Crop Rotation

Table of content What is crop rotation? What are the benefits of crop rotation? An example crop rotation schedule How to make your own crop rotation plan What is crop rotation? Crop rotation is when each year a different plant is grown in a spot, for example if a farmer were to grow wheat in a field one year and field peas and a field the next year. What are benefits of crop rotation? Rotating crops from one year to the next between different varieties increases yields by 10% to Read More …

Water conservation in the garden

Table of content Garden bed design Soil Planted varieties How you water How you water: With the hose How you water: Drip irrigation How you water: Let the rain do it Garden bed design Different designs of garden beds have different levels of water conservation. Though hugelkultur mounds have lasting fertility they are open allowing for loss of water to evaporation so when trying to conserve water dig a hole to build your hugelkultur beds in to reduce evaporation. When building garden beds on a hill build a large berm Read More …

Cover crops

Table of content What does a cover crop do? Where should a cover crop be used? What are some good cover crops? Buckwheat Turnips Field peas What does a cover crop do? A cover crop has several uses, the first of which is to suppress weeds in a plot of land not used to grow something else. Cover crops are also used to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Another use for cover crops is for animal fodder sometimes even during the winter. Where should a cover crop Read More …

How to cultivate and harvest summer and winter squash in Southcentral Alaska

Table of content Where to grow Greenhouse and hoop house bed preparation Garden bed preparation How to grow Starting seedlings Planting Maintaining plants How to harvest Storage Seed saving Where to grow If a you have greenhouse or hoop house that is best for winter squash. If you do not have a greenhouse or hoop house a garden bed with rich well drained soil and full sun will have to do for winter squash, and is preferable for summer squash. It is best if the greenhouse, hoop house, or garden Read More …

Gorgeous Inspiration for Home Gardeners and Farmer Florists

Overview The book Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden  is an inspirational book for anyone wanting to cultivate a beautiful garden full of flowers for arranging. Author Erin Benzakein along with photographer Julie Chai have filled this 300 page resource with beautiful photos and hard won growing advice on more than 175 flower varieties plus planning tips for all four seasons. The setting for the book is a Mt. Vernon, Washington farm that is only two acres in size. Erin and her husband Chris have created a small scale, high intensity 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 …

More Rain than Shine: Book Review of, “How To Grow Vegetables in Sitka, Alaska” by Lori Adams

  My Plan to Grow When I became Assistant Groundskeeper at the Sitka Pioneers’ Home in almost five years ago I was really impressed with the amount of flowers that were now in my care. But it didn’t take me long to realize there was something lacking on the Pioneers’ Home grounds. I knew that a small vegetable garden would be a nice, attractive, and useful addition for the home. Fortunately I was not alone in this thinking as a former employee of the home had received permission to do Read More …

Mindfulness and Gardening: The Benefits of Stopping, Breathing, and Enjoying your Alaska Garden

Mindfulness and Gardening The Benefits of Stopping, Breathing  and Enjoying your Alaska Garden   Gardening has consistently proven to be a healthy, mood-enhancing activity  that begets numerous psychological and physical benefits.   For example, gardening showed significant increases in  quality of life, self-esteem,  life satisfaction,  happiness,  and sense of community, as well as reductions in stress levels, anxiety, and depression.    Additionally, gardening is associated with increased overall levels of physical activity and fitness, increased calorie burn, lower body mass index (BMI), and reduced risk of obesity.   Mindfulness has Read More …

Opportunity of a Lifetime: How I Came to be the Manager of a School District Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska

Looking For Direction and Purpose We’ve all heard of people obtaining their dream job, but finding and getting my own seemed a long shot.  Over the course of my adult life thoughts of a dream job often came to mind, especially on those days I dreaded going to work at all, those days I forced myself to get up and show up.   When my co-worker said to my sister-in-law, “She just shows up, does her job, and leaves,” I knew it was time to change the mindset I had Read More …