Winters in Alaska are long, cold & dark. At the end of December, most Alaskans only see 5-6 hours of sun each day. By March, the daylight hours have made significant enough gains for Alaskans to start looking forward to summer months in the land of the midnight sun.
In Alaska, one of the surest signs that spring has officially sprung is the sight of rhubarb’s annual crowning from the barely-thawed earth.
Continue reading Spring Rhubarb: an early edible perennial in Alaska
Many of us who grew up in rural areas have fond childhood memories of fruit trees.
Maybe it was watching the tree bloom each spring, with the sweet scent of blossoms filling the air. Or maybe it was experiencing the annual harvest, with the smallest kids climbing up and gently shaking tree limbs, while family & friends on the ground used a wide tarp to catch falling apples.
There’s no doubt that planting a hardy apple or cherry tree is planting the seed of future memories. But there are things to know before you grow. Before you start digging, there are 5 important factors to keep in mind that will help ensure a fruitful experience. Continue reading 5 Considerations Before Planting Fruit Trees
Driving through neighborhoods during fall time, it’s common to see big black trash bags stuffed with raked leaves sitting on the curb, waiting for garbage day.
When your yard (or a nearby neighbor’s yard) is filled with leafy, deciduous trees, although it’s a chore to rake up falling leaves, you’re actually bagging up brown gold that you – or someone else – could re-purpose. Continue reading Fall Leaves: nature’s free mulch, compost & animal bedding
Watermelon berries are a seasonal wildberry that grow in Alaska and other places that have cooler summer climates and stay relatively moist in certain areas. Continue reading Identifying wild, edible watermelon berries
Most of the year in Alaska, our outdoor compost piles are frozen solid. When I get an opportunity to play with hot composting, it’s a rare occasion! Continue reading Getting Hot Compost to 150F Degrees
It’s rhubarb harvest season!
If you’re looking to add an edible plant to your yard that comes back every year with minimal maintenance, look no further than rhubarb. Continue reading How to harvest a rhubarb plant (without killing it)
Many gardeners and permaculture enthusiasts have worked composting into their way of life, because it’s the best (and cheapest) way to add nutrients back into your planting soil and your yard. Continue reading Does composting stink?
There were thumping and scraping noises coming from my front porch in residential Anchorage, Alaska. It was dark out, and I was getting nervous, wondering who was creeping around my home at night. I finally built up the courage to peek out my window, and… Continue reading Some cities have raccoon problems, some have deer or bugs. But Anchorage, Alaska? Well…
It was time to harvest my beets, and I wanted to try canning at home.
I took a few classes on canning earlier this year from the UAF extension office in Anchorage, so I was familiar with the differences between the hot water bath canning method and a pressure canner, but I had never done it on my own. Continue reading First Time Canning With a Water Bath: Pickled Homegrown Beets