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, January 30, 2013

Checking Things Off My List

Well, the taxes are done, the FAFSA has been filed for Levi, and my seeds have been ordered....CHECK!!

Besides the same old standbys I'm going to try something new this year.....garlic chives.  I have lots of chives around the u-pick garden but I have never grown garlic chives.  Garlic is like my favorite thing in the world, so I'm excited to give them a try!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Bear Update

Although we have yet to actually see the bear or any bear tracks, our neighbors have, and Lucy faithfully barks almost every night. Our household has settled into sort of a nightly routine...Once it's dark outside we bring her inside to spend the evening with us. When it's time to go to bed we put her out and feed her. About 2 minutes later she starts barking. We let her bark for about 15-20 minutes, then we open the door and sternly say, "That's enough Lucy!  No Bark! No bark!" Then we go back to bed. Sometimes we have to get up a second time to remind her, but most of the time she sulks into her dog house and goes to sleep. Once in a while she kicks up a fuss in the middle of the night, and if she does we just bring her in until morning so everyone can get some sleep.

I can't say I'm happy about the situation, but it is what it is, and the bear seems to be here to stay!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vanilla Trials

Well, the tax work is basically done, so I took a break and did some fussing in the kitchen.

I've wanted to do a vanilla trial for some time now. I have three types of vanilla: pure vanilla from the grocery shelf, homemade vanilla from my niece, and Mexican vanilla from Mexico.

And what better way to trial them then in creme brulee? 

That's right, this happened....we each got to eat 3 creme brulee's in one sitting!

First we tried them without the sugar glaze to get the full effect of the vanilla. It took some time, but we all came to the same conclusion - and the number one choice was a was the pure vanilla from the grocery store shelf!  But a VERY close second was the homemade vanilla from my niece. There was no question though that the Mexican vanilla was more bland. I think when I cook with it I will use more than the recipe calls for just to beef up it's flavor.

Once we made our decisions we added the sugar glaze...

All in all it was hard work....but hey, someone had to do it!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Still At It

 Hit all the garage sales this morning and brought home some good loot! A box of canning jars was the best score of the day. Mr. Adams is convinced that I feel the need to buy something at every garage sale we go to, but I really did need all the stuff I bought today!

Things are coming along okay with the paperwork.....

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, January 25, 2013

An Okay Day

Well, so far there's been no luck with the magic egg...

It sure looks pretty though...

This evening I took a break from paperwork to meet my good friend, Cathy Hazel, in town for dinner...

Cathy has graciously offered to be the Editor for my garden book.  She's meticulous, intellectual, and is honest when speaking her opinions, so she's perfect for the job. Just one step closer to a finished product....

Thanks Cathy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

No, I'm Not Dead

I'm just busy with tax paperwork and dreaming of warm summer days in the garden....

photo courtesy of Ben Adams

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Work, Work, Work

The weather is pretty decent here, so Mr. Adams is catching up on some chores outdoors....

I, on the other hand, am stuck indoors doing dishes and laundry....

 .....and taxes!!!! And I need to get comfortable, because I also have some other hefty paperwork projects that need to be done, so this is where I am going to be hanging out for the next 2 weeks...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ready For The Editor

Sunday.....a day to hang out at home. Mr. Adams was riding the technology wave...

Lucy was hanging out, relaxing....

And Levi helped me with some formatting issues, so I was able to finish the book...

It's ready for the editor!  Here's a sneak peek...

 Each crop has a page of it's own with another page for personal notes....

And in the back there is a yearly planner....

It looks great and I'm overjoyed to be done I just need to get it printed!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lots Of Interesting Things Happened Today!

The first thing happened at 5:00 am.....The ducks started putting up a ruckus, so I turned a flashlight on them through the bedroom window and saw something crazy. The whole herd was diving together as a unit in the pool...over and over again. They were acting like there was a predator near by, but I couldn't see anything. Mr. Adams said, "Maybe it's a bird," and I said, "Birds don't fly in the dark, silly!" Well, they kept doing so I went out with a flashlight to get a better look.

I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, and every time I'd say something to try to comfort them they'd panic and dive again, so I went back in and went to bed. Well, it occurred to me later that there was probably a big owl out there..they fly at night, and I never did shine my flashlight Mr. Adams was probably right. It happens once in a while I guess!

Well, then we overslept and was late to all the garage sales. The sales were kind of pathetic, and the last one was at the Coast Guard Gazebo.  Well, Mr. Adams hates to go to the garage sales at the Gazebo because there is never anything good there, but I say you need to go to them all because you just never know what you'll we went, and he stayed in the car. And was I glad we did... I got the deal of the day!!  Four of my cups ...

I love these cups and I was just thinking the other day that I sure wish I would have bought more when I had the chance because I will probably never be able to find any more.  And then, there they were...and they were just 25 cents a piece!  What a deal! Now the hooks are all full! And...there's one extra!

Guess who was right this time?  It happens once in a while I guess.

As for the rest of the day....
-I walked the dog and stopped in to visit Connie for a while where she is housesitting
-I vacuumed the house....major achievement
-We all had lunch at the Westmark...yummy!
-I worked on the book
-We all went to see the movie, "Life of Pi". Hmmmmm. that was strange. (I don't think I've been to a movie in the Sitka movie theater since "National Treasure".
-Then I took an epic 2 hour bath then scrubbed out the bathtub and shower.

Heady, exciting stuff, huh?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Random Bits From The Day

I felt better today so I got up from the computer and ventured into town with Mr. Adams to run some errands and have some lunch.  It was raining cats and dogs...

We tried out the new Asian restaurant downtown. The food was good, but my fortune was bad...

At the grocery store we picked up some mouth wash, per Levi's request. He wanted the "Scope" brand, and their containers have this ridiculous new shape....

He was impressed. Once home I got back to work on the book and worked on it for the rest of the day.

The ducks have been getting pretty active the past few days. I think they can feel Spring coming.

Jeeves has been "making eyes" at some of the girls, so I am hoping some of them are thinking about starting to lay some eggs. When we were in Mexico I picked up this "Magic Egg" at a souvenir shop. 

Fake eggs can be quite effective in persuading ducks to lay eggs, so tonight I snuck this one out into the hutch in one of the nesting boxes. It's a magic egg, so if it convinces them to lay eggs, what color do you think they will be?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Not too long ago I saw this adorable baby sweater on the Posie Gets Cozy Blog and decided that I just had to make one....

And today I finished it! Of course I see everything in color so mine doesn't look exactly like hers.

 First I made the whole sweater without the buttonhole placket in the front...

Then I marked the placket opening and sewed two parallel reinforcement lines with my sewing machine.

Now this is where I got nervous....I cut between the line with my scissors!


That was scary!!  Next I crocheted the placket complete with buttonholes...

And then came the fun part....picking out the buttons! Should I go with these?

Or these....

Or these?

Or should I go with metal buttons?  No...too heavy.

Too bad there's only 2 of these...

Or THESE!!!  Although they are a little girlie.

I finally made my decision and sewed them in place.

Oh yeah.....that's what I'm talking about!

Too bad it doesn't look good on the cat...

I guess I'll just have to give it to a friend that's expecting a baby boy in a few months!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Fun Little Project

Last Spring I picked up a paint-by-number kit at a garage sale for $1.00. I thought it would be the perfect thing to take out on the boat for some relaxation therapy. Well, I did take it on the boat, and it was alot of fun to work on it, although I struggled with feeling a bit guilty because it felt like a colossal waste of time.

Paint-by-numbers are not something you really want to hang on your wall, so I decided to make a blank journal out of it to give to Emily for Christmas....

I scored the back, folded it in half, and bedded in the papers with some goop that's used for peel-off tablets (I found the recipe on Pinterest)...

Then applied decoupage to  the outside to protect the paint and give the journal a nice finish...

It had a few problems, it wasn't perfect, and I would do a few things differently next time, but it turned out adorable!  Really unique with that unmistakeable, iconic paint-by-number appeal.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Has A Corner Been Turned?

I'm feeling a little better today. I even wandered around outside for a few minutes and had a look around. It seems like things are changing....the days are getting longer, the snow has disappeared and the ground has started to thaw out a bit. The ducks are wandering around further from the hutch, always on the move, and they're acting like they are finding things to eat.

Look at how beautiful Lucky is getting!

He still has an almost imperceptible limp, and even though he has been accepted into the herd he still holds himself apart just a little bit. But I have a feeling that will change as Spring arrives....

 The kale is still doing fine...

And I saw that the rhubarb is poking it's head out of the ground...

It's easy to get excited and think that Spring is just around the corner, but in fact we still have a ways to go. May 15 is our average first frost-free date.....that's a long time from now.