I’ve adapted to our different lifestyle here in Alaska pretty well. I’ve butchered and processed poultry, processed game meat, and fish that my husband has brought home, foraged for wild plants and berries, learned how to can different types of foods, and raised poultry and livestock, all things that I had never done before. Beginning gardening in Alaska though…has been a challenge.
This is the area where I have struggled the most, growing vegetables for our family. This will be our fourth gardening season and each year I’m getting better but I have a long way to go.
No Gardening Experience
I didn’t grow up gardening. We kept a flower bed with flowers bought from the local nursery. All we had to do was dig a hole, stick them in and it was done. I remember one year we did a small vegetable garden for fun, I think a few baby carrots and small pumpkins were harvested. But that was it.
Deciding to start a vegetable garden on our property and grow food for us to eat was an exciting but completely new challenge for me.
Learning How to Garden
I’ve attended several local gardening classes, read countless gardening books, and constantly bombarded my gardening friends with questions about their approach.
Each year we make improvements. Last year we more than doubled the area of our garden and added hills to our rows. I attempted seed starting as well with poor results overall but I learned a lot. This year, we did much better with starting seeds and added an electric fence around our garden to keep certain critters out who nearly demolished what we did manage to grow last year.
The summers here are short so that leaves little time each year for growing and making improvements. I have a lot to work on and learning in a climate such as ours makes the learning curve even steeper. Hopefully this season will produce better results than the last and I will eventually get the hang of this gardening thing.