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 11:00 to 6:00. 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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Putting The Garden To Bed

I've been busy, busy, busy since getting back from Florida. It feels like Winter is coming on fast. The ducks know it's coming on too...they have been laying a few eggs every day, but today it finally happened......


No eggs.

The weather has been sunny this week.....but it's getting pretty cold outside, so I've been trying to put the garden to bed for the Winter. And if that isn't keeping me busy enough.... it seems that we are having a water drainage problem. For a while there was so much standing water that it looked like a water pipe had broken, but when the sun finally came out the standing water started to slowly disappear. I think the ground was just so saturated from the relentless downpours we've had this year that it simply had nowhere to go. I wonder if anyone else in town has been having problems like that?

Anyways, today I pulled up the last of the Beets and Turnips,


And most of the Carrots....


The rest of the Carrots I mulched with straw to keep them protected during the Winter.



Unfortunately, the Celery got frozen....I was just a couple of days too slow getting it harvested. It's sad to see it all end...the garden was very good to us this year.

Now it's time to start planning for next year!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We Interrupt This Regular Programming To Bring You This......

We just got home from our latest adventure.....in sunny Florida!


Where we met up with these people....

 (Lyn and Evonne Beiler, and my folks, Larry and Myrna Roth)

And this crazy kid....

 ( The one and only Levi Adams)

.....to celebrate Levi's high school graduation......(which happened a year and half ago!).

To celebrate this great event, we took Levi on a Alligator and Wild Boar hunt at the Okeechobee Outfitters lodge in Lorida, Florida. 





Danny and Carla SantAngelo run a great, family-oriented guide business there, and they took really good care of us.


AND I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO COOK OR DO DISHES!!!!


 The success rate at the lodge is very high and sure enough, Levi bagged a nice, 7 foot Alligator.....


They hunt for the Alligators at night out of an airboat using a crossbow...it's quite exciting!




 The next day they went Boar hunting, and he bagged this ugly, (but delicious) 200 lb. Boar !


 I think Levi really enjoyed this interesting adventure!


And then, since the opportunity presented itself, my Dad shot a Boar.....


.....and Evonne shot an Alligator.


After the hunt we enjoyed about a week of warm sunshine and took in a few sights......

(orange blossoms)


(watching a rocket taking off at Cape Canaveral) 

(driving to the end of the Keys)


(feeding the Tarpon)

(watching the horse races)

(miniature golf)

I think that it's safe to say - "That fun was had by all!"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Project Garlic

The Garlic crop this year was fantastic! The bulbs have been hanging on the clothes line inside the house for the the past few months........


......and now it's time to replant. The first thing I did was pull all of the cloves apart and separate the cloves into 3 catagories...

1. 100 of the largest intact Music cloves.....


2. 100 of the largest intact Georgian Crystal cloves....


3. Everything else...


As I sorted the small and unidentified cloves, I pulled out the damaged or partially peeled cloves....


...and packed them in jars of olive oil to be stored in the fridge.


Whenever I need some Garlic I just put some in a food processor and grind it up fine.....YUMMY!

The sorting process takes quite a bit of time. One would think that it could just be done outside at planting time, but it took me about 4-5 hours to process this batch of bulbs while I was sitting on my couch in the living room, so I wouldn't even think about trying to do it outside in the pouring down rain with muddy gloves!

Once the cloves were separated you can see that almost every clove had a dried up stem sticking up out of it.


This probably isn't a problem for most gardeners....but for me it is. The problem is that when the ducks root around in the Garlic bed they find those little stems in the soil and think they are worms or something, and they pull them up out of the soil. They don't eat or damage them, but a Garlic clove that is on top of the soil will not survive the Winter. I like to snip them all off with a scissors.


The next day was planting day!! After prepping the bed by tilling with the broad fork, I planted the Music and Georgian Crystal bulbs about 5 inches deep using 9 inch spacing.


Some of the cloves were absolutely GIGANTIC!!!!


Of course the ducks like to help....



Pink Pink stuck by me pretty close, even after the rest of the herd got bored and left.....


The 200 large Music and Georgian Crystal cloves filled up one whole bed. I planted the rest of the intact cloves fairly close together in the empty potato tubs on top of the ground. I have a plan for them......I'm thinking about transplanting them in April after the beds have been tilled amongst my other vegetable transplants to be harvested as Green Garlic - because I've heard that they may help to deter slugs. The ducks get most of the slugs, but not all of them, and when the ducks are locked out of the beds during the growing season the slugs have a tendency to make a come-back. I'm wondering if any of you have ever tried this technique with any measure of success?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Project Carrot

It's October.....and October 18th was Alaska Day, the day we celebrate the purchase of Alaska from Russia.


Last year we had so much fun handing out Carrots at the parade that I planted an extra bed of them this year so we would have even more to hand out.


It took several days of hard work to get them all ready. First, I pulled them all up. This particular Carrot bed should have been thinned months ago, but I just never had enough time to get it done, so I wasn't sure what to expect....


I was pleasantly surprised with their size!


The large Carrots got replanted in a tub of garden soil, and were left outside for winter storage.


The smaller Carrots were brought into the sunroom where I spent hours and hours sorting and scrubbing them before laying them in an organized fashion in baskets so they would be easy to hand out in a hurry.


There were bags full of imperfect carrots for us to eat, and 6 FULL baskets of perfect carrots to hand out at the parade.

Here is an interesting observation I made.....remember when the ducks got into the Carrot bed this summer and trampled down all the foliage? I was very irritated with the hoodlums! Many of the Carrot tops were broken off during the breach, but eventually they grew new tops. And here is the interesting thing, the tops that were not disturbed were REALLY long and hard to manage, but the new tops were a more manageable length....


....the PERFECT length for the baskets.


Silly ducks....I suppose now I need to thank them.

The weather forcast for Alaska Day was not very hopeful....


No surprise there....it ALWAYS rains on Alaska Day!


 
But, as we lined up in the queue, it didn't look too bad. Carolyn handed out a few Carrots while we waited.


Mr. Adams ate a few too....




 Finally, as it started to sprinkle, just a little, it was time to head down the street....


I don't have any more photos, because it got completely crazy from here on out.  So many Carrots, so many people wanting Carrots, the parade moving too quickly, Carolyn and I moving too slowly... Sheesh! We decided that next year we need 4 people to hand out Carrots!  It was a lot of work, but man, was it fun! And......it didn't hardly rain at all!!!!!

Happy Alaska Day, Sitka!