Early Starts with the AeroGarden

In Alaska, starting plants indoors takes some effort. They need lights.   They need good soil (eventually).  And based on the part of the state you live in; they need to be done indoors for varying lengths of time. Here in Anchorage, we are cautioned to not plant outside until the leaves of the birch trees get to be the size of squirrel’s ears.   The generally works out to be sometime in late May, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later. We have not had much luck with 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 …

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 …

Plant Starts for Gifts

Plant Start for Gifts In the spring when it is time to start plants indoors to be transplanted outdoors after the danger of frost has passed is an ideal time to introduce younger students to seeds and plant growth. Students can make and decorate starting pots from toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls that have been cut in thirds. These can be easily decorated using makers or paints, water proof if possible. The plants will need to be started four to six weeks before they are ready to go Read More …

Seeds and Sprouts Lesson Plan K-3

Seeds and Sprouts Lesson Plan Sprouts are an easy to grow food source that is an inexpensive and simple way to provide fresh greens and their nutrients in the winter months or all year round. Growing sprouts can also be used to help students understand how plants are propagated from seeds, the structure of plants and seeds, and the diversity of flavors in different plant parts.   Subject Areas: Science/Health Grade Level: K-3rd Season: All Season/Seeds Time Required: One day without growing sprouts One week with growing sprouts Materials: For 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 …

Seed starting for Beginners Part 1

Its that time!   It is the time of year – time to appease our need for the smell of soil and the love of nurturing green life. Many people spend a fortune in plants at the box stores and green houses. Good for them, there is nothing wrong with that. However, paying $2-3 per cabbage plant makes me wonder why they don’t just buy cabbage at the grocery store. Not only is it expensive, but missing the seed starting is missing one of the best parts! Watching and nurturing Read More …

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 …

The Great Tomato Fiasco of 2015 or How I Sweltered My Way to Wisdom

2015 In autumn 2014, my partner built us a “sunroom” off the side of our house in Kenai, Alaska. He intended to use it for storage; I intended to fill it with plants come summertime. In the first week of March 2015, I bought indoor seed starting lights and mats and seeded dozens of plants indoors–including about 30 tomato plants in five varieties. I had Romas, Tumbling Toms, Sub-Arctic 25s, and a couple more varieties I can’t recall now. As it turns out, I didn’t have the space for 30 Read More …