Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is in full swing, Alaska style! Hooray!

I just want to make an announcement: I saw GREEN this week! I was driving to a friend's house this past weekend and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Sure enough, the grass on the side of the road is indeed green, and growing. I made sure to pay close attention on the drive to Fairbanks on Monday, and discovered that in addition to the grass being green on the side of the road, the trees are beginning to bud. (A little help from the locals? Is it the birch trees or the cottonwoods that are sending out leaf shoots?) Yet another exploration at the park proved that the pussy willow is beginning to send out furry buds, and I should know. I had to pull about a dozen of them from Beans' mouth because she thought they were furry jelly beans. (She gets her "smarts" from her daddy.)

Our spring is proving to be incredibly busy, and I am loving it! Spring in Delta Junction means everyone is going outside. We've met so many new friends and done lots of fun stuff in the community, and we are eagerly awaiting all the things to come.
This month alone, there are playgroups galore, trips to the park, seeds to start, greenhouses to set up (ours has to be portable because of the rules on base), gardening to pine for, and best of all... The Farmer's Market opens this month.

Here's our recent and upcoming adventures:

-I felt momentarily famous when we went to the library Basket Auction. I didn't win a basket, but when we paid our membership dues for the Library Association, the lady taking our dues asked if I was the infamous Moose Nugget. (I am! I am!) Not only was it nice to meet another person from town, it was nice to go home and realize that someone actually does read my blog. And she enjoys it! (Take that, "Anonymous Reader"! There are folks that don't find me "torturous"!) *grin*

-We've made some new friends. And not just me. J has made new friends. Thank goodness. This means that when he starts talking about hunting, fishing, guns, and ammo, instead of just glazing over and pretending I am listening, I can say, "Um, yeah. I don't really care, so why don't you call your friends?"
(Just kidding. I still pretend to listen, then POLITELY chase him out of the house to go hunting or hiking with a buddy.)
Meanwhile, since I have also made new friends, he no longer has to glaze over and pretend to be interested in my latest crochet project, recipe, or otherwise girly things.

Speaking of projects... I can not believe that I (once again) missed the local knitting group meeting this month. I swear, there is a great knitting conspiracy to keep me from that group! I have been trying to get there for ten months. Every single month, something comes up that keeps me from going.
Next month, I swear, I am going. I swear it.

Other happenings 'round the Moose Nugget Household:
-Green things are growing. And I haven't killed them off... yet. I've got a handful of seeds sprouting in the house... kohl rabi, broccoli, and cabbage so far. I actually did manage to attend the MOPS meeting this past week, and came home with a pepper plant and three cherry tomato plants. And J gave me what I really wanted for Mother's Day, which was a $100 shopping spree in the garden section at Fred Myer, so I came home with a handful of houseplants, to satisfy my desire to be surrounded by green and growing things until I am "allowed" to plant outdoors.

Gardening in Alaska is going to be different, to say the least. I got a few strange looks when I asked when I could plant my tomatoes outside. The answer (for other southerners who are wondering why that's a strange question) is: you don't. Tomatoes grow in greenhouses here, or get brought indoors at night if you aren't lucky enough to have a greenhouse.
Weird.
But if it means I get tomatoes from my own "garden", then so be it. Incidentally, the pepper plant also doesn't go in the ground, "for best results".

I have to admit, I am chomping at the bit to get the garden going. Sowing seeds indoors and tending houseplants only slightly appeases my desire to dig in the dirt. That said, I have been warned by every experienced Alaska gardener I have talked to to stay away from the garden until the very end of this month, and possibly into the beginning of next month. As lore would have it, a full moon early in June means it may freeze the night of the full moon. (Huh? Any local want to explain THAT?)
Meanwhile, I have been amusing myself with plans that get bigger and more ambitious by the day. We are purchasing a portable greenhouse that will house my delicates, then constructing a couple raised beds that will house other fun veggies.

Speaking of veggies, another fun little thing we discovered this week is a fresh, organic produce delivery service! I ran into it accidentally (though I have to admit, a North Pole friend mentioned it to me some time ago, when it made an appearance in Fairbanks). Full Circle Farms, a CSA farm in the pacific northwest delivers a box of veggies as frequently as once a week.
Last week at the park, a mom asked if anyone was interested in a box that another participant was unable to pick up. I bought the box from her and found the most amazing fresh fruits and veggies, then headed home and signed up for the service.
This officially ends my complaint of the quality of produce available in Alaska. I know you've heard me whine before about the lack of fresh produce or the quality of what is available here. This stuff was AMAZING. And while it initially seemed expensive, when I calculated how much we are spending at the grocery stores for lesser quality non-organic produce, it came very close to the same amount.
Seriously... check it out: fullcirclefarm.com

I have also acquired a geranium basket. The guest speaker at MOPS encouraged us to plant something that reminded us of someone special in our lives. My mom has always had geraniums. (Though I suspect it is because they are hard to kill, right mom?) One year, we had birds nest in them, and though the plants suffered, we couldn't bring ourselves to evict the baby birds.
Since having the New Little Nugget, I have had a few waves of "homesickness", and having a bright basket of geraniums to brighten the house up makes me think happy thoughts of "back home".

Alright... I am officially out of time for this entry, which stinks, because I feel like I have only given you the tip of the iceberg (so to speak) of our adventures this week.

Coming soon:
-Visiting in-laws in July (dad and bro, who I miss dearly and can't wait to see!)
-MAYBE a visit from my own folks (mom, dad, and sissy), if I can convince them to come
-The new Cyber school principal and family, who I "met" online through a completely unrelated site! Neat people and I can't wait to meet them in person!
-Moose sightings galore. They are coming out in full force as the world greens up.
-Bear track stories, and how I hope my fear of bears has subsided enough to enjoy some exciting things this summer. J already reported bear tracks on his hike yesterday, as well as a dead moose carcass, which I suspect was the reason for bear tracks. Yikes.

OK. Off to make dinner for the masses. I promise a good Moose Lo Mein recipe soon, too!

Until next time,
Happy Moose Trails!

3 comments:

Tammy Kauffman said...

Good luck on those tomatoes and peppers. I got mine from the nursery but they didn't do that well. The pepper grew but were on the small side. The tomatoes weren't as flavorful but I enjoyed having them. When I move back in July 2013, I am going to have a green house. I want to have my tomatoes. Carrots really grow in Alaska. They are very sweet. Can't wait to hear more of your stories. Take care of your precious little ones and Happy Mother's Day and first year anniversary in Alaska.

Susan Stevenson said...

We picked up some container tomato plants which should do well during the summer on the sunny side of the house. They can be planted in a big pot. Also in the pot, we'll be planting cucumber seeds. My friend Celeste says they will cascade over the side of the pot and across our deck. Sounds like a plan to me. I'll be making hanging baskets from some petunias and phlox I picked up at Plant Kingdom last week. As for putting then outside - no planting in the ground until after June 1st, but be careful because we had a freeze on June 4th two years ago and lots of folks lost their gardens. I'll start putting my baskets and pots out now - during warm sunny days - but they'll be brought in at night until June. Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day to you - and Happy Arrival in AK Anniversary. On May 15th, it will be 6 years since we left FL on our long drive to AK. Our official arrival isn't until June 15th. The six years went by fast. Can't wait to see what the next six bring! :)

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