Friday, January 2, 2009

Hope everybody had a great New Years. We celebrated at our friend’s home down river. Great time. They had fireworks in town and people who were there said they could just make them out through the ice fog.
The weather this week was cold. – 53 was the lowest temp I recorded here at the house, but it warmed up to -48 that afternoon. Warmed up yesterday to -25 so it could snow and it is back down to -45 now with ice fog. Got a picture of it on the right. Took it at about 4:15 this evening, so you can’t really see the ice fog that great.

Today I am going to discuss something that really surprised me when we moved here and that is gardening. I have gardened in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Nebraska. That consisted of clearing some ground of weeds, tilling, planting a few seeds, water, weed fertilize, harvest. Gardening here in the interior of Alaska is a challenge!!

First off you just can’t clear some weeds and plant seeds. The soil where I live is rather rocky or to put another way I could sell gravel if I dug a pit. So to grow a decent garden I would need to buy some soil from Browns Quarry.

My first year here, arrived June 3 2003, I just used the green house to grow a few tomatoes, beans cabbages etc. Those came out alright. Nothing to write home to mom about.

I did learn that winter that you don’t really plant items in the ground till the first week of June. That is when you are relatively assured that the ground temperature is above 65 degrees the point which most seeds and plants need to grow.

Now if you did that all you got is about 2 and ½ months of growing season. To get around that short season you start your seeds inside about the middle of March, move them to the outside in pots about the end of April then in the ground first week of June.

My second year I did that and got some good cabbages, strawberries, rhubarb, and turnips, which I planted in raised beds. Planted tomatoes and beans in the green house where they do better than outside. here are some samples

One reason I had a good season that year is because it was the warmest one we experienced here for 5 summers, got above 80 several times. It was also a dry season and lots of forest fires which filled the Interior with lots of smoke. Smoke was so bad we couldn’t see the river from our porch. Darn if it isn’t smoke its ice fog.

Next week I’ll talk about how I grew this.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Water at -40 degrees

I promised to show what boiling water does when it hits -40 degrees. Well here is a video of my wife throwing a pot of boiling water in the air. Tried to dump it from the sun room but the window was frozen