What’s That on my Turnip?

This past year I bought my first home  and it  came with a fenced-in garden and some raised garden beds. I was ambitious to plant a garden this year, although gardening is new territory for me. I have to admit I did not put the time and effort required into my garden. After the initial excitement of preparing the beds (at what was probably minimal standards of preparation), I planted the seeds and carried on with busy summer plans and activities. Next thing I knew June was over. Then July. 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 …

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 …

When to Harvest in a Typical Southeast Alaskan Garden

Harvest Time! The last few months have been chalked full of preparation, planting, and weeding and now it is time to harvest the rewards. New gardeners can find it difficult to determine when exactly to harvest each vegetable at the peak of freshness. So I have done some of the research for you and have compiled a list of fifteen vegetables to help you get the most of each vegetable found in a typical Southeast Alaskan garden. Also to make it easier the list is in alphabetical order. 1. Asparagus Read More …

Easy Blanching for Winter Feasting

The Wonders of Food Preservation   As delicious as fresh produce straight from the garden can be, most of the time we hobby gardeners have too much to eat all at once, and we must choose what to do with the extra! Some give their surplus garden bounty away. The other day, a co-worker of mine offered to buy my extras from me. But the best choice in my mind is to preserve them for winter eating! There is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing I have a freezer full Read More …

Growing Media Literacy with Garden Foods

Subject Area: Language Arts Appropriate Grade Level: 3rd, 4th or 5th grade Ideal season for lesson: Late Summer, Early Fall Suggested materials: Magazine and newspaper ads (or access to the Internet) Magazine and newspaper articles Art materials An assortment of vegetables, at least some of them garden fresh. What you use will depend on availability and the preferences and needs of your group. Goal and outcomes: Alaska Anchor Standards For Reading, Grades K-12 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually Read More …

Adventure in Apartment Gardening: Containers for the Busy and Mildly Forgetful

What lead me to apartment gardening: I grew up having a garden, white picket fence and all. As I became an adult and ultimately ended up living in an apartment, I realized how much I missed having fresh fruits and vegetables at my fingertips. I also remembered how much better they tasted. Not just because they were fresh but because of the amount of pride I took in being able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Where the apartment gardening began: So at 18, living in a small apartment Read More …

Growing Garlic in Alaska

Growing beautiful and tasty garlic in Southcentral Alaska is easy and fun! I now grow so much that I have enjoyed giving it as gifts.   The dried bunches are very cute tied with a bow.   The Alaska Botanical Garden performs a growing garlic class each fall.   I thoroughly enjoyed this class.   Much of the information in this post, I gleaned from that class and through my own experience.   I also recommended the book Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers Read More …