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 …

Putting into Practice What I learned in the Alaska Master Gardener Online Class–What Worked and What Didn’t?

This piece will hopefully capture a bit of how the 2020 summer gardening season went.  This time around, we went into the season armed with information from the Master Gardener Course taken online at UAF in 2019.  What good is new knowledge if you don’t use it?  Better yet, if you try something new, it is always useful to actually observe and write down what you did and how it worked out. As of today, the only thing still in the ground here in Anchorage is a 37-gallon trash can Read More …

Growing Yacon in Anchorage

I ran across yacon in 2014 in a column by Jeff Lowenfels.   He recommended it as a handsome plant that produces sweet tubers at the end of the growing season.   We decided to give it a try one year and have done it every year since. The plant itself goes by several names:   yacon, Bolivian sunroot, Peruvian ground apple and occasionally “yacon strawberry.’  The plant itself is related to sunflowers, dahlias, Jerusalem artichokes and other similar plants. It generally looks similar to a sunflower and grows up Read More …

Tofu and Kale Scramble: Part of a Simple Life

Choices to be Made: An Introduction Fast friendly author Julie Montagu, the Flexi Foodie, has several amazing books about superfoods. Superfoods Superfast features 100 energizing recipes to make in 20 minutes or less. As a mother of a rambunctious 3-year-old, full-time employee, student, and homemaker who often takes care of her partners’ three children too, this book and style fit perfectly into my life. I find that even with all of the tasty choices that include kale the “Kale and Tofu Scramble” is one I use most often, although the Read More …

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 …

Farming in the Rain: Sitka, Alaska

Sitka’s climate Gardening in Sitka’s climate presents several challenges. I would have to say too much rain and a lack of sunlight would have to be at the top of the list. We get a lot of rain in Sitka, some growing seasons more than others. Overcast days are plentiful throughout the growing season as well. Overcast days help to give plants a chance to recover after a stretch of constant rain. It’s important to give the soil a chance to dry out and become more stable and easier to Read More …

The search for local knowledge: the Homer Garden Club publications

A slow start Last spring I moved to the Homer area with my family. It was late June by the time I got a chance to start a garden. I knew I was going to have a late start, but I have always had a garden, and I knew I could grow something in what was left of the season. I knew the season was going to be short, so I decided to focus my efforts in the greenhouse. I planted some beans and squash in six inch deep boxes, Read More …

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau, Alaska – A gift for the senses

Pollinator on Primula

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum  in Juneau, Alaska A Gift For The Senses It is a gorgeous day in Southeast Alaska and I am heading to The Jensen-Olson Arboretum for some much needed “garden therapy.’   I drive on Glacier Highway past mile marker 23 and make a left onto the small parking lot, get out of the car, take a few steps and WHOA!– I am greeted by an explosion of fragrances, textures, flavors, and colors bursting out of 1.5 acres of carefully tended, pure waterfront magic.   I stop, breathe Read More …

Book Review: Perennial Gardening “Easy to Follow Guide, Plant once and enjoy your plants, flowers, shrubbery, and vegetables forever’ — Susan Hollister

I purchased and read this book for the assignment from Alaska UAF Master Gardening class.   It is applicable to my garden where I try to only plant perennials; and hopefully ones that are low maintenance.   The book will be a reference for me in the future. The author covers all types of perennials: vegetables, blooming perennials, grasses, shrubs, bulbs and rhizomes, fruits and berries, and landscaping with perennials.   What I liked about the book is the detail description of the plant characteristics, what type of locations they Read More …