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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Want My Money Back!

Whenever we're walking away from a garage sale that was a waste of time, Mr. Adams always says, "I want my money back!"...they were all pathetic today.  I did get this wooden bear though.  He will look great in the garden!

I think I should set him in the rhubarb patch.  First he needs a coat of preservative so he doesn't rot away in a month.

On the way home stopped at the hardware store and bought a new and improved weed eater!

It has string AND a blade that can cut through things up to 1/2 inch in diameter....Watch out!!!

A few customers braved the rain and came to pick greens today.  I picked some lettuce for my salad...

Then I weeded some more of the carrot row.  It was a little harder today because of the way the ducks matted down the weeds.  Also, the carrots are a little thicker in this particular section...that's good!

The peas are just now starting to flower...

I stayed outside weeding until about 9:00 pm.  I was numb with cold by the time I came in. 

All in all it was a good day.

Friday, June 29, 2012


The grass and brush grows so high alongside the road in front of our house that it blocks my signs from view.  I need people to be able to see the signs better so today I hauled the weed eater and extension cords down to the road to cut the brush back.

Everything went fine at first.  It wasn't even raining at the time...but after about an hour it started in.  My weed eater was kind of pathetic...old and gutless.  The string kept breaking which was annoying.  I don't suppose it's good that smoke started rolling out of it either?  It lasted about 3/4 of the way through the job and then in died.  I guess I will be going to the store to buy another one tomorrow.  I wish I could have finished the job while I was already covered from head to toe with grass bits and soaking wet from the rain...but I will have to go through it all again tomorrow.

Even though it rained today I still had customers.  You got to hand it to people who come all the way out here and get wet while picking their salad.  They are truly committed to local, fresh, natural food.  They are the ones who keep me in business and my hat goes off to them.

Levi and I ate some radishes today and they were delicious!  Tiny, but delicious!

You must be sick of me complaining about the rain all the time, but you have to understand how BAD it's been!  Gardeners all over town are struggling.  June is usually one of our nicest months of the year and July is usually one of our rainiest months of the what does next month hold for us?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nothing To Report

Just another drizzly, cool day. 

I transplanted out the second planting of spinach and lettuce and got soaked in the process.  Oh well, if I didn't garden in the rain I wouldn't be gardening at all!

Is anyone's nasturtiums growing this year?  Mine all look about the same as they did when they were transplanted outside. The only ones that are doing any good at all are the ones that are planted in my kitchen window box.  They are in the shade most of the day but they must be getting some heat from the house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

 It was an okay day, but I'm mad at the ducks.  They got into my carrot bed today and trampled everything.  I left the cover off while I helped Dale cut and move some firewood - thinking that they wouldn't get in.  But, 3 or 4 females got up into it. 

Just this morning I was patting myself on the back because the carrots had recovered so nicely from being weedes, and now EVERYTHING is smashed.

I think everything will recover okay, but it looked so nice!!!  I'm especially erked that my design is not adequate.  Whatever.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bonnie Sue Is Here!!!

I got a very pleasant surprise today...My long time friend Bonnie Sue dropped in!  She is the one on the far right.  She brought her friend, Beth, with her, and also Beth's daughter, Katlian (Kat).

Hey guys, look at the camera!

At this point in our visit I said something really clever and hilarious...

Our visit was brief but I hope to get in a long chat with her before she leaves town.

It was a drizzly cool day and I didn't feel like working outside, so I spent most of my time indoors doing paperwork and a little bit of cooking.  Mid day I had a few customers stop in and filled an order for a gift basket.  All in all it was a good day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Slow Day

Today was a slow day at the u-pick garden.  That's okay gave the spinach and lettuce some more time to grow!  I pulled weeds in the cabbage/kohlrabi row and mulched it with seaweed.  There is not enough food in that bed this year, I messed up, but the seaweed mulch will perk it up a little bit.

I also checked on the compost pile and found it reduced by quite a bit...

So I stuck a fork in it to see how it was doing and look at what came out!!

HOLY SMOKE!!!  Don't worry, it wasn't hot enough to catch on fire, but it was hot enough that I went ahead and "flipped" it instead of waiting a full week.  I flip my compost piles from one bin into another instead of stirring it.  Stirring that big of a pile is totally impossible.

As wonderful as the greens have been, they have been getting a little boring, so I peeked under the row cover to see how things are coming along. 


This strange plant is a cross between a cauliflower and a broccoli.  It's called "Veronica"...

Weird yet beautiful!  I ate a few tiny turnips today too.  They were pretty good. 

Even though it was a slow day it was a good day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Day Of Rest

This morning the weather was SO nice!  After church I spent some time in the garden pulling weeds in the carrot patch.  The dirt in the carrot bed was sifted earlier in the spring, and when you sift dirt all the weed seeds come to the surface!  Carrots take a long time to germinate so it gives the weed seeds free reign to take over.  The weeds are THICK and I have been dying to weed the bed to see how close the seeder got the carrot seeds! 

Isn't that a crazy amount of weeds!?!?  Fortunately I don't mind sitting there in the sun pulling weeds.  It's like therapy.  I do alot of praying and talking to God in the garden while I weed.  It's amazing what you can hear and learn when you take the time to be quiet, ask questions and listen.

So far there aren't as many carrots as I would like to see...I like the carrots to be about 1-2 inches apart so I sprinkled some more seeds in the bare spots.  At least it wasn't a complete crop failure!

This variety is called, YAYA.   Maybe the other three varieties will look better.  At about 3:00 pm the winds of change blew in and the temperature dropped about 25 degrees!!!  It happened so fast! 

Well, the weather is back to normal I guess!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's HOT Outside!

The plants are really in shock after 2 hot days!  I hear that rain is on it's way though, so things will probably get back to normal.

We went garage saling this morning.  I got one really good find....this step stool...for $10!!!!

I LOVE IT!!!!! And it looks great in my kitchen.

It was a busy day at the garden.  Not a lot of customers, but lots of visiting and networking...which I love!  I didn't get much done as far as work is concerned - just some watering and weeding.

It's nice to have such a smart I can listen to music while I work.  I listen to KLOVE, Contemporary Christian just makes my day go so much better!

I'm closed on Sunday.  It will be nice for the spinach patch to get a break.  It's been picked over pretty good this week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Sun Came Out!

It was hot today and here is my shadow to prove it!

Hello legs!  Hello flip flops!

Mr. Adams and I started out the day by going to the beach and collecting a truck load of seaweed....

And then I used most of it to start a new compost pile. I like to build my compost piles with layers.  No special order, just lots of layers.

Here is my composting's charred from the unfortunate incident earlier this spring.  I like to start the pile on bare ground.

I put a sheet of plywood up to keep the front of the pile square.

Then I start my layers.


Kitchen scraps, stove ashes (cold) and garden refuse...

Spent grain from the brewery...

 Used straw from the duck hutch...

 ...repeat until bin is full!

In a few days it should really be cooking.  I will "flip" it into the other bin once a week for a month or two and end up with a pile of GREAT compost!

For the rest of the day I worked on the Kohlrabi and cabbage row.  It needed to be weeded and mulched with seaweed.

This bed did not do very well this year.  I did not get enough food into it and my cabbage seeds were too old, so the crop totally failed.  Next year!!!  Even though it is not doing as well as I'd hoped this is the best Kohlrabi I have ever grown.  I started it indoors this year and it got transplanted outdoors about May 1st.  I am convinced that if I start them indoors again next year and then transplant them into a bed with good food by April 15th, I could be selling Kohlrabi on opening day!

Notice how limp everything looks in that photo.  Our crops are used to steady rain, so when it gets even remotely warm everything droops!  I am always amazed at this phenomena! The ground is plenty damp!  I also noticed that when it is this hot it's not a good idea for people to come to pick during the heat of the day.  It's best if they come in the morning when things are fully hydrated.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Day Of Summer

It rained this morning, but this afternoon was wonderful! 

I worked on the lettuce/spinach bed today to get it ready for the second planting.

The seedlings are up, but I will wait to transplant them until they have a few true leaves.

I think I am a bit late with the second planting.  Next year I plan to seed the second planting around May 21 so I will be able to keep up with the demand better.  Customers have been picking lots of spinach!

The pink primroses are in full bloom right now.  This particular variety self seeds readily and can be found all over the garden.

Today was a good day....and look at the forecast for tomorrow! (notice the exclamation point)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busy Day!

Today was busy!  Maybe it's because....THE SUN FINALLY CAME OUT!!!

It must have been 60 degrees out!  You could hear the vegetables growing!  Some of the spinach leaves have reached epic proportions....

And they are just as sweet and tender as can be.  Today I had one in my breakfast burrito....Delicious!

I had quite a few customers stop by today.  Everyone is hungry for fresh greens.  Here is my lovely neighbor, Anne....

The last job of the day was to put together a gift basket.  I sell gift baskets for $40 plus tax.  You just tell me when you want it and I fill it with good things that are in season and all you have to do is swing by and pick it up.  I can even deliver it for you after hours if necessary! 

Well, I am hitting the sack!  Happy gardening!