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

Friday, May 22, 2015

10 Very Brief Random Tidbits

1. What do you think of Ben's Easter Basket this year?


2. Lucy thinks she needs to be in Ben's room most of the time now.....this time she had FOMO (Fear of missing out).


3. The Ravens absolutely destroyed the lawn at the Post Office. Or did they actually help it by thatching it?


4. I recently scored big-time at a garage sale by finding these fenceposts....102 of them!


5. Everything is planted....it's been sunshining for weeks....now I need to mulch everything with seaweed so I will be ready for opening day, which is tentatively looking like June 22.


6. I made this lap quilt for my Mom for Mother's Day and had it machine quilted by a good friend of mine. It wasn't until after I sent it to her that I happened to be looking at this photo of it and I saw the mistake.....how embarrassing.


7. One of my neighbors wanted to buy some of my flowers for his mother for Mother's Day. He wanted to pay me extra if I would pick them for him and he would come by and pick them up later. I started picking and then I picked some more, and then I grabbed a basket and then he ended up with this.....It turned out so cute!!!!


8. I have a "thing" for old license plates and have collected a small stash of them which have been hanging in the garage.


Recently I decided that it would be nice to have them out where I could see them more often, so I hung them on the beam behind my truck.


As you can see, I need more of them to cover the rest of the beam, so feel free to send me any old license plate you happen to have laying around!

9. These Tulips were amazing this year!!


10. If you disturb the dirt anywhere.....the ducks are sure to follow.


I've only seen 4 slugs so far this season. Good job, team!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Dirt Is Flying

I'm back from a week of cooking on the boat, and the sun is out, so I'm working outside like a mad woman trying to get the rest of the garden in.

 Here's a short tutorial of how to plant Snow and Snap Peas:

I only grow Snow and Snap Peas....the ones where you eat the whole pods. Shelling Peas have too much waste. Here at the u-pick garden we're all about VOLUME!


The earliest you should plant Peas outdoors here is mid-April. But if you haven't planted yours yet it's not too late.

Peas can be planted directly outdoors. Soak the Pea seeds in water for 24 hours.


In the mean time, get your bed prepared with a fair amount of composted organic matter, but make sure the soil is not too rich with Nitrogen.


 Have your supports in place BEFORE you plant your Peas.


For best results, use an inoculant. Especially if you've never planted Peas in the area you've prepared.


Here is a quote from the internet to explain why...

What Is a Garden Soil Inoculant?

A garden soil inoculant consists of a very special bacteria calledRhizobium leguminosarum. Yeah, it’s a mouthful.
Bag of Garden Soil Inoculant for Peas and BeansPeas are in the legumes plant family, which has a wonderful ability to be able to fixate nitrogen into the soil.
Without getting too technical, they take nitrogen that is naturally occurring in the air, and “trap” that useable nitrogen, through its root system, into the soil to use as fertilizer.
The Rhizobium leguminosarum bacteria are the guys that help facilitate this nitrogen fixing process. The bacteria get inside the legume roots, make a home there, and then create a situation where the legume roots fixate nitrogen into the soil.
The bacteria is naturally found in soil everywhere, but not in large enough numbers to make a big enough impact with the legume roots. That’s why it is important for you to add inoculant to peas and other legumes to promote better growth and production.

Anyways... drain the water off of the Pea seeds.


And sprinkle the seeds with a small amount of inoculant.



Shake the jar until all of the seeds are covered.


I use rubber gloves when I plant inoculated Pea seeds. I don't know if it's necessary, but I just feel better using them.



Plant the seeds about 1-2 inches apart about 1 inch deep.

photo courtesy of the internet- my hands aren't that dry. I use lotion.

Cover the bed immediately with row cover, or the birds will dig up all of the seeds by the next morning.


You're going to have to trust me on this one....I'm speaking from experience.

Soon your peas will be sprouting up out of the ground.


Once they are firmly established you can remove the row cover.

The Pea tunnel:


For best results, pick Snow Peas while they are still flat and tender and the peas inside them are still tiny. 


Pick Snap Peas when they are slightly plump which makes them crisp, crunchy, and juicy.


If the pods get large and tough you can snap off the stem off sideways and peel the attached strings away and blanch the pods in boiling saltwater for 1-2 minutes and they get really tender again.


Pea pods are SO delicious....



I can't wait until this summer so I can get me some!!!






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.