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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gravel Delivery!

Today was about as gloomy, rainy, cold and windy day as can be!  Fortunately it stopped raining when our gravel was delivered.

 Hi Mick!

 After Mick unhooked the tailgate he backed up...

Then he raised the bed...

And as the gravel started to pour out he moved ahead slowly...

By the time he reached the end he was out of gravel. A PERFECT job!!

Thanks Mick!

Since he did such a great job there was minimal raking necessary...but rake we did....

Then Mr. Adams brought down the 4-wheeler to pack start to pack it down...forward...

And back...

And back....


After using the 4-wheeler he brought down the pickup and packed it some more!  It looks great!  The net is back up and the signs are back out....back in business!

Only one customer today and one gift basket to make.  The gift basket was beautiful!!  Heavy too!

Here's a closer look at the tag...

And a peek inside the basket...

It was a good day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Dare You To Knock THAT Over!

In the winter time on really snowy days the snow plow goes by our house at about 60 mph and throws snow against my net fence and knocks it over.  I get tired of digging it out and putting it back up.  I swear they are doing it on purpose just to see how many times that crazy duck lady will take it before she does something different.  In fact I think I can hear their maniacal laughter as they drive on down the I decided to move the fence inland about 6 feet to see if it helps.

This project is more complicated then it sounds.  The net had weeds and alder trees growing up through it (seen in the upper left hand corner of the first photo) was fastened firmly to the earth.  I had to pull up the alders and use a pick ax to remove the turf in preparation for the gravel we are scheduled to have delivered tomorrow morning.

There is also a flower bed that runs down the driveway and then turns the corner and parallels the road for about 20 feet.  That curve had to be redone and the bed moved in ...not an easy job.

I dare the snowplows to knock it over now!

Never On A Sunday

After church Levi asked me what I was going to do on my day off...I said I'd probably work on the duck pond some more....he said, "You're going to work on your day off?"  Well, I like to work!  But, somehow I sat down in my recliner to crochet for a few minutes and didn't get back up!!  Oh well, it was drizzly out and everyone needs a day off, right?

Today was Mr. Adams' birthday! 

We celebrated by eating out for lunch AND dinner....both times with friends.  

Ben came home today.  He has been working on a fishing boat for the summer and has not even stepped on land for a month! 

All in all it was a good day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sea Shell Sand Is Irresistible

I have sea shell sand spread on the ground in the pea tunnel for a clean walking surface and to add lime to the soil.  You would not believe how irresistible it has been for the little people!!

This is a photo Lucy - she is putting sand in her little net. 

Here's her mom, Carrie and her little brother, Lars...

Lucy got some sand in her boot.....So Cute!!

The zucchini is finally pumping out some blooms...

It's about time! 

It wasn't the best garage sale day ever and it wasn't the worst garage sale day ever....found some canning jars for just under 50 cents a piece.  I figure if I get them for under a dollar I win.

I had a lot of customers today....everyone was hungry for vegetables.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Raining Cats And Dogs!!!

I woke up to the sound of heavy rain pounding the roof.  I couldn't believe it since the weather was so nice yesterday.  The first thing I thought of was my tender second planting of spinach and lettuce.  I was worried that it was getting pounded into the ground. But when I got up and around to checking things outdoors I was relieved to find everything A-okay.

It seemed like a great day to stay indoors and do indoor baking salmonberry pies and tarts...

And crocheting a baby sweater for a friend who is having a boy very soon...

I had one brave customer.  That's will give the peas time to ripen without people picking them!

All in all it was a good day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Hands Are Purple

It was a good day today....nice weather, lots of customers...and I discovered that the blue huckleberries are ripe! I picked this bowl full from an area no larger than 8'x8' behind our garage.  The bushes are just loaded!

So of course I had to make some syrup...

And have a blue huckleberry Creamy Italian Soda...

Last year I planted some Lemon Sorrel in the garden.  I had never heard of it before but found out it grows really good here.  It is really taking off! 

Tonight was my first time using it.  I heard that it makes great pesto, and since my Basil is doing so terribly I though I would give it a try.  So, I combined:

Lemon Sorrel
olive oil
Parmesan cheese
black pepper
sliced almonds
spinach leaves
crushed garlic

It. Was. Awesome!!!!

We ate it with some smoked salmon and toast for dinner.  Yummy!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Success And Failure

Last year my cauliflower was fantastic!  This year....not so much.  It's either the weather or the new location or not enough food. 

Here is the best head...

And here is one of the worst ones...

Complete with slug poop!  WHAT!?!?!  Yes, I have some slugs.  The ducks have been locked out of this part of the garden for quite some time now.  The weather has been wet for so long that the slugs have moved in.  No worries though.  As time goes by I build more and more beds up with fencing so that some day I won't ever have to lock them out.  The goal is that they will always be able to get around each bed and catch those slugs as they venture across the pathways.  There is a huge difference in the slug population between this area and the rest of the garden.  Thank you ducks, for what you do!

Mr. Adams and I finished painting the house today.  All that is left to do is some window trim.  It's looks really good!

Obviously there is still some tidying up to do...use your imagination people.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Driveway Done

Well, I finally finished one thing, I finished weeding and tidying up the flowerbed along the driveway.  It was a hard job because some of the perennials had gotten WAY too large so I had to divide them.  I didn't take a photo because it wouldn't look impressive to you...the plants look a little butchered.  To me it looks beautiful because I put a lot of thought into how it will look next year in bloom.  I moved a bunch of them around.... a foot this way, a foot that way...I think plants should have wheels so they are easier to move!

The Delphinium is blooming....

I have two colors....bright blue...

And this amazing light blue....

The Foxtail Lilies are starting to bloom too!

A male zucchini blossom opened up and I just HAD to have it for lunch!

Stuffed with cheese of course!  Delicious!!!  And I found 3 carrots that were large enough to taste!

I had some customers today.....some peas were picked....all in all it was a good day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Feeling Uninteresting

There was nothing really notworthy about my life today....Did my chores, ran some errands, opened the garden, had a few customers, weather was unimpressive, braved the spiders to paint the house, worked on this week's newspaper column and continued the drudgery of cleaning out the flower border alongside the driveway.

Here is a photo Mr. Adams took with my camera of the garden the other day....

Cool isn't it?

The best part of the day was when I took Levi to Ludvigs for dinner to celebrate the end of our homeschooling days! I have been homeschooling in some form or other for the past 18 years.  Levi goes to public high school but we have been homeschooling his math.  I usually only get to go to Ludvigs once a year...and this year I get to go twice in a week!  He was impressed with the food...really impressed!

 We are home now, have a fire in the stove, I feel cozy and full and think I will go sit in my easy chair and work on my socks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pea Patrol

Today was a really nice day.  After church I headed out to the pea patch to do a little pea patrol.  I don't use self supporting pea varieties, so I need to physically weave the tops of the peas through the fencing.  There are other problems I look out for too.  Like-

Flower petals that are stuck to the new pods...

In dry or windy country you don't need to worry about this, but when you are gardening in a rain forest it is a definite problem.  I lost a lot of pods last year to rotten tips, so I just make it a point once a day to walk down the row and pull all the flower petals off. 

The tendrils just fascinate me!

 But when I find one that is holding a growing tip down I fix it....

I just break or move the tendril and the tips pops up....

Sometimes a growing tip gets hung up on the rusty fencing.  As it grows taller it will eventually break, so I fix that too....

Sometimes the blossom branch goes on one side of the fencing and the growing tip goes on the other....

Most of the growing happens at the tip, but the rest of the plant grows a little too,  so if I didn't pull this branch through it would probably break.

Normally I plant my peas an inch apart...and on BOTH sides of the fence.  I had a fair amount of mold and stuff the past couple of years so this year I decided to space them better.  More like 3 inches apart on ONE side of the fence.  Mr. Adams is not impressed with the patch this year...he thinks it looks too sparce, but I lost so many pods last year to mold that I think this will be better.  I can see that most of the plants are branching out nicely.  You can see little growing tips at the base of each of the leaves on this plant...

Sometimes less is more.  Time will tell.

I love the way water beads up on the pea leaves...

Even though our sunflowers are stunted this year I am happy to see that a few of them that I planted in the pea row survived...

Some of the peas are taller than me now.  When I think they are tall enough I top them.  Did you know that the tops are delicious?  They taste like pea pods and make a great addition to salads!  Usually only the top 5 inches or so of the tip is tender.

Lucy sure enjoyed the weather today!

She overheats easily!