Portrait of an Alaskan Garden

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In 2006 my husband, Matt, cleared a space for our garden. He used the old John Deere to drag cottonwood logs cut from our property as raspberry bed borders.

March may still look like winter, but it’s spring in my head, and I start thinking about what I’ll plant in May. The gardening books come out, I review previous years’ notes, and rattle my leftover seed packets because I like the sound of all that potential. Weeding and back pain don’t even cross my mind.

One summer, the spinach leaves grew to the size of salad plates! I washed out a laundry basket for hauling my favorite greens to the kitchen for processing. We eat lots of spinach salads, and blanch and freeze the rest.

Rhubarb is an Alaskan staple.

Crimson Giant radishes from Denali Seed Co. (based in Anchorage) really did grow into giants. They have great flavor and are crunchy with just enough heat.

Broccoli grows surely but slowly and is ready by mid-late August.

We grow three varieties of raspberry. Boyne, shown here, are the best for just popping in your mouth as a snack or dessert, but our Goldens and Killarneys are tasty too. All three make excellent jam.

I’ll try transplanting one of these chive pots to a permanent place, and try over-wintering the other inside.

Hot peppers did well one sunny summer in the greenhouse, but I had to bring them indoors in fall to fully ripen.

This year, we’re trying corn for the first time–Yukon Chief from Denali Seed Co. We only have 16 plants, but if it’s successful, we’ll try lots more next year.

My first attempt at growing cabbage yielded one as big as my head!

Most of the time, this rustic fence deters moose. Now, if it would only do the same for weeds…