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, January 19, 2016

Sewing Circle

I grew up in the Mennonite Church, and one thing that the Mennonites are famous for is "Service".
Being the hand of God reaching out to those in need. The women in the church are very talented and crafty and they are always making things to give to missions. At my Mom and Dad's church these ladies gather together once a month for "Sewing Circle".

There's a business meeting....

And special projects....

Like boxes of treats for people that can't get out of the house during the holidays...

And the boxes are pretty too!

Beautiful quilts are displayed....

Hand made, of course.

My Aunt Erma is one of the expert quilters.

Here my Mother and some of my other Aunts are stuffing fabric pressure relieving pillows that are used by bed ridden patients in the hospital. (Where are you, Aunt Ardys? I know you were there somewhere!)

 I have many fond memories of running wild in the church sanctuary with the other kids while our Moms were busy working in the basement. It was fun exploring all of those scary forbidden rooms behind the pulpit.

Along the North wall of the basement there are a lot of built-in cabinets that house the electric sewing machines. They can be pulled out for sewing and then stored away for the rest of the month.

 There are a quite a few drawers for supplies and notions too.

And now, it's confession time.

When I was a very little girl I was exploring alone in the basement while my folks were busy upstairs doing church work. Out of boredom I started snooping through the sewing drawers.

 And I found a metal needle threader. One that looked sort of like this...
But the one I found was purple. A bright, shiny, glorious purple. A purple that couldn't be denied. I was so drawn to that beautiful needle a raven is drawn to a bright shiny coin, and I just HAD to have I took it. I took it home and hid it in my room and I didn't tell anybody about it. I felt guilty of course, and eventually, by the time Christmas rolled around, I decided that I needed to get rid of it. So, of course I did the only logical thing a little girl does in a situation like that.....I put it in my Mom's Christmas stocking.

I remember when we opened our presents on Christmas Eve that my Mom found the needle threader in her stocking and was so confused. I averted eye contact and never said a word as Mom and Dad passing it back and forth trying to figure out where it came from. I can't remember if they asked me about it. If they did I'm sure I lied about having anything to do with it.

That needle threader sat right beside my Mom's sewing machine and haunted me for years. As I grew a little older I realized just how bad it had been for me to steal something, no matter how small or pretty it is, so one day I decided to fix the situation. My solution - I took it out of my Mom's sewing room and back to church. And when noone was looking, I put it in back in the drawer where it belonged. Problem solved. what do you think? Did 2 wrongs make a right?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Friends, Family, Food and Fun

One of our favorite activities to do as a family is eat great food. Cooking it is fun too, but eating it is the best! Here is a compilation of just some of the great eating experiences we had in 2015 - the ones that were actually documented with photos that is!

1. Tayberry Pie

A Tayberry is a cross between a Blackberry and a Raspberry. It's pretty much the only bramble that will grow here in Sitka.

The white flowers and dark red berries are so beautiful.

Everybody that comes to the garden thinks they are raspberries and they can't resist snitching a few red ones before I can stop they are sour!!!  Tayberries need to be almost black before they are ripe.

2. Candied Jalapenos

When Levi and I had a layover in Fort Lauderdale this fall we drove down to Miami to check out the "Latin House Grill" restaurant that we had read about online. The food was fantastic so it was definitely worth the drive! They serve a burger that is to die for, and the secret ingredient turns out to be candied Jalapenos. We looked the recipe up online when we got home, and it seemed pretty easy to make, so about a month ago we took all of the ingredients over to our good friend, Elaine Steinbach's house to give it a try.

Elaine, the "hostess with the mostess".

These Candied Jalapenos turned out amazing.They are so good on meat, and fish, and ....well, just about anything. Yum!!

 3. ANYTHING made by Graceful Pasteries.

Grace set up a bakery in the Ludvig's building this Fall while Ludvig's was closed for the season. Oh my.......are her pastries ever good!!

 bacon scone

 proscuitto and provolone croissant

 bacon and potato tart

 blueberry lemon scone

 pear galette

Everything is perfectly delicious! I can't wait until she opens next season again!

4. Orange cookie layer cake.

This cake is so easy to make, and it looks fantastic, and it tastes delicious. The crisp, orange wafer cookies are layered with a coolwhip/cream cheese/orange flavored frosting and let to set overnight.

 The next day the cookies are soft, so the cake can be easily be cut into wedges for serving. Once you cut the cake open it looks like you've layered impossibly thin layers of cake with frosting. We topped this one with chocolate ganache and plain Mandarin orange segments and orange segments that had been dipped in melted chocolate. Yum.

5. Personal sized apple pie in mason jars.

Made from the apple pie filling I canned in 2014 from the apples in our garden. Too good.

6. Santa Claus cookies at Aunt Ardys' house.

This Christmas we were lucky enough to wrangle an invite to decorate Santa Claus cookies with Aunt Ardys.

Another hostess with the mostess!

The cookies are supposed to look like this when they're done....

Some of ours looked like they should, and some of the them did not...

But fun was had by all....

And the cookies were as delicious as they were beautiful.

 7. 5 course meal at Dove Island Lodge.

I've been hearing that the food served out at the Dove Island Lodge here in Sitka is extraordinarily good. I've been curious about it- but you can only get there by boat, and it's quite expensive. This fall the Swim team had a fundraiser out there and were selling tickets for dinner, so I decided that it was time to check it out. This place is fancy.....but it's Sitka fancy, if you know what I mean.

The meal was fantastic! Each course was better than the last.

I only embarrassed myself once, by thinking the bone marrow was on a piece of toast. It wasn' was on the bone. It tried to take a bite...twice. Someone had to tell me it was bone, not bread.

 I want to eat like this every day.

 And maybe now, with the help of this new cookbook that Ben and Emily gave me for Christmas, I can!