Gazing and grazing on Williams St

1 Comment

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.

20130809-105659.jpg

20130809-105707.jpg

20130809-105719.jpg

20130809-105732.jpg

20130809-105739.jpg

20130809-105750.jpg

20130809-105759.jpg

20130809-105819.jpg

20130809-105826.jpg

20130809-105834.jpg

20130809-105842.jpg

20130809-105811.jpg

20130809-105849.jpg

20130809-105901.jpg

20130809-105909.jpg

Permaculture public garden tour

1 Comment

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.

 

First stop! College Alps Condo Association’s garden at Bryn Mawr Court as hosted (check out the spread!) by Seija and Sarah.20130806-191315.jpg

20130806-191330.jpg

20130806-191355.jpg

20130806-191405.jpg

20130806-191420.jpg

20130806-191432.jpg

20130806-191442.jpg

20130806-191450.jpg

20130806-191502.jpg

20130806-191511.jpg

20130806-191521.jpg

20130806-191532.jpg

20130806-191553.jpg

 

Second stop! St Anthony’s Church Garden (825 Klevin St). Located adjacent to Catholic Social Services, this garden also serves refugees.20130806-191628.jpg

20130806-191640.jpg

20130806-191700.jpg

20130806-191719.jpg

 

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.

20130806-191737.jpg

20130806-191747.jpg

20130806-191803.jpg

20130806-191755.jpg

20130806-191810.jpg

20130806-191824.jpg

20130806-191833.jpg

20130806-191842.jpg

 

And the newest garden, Methodist Church Garden at 1660 Patterson, was the next-to-last stop.

20130806-191852.jpg

20130806-191859.jpg

20130806-191905.jpg

20130806-191911.jpg

20130806-191918.jpg

 

 

Cormac’s favorite was the third grade garden at Anchorage Waldorf School. I love the fence and greenhouse and the way it is perched on top of the hill.20130806-191931.jpg

20130806-191943.jpg

20130806-191957.jpg

20130806-192003.jpg

Winter Adventures

Leave a comment

I’ve been envious lately of the green grass and gardens I see in the Facebook postings of friends. I spent a little time looking through my own photos from this winter to see the outdoor (and indoor) adventures that are available during our extended winter season.

Indoor jumping

Indoor jumping

sledding at a nearby elementary school sledding hill

sledding at a nearby elementary school sledding hill

"I love to be cold, Mom!"

“I love to be cold, Mom!”

watching the Iditarod start from an urban ski and bike trail

watching the Iditarod start from an urban ski and bike trail

a newspaper lets us yell out the names of mushers as they go by

a newspaper lets us yell out the names of mushers as they go by

mush on, doggies!

mush on, doggies!

ice skating at the local school's rink

ice skating at the local school’s rink

indoor rock gym

indoor rock gym

family walk in the wooded dog park

family walk in the wooded dog park

family dog - she was born last year while I was at the Earthship with friends

family dog – she was born last year while I was at the Earthship with friends

snow sculptures during the winter festival, Fur Rendesvous

snow sculptures during the winter festival, Fur Rendesvous

snow sculptures are better with friends

snow sculptures are better with friends

an afternoon of snow tubing

an afternoon of snow tubing

IMG_5523

Victim of Climate Change

5 Comments

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.

Camping and clamming – with kids

Leave a comment

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.

20120811-140220.jpg

20120811-140244.jpg

20120811-140316.jpg

20120811-140327.jpg

20120811-140357.jpg

20120811-140420.jpg

20120811-140434.jpg

20120811-140512.jpg

20120811-140531.jpg

dip net fishing

4 Comments
Image

Our tents were just to the right of that big white “hospitality” tent run by a Baptist mission. They had a warming tent, free food and drinks, and crafts for kids.

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.

Image

You can’t park here so you drop your gear off, park your car a mile or so away, and then set up camp on the beach.

Image

These pictures were all taken from an overlook in a nearby park. My little camera has a great zoom lens for pictures of the beach, but here you can see much of the scene on the north shore of the Kenai.

Image

Hello, fireweed. People fishing on the other side of the river too. There was a seal floating around in the middle of the river that I wish I’d gotten a photo of.

Image

They love each other, even on cold and rainy days.

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.

20120724-170522.jpg

That’s me in the left corner while the boys hang out on the beach.

20120724-170545.jpg

The big kid loved everything, the whole time!

20120724-170601.jpg

The little kid really needed Mommy and lots of reassurance. We did lots of stuff to make him happy and assured.

20120724-170617.jpg

Kevin sliced the salmon into steaks.

20120724-170628.jpg

Salmon steaks, waiting to be wrapped and frozen.

20120724-170639.jpg

When you are a good kitty you get the royal treatment.