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

Monday, December 22, 2014

Project Sunflower

This Spring I tried something new....I planted Sunflowers. Lots of Sunflowers. And not the kind that you buy in little tiny seed packets.

 I planted the Sunflower seeds that come in a great big giant bag that are intended to be fed to birds.

And look, they were specially formulated for Alaskan birds! How about that!?????!!!!??? Hmmm.

Anyways, I think I had dreams of a virtual field of Sunflowers, because I broadcasted half the bag out - all over our property.

Even on Mr. Adams' half of the property! The ducks LOVED the rare treat.

They gobbled up lots of them. Well, they are Alaskan birds, so I guess that makes sense, right?

I was not spuer impressed with the results of this experiment. The germination rate was pretty poor. Ironically, the best germination occurred where the ducks were able to get to the seeds. Weird! Anyways, we did have Sunflowers lining the driveway,

And alongside the house.

The plants were on the small side with one flower per stem, and most of the flowers had green centers.

IN the end there were lots of pretty Sunflowers, and a few of the heads even matured enough to produce some edible seeds!

Honestly, the best Sunflowers I've ever grown have been volunteers from seeds that have fallen from plants in the garden the Fall before and sprouted the next season on their own. I guess that IS nature's way of doing it, so it makes sense that it works the best. The plants were stronger, tip over less easily in the wind and seem to be the healthiest. So, maybe I'll go out and broadcast the rest of the bag of seeds NOW, and see if that makes a difference. I'll let you know what I find out next year.


  1. Your brother says the germ rate was poor because the seed was for feed, not planting. Seed for planting is handled differently than seed for feed. Those seeds in the tiny packets really are the better choice for sunflowers. Have fun experimenting with the remaining 20 lbs! (not all sentences are from your brother.)