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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Goodbye Mr. Adams

Well, it's that time of year again...Mr. Adams left this morning with the boat.

We all worked really hard last week getting things ready to go and we are all exhausted. The phrase, "I feel like I've been run over by a truck," comes to mind.

Making your living on the sea is not without its hazards. You can't take anything for granted no matter how vigilant you are with your maintenance and safety equipment. Our lives are in God's hands and we're at the mercy of the wind and the waves. Apparently David understood this too.....check out what he wrote in one of his Psalms:

Psalm 107:23-31

King James Version (KJV)
23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Who's Been Sniffing My Ducks

The other day when I opened the duck hutch door to let the ducks out for the day I found this....

Something, or someone pushed their nose up against the wire trying to "sniff" the ducks! The door to the hutch is not built very strong so I'm VERY glad they didn't insist on getting in.

I'm so curious who or what was in the garden....probably a dog, just drooling over those delicious looking ducks....if only the ducks could talk!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sorry Guys

The baby tomatoe plants are not so little now and really need to be transplanted, but we're really busy with the boat right now so I haven't been able to get the job finished!

Sorry guys! I'll get to you as soon as I can!

I promise!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm A .............Soccer Mom?

How did I get here? How did this happen?  Levi joined the soccer team and I all of a sudden I became a soccer mom.......

And as a Soccer Mom I am expected to help out. This weekend it means manning the hospitality table, handing out hot chocolate and such, trying to keep everyone warm.

That's my partner Sheila ....Soccer Mom Extraordinaire.......does she look cold? THAT'S BECAUSE IT WAS FREEZING!!!!!

What am I doing here?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

You Know It's Spring When....

You know it's Spring when the herring fleet is in...

You know it's Spring when the rhubarb is growing so fast that you swear you can hear it growing...

You know it's Spring when the ducks are scattered, roaming all over the garden, busy for hours making little happy noises as they eat creepy crawlers hiding in the dirt...

You know it's Spring when Ron Ropp comes to town to help on the boat...

But the best indicator that Spring has arrived is when Mr. Adams says, "It's time to haul the boat out!"

Good job, guys!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello, Spring!

All this month I've been worrying about April. April is my big month......I always have lots of outdoor work that needs to be done, plus lots of  plants that need to be transplanted, which equals lots of hours and days spent working hard. I've been worring that I don't have the energy to do it...I'm getting older and I spent the winter sitting around alot.

Well, today when I took Lucy for a walk, something happened.....

Maybe it was the fact that it was 44 degrees F outside, maybe it was the fact that almost all of the snow had melted off of the pedestrian path, maybe it was because Lucy was excited to go.....

....maybe it was the Toby Mac song I was listening to on my fancy phone, maybe it was the fact that I'm finally getting over my head cold and could finally breath through my nose, or maybe it was this....

...but all of a sudden I just HAD TO RUN!!! I don't run - I don't ever get the desire to run - and yet here we were running.....both of us old ladies. It wasn't fast, and it wasn't far, and it was slightly downhill, but it was running!! All of a sudden I had hope....I CAN do this....I CAN work hard again....I CAN get enthused.....I CAN clean up this mess and get ready for another u-pick season....

I just need to put one foot in front of the other each day and the work will get done...

So hello, Spring....I'm ready!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Basil Is A Man's Name

I just love Basil........

photo courtesy of Psalm Oines

Unfortunately, it doesn't love Sitka, so we can only grow it here indoors. I haven't been super successful growing it........aphids have been a REAL problem. Last year they took over the sunroom and I could NOT get rid of them. I'de sworn off of evil sprays and tried the dishsoap/water treatment - it didn't work (and who wants to eat soap anyways?). But one day I had just had it so I marched down to the store and bought some organic insecticidal soap.

I. LOVE. THIS. PRODUCT.  The aphids were GONE and the plants recovered and started growing again.

I have big plans for a big Basil crop this year......

I always have big plans..........

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Green Is A Beautiful Color

It started with just a tiny bit of green here and a tiny bit of green there.....




It just cheers my soul to see green growth when there is snow outside!

Now there is quite a bit of green and when the sun shines....well, it's just amazing...

"Hello, Beautiful".....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Under The Weather

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today....what a strange phrase that is....and quite ironic beings our weather is not the best - we have about 4 inches of snow outside! The snow comes and goes, usually it's going, but for now I think it is here to stay for a while.

I've been working in the sunroom off and on starting seeds....there's lots of seeds to plant!

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!


Last year I grew potatoes for the first time and it was SO much fun and So productive that I saved enough seed potatoes to plant twice the amount this year. The key to storing seed potatoes successfully is finding the right place to store them over the winter. They should be stored at about 40-45 degrees F in complete darkness and the air should not be too dry. I had trouble finding the right storage spot, but finally settled on the cargo hold of the boat. And it worked out perfectly! They are in beautiful shape.

Ideally they should be just starting to sprout in March. If they haven't started you are supposed to put them a sunny spot indoors where it is warm to get them sprouting, and then they should be planted outdoors mid-April....Some of mine are already aggressively sprouting....

.......some have sprouts that are an inch or two long....

.....and some have tiny sprouts you can barely see.....

The aggressively sprouting spuds went into the sunroom fridge that is set at about 40 degrees F (An average kitchen fridge is too cold for seed potatoes). The rest are setting in baskets in the sunroom, getting warm and soaking up some sun (well, light anyways).

The neat thing about seed potatoes is that you don't have to save large spuds to can save little ones, plant them whole and still end up with a good crop of spuds... many of them being surprisingly large. Here are some tiny seed potatoes that a friend gave me....

Now those are tiny! Tinier than anything I've planted  I will probably plant 3 or 4 to the tub just to be sure.

I'm so excited about growing spuds this year...I'm more prepared and am looking forward to a grand harvest!