THE U-PICK GARDEN IS NOW CLOSED. COME OUT AND VISIT US NEXT YEAR!

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, April 17, 2014

Fresh Spinach

I had fresh Spinach from the garden yesterday....no really! .......I't's true!!!!

It's transplanting time....


All the seedlings are getting tall and leggy, and they're just screaming at me to put them out....trust me....they are....I even hear them in my sleep.





So yesterday, I transplanted the Lettuce and the Spinach....it's a very labor intensive job. As I was planting the spinach I was tidying them off by removing the cotyledons.


cotyledon

 noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(Top) Monocotyledon (internal structures of a corn seed with stages of germination). Nutrients are …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.
Seed leaf within the embryo of a seed that provides energy and nutrients for the developing seedling. After the first true leaves have formed, they wither and fall off. Flowering plants whose embryos have a single cotyledon are grouped as monocots, or monocotyledonous plants; embryos with two cotyledons are grouped as dicots, or dicotyledonous plants. Unlike flowering plants,gymnosperms usually have several cotyledons rather than one or two.

It's very difficult to pinch off those tiny leaves when you have gloves on...I was afraid of breaking the fragile plants in half...but then I got a great idea.....


Just EAT them off!!!!! It worked great.....and they were SO YUMMY!!!  The first fresh spinach of the season!!!


I'm going to need more pants..........

Monday, April 14, 2014

Duckscapades

The ducks have been feeling their wild oats lately....they're not being terribly naughty, just funny and annoying. They are everywhere, underfoot, and into everything!  And I'm their absolute favorite person....when I show up with a shovel or a bucket or a tool, they just come running, because everything I do in the garden is FUN!!!



One day they noticed that I had the net gate open and they ALL charged out and attacked the coveted inaccessible rhubarb patch.....



Yum, Yum.....fresh diggings....


Eventually they wandered way too far from the garden...excited about new territory.  It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, so.....back in you go!



If I leave anything.....and I mean anything, out in the garden, they are into it...




But I forgive them, because they are laying LOTS of eggs!!!


16 hens laid 16 eggs, 2 days in a row!!!!


Most of them are laid conveniently in the hutch......although, what is with this nest formation?


 Some of the sneakier ducks are still waiting until I let them out and then they try to hide their eggs from me...


Every day is an Easter Egg hunt.


And someone is being especially accommodating... although I love the colors of their eggs, I've always wished that they were brown.....so someone started laying brown eggs for me!


 -Well, brownish anyways!

Silly ducks.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Boat Work Is Over.......

For me it is, anyways......but for poor Mr. Adams - it never ends!  The groceries are on board, the bunks have clean bedding, the paperwork is in order (I think and hope), and last week we hauled the boat out of the water for annual maintenance. Fortunately, Ron and my father-in-law Lyle helped with the haulout this year, so I didn't have to work as hard as I usually do.


Check out who's running the haulout yard now....


It's Carl !!!! He was on the swim team and went to school with Levi....What is the world coming too?
Would you let this kid pick up your boat?


YES!! We would!!  Carl is an alright guy.....very competent and good to work with. Thanks, Carl!

My official duty during the haulout this year, besides meals, was to help dry and mask the waterline for painting.


Now, you may think that is an easy job, but if you've ever hauled out a boat in Sitka during the month of April, you'd understand how difficult it can actually be. It almost ALWAYS rains or snows on us, which makes painting a real challenge. 

First, we dry a short section with a towel, then we dry the same section completely with a hairdryer (while still holding the towel in place to catch more rainwater as it runs down the side of the boat), then we run a line of masking tape about 3 inches above the area to be painted. We put a crease in the masking tape lengthwise so it's stuck to the boat along the top edge, but not along the bottom edge. The creased tape then forces the water to run and drip off the edge of the tape into the air, leaving the boat dry.


(In case you attribute this ingenious technique to me as my own idea.....it's not....I saw another woman do this in the yard years ago and it blew my mind, so we have just copied her amazing idea ever since.) Once the tape is channeling the water away from the boat we can dry the hull more fully with the hairdryer and apply paint. The hull dries quickly because it's fiberglass...if it was wood it would take much longer.

It's interesting to note that our hairdryer has never actually been used on our hair.......


Now that the boat work is done I'm all about planting the garden........There's tons to do, but that's okay....I'd rather work in the garden for a week than one day doing boat work.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Big Town Of Juneau

Recently, Mr. Adams and I made our annual jaunt to Juneau to load up on supplies. We took the ferry over with the pickup and stayed in a hotel. You see, Sitka does not have a lot of big stores to shop in....one big store in Juneau like Fred Meyer has more merchandise in it that our entire town has in all the stores combined! Shopping is hard work for people that aren't used to it....


Sometimes we would just have to take a break....


And pretend like we are trying out the furniture....


It was fun.......but once we got home......it took 2 days to unload the truck!


The good news is that we have enough supplies for another year!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The In-Laws

Lyle and Lorene are visiting us for 10 days!


It's always wonderful to visit with them....and, as we do with all of our visitors, we immediately put them to work!!!




We've done some fun thing too....but Spring has sprung and there's lots to do!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hello Kitty


Kitty's winter coat and mane were getting quite impressive...


It was so long that he was getting ice dreads when he was out at night....


So, it was time to do the deed......."Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty......sorry, but it's time....."


Oh dear, the shame.....


Don't worry Kitty, you'll soon be happy we did it...



Really, I promise....


Unforgiven....


 Goodbye, Kitty.....


Friday, March 28, 2014

"The Right Tool For The Job", That's What I Always Say. -Red Green

The weather has been very agreeable lately, and it's almost April, so I decided to open up one of my beds. This particular bed had plastic covering it all winter....


As a rule I don't cover my beds, but I do like to cover the bed that is going to have Lettuce and Spinach in it the next year....I like lots of nitrogen for those particular crops and the plastic keeps the nutrients from leaching out with the rain. It didn't take long for the herd to notice that fresh dirt was being uncovered. I went to the shed to get the rototiller and BAM!!....they were in the bed working away!


This is what the soil looked like before I tilled...


As I made several passes with the tiller the ducks would move out of my way, but as soon as I would pass them they waded right back in for the goodies....



 Look how industriously they work...


Now, I've discovered something that during the past few years....you can have all the proper tools in your possession, but if you do not use them properly they don't do you any good. For instance, I have ducks, I have a rototiller, and I have beds full of wonderful soil, but I have not always used them properly.  Last year I didn't till because my soil was so lofty and loose and I ended up with quite a bit of pest damage later in the season. I guess the duck's bills don't reach down far enough to get everything.  The year before that I tilled all the beds, one right after the other, during the course of about a week. They ducks loved it, but they didn't spread out enough to get all the pests. This year I hope I have it right....
I'm going to till one bed and let the ducks work it over really well. Then in a day or two I will work it up again. After they lose interest in the first bed I will till up a second bed, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Hopefully this process will eliminate even more slugs and slug eggs than ever!   Go ducks!!!!