Victoria Briggs and I have been corresponding back and forth about the hows , whats, and maybes? of increasing the season we can grow more of our own food.
This year, by using Eliot Coleman’s double layered approach to cool weather gardening, I have been able to start and grow spinach and 4 kinds of lettuces outdoors weeks earlier than is the norm in my part of Alaska.
I am eating goodies, daily, grown fully outdoors without aid of added heat or lights and so on, weeks ahead of the norm here.
My initial run at this method needs some tweaking but the excitement I feel about being able to use the light from longer days sooner is a powerful motivator to do that tweaking ! 🙂
So is knowing it IS possible to have lovely fresh greens before the salmonberries even fully leaf out!
Most of us are somewhat familiar with the “what is possible” in the Interior and South Central but it is hard to extrapolate from what is known for those areas to the varied climates and conditions across this huge state.
I read the SNRAS ( UAF School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences ) blog regularly as those folks maintain an “ear to the ground” for any and all projects and information relating to gardening/agriculture as well as sharing their own projects. The links they have on the right side of the page are an incredible collection of information to browse when I have time.
I talk to people , until their eyes roll back in their heads sometimes, about what they do and how and where. My area is full of different microclimates which dramatically affect methodology and possible food yield. Heavy rains drench my part of the borough in July, August, and September but a mere 6-10 miles away run half or less the precipitation I get as well as higher daytime /cooler night temps.
I hope I can translate this beginning of the season extender to an end of the season extender. This is a fun project !