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Coming on Springtime – Out come the Seed Catalogs!

February 20, 2012

We found out that we have been awarded two hightunnels through the USDA program. Commitments that we have to keep to get a reimbursement include testing our soil and developing various plans for good farm management, as well as keeping specified records through the growing season. Now we have our noses buried in the seed catalogs,  trying to figure out what new items we can grow this year. After this food challenge, we know more about preservation, including knowledge of which things we can just throw in the root cellar. I am looking forward to winter squash and pumpkins!

On the eating front, our aerogrow is up and running, providing fresh greens, which are quite welcome. Randy has discovered/developed a great caribou breakfast sausage recipe. It turns out the secret is to blend it the night before so that the flavors can infuse the sausage. After running out of store-bought pasta, we’ve pulled out the pasta maker and begun making our own. Not difficult at all and the secret to success is also resting – allowing the pasta dough to rest for at least a half hour before rolling it. We are using the Alaska cooperative extension service recipe for barley pasta, and it is turning out beautifully (although it forgets to mention the resting thing).

Our food supplies are holding up well, and we see no problem in continuing through June on what we have. A cost comparison of money spent on food by quarter shows that we have spent about $400 less per quarter on food for the first two quarters. We are still buying some things (wheat, barley, Matanuska potoato chips, onions, milk, cheese, etc) but are sticking to local there, too. Spices, coffee and sugar are our main exceptions to the local food purchases. I have found that the Health Food store in Eagle River stocks local honey, as does Fred Meyer and Walmart. At Fred Meyer and Walmart, it is in the Alaska souvenier section, not with the rest of the honey, in case you’re needing some!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kathryn permalink
    June 30, 2012 1:11 am

    Very easy to learn to save your own seed. Here in Anchorage, Alaska I have a small backyard garden that I refer to as * the seed garden*. Yes the garden produces ( ever giving), but the most important is next years seed. I have not bought seed in over 30 years. I learned that growing in Alaska has many challenges and rewards. The seed you gather and collect will last longer than a commercially store bought seed. Never place your seed in plastic of any kind as it will render the seed fallow or greatly reducing its viablitiy. When I store the seeds, I use paper coin packets, work perfectly for me. Store in dark and cool temps peferably 50 degrees, no colder than 40 degrees. Look to the local native population who grew gardens ,hunt and fished, had their own medicines for thousands and thousands of years and thrived. Much can be learned and relearned from the locals now and past. When life (earthquakes,flooding,landslides,ect) happens, as it surely will, everything goes haywire, we end up with each other and very little else. Alaskans are a tuff bunch as we lean on each other during such mishaps. Lessons of the past have taught us that hunger is a choice here, as if every able to grow a garden would do it then there would be no hunger in Alaska. Stomp out hunger in Alaska and get growing 🙂

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