Talk Dirt To Me

Gardening in Alaska presents big challenges, whether it's the extra effort in finding plants tough enough to survive our Zone 2-4 climate, communicating with like-minded Alaska gardeners, or keeping up with the latest trends, issues and solutions. We'll try to help with that. We'll also tour gardens from Homer to Anchorage to Wasilla to Willow whenever we get the chance, and post the best garden photos around. Presenting a forum about cold-weather gardening and for cold-weather gardeners is what we are all about. We hope you'll join us on the Talk Dirt garden blog.

Photographer and gardener Fran Durner (fdurner@adn.com) writes the blog.

February Garden Calendar - 1/29/2010 9:28 am

UA Anchorage recognized as a Tree Campus USA - 1/27/2010 10:36 am

Stone walls provide beauty and exercise - 1/26/2010 8:43 am

USDA program for high tunnels offered - 1/25/2010 8:08 pm

Worms could eat your garbage too - 1/24/2010 8:01 pm

Wildflower Garden Club offers annual scholarship - 1/21/2010 1:08 pm

Where did you find inspiration last year? - 1/19/2010 3:57 pm

Zaumseils say farewell for now - 1/18/2010 3:57 pm

Fall means apples and winter veggies

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Bob Boyer shows the difference between a greenhouse-grown "Prairie Magic" and the same variety of apple grown outside in his orchard. Fran Durner/ADNBob Boyer shows the difference between a greenhouse-grown "Prairie Magic" and the same variety of apple grown outside in his orchard. Fran Durner/ADNFor those of you who have been waiting to find out if Bob Boyer would be selling his wonderful greenhouse apples again - he is! Thursday, October 29, from 1 to 5 pm only. I hear it's been the best year yet for apple production. The last time I checked, Boyer was growing about 37 apple trees, nine peach trees, three apricots, two plums and one quince tree inside the greenhouse. His orchard held over 100 fruit trees including apples, cherries and pears. Although he doesn't heat the greenhouse, the trees inside do much better than the trees outside.

Apples collected from Bob Boyer's orchard await the arrival of consumers. Fran Durner/ADNApples collected from Bob Boyer's orchard await the arrival of consumers. Fran Durner/ADNBob says there will be about 25 varieties for sale including Silken, Honey Crisp, Fuji and Florina. The apples are organically grown and will be sold for $2.50/pound. Please bring your own bag or box. Boyer's orchard and greenhouse are located at 645 East 81st Street off the Old Seward. Go west on 81st almost to the end. The greenhouse is on the right. Call Bob Boyer at 242-4621 for more info.

Lawrence Clark picks Westland apples in his south Anchorage orchard in 2003. Marc Lester/ADNLawrence Clark picks Westland apples in his south Anchorage orchard in 2003. Marc Lester/ADNOn a sad note, our other Anchorage "Apple Man," Lawrence Clark, passed away last week at the age of 94. Many of you have driven to Rabbit Creek Rd. on weekends in September every year to buy apples and cider from him at his orchard. According to his obituary, his orchard held over 200 trees and his apples won many awards and ribbons at the Alaska State Fair. He was a member of the Alaska Fruit Growers Association. We'll miss him.

For those of you suffering withdrawal pains with the end of the Saturday farmer's markets, take heart: There are still some options to get you through the next few months, if not until next summer.

Alex Davis will be bringing his A.D. Farm certified organic produce to the Northway Mall every Wednesday. Fran Durner/ADNAlex Davis will be bringing his A.D. Farm certified organic produce to the Northway Mall every Wednesday. Fran Durner/ADNAlex Davis of A.D. Farms is moving moving inside the Northway Mall, 11am-6pm Wednesdays, in the area commonly known as the Gottschalks Corridor, look for him under the Eat Local sign. He usually carries fresh eggs, home made jam and raw honey. He will also bring in certified organic carrots, (regular, yellow and purple) which you can buy by-the-pound or in 20lb and 50lb boxes, potatoes (white, French fingerling and peanut) by-the-pound or in 20lb bags, beets (red, gold and cylindra) by-the-pound or in 20lb bags, cabbage, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts.

If you would like to place an order please contact him by 5pm the previous Monday. Alex says," No order too big or too small. We'll bag it and tag it or box it up for you." To place an order or to get on his email list you can contact him at adfarm_organic@yahoo.com

Alex emailed me this morning that Mark Rempel will be there as well with his Rempel Family Farm organic produce.

Sarah Bean in a field at Arctic Organics Farm in Palmer. Fran Durner/ADNSarah Bean in a field at Arctic Organics Farm in Palmer. Fran Durner/ADNSarah and River Bean of Arctic Organics will be making weekly special order runs into Anchorage on Thursdays. This week they have potatoes (German Butterball, Yellow Finn and Russet ((small, roasting size - not bakers!)), green storage cabbage, red cabbage, mustard greens, collards, rutabaga, beets and baby beets as well as honey. Turkey Red Cafe bread is also available with your veggie order.

They will have two meeting points: from 4-4:10pm in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot at 15th & Cordova St., and from 5-5:10pm at the Lowe's parking lot on Tudor.

Contact them by Wednesday at (907) 746-1087 or info@anchoragefarmersmarket.org or info@arcticorganics.com for info, to confirm an order and to get on their email list.

And finally, Arthur Keyes with Glacier Valley Farm CSA will supply you all winter long with weekly boxes featuring Alaska produce supplemented by certified organic produce from Outside as the local pickings get slimmer. For example, this weeks box features local Alaskan potatoes (purple, red, and yellow), Alaskan Brussels sprouts, Alaskan onions and Alaskan garlic. From Outside are certified organic Red Delicious apples, certified organic Bartlett pears, certified organic pomegranate, certified organic romaine lettuce, certified organic radishes and certified organic Fuyu persimmons.

Boxes are $35 and must be ordered and paid for two weeks before the pickup date at any time during the year. There are various pickup places and times. You can contact them at customerservice@glaciervalleycsa.com or sign up to make an order on their website.

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