THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

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, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

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 2:00. 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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wood Shop

The Sitka High School has an amazing wood shop!  And here is our amazing wood shop teacher, Randy Hughey..

Mr. Hughey is the most even tempered teacher I have ever met!  He just keeps the same expression on his face as he goes from student to student.  No matter how annoying or involved the problem might be he just remains objective and doesn't rush one student to get to the next.  

All sorts of interesting things have been built in this shop.

On Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 the public is invited to use the shop for personal small projects.  Randy is there but he just supervises.  He isn't there to hold your hand or become your personal assistant, so you need someone with you that knows how to use the tools...that is why I took my boys with me!

They have both taken Mr. Hughey's class and know how to use all the tools!  Here is the pile of boards we are working on for paneling in Ben's room. 

 They are actually sold at Home Depot as cedar "fence pickets".  During previous trips to the shop we've sanded them, used the jointer to get one of the side straight, and then used the table saw to get the other side straight.  This week, once we got the okay from Mr. Hughey,  we used a dado blade to cut an overlap along the edges of the boards...

...and then routered a bevel...

Unfortunately we did not get them all done and had to bring them home for the summer.  Next school year I will have to take them back to finish the job.

On the positive side Levi finished his project for his class...a entertainment center for his room to hold all of his game systems and tvs build out of Black Walnut taken from my Dad farm.

  The picture makes it look crooked....but it's not.

  And here it is with everything in it

Good job Levi!

As far as the garden is concerned I did the minimum.  Gray and gloomy again

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Under The Weather

It was windy and gray today.

 I think this is going to be another gloomy spring and summer.  I remember one summer when there were only 8 days that it didn't rain!  The veggies seem to be doing great though, just a little behind.  To top it off I am still not feeling great but  I made myself get out there and work for a few hours.  The flowers have all been moved and after I smooth out the dirt I can call the new row, "finished", and ready to plant.

The sun room is almost empty.  When I get back from the next trip it will be time to start seeds for 2nd plantings.

Do you miss Levi?  Here is a photo of him hauling wood today.

Levi is going to go with us on the next trip, so I am not sure if there will be any updates while I am gone.

Monday, May 28, 2012


I worked outside this morning while it was drizzling and then when I came in for the day THIS happened...

Oh well.  Here are some pictures from the garden...

Leopard's Bane.

I have it lining the driveway.

Apple blossom.


Tomato blossoms and a baby tomato!


Yummy, delicious Spinach.

I hope the weather holds.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Almost Done

Carolyn came over today to help me again.  We tried to check the oil in the 4-wheeler but there seems to be fuel in the oil, so we just worked with buckets today.  We got up to the flowerbed and stopped.  This week I will pull out the flowers and the row will be ready!

I pulled the cloth over the peas up and plan to do a little weeding, reseeding in a bare spot and plant some Morning Glory seeds in the row to climb up with the peas.  I don't know if they will germinate and grow here, I have never tried to grow them outside.  I have had them inside before and they are so pretty. 

The weather wasn't too bad today.   I hope it holds for the rest of the week!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sea Shell Sand

Another drizzly day.  We started out by hitting all of the garage sales.  I found a nice basket for $1.00 and the boys each found a small item but that was about it.  It was too rainy to work on the new row, so since it was low tide I went to the beach and collected sea shell sand.  I have a favorite little tiny spot that keeps me supplied with all that I need for the garden and the ducks. 

Sometimes there are large pieces on top, but once you scrape them away it's all fine.

I can't believe how much of this stuff the ducks eat.  I figure they've consumed about 25 gallons so far this season. 

It's kind of a trek up to the car.  The rocks were slippery from the rain - I fell once but caught myself and only spilled a small amount so I'm happy.

It was a busy afternoon at the house.  People dropped in for this and that.  Everyone is starting to get hungry for fresh green stuff to eat!  I have one more trip to do and then I plan to open up for business on June 18.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Drizzly Day

Today is Ben's 22nd birthday!  Happy Birthday Ben!

photo courtesy of Ben Adams
And to make the day special for him, Emily made him a delicious cake from scratch.

It was yummy and the frosting was divine!

It was a little drizzly today and I didn't really want to go outside to work, but that new row isn't going to build itself, so out I went.  Carolyn joined me and we pick axed 2 more loads of refuse.

 Success!  Another big rock dug out!

I keep trying to back up the 4-whieeler and trailer to unload, but each time I get jammed up further and further away from the edge!  Since it is a bit wet out I also got the trailer stuck.  Oh well.

Make sure to check out the duck log...a couple of new baby ducklings made their appearance today!

Back To Work

I felt much better today!  The sun was shining and I was glad to get back to work outside.  The first thing I did was pick some lettuce for Levi's sandwich for his lunch.  The lettuce is not full size yet but it's big enough to cut some of the larger leaves.


Then I got Ben to help me get the 4-wheeler out and hook it up to the trailer.  Once I knew the 4-wheeler was going to run I moved a bunch of the fire wood so there would be room to drive around it to get to the back of the property where we dump refuse.  Of course I got the 4-wheeler stuck on the trial run so I laid some old plywood down for a "road". At about noon I was ready and my "slave", I mean good friend, Carolyn Nichols came over to help me start building a new row.

Building rows is not for sissies.  Most of the area is rocks and salmon berry roots, so we have to grub it out with pick axes.   Carolyn helps me because she is strong and capable of just about anything.

Of course it doesn't help matters that when we built the row to the right last year we did not haul the refuse away, we threw it off to the left...where we are working now.  Today we are paying for that move.

Here I am heading up with the first load.  We didn't fill it up too full because I didn't know how much the
4-wheeler could handle.

Once I got to the wood pile I got off to the left a little bit and found out that I hadn't moved quite enough wood...

We moved the wood and I continued to the back of the property were we unloaded the trailer by hand.

Then I drove around the other side of the wood pile with the empty trailer.  I had moved enough wood from both sides of the wood pile so that I could just drive around it and wouldn't have to back up- I'm terrible at backing up and will go to great lengths to not have to do so.

The 4-wheeler didn't have any trouble with the first load so on the second load we filled it up more.

Unloading by hand is for the birds, so I decided tried my hand at backing up after all.  I should be able to get the trailer close to the edge of the bank at an angle so the refuse could just slip out or be pushed out easily, but as I said, I am terrible at backing up!  You can see me laughing at myself in this photo.

If  Mr. Adams were here he would just back that thing up like nobody's business.  But he is not here - he is out bear hunting again, so I will just keep trying.

We only did 2 loads today so we wouldn't wear ourselves out the first day.  I spent the rest of the day tinkering around in the garden.  Last year I decided that I want to build a small formal herb garden, so today I shoveled out the pathway and moved in the iron table and chairs.

I transplanted some of the herbs from the sunroom.  It's slow work because there are quite a few aphids on some of the plants so I have to spray them all down with soapy water before transplanting them.

Well, that was a good bunch of work.  I hope the weather is nice again tomorrow!  There is still much to be done!