October Newsletter – Fall / Winter Veggies and Putting your garden to bed

Thanks to everyone for such a fun and busy summer season. We’re still helping folks build a few gardens this fall, but most of our plans are heading indoors – working with students at King Tech High School, planning an Agronauts course at the Space Farming Institue, and preparing for Anchorage VegFest!  

But before we say farewell to the leaves, don’t let the frosts fool ya! Your kales and cabbages are still delicious, along with the leftover leaves of brussel sprouts and broccoli. This time of year, whatever we don’t eat fresh, we ferment and blanch/freeze for a winter treat.

Anchorage’s farmers markets are still going too. For example, Grow North Farm’s farmstand is open this week from 4-7 pm. What makes this farmstand especially tempting is the hot food served on Thursdays. The others are open too with root vegetables galore, and many of those hardy greens. Yum. 

Once the snow flies, fresh and fermented veggies continue to grow in Anchorage throughout the winter. Check out Alaska Greens, Seeds of Change/Evie’s Brinery, Le Petit Sprout, Local Greens (at Double Shovel), Common Root, Arctic Harvest, and Blue Market for info on what’s available and where and how to buy. No doubt I’m missing some options – Who/What am I forgetting?

Putting Your Garden to Bed

Once you’ve nibbled the remaining (romaine-ing?) greens from your garden, its time to put it to bed for winter. First, I like to ‘chop and drop’ the stocks and leftover leaves – anything above ground can easily be cut by a machette or snippers/scissors. No need to pull roots. In fact,I think of roots as food for soil life, so leave them in the ground. For a tidier look, move the chopped veggies to your stash of compostables.

Next, consider adding some organic fertilizers and mulch to your garden beds. Compost and autumn leaves work quite well, but don’t take my word for it – it’s in the local paper! A little insulation goes a long way to protect and encourage soil life in the garden. If you need materials or have extra, stop by the Midtown Garden Depot (2930 Cheechako Street). The gate is unlocked, and there are piles of compost, leaf mulch, manure, cardboard, pots, tools, etc. Bring your own shovel and containers. All the materials are free – donations to Yarducopia/ACAT are welcome! Call me with questions – 907 717 4392. 

Follow this link to the latest edition of Currant Affairs – a food systems-focused newsletter for Anchorage – for info on these and other events, opportunities, producers, and vendors of local food throughout the year. A highlight from this month’s edition is Good Earth Garden School’s Backyard Composter class out at the Palmer recylcing center, so many preservation classes for the Cooperative Extension, and a garden coordinator job with RurAL CAP. Please send ideas, info and feedback my way! 

Wishing you all a cozy month inside and out,

The Yarducopia / ACAT Team


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