Monday, November 12, 2007

The Garden Outside & the Gardens Inside

While it is certainly not what we would call winter here in Barrow, since the temperature is still well above 0˚F, for most folks it would qualify. The Tundra Garden is draped in a blanket of snow, with mushroom hats on the sections of log that serve as garden funiture (stools, tables, whatever is needed) in warmer times. Although much more snow will accumulate, and it will be scuplted by the wind in various and ever-changing shapes from fantasy, the overall state of affairs won't change much for the next 6 or 7 months. We're down to less that 3.5 hours of sun today, and going fast.

That being the case, what's a gardener to do? I do have a fair number of house plants that live by windows with fluoresecent strips above them. The mother-in-law's toungue does very well (5 feet high and blooming regularly) and the Christmas cactus blooms several times a year. However, I have a yen for fresh vegetables.

SO, prompted by an article in the Anchorage Daily News by Jeff Lowenfels, garden writer extrodinaire, I bought a couple of Aerogardens. (If you follow the link, keep in mind he gardens in South Central. They have a couple more months than I do.) They are self-contained hydrponic gardens, with lights. They come with a pre-planted seed kit, although you can get stuff to use your own seeds. I set them up over the weekend. They are cute, the lights are very bright, and they hum gently when the pump is running. I'm finding the bright islands of light very alluring, and I must admit I keep checking the herb one to see if the basil is up yet (I know--it's too soon, but in a couple days...). I'll keep you all posted.


IBOY said...

You know, Anne, last year I was kind of worried about you when you disappeared for a long time; I thought when it started snowing in July that you might have gone over the edge (I might even have used you as an example of bloggers that just disappear into thin air one day, in a piece I wrote on my blog). Anyway, it's nice to see you're back, and seemingly uncommonly cheerful for somebody whose garden is buried by snow.
Here's to spring.

AnneBrygger said...

Thanks, Don.

I just got really really busy. Gardening in the Arctic is such an odd idea anyway one has to take it as it comes. Summers are when I do fieldwork, so some days I'm just too exhausted to do anything. This summer it was amazingly nice, but then I didn't want to come in and deal with a comupter:-).

Pam/Digging said...

"Gardening in the Arctic"! I'm really impressed, Anne. Living so far south, I can't even imagine coping with that much snow and that little sunlight. And you still manage to garden hydroponically! Rock on!

Carol said...

I admire your tenacity to find a way to have fresh herbs in such a place. I just looked at your pictured and could hardly imagine only 3.5 hours of sun a day.

AnneBrygger said...

2 hours 54 minutes today. Losing over 17 minutes a day now.

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Wicked Gardener said...

Burrrrr! I'm sending you warm thoughts from Florida, where it is currently 66 degrees! Thought
I'd just rub it in a little. However, I don't have any walruses in my yard, which is kind of a bummer for me.