So, We Garden… What does that mean?

Hi everyone! Its #GardenIsShe2020- I just wanted to present this statement, “We garden.” What exactly does this mean? When someone hears the word ‘garden’ or ‘gardener’ what comes to mind? Is it Grandma hoeing her flower garden or the public school planting in the community garden? Stereotypes conflict around gardening- homesteaders, grandmothers, and preservationists, are just a few of the most common. So, what does it mean by definition to garden? The definition of garden is “a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated“, (Merriam-Webster). Thus Read More …

A Tale of Two Interests: Resource Review of the Suburban Homestead YouTube Channel

The Stomach of Necessity The quickest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. As someone who has worn many hats in the field of healthcare, and has passed a human anatomy class, I take issue with this phrase. However, as someone who spends the better part of their time either thinking or talking about food, I could not agree more. I began the process of learning to cook at the age of about 10. I was fed up with canned green bean casserole, and determined to exert more control Read More …

A Plant IS What It Eats

I like to read fiction. It was amazing to me that a book on plant nutrition was a ‘page turner’ for me. True, there were many very scientific terms used, but Jeff Lowenfels, in his book, Teaming with Nutrients, gives a layman’s rendition of these terms, making them understandable. There are also processes that I needed to go back to read over again in order to understand, but I did so eagerly.  The unfolding explanations and the subsequent wonder of what actually is happening in the plant structure and around Read More …

Chickweed. . . To kill or not to kill

This post started with my delight at the opportunity to share my successes of eliminating Stellaria media (chickweed) from my garden. I heard frustrated gardeners curse chickweed long before I experienced it for myself. Due to stories of monstrous chickweed invasions, this summer I was completely horrified to discover it near my garden, and fearful of an impending takeover. Faced with a pest, I turned to the internet where, it turns out, there are a variety of ways to confront chickweed. I will share with you my personal success, but Read More …

Weeds can be Wonderful

Introduction: For this post, I wanted to give a different perspective on weeds compared to most other gardeners I hear from.   Many of the classic ‘weeds’   that are dubbed lawn and garden pests such as dandelions, clover, and yarrow might not be as bad as some people think, though this is subject to what you are trying to do with your land.   We actually let these run rampant in our yard (which I suppose we are lucky to have extra space that we are trying to make Read More …

Confessions of a Gardener

As a gardener, I have many things to confess.  The ideal image of a person bending over neat rows with gloves, apron, hat and trowel, with that odd tiny rake sitting off to the side ready to be used (does anyone ever actually use that thing?) is not me.  Not even close.     Confession number 1: Clothes don’t make the gardener.   I am the person who gets out of their car after work to “quickly’ go check on a plant that has been on my mind, and is Read More …

Seed Starting for Beginners Part 2

Time to light it up! The little plants are pushing their shoulders out of the soil.   Within hours, they will be pushing skyward in a life saving race to find the sun.   It is very important to put the light on them quickly so that they do not get too leggy in their sun worshiping pursuit. I like to purchase the fluorescent lights at the local hardware store.   They are typical “shop lights” and come with a plug.   Unless you are an electrician, be careful not Read More …

From Bickles to Zickles

Every Alaskan gardener eventually runs up against the end of the season and a plethora of produce.Then comes the problem of what to do with it to actually get people to consume it! I’ve heard of people dropping extra zucchini on unsuspecting door steps, and even putting them in random cars in the parking lot. You’re tired of “zuke dogs” right, you couldn’t grill another zuke, or deep fry it to save your life at this point. You’ve had kale every which way that can be imagined. You’ve had bush Read More …

Root Maggots–Brassicas’ worst enemy!

I live in Ketchikan, Alaska where I garden intensively all over my yard with mostly fruits, and vegetables. This is my second season gardening on my property and it has been a bountiful year so far with garlic, onions, potato’s, lettuce, spinach, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and gooseberries–to name a few. I love watching the garden evolve and grow over the spring and summer–how bare soil can grow into such lush, delicious greens that fill up your belly. As things grow, so do pests and diseases along with other small problems Read More …