THE U-Pick GARDEN IS CLOSED

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska
99835


Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 3:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is downtoearthupick@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Summary.......Of Sorts

Things have been really busy around here, and this pretty much sums up why....


But it's not all about the planting....there are lots of other things that need to be done to keep this farm running. Here are just a few:

Moving the Pea Tunnel for crop rotation purposes.


The black zip ties hold each concrete reinforcement wire section to a rebar arch, and the white zipties hold each of the units together. Cut the white zip ties, move the sections, and rezip tie.


Maintaining the duck fence. This section was too low...


 So I added another section....


And tied them together.


Try to get out of that!


These 2x4 blocks that were supporting the big beams alongside the house in the garden were rotting away.


So new ones needed to be built.


An easy, but boring project.


But hey, I got to use a hydraulic jack for the first time.


It's so cool....I came up with all sorts of other things I could use it for in the house, but the jack is so heavy I didn't feel like hauling it around.

All of the beds needed to be tilled and prepped for planting. I had lots of helpers for that job.


While tilling up last year's carrot bed I found a bunch more carrots!


And they were just as sweet and delicious as ever!


Of course all of the starts in the Sunroom needed to be continuously cared for.


This Spring has been so gloomy that all of my starts are very weak and spindly. Very sad.....but I'm hoping for the best. With a little sunshine they should snap out of it.

Of course, Kitty needed to be shaved. Here he is on the chopping block, awaiting his inevitable demise.


 That's better!


 Of course, most of my projects had to be done in the rain.....it just won't stop raining!

Mr. Adams has been busy too, getting the boat ready for the Spring hunting season.


One of his biggest projects was putting a bulbous bow on the boat. For those of you who do not know what a bulbous bow is....
  1. bulbous bow is a protruding bulb at the bow(or front) of a ship just below the waterline. The bulb modifies the way the water flows around the hull, reducing drag and thus increasing speed, range, fuel efficiency, and stability.

A "building" was required for this project. 


And Gerald Gangle, our local fiberglass expert, was hired to make sure the job was done properly.


And while he was doing that, Mr. Adams was attending to all of the other things that need to be done at haulout time.


 Here are the guys with the finished project. It's a thing of beauty....


It's a beautiful thing!


 And back in the water it went.


Of course, with an extended bow, it now became necessary to extend the bow roller too, so the anchor won't drop on the bulbous bow. Mr. Adams built a beautiful new bow roller.


He's handy like that.


 A lot of long, hard hours have been put into these projects....I think we both could use a vacation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Water Again.....But This Time Where I DON'T Want It!

For a couple of years now there has been a lot of water at the bottom of the garden.


Too much water.


In the pathways,



 And in the beds too.


It started out sort of gradually, and we came up with all sorts of explanations for why it must be happening....things like: well, it HAS been raining a lot, or, the soil is compacting over the years from tilling, or,  a drainage pipe from the house gutters must be plugged....anything but the most obvious and most dreaded possibility.


But by March we had to accept the obvious truth.....the main water pipe to the house had to have a leak in it. Oh boy...I envisioned a week long project with an excavator to fix the problem, and neither I nor Mr. Adams had time for that! But something had to be done....I couldn't plant the beds this Spring with that much moisture in them.

So last week, one day, I grabbed a shovel and started to dig a hole to find the water pipe. Once I found the pipe I started to dig a trench. The trench was about 8 feet long when the ground started to get pretty wet. It was about that time that Mr. Adams drove in the driveway. Great timing! He dug about another foot and the ground got REALLY wet. About that time Ken and Monique drove in and Ken jumped in to lend a hand. Great timing again.....because right away they hit water!!!!


Mr. Adams figures that about 5 gallons of water a minute was coming out of that leak! We shut off the water valve down by the road and then Mr. Adams and Ken went to town and bought the supplies to fix the leak.



We turned the water back on and the leak was fixed. Wow! That was easy....a lot easier than I expected it to be.


The next task was to fill the trench back up. But how? With the same material? The material that caused the leak to begin with? It was decided that I should buy some pea gravel to surround the pipe.


I think I bought enough gravel.


Oh yeah.

 (one bucket worth of gravel)

 The leak was found, the pipe was fixed, and the trench was filled back in before the day was over.
And the best news of all is that the ground started to dry up...in 2 days it was completely dry!!!!!!

I'm so happy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Seeds Of Today

Well, I've been pretty busy the past few weeks. March 15 is the day I start planting the bulk of my vegetable seeds indoors, and March 31 is the day I try to be finished.


I've got everything but the Zucchini, Sunflowers, and Cucumbers planted, so that's not too bad.


It's not like planting seeds is the only thing I have going on in my life!

I like to use a good quality potting soil.


Crappy potting soil is just all rocks and twigs.


Kale, Kohlrabi, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussel's Sprouts, Fennel, Swiss Chard, Basil, Dill, and another round of Tomatoes were planted mid March. Lettuce, Spinach and Parsley were planted late March.


All of the seeds planted in February are up and have been transplanted into bigger pots

Cilantro and Celery...
.

Bunching Onions and Leeks....


And Tomatoes.


The sunroom smells SO good.....


Like good, clean, dirt!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Water

I'm always amazed at how important water is to me. It seems that everything I do requires alot of water. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, animals, and plants all require a steady stream of water. One of the rooms in which I use a lot of water in my house is the sunroom. But the only source for it was a faucet near the floor with a hose that had a spray nozzle attached to it. It was not very handy. So, way back in 2012, I decided to install a bona fide sink. You can read the exciting story about how I found my sink  here.

Well, as with all my projects, I had great intentions, but it took awhile to get around to actually installing the sink. In 2014 I finally got started, and succeeded in selecting the location, mounting the sink on the on the wall, and buying and installing a faucet.


Then I built a false front using old homestead posts and boards.
 

I think it turned out really cool!


 I love the "shabby chic" look.


Next, it was time to install the drains.


Levi was home on Spring break and offered to lend me a hand.....







Parts and pieces were everywhere.


Mr. Adams helped too...


Good job, Mr. Adams!


Then came the nasty job of crawling under the house to install the drain.


Well, that part was done! So far so good.


Next it was time to plumb in the water. And..........that's where I got hung up again. That was just a little bit out of my comfort zone, and Mr. Adams was busy with his own projects.....so the project got put on hold again for awhile.

Then finally, this past weekend I made a call and got someone who knew what they were doing to come over to give me a hand.


And look at this!

 

A fully functional sink with running hot and cold water........in my sunroom!



I am MORE than excited! Now I can wash the dirty eggs in the sunroom, rather than in the kitchen sink. And I can water my seedlings with warm water instead of freezing cold water from the hose. It seems like a small thing, but to me it's huge!  I love my "new" sink!