Saturday, July 20, 2013


I'm so happy to be home. My husband and I just got back from a two week trip to Alaska. The first half of the trip was spent on a small ship, the National Geographic Sea Lion. I love going on these kind of trips since they are really into education. One of the things they try to educate you on is the seafood that you eat. They won't serve shrimp because of the by catch problems. They only will serve fish that is sustainable and local to the area. The sad part is they don't have a lot of vegetables with their meals (except in salads and soups and I couldn't eat most of the soups). I was really craving them by the time I left the ship.

The second half was at a lodge in Denali National Park. The North Face Lodge is a unique entity. It is owned by a family that has been operating it before the area was in the park. The last time it was before Congress they voted to let them keep it but only those that were born before sometime in the early 70s. So I wonder if it will extended to the next generation or not in the future. But the education programs there are good. They take you on guided walks in the park showing the various ecosystems. Then every evening after dinner they have lectures.

But the best part is they believed in vegetables. So much that they had their own green house to grow some of their own. They grew the flowers for the tables too. They had three small outside gardens. The one above was for their salad greens and consisted of a handful of beds. It is surrounded by a transparent wall about three feet tall to keep out the cold winds that come off of the tundra and has hoops so they can cover it if it gets too cold. The other two have no protection and one is just filled with rhubarb. They actually come up to start the gardens about a month before the guests arrive. The lodge is way into the park and they only make the trip down and back twice a week to pick up and drop off guests. Needless to say their salads were delicious.

The trip was great, but coming home was hard. I'm a little hazy due to lack of sleep but I think we went about 27 hours straight through to get home. First the bus ride out of the park, then the train to Anchorage, then the red eye to Chicago, then onto Boston. I told myself I was so tired that I wouldn't do anything but look at the garden when I got home. Yeah right. I saw my bean plants were under water stress so I dug down into the soil and it was dry dry dry. So I watered that bed. The main part had obviously been watered earlier in the day. I'm hoping the rock wall garden was too, but I haven't checked yet.

Then I saw the cukes and zukes that were stuffed under the row cover were all mixed up together and trying to break out. So off came the cover. I put up the last part of the trellis for the cukes and strung it with jute. Then I tried to carefully untangle the long cucumber vines from the zukes. I pushed the zukes back to their own side of the bed. I'm sure I did a little injury to all the plants, but I'm also sure they will survive. There are the first little cukes starting to form. So the timing on those were perfect. The zukes on the other hand have been trying to fruit for a while now. So I'll have to go out and pick some small ones. At least now they can all get fertilized.

I did try to plant things so they wouldn't fruit while I was gone and would just start when I got back. The beans have some beans forming. They ought to be covered in blooms but are not so I think they have not been watered enough (the main garden seemed fine - but I don't think the sprinkler went far enough to get some of the beans). And it was hot hot hot last week. We almost hit 100F. Lots of high 90s. This is not usual weather for Boston. Usually our 90s are in the low 90s and we don't get much of that.

The corn is starting to form ears. It won't be too much longer. I could have planted that first set earlier. The melons are starting. Since I'm growing them along the ground this year it is hard to find them. But I will and I'll put them on bricks or stones. I probably won't have a lot of variety to eat for a bit since I delayed the planting of so many things. But that is fine. I've always got chard. And I need to eat those cabbages and carrots I picked earlier. Oh and canned sweet potatoes.

I've got a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks. I need to rip out the old dying plants (like peas and favas that I didn't get to). The weeds are taking over. And I need to get the fall crops started and into the garden. Leaving for two weeks in the heart of the gardening season is hard. Worth it, but hard.


  1. Really sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. Sometimes you just have to let the garden come second. I took a vacation in the spring at the wrong time. You will soon be caught back up. Nancy

  2. Welcome home. Sounds like a very fun trip, I've always wanted to go to Alaska!!

  3. Nice to have a garden to go home to, isn't it? That's usually the first thing I want to see the minute I get home from a vacation. Sounds like you had a great trip, welcome back home!

  4. Yeah, I know what you mean. Everyone needs a holiday some time, but leaving your garden during mid-Summer can create some problems! Your educational holiday sounds very interesting. I'd enjoy that part, but not if I had to eat fish (and without veg too!).