Too.

Why Did I Enroll? I’m a retired and very successful farmer, yet I still took the Master Gardener Course Online. And do you know what?   It was well worth my time. Yes, I already knew a lot about subjects such as edaphology, plant biology, agronomy and entomology; however, it’s important to keep up to date on the latest developments. And the Master Gardener Course got me up to speed on some important aspects of gardening/farming. For example, how to access weather data online. The course has some really amazing Read More …

How To Protect Your Garden From Pests

Why Build A Fence? Mother nature can be a ruthless destroyer of a garden. As gardeners, we have to make every effort to properly choose the right location, prepare garden soil, prep the beds, sow, water, weed and shield plants from frost. And then there are the pests we have to contend with. The pests want to reap what we’ve sown; therefore, measures have to be taken to ensure that all of our planning and hard work isn’t ruined by nature — including the wind. Although the wind isn’t classified Read More …

What Basic Hand Tools And Supplies Do I Need To Start A Garden?

You Can Do A Lot With A Little. It doesn’t take much to get started. Firstly, we need just a few basic hand tools and lots of back and elbow grease. What do we need? A garden fork to turn and break up the soil; a shovel to move the soil around; a mattocks to dislodge rocks and cut through roots; a rake to classify and remove unwanted debris and level the beds; and a hoe to cultivate the rows and/or make furrows. We’ll also need some stakes, string, a Read More …

Planning Your Garden Quickstart Guide

                      First Things To Think About. After you’ve chosen a suitable location for your garden (please see my previous post on that subject) now is the time to think about a garden plan. So what’s the first thing we need to think about? Probably the overall size of the garden is what we need to figure out first. The first question we should ask ourselves is “how much available time do I have to work and properly care for my Read More …

Location! Location! Location! Picking A Spot To Start A Garden.

Getting Started On The Right Foot Spring is here! And soon it’ll be time to get growing! And perhaps, like me, you have already set out some plants. But wait! Have you carefully considered some important facts which could make the difference between gardening success or failure? The truth is that every year many gardeners fail, because they just didn’t get started on the right foot to begin with by choosing wisely where to pick a spot to garden. Yes, location is very important. Let’s discuss some basic but essential Read More …

Wild Tundra Blueberry Jam

Gathering the blues… Growing up above the Arctic Circle in rural Alaska, blueberries were the only treat we needed and it was the only dessert we wanted. We’d have them fresh during the summer and then frozen in the winter, but my favorite was blueberry jam on a fresh bread roll from the oven. The whole family would go out picking berries and on a good windy day, we’d be out all day well into the evening. While picking our only sense of time was the position of the sun Read More …

Raspberry Muffins – A Battle for Berries

  Fresh Alaskan berries are a hot commodity in my house, and if you don’t squirrel away your portion of the berries as soon as you get home from picking you’re likely to find that someone has eaten your portion before you know it! Luckily, after years of bickering over disappearing berries, and countless disagreements about what to use our prized frozen cache of berries on in the winter months, we came across  Todd’s recipe for Blueberry Swirl Muffins  and collectively fell in love with how well the recipe paired Read More …

A Family Tradition in the Kitchen

Family Gatherings There is nothing better than a family gathering where food is shared, stories are told, and traditions are passed down. Holidays seem to be a good time for these get-togethers, and for some of us, they bring a sense of peace and comfort to our home. Grandma’s Applesauce In my family, a family holiday favorite is my grandma’s homemade applesauce. She used to make it for every family gathering and holiday, and it was always the first treat to have the empty dish cleared from the table. It Read More …