Before and After : 2 quick season extension tips

My quest for extending the growing season began after my move to Alaska in 2001. Raised in the Midwest I grew up eating tomatoes on the vine, toasted tomato sandwiches, and  canning bushels of tomatoes. After all, tomatoes are SO easy to grow and very plentiful — right?   Well, I see the smile on your knowing faces because after I moved to Alaska it took me nearly a decade to taste my first fresh tomatoes from the vine, and mind you it was not a plentiful bounty. A few Read More …

Starting Seeds in Sprouting Jars

Every spring, when I am lucky enough to be able to garden, it’s a  race against time to get seeds or starts in the ground at the earliest possible moment, that is, as soon as the soil is dry enough and it is late enough to escape losing everything to a hard frost.  Additionally, the garden needs to be ready to plant.  Outside plots, beds and buckets need to be prepared.  In a perfect world, it would  be like a symphony with every task perfectly organized and timed to be Read More …

Enjoying the Taste of Summer Throughout the Winter: Food Preservation in Southeast Alaska

by Katie Craney, an Alaska Master Gardener All of the hard work has paid off, its harvest time! I’ve found that I enjoy planting my garden just as much as figuring out ways to keep the freshness and flavors of summer and fall going through the winter. As a gardener and forager, I spend so much time planning and waiting for the right time to pick that I feel I owe it to myself to get the most out of every effort! It can feel a little overwhelming during harvest, Read More …

An Alaskan Landscape

By Amy Reed, An Alaska Master Gardener in Anchorage, AK Footprints outside the window. This is my first time writing a  blog, and I am excited to share my adventure with my new flowerbeds!   My husband, daughter, and I moved to  Anchorage from Eagle River this past winter. Because our new yard was covered  in snow, I had no idea what I was in for come spring!   The new house abuts the Chugach State Park,  so from the grizzly bear prints in the snow, I knew I would Read More …

Tater Tires for Season Extension and Increased Potato Production in Alaska

By Mary Hinckley, an Alaska Master Gardener in Tok, Alaska Several years ago on a trip Outside, Snooks and I discovered Andean Fingerling potatoes. Up until then we’d become increasingly disappointed in grocery store potatoes. They seemed to have lost their savor, containing only starch and no flavor. We agreed that they were more like filler than food. But in a health food store we discovered potatoes called ‘Red Ruby Crescent.’ Brand new to us, we decided to give them a try and paid the outlandish price of five dollars Read More …

Gardening North of the Arctic Circle

by Jennifer Dillard, An Alaska Master Gardener North of the Arctic Circle! New to Alaska, my husband and I moved to Bettles Field, a remote Interior Alaska community, ready to embrace a new way of living. Having lived in Wisconsin and Illinois where I had my own garden and participated in a community garden, I felt confident in my gardening skills but translating these skills into Arctic conditions was a completely new and challenging journey for me. Fully aware that I lacked even the basic knowledge of how to garden Read More …

Starting an Alaskan Garden

by Evan Sterling, An Alaska Master Gardener in Ester, Alaska   Background Well, this is my very first posting on the Alaska Master Gardener blog, but I certainly hope it won’t be my last. I’m a newly minted Master Gardener working on completing my volunteer hours, and to tell you the truth, I do not feel like much of a “Master!’ Yet, anyway. I’m 28, almost 29, and just starting out with my partner, Shannon, on our own piece of land in Ester, Alaska. We don’t have any plans of Read More …

Easy Window Sill Gardening in Alaska

by Laura Emerson, An Alaska Master Gardener With a minimal investment of time, space, and money, beginning gardeners can enjoy rapid results with a window sill garden. On my 4 inch wide window sills of two, four foot (double paned) windows that face south, I was able to fit six plastic six- pack planters each (twelve packs total, 72 plant holes). Once the first seeds sprouted, I added two tables in front of each window to hold deeper pots for the biggest plants while reusing the six-packs for new seeds. Read More …