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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Project Potato

About a month ago I cut back the Potato foliage and covered the whole row with black plastic to help them dry out a bit so the Potato skins would cure for better storage. Finally, we were able to harvest them, wash them, let them dry out, and bring them indoors so we could sort them. (Although I have read that it is best if you DON'T wash the potatoes before storing them, I find it best if I DO wash them before storing them.) We ate some, we sold some, and we selected the best candidates for seed stock and stored them in the boat's cargo hold, and here's what we have left....


I think it's enough to feed us through the Winter. I grew 4 different varieties....

The ever favorite, "Yukon Gold".....


Original Russian Fingerlings that the Southeast Alaskan Indians have grown for years known as "Rose Finn"....


"Cranberry Red" originally given to me by my good friend, Evening Star Grutter.....


And my personal favorite, "Inca Bell" given to me by my good friend, Florence Welsh.


Yum, Yum.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Project Apple

The project for Saturday was dealing with all of the apples.....SO MANY Apples!!! Everyone in town is talking about what they are doing with their Apples. When I was in the grocery store buying lemon juice I ran into other people buying lemon juice too....for THEIR Apples. By the time I'd checked out I had ran into no less than 4 other people that were talking about their Apples! We just aren't used to having so many...it was just a great year for Apples.


What a great problem to have!! We aren't really applesauce people here at our house, so I decided to make apple pie filling. Now, when I grew up we froze our apple pie filling, but I don't have a lot of freezer space available right now and there were a lot of empty quart jars in my cupboard, so I decided to can it.

Problem: most of the canning recipes call for "clear jel". I discovered that no one in town has heard of it, and none of the stores carry it.

Solution: do it the old-fashioned way, with corn starch.

First, I took the blade off of my apple peeler and peeled the apples. Apparently the slices turn out too thin for canning.


Then, I cored and sliced them into chunks by hand.


Some of the apples were little...


 But most of them were really nice sized.


Everything went really smoothly.....but it took all day, and the kitchen was a mess!


Beautiful.


Simply, beautiful.


 And everyone approved the results....


And, as all good canning projects go, it was quite late when I finally called it quits for the night.



Project Apples complete.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

10 Random Tidbits......Before, During and After

I'm finally back from a month of cooking on the boat! And here, for your reading pleasure, are 10 random tidbits......

BEFORE WE LEFT FOR BEAR HUNTING:

1. One day Kitty was relaxing in the shade while I was working in the garden.


Suddenly I heard some crazy crunching sound and I turned around to see what it was, and I saw that Kitty had caught a dragonfly and was trying to eat it.


I can't even try to describe to you what that sounded like.  Needless to say....it didn't sound pleasant and he didn't finish eating it.


2. This Spring we apparently had the perfect conditions for optimum pollination....everyone in town that has fruit trees has fruit!  What you are looking at here is the "Great Cherry Harvest of 2014".


These cherries are cool. They are "self-pitting" cherries, so when you pick the cherries off the tree...the pits and stems stay on the tree and you just pull off the cherry.


There were just enough cherries to make one tart.


Yummy!


3. The Apple harvest was unparalleled....


We have bushels of apples!

4. We made tons of pesto this year....out of everything I could think of.... Fennel fronds, Carrot tops, Garlic Scapes, Lemon Sorrel, and Basil.


Pesto is so delicious.

DURING BEAR HUNTING:

5. On day two of cooking on the boat I cut my finger while slicing carrots with a Victor Knox.


Almost cut the tip clear off! That made cooking and doing dishes challenging for about a week. Everyone who owns a boat knows how sharp a Victor Knox knife is.....there's nothing sharper.


6. In between hunts, Mr. Adams helped me load the truck up with seaweed and beach mulch for the garden.


Thanks, Mr. Adams!

7. While shopping for groceries for the boat I spotted these bananas.....


I've never seen such green bananas.......would they ever ripen?  I didn't buy any.

AND AFTER BEAR HUNTING:

8. I hadn't even been home for 24 hours and I had a hole dug to China in the garden.


A drain pipe from the house gutters was causing a problem... so we added some length to it.


Digging a hole or trench on our property is challenging.....there are many rocks and slabs of cement in the way. There was even a log that had to be cut in two.


9. We harvested the Potatoes.  The harvest has excellent and they are so delicious!


We have bushels of Potatoes.

10. Kitty missed me while I was gone.....


Now I need to take my chair back.

Well, now I'm back home, so it's time to go back to work. There's much to be done.....


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Is In The Air

It definitely feels like Fall.



The Huckleberries have all been picked.



The Fall flowers are blooming.



And there are lots of Tomatoes.


 There is lots of seaweed that needs to be hauled.


And now it's time to go bear hunting!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I'm Sorry, We're Closed!

Well, the garden is officially closed!

The last happy customers of the season were helped....


And the signs were pulled up and put away....



It was a GREAT summer, but I'm glad to be done. Now it's time to do other things for awhile.


And to start planning on how to do it even better next year!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pay Load

It's time to get fish for the garden. This year I am getting mine from the Sitka Sound Science Center's hatchery. It's SO EASY!

At the hatchery they collect the returning Salmon....


And they harvest the eggs and sperm.




I was able to back the truck right up to the totes of fish....


....and pitch them directly into the back of the truck.


These photos are for you, Jesse and Glynda!!!!




And then I brought them home and unloaded them.....



....and gave the truck a thorough scrubbing!!!!!!

If you want to get some fish from the Science Center just give them a call and ask for Lon Garrison.