Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
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Garden Gate: When to pick tomatoes
When it comes to growing tomatoes on Kodiak Island, I turn to Sandee Drabek. So it made perfect sense to ask her the big follow-up question, “How do you know when to pick tomatoes?” I laughed at her first response, which was so logical and forthright it caught me off guard. “Well, my friend, red is good for ripe tomatoes,” adding “or a rich gold or tangerine depending on the variety.” Sandee, who has studied the a...
Oct 14, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Flowers fade, but weeds don't
When fishermen hang up their nets in late summer, skippers and crew members glance at each other, silently saying, “Okay, season’s over.” In late fall, gardeners do the same thing: When the last flower fades, many growers put their trowels away and murmur, “Okay, season’s over.” Not so fast. To everything there is a season, and there’s weeding to be done. A few years ago I asked Blythe Brown what more can done in ...
Oct 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: How to winterize your plants
It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends. That’s how I felt when I walked around the garden last week. Marigolds that had glowed yellow and orange in August, looked as if they’d donned brown trench coats. The rhubarb looked trampled and the delphinium by the front door that once towered over my head with purple and white hooded flowers, looked like dead bamboo. But I discovered bright spots during my walk. Turnips,...
Sep 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Fall is in the air
Yesterday’s autumnal equinox reminded me that it’s not June anymore. Every year, the calendarural event yanks me out of denial. Still, I welcome the change, and as I search for exquisite light in autumn’s sunrises and colorful landscapes, it gives my camera purpose. It reminds me of something that photographer Galen Rowell used to say: “The edges of nature is where you’ll find dynamic light and landscapes.” I noti...
Sep 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend
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From Soup to Nuts: Bargains don't require sacrifice
I was raised by my fiscally disciplined and ultra-conservative Scandinavian elders. However, the hands-down master of penny pinchers in my family was Grandma Hazel. A shrewd negotiator and homemaker, she was revered for her ability to sniff out a bargain and store managers learned to avoid her because of her go-for-the-jugular bargaining tactics. It is with her tenacity in mind that I pick through the Kodiak produ...
Sep 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Compost is gold for the garden
After moving to Kodiak in 1984, I developed a hankering to grow something. Mostly food. So I started attending Kodiak Garden Club meetings. Most of the presentations however were, you might have guessed: mostly flowers. Things have changed, beginning with the front yard: Lawns and gardens have replaced crab pots and skiffs. And overall, folks are growing more vegetables in places where aggressive salmonberry bushe...
Sep 16, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Putting the garden to bed
Fall is in the air, and we need to begin the process of putting the garden to bed — or at least think about it. This is not a time to be sad. English author and gardener Vita Sackville-West says this time of the year (late summer for us; fall for the remaining gardeners north of the equator) should be particularly pleasant. “If it is true that one of the greatest pleasures of gardening lies in looking forward, the...
Sep 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Nasturtiums are a tasty ingredient
Most people who live and garden in warmer climates don’t give nasturtiums a second glance. They’re sometimes regarded as weeds, as they reseed easily and grow most anywhere with the least amount of maintenance. In Kodiak, nasturtiums are appreciated for the simple fact that they provide a colorful, late summer bloom, until a frost turns them into mush. Colorful, edible, tuba-shaped nasturtium blossoms have delight...
Sep 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Cooking with late summer rhubarb
Chop, chop, chop. Marty is standing in the corner of the kitchen, rinsing and chopping rhubarb into 3/4-inch chunks and tossing them into two large pots on the stove: one for cinnamon sauce, the other for a plain sauce. At his feet, a large purple trug, filled with vertical columns of red, pink and green rhubarb await their fate. August marks our last rhubarb pick (except for a few deep-dish cobblers here and ther...
Aug 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Buzzing around with bumblebees
One foggy morning last week, I took an inventory walk around the garden. I paused in front of some late Iceland poppies that were starting to bloom, and watched numerous bumble bees (Bombus spp.) dive into the centers and “comb” pollen from the stamens. Their hind leg hairs (called corbicular fringe) were dotted with yellow grains of pollen. How impressive, I thought. Here I am, wearing boots, hat and rain jacket ...
Aug 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend
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