Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Garden Gate: Getting to know your seeds is important process
If last weekend’s seed swap was any indication of excitement over gardening, then this season will be a banner year. On Sunday afternoon, 15 gardeners gathered in Heather Johnson’s kitchen to learn the fine art seed-starting, and share, buy and exchange seeds. There was fruit punch, fresh coffee and spicy quick breads. One person brought fresh eggs to sell. The event was a real gathering of a virtual Facebook grou...
Mar 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Prognosticators see average summer for Alaska
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! — Mark Twain It’s time for our annual check-in with the Farmers’ Almanac, mostly to discover how accurate their weather predictions are holding up and what we have to look forward to. I also tip-toe around other categories i...
Mar 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Beware the dangers of 'couch potato' seedlings
One day when I was in the second grade, our teacher, Mrs. Sheets, appeared from the dark coatroom carrying a tray of pint-sized milk cartons. “We’re going to plant sunflower seeds and grow them for Easter,” she told the class. By lunch, three dozen orange and white containers lined the windowsill, each one identified by a child’s name. Anticipation was high. Whose seed would sprout first? What if a seed didn’t com...
Mar 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Eye-popping sweet peas
A few years ago, in the dead of winter, I received a small package from a British gardener who’d been following my blog postings. Inside I found a beautifully illustrated book called “A Bunch of Sweet Peas,” a true story that took place 100 years ago in the Scottish border village of Sproutston. A young parish minister writes to the Daily Mail for two entry forms in the newspaper’s competition to find the finest b...
Feb 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Greatest veggie hits for growing up north
When Robert E. Peary prepared for his final attempt to reach the North Pole in 1909, his provisions included an astounding list of supplies: 16,000 pounds of flour, 10,000 pounds of sugar, 10,000 pounds of “biscuit,” 100 cases of condensed milk, 3,000 pounds of dried fish and 30,000 pounds of pemmican. The expedition was a success, largely due to Peary’s previous experience in the North, which gave him the knowled...
Feb 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Winter seed starts preview garden indoors
Since this winter has been rather blustery, here’s my No. 1 reason for starting seeds indoors: Growing something green is a sure cure for the restlessness that plagues gardeners while the weather is cold and gray and when the itch to garden comes much sooner than the warm weather. Starting seeds indoors lets you scratch the itch. On a practical side, because we live in a climate that doesn’t have ideal growing con...
Feb 13, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Cures for ‘analysis paralysis’
Dan Burns is a friend of mine who works as a professional sports photographer. Based out of Connecticut, he covers a wide range of events from polo to pro football, theater, dance and wildlife. “I photograph anything that moves,” he told me last summer on his way to Katmai to spend time with bears chasing salmon. Dan also mentors Wounded Warriors and conducts workshops for Audubon groups. Dan makes his living as a...
Feb 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Global warming changes Kodiak growing zone
Kodiak Island has come up in the world. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled its new, color-coded plant hardiness zone map. According to the new data, it is now safe to plant new species in many parts of the nation. These new growing guidelines have been updated for the first time since 1990 and believe it or not, a gradual northward warming trend makes it possible to plant trees and other perenn...
Jan 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: A rainbow on your plate
It’s been a snowy winter and it’s easy to let the weather get you down. “I’m ready for summer!” wailed a grocery store clerk the other day. But things are looking up: We’re almost up to eight hours of daylight, the hoophouse ordinance was adopted by the Kodiak Island Borough, and it’s citrus season. During the winter, I really appreciate lemons, oranges and grapefruits for their zippy taste and for their make-you-...
Jan 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Health and savings go hand-in-hand at home
There’s growing evidence that industrial food (grown by large corporations) just isn’t what it used to be. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are ways to navigate through the ever-confusing sea of information and news about the food we eat. Here are lots of tips to help you cut cost, not quality, in your food budget. Cook your food The fastest way to grocery savings is found in your kitchen. Resist e...
Jan 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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