Somewhere down there is a garden or two. This weekend we got about a foot of snow; beautiful, fluffy and clean snow. The last few winters have been really dry and dark so this snow is doing a great job of providing insulation to the garden beds.
It may be snowy right now, but it’s time to start thinking about summer gardening. Classes are available every other Wednesday from 6-8 beginning March 29th.
On Thursday evenings, Saskia Esslinger of Williams St Farmhouse has been hosting tours of her yard, explaining the systems and the principles of permaculture.
It was a treat last night to go with my parents – the sun popped back out just for us! There was a big crowd, with lots if kids and lots of food questions.
For a suggested donation of $25 this is an educational and beautiful two hours. As always, Saskia’s home is inspirational and fun.
On Sunday the Anchorage Permaculture Guild held a tour of public gardens on the east side of town. Two of the gardens, the first and last, followed permaculture principles while the others, while not exactly permaculture gardens, definitely were interesting. Full disclosure: I didn’t take good notes, I missed one whole stop, and my pictures don’t really do anything justice.
Stop four! (see what happened there? we missed the Bragaw Community Garden in Mountain View) McPhee Community Garden in Mountain View. The rule is “no permanent structures” but it seems vandalism and theft are an issue so the makeshift fences and gates are fascinating. This is the oldest garden, at 30-40 years.
And the newest garden, Methodist Church Garden at 1660 Patterson, was the next-to-last stop.
Yardley, William. “Victim of Climate Change, a Town Seeks a Lifeline.” The New York Times 27 May 2007: n. pag. Print.
This article is on the impact climate change has had on Alaskan villages, specifically Newtok. Villages like Newtok are ancient places, populated with Native Alaskans who depend on the quality of the land, water, and animals for survival. Climate change caused Newtok to be cut off, and sink below sea level. Village elders wished to move the village, though the cost would have been over $400,000 per resident.
Native Alaskan villages seem worlds away from New York, where this newspaper is located, not just thousands of miles. A piece like this is significant because it gives readers around the world a perspective on what might come to be in their areas: barrier islands, beach communities on a coast, towns in low-lying areas. We have seen some of this happen in a big city with the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and most recently New Jersey and New York City during last fall’s Hurricane Sandy. As larger populations are affected, and more lives are disrupted, will these issues associated with climate chaos be addressed?
As I look at how my family can live more lightly on the earth articles like this show me that every little bit, every change I can make, has a ripple effect. The planet is one big eco-system and even small villages, flights away from cities, feel the impact on their culture. It concerns me that after this article was published U.S. citizens and businesses didn’t learn much. It didn’t really become part of the national conversation and it barely even because part of the conversation in Anchorage.
Last weekend Laura and I took all four kids south to the Kenai Peninsula to go clamming and camping. We didn’t get any clams but we did have a great time camping with the kids. The kids had a great time with each other, playing In the field where we camped, watching king salmon in the Anchor River, playing on the beach in Deep Creek, and visiting a couple of places I’ll write more about later.
The Phoenix Earthship had a tilapia pond in the greenhouse. We don’t have that, but we do have dip net fishing and it’s pretty easy. Amazingly, in 18 years of living here this weekend was the first time I’d been dip netting. Alaskan residents can add a little card to their sport fishing license and go to a river during a heavy salmon run, dip a giant net into the river while wading into the water (in chest waders) and pull up a whole lotta fish. Our family of four has a limit of 55 salmon. I caught two. But, my excuse is that it was pouring rain and my two year-old was not a happy camper. Oh, and you tent camp on the beach. It’s like a big, mellow, stinky party. I liked it!
These photos were taken at an off time – when I was in the river people were standing shoulder-to-shoulder, “combat” fishing style.
My kids did okay but couldn’t just stand in the rain or wait for hours and hours in a small tent. We were soaked. So we drove into town and played.