Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Home and Garden
 
Garden Gate: Highbrush cranberry is an overlooked berry
What smells like dirty socks but tastes like a cranberry? If you guessed highbush cranberry, you’re right. Despite its cranberry name and uniquely tart flavor, the highbush cranberry is totally unrelated to the Thanksgiving favorite. So why should you be interested in these berries? First of all, they are ripe for the picking, and you can find them growing in shady, damp areas around Kodiak, near alder thickets an...
Oct 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Why do leaves change colors?
While you were picking lettuce in the garden, walking in Abercrombie or playing in a city park, the trees were working overtime. Yet it isn’t until fall that we really notice our local deciduous trees as they begin to turn yellow, bronze and red. Which brings us to a question we rarely stop to ponder: Why do leaves change to beautiful colors in the fall? What’s behind it all? Before I get into all that, there’s be...
Oct 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Calendula flowers fend off upcoming winter
Now that it’s officially fall, my attitude towards garden chores shifts from maintaining productivity to quiet resignation. All around me, time seems to have sped up: Raspberry leaves, bright green one day, turn yellow and droop along the canes like wet tissues. Lettuce plants that once leaped out of the soil with summer growth now slow to a crawl. On the bright side, calendulas fend off the approaching winter sea...
Sep 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Flower flies guard and pollinate gardens
On cool, still mornings I like to sneak outside with my camera in search of slow bees. By “slow,” I mean bumblebees that worked late and spent the night huddled under a leaf or flower, waiting for the sun to jump-start their metabolisms. Like people, flies, moths, dragonflies and other insects tend to move more slowly in the morning, making them easier to photograph with a macro lens. One of my favorite insects is...
Sep 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Potatoes do the trick for nutritious meals
When not fried, dressed with bacon or swimming in butter and sour cream, the lowly spud is a high-fiber and high-potassium health food. This may come as a surprise to you considering the recent low-carb craze, when potatoes are often lumped together with other starchy outcasts like pasta and white bread. Yet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber — fiber that helps us digest them slowly. On average, Ame...
Sep 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: How to prevent athlete’s foot for plants
On a foggy afternoon a couple weeks ago, I yanked out bunches of calendulas from my perennial beds. Oh, the plants were blooming just fine — yellow, bronze and orange. But the neighboring roses and lilies were not doing so well. Calendulas, have a cast iron reputation of surviving just about anything you throw at them. But they also possess an impolite habit of shouldering their way around the garden and crowding ...
Sep 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Small spaces open garden possibilities
Did you know that the average morsel of food travels an average of 2,000 miles from field to (Kodiak Island) fork? Yes, when you go to the store, most of what’s for sale came from another state or country. But Kodiak’s gardeners are changing how we get our food. Head out to the farmers market at the fairgrounds this Saturday to watch broccoli fly out the door. Doors open at 11 a.m. and most produce is sold in 10 m...
Aug 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Visiting Ouzinkie’s hillside garden
When serious about improving his footwork or agility, a boxer trains with someone of greater strength. An artist improves his skills by attending master classes, and gardeners learn new tricks by visiting fellow gardeners. That’s why I like to check in with John Bartolino and Christy Matthews, subsistence lifestylists near Ouzinkie. Their hillside home, hoophouse, greenhouse and outside gardens are accessible only...
Aug 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Stay positive during rainy days
This week’s column is devoted to anyone who might be a little down in the dumps over Kodiak’s weather of late. Yes, even I feel a little sad when I see pansies melting in the rain and doing face-plants into the soil. But the other night, during a dinner cruise with guests from South Africa, my attitude received a severe wake-up call. “The crime is so bad where we live,” said one of the guests, “that the gated entr...
Aug 13, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Why is rhubarb all different colors?
Summer’s annual march toward autumn is marked by several trends: As pink blooms move up the fireweed stalks, so does the number of times Mack’s Sport Shop staff are asked, “Where should we go to catch salmon?” Whispers, text messages and emails between berry pickers also reach a crescendo this time of year: “Found any blueberries yet?” “What’s with the salmonberries on Mission Road?” “How are your raspberries doin...
Aug 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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