Our Kids Class is FULL!

We will hold another event next year. Thank you to everyone!

My Dad told me “Jennifer, if you want to change a system, you start from the inside out; you start with your Children”.

Watching our daughter (who is almost 5) start her own seeds and care for them throughout the season is one of the sweetest gifts that I have received in my life.

We want our children to be healthy, vibrant and have access to nourishing food. Come join us for a free event where kids can play in the soil and start some vegetable seeds.

This is a free event! This class is for kids!

We do ask that parents participate please!

We provide the seeds and the soil!

We will start 6 vegetable starts to bring home for transplanting.

Please email us if you would like to participate! seedsandsoilorganics@gmail.com

Location information is coming…

Permaculture and Seed Starting

When I look deep into my soul and ask myself what Permaculture is, I am directed towards food production. Some folks will disagree with me (and that is ok). Growing food with permaculture is slightly different than how I was taught….When we take the principles of permaculture and apply them to our food production the results are amazing, but they are slow.

Permaculture tells us to build our soil over time by increasing the amount of soil organic matter and applied organic matter. Permaculture instructs us to carefully take care of the soil food web that is living underground. Permaculture shows us that many amendments, pesticides, herbicides that we use damages the soil food web and in essence damages our ability to grow food easily.

A seed has been blown in near a forest. The tiny seed forces its way down through decaying leaves, layers of humus and into a living soil. When we start our seeds following the principles of Permaculture, we are using a living soil that has many aspects of the soil food web. This allows us to use less amendments/fertilizers as we grow our transplants.

Another principle of Permaculture is using and valuing renewable/non renewable resources. What does that mean? For the purpose of seed starting, this principle directs us to use the resources that are on hand and readily available. Our seed trays/cells are made of plastic and not manure from cows. Why? Because plastic seed trays/cells are readily available and they can be used for years if proper care is used.

Food Forests and Permanent Agriculture use perennial food crops to create systems where inputs are minimized. Some struggles we have living in a Polar climate is that some popular perennial food crops will not overwinter here, and it takes longer than the lower 48 for certain perennials to be established and bear their fruits.

We mimic a forest. Forests have long lived perennials and they have short lived annuals. Forests have diversity. We take our annuals we interplant them in a polyculture with our perennials and our long lived food crops are slowly establishing themselves in the background. This is a slow process……but the annuals are feeding us. If we use open pollinated varieties and save our seed we just established another year of harvest. We use only open pollinated/heirloom varieties so that the seeds can be used in the futures. Seeds are a renewable resource that we value!

When we grow varieties that are cold hardy, frost tolerant and easy to grow, we feel success. We feel empowered! It is such an amazing feeling to grow your own food and provide for our families.

Growing warm climate food is so much fun! But they have to be started weeks or months ahead of time and they require indoor lighting systems. They take work and time.

Rotating seed trays for hardening off consumes much of my spring days. So we start cold hardy and frost tolerant varieties so that as soon as they sprout they start the hardening off process. These varieties can handle hardening off earlier so they can be transplanted earlier. We mimic the natural environment in which they are accustomed.

So what makes our class a Permaculture Seed Starting Class? We follow the principles of permaculture, we are establishing a slow transition to perennial food plants, we are building our soil by decreasing they use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, we are using open pollinated/heirloom varieties where folks can save the seed for the next year and we are providing a service as low cost as possible so that everyone can grow their own food. That is Permaculture Seed Starting.

Permaculture In the Far North

 

What is Permaculture? There are varying definitions abuzz and each provides a unique perspective. Permaculture in its simplest form, is creating a Permanent Agriculture. An agriculture in which the soil is replenished, pollinators are invited, pest management is accomplished by Assassin bugs, water is managed and the people are fed.

Imitating the magical systems of forests and applying that knowledge to growing food:

Older forests are typically stable environments. There is diversity in plant and animal species (bugs included). The soil of older forests are rich with organic matter, fungi, bacteria and the soil life is abundant. Older forests can withstand infestations of pests, disease and weather events. We want to mimic the stable environment of forests in our growing spaces. We want diversity, rich soils, resilient crops that are not decimated by pests, blights or wind.

Accelerating our food spaces to a stable, forest like environment is one way we can practise Permaculture in the Far North.

There are several layers in a forest and each layer works with every other layer as a system. When we look at our growing spaces as a system, we too can create a healthy system that also produces food. Including crops that feed the soil as mulch, canopy trees that provide protection, plants that invite pollinators and pest managers, root crops that deter pests, vining crops that use the branches of trees for security and groundcovers that help moderate soil temperature and evaporation. This is a Food Forest.

Seed Saving

Oh the joy!

We are still in the middle of winter in Alaska…but that is not stopping us. We are on the seed starting cycle. Every week and a half, 560 seeds are started. What does seed starting have to do with seed saving?

Last year, we grew edible and sellable sweet corn outside. We planted in polycultures, increased our soil organic matter and managed our microclimates.

OUTDOOR GROWN ALASKA CORN!

There are not a lot of folks growing corn outside, so we didn’t need to worry about isolation distance (corn is wind pollinated and varieties need to be separated by at least 1,000 ft).

We crossed two different sweet corn varieties that we had grown in the past. We saved the seed and this is our first year planting trial.

Some folks would say that corn should only be direct sow and that they do not like to be transplanted. We have not had that experience….we start our corn early and apply environmental pressures to the transplants (cold temperatures and wind) early on.

Our hope is that we can produce a hardy seed that can be grown so we all can enjoy Alaska Grown Sweet Corn.

Permaculture in the North

FREE CLASS! Permaculture in Northern Climates- An Introduction. In honor of Earth Day, please join us as we explore the development of agricultural ecologies that are sustainable and self-managing. We will learn how to apply strategies to our unique Alaskan Environment! Please bring a pencil and a notepad! Please email: seedsandsoilorganics@gmail.com to let us know you will be attending!

Arctic Permaculture Garden Series

 

Our series is Full! Thank you Everyone!

 

All of our presentations are available online after the live class takes place!

Our policy: If you are unable to attend a “live” class but have made payment, we will provide the online presentation and credit your account $5.00 towards a future course.

 

Online Presentations

Unable to come to the live class? Presentations are tailored so they can be viewed online. Questions are welcomed!

$10.00

Growth

Spring can feel so very far away when you live in the Far North. For most other folks around the country, spring is only WEEKS away. As Alaskans, we know we have several months before we see the Birch begin to bud.

This time of year is an excellent time to look over seed catalogs, browse gardening books at the library and dream of warm summer days. As we take advantage of our rest period,  we just wanted to share our thoughts on seed purchases…..

Open pollinated, heirloom and organic varieties have proven their value not only in yields but also in diversity. We need to preserve the seed diversity that exists and hopefully we can save our own seeds. Saving seed benefits not only our families and our food, but our communities.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We have grown everything from watermelons (not very big ones) to yin/yang shelled beans (outside, in Alaska, without season extenders).

We want to share as much information with our communities so that we all have access to healthy food crops.

Our goal is growth!

Arctic Permaculture Garden Series- FULL

Payment options listed below!

 

$150.00 for the entire Series: This includes all 10 classes, The Seed Starting Class (72 seed starts of 12 different varieties and 3 Artichoke Transplants).

March 29, 2018: Permaculture Design/Site Analysis/Microclimates: $15.00

We will send you the online version of this class. It is very in depth!

We will learn how to locate the perfect placement for a new garden or enhance the design of an existing one. By applying the fundamental Permaculture design process, we will locate the existing microclimates on your property. Defining microclimates increases the diversity of food crops we can grow in the Arctic.

April 12, 2018: Soil: The Food Web/Types/Properties: $15.00

This class is located at the Annex in Palmer! 247 S. Alaska Street.

Healthy soil is the foundation for healthy food crops. Come and learn as we venture “below” and learn how to care for the delicate yet persistent soil food web. We will learn cost effective ways to determine our soil type, pH, texture and tilth.

April 26, 2018: Seed Starting: We provide the seeds and the soil: $35.00

This class is located at the Annex in Palmer! 247 S. Alaska Street.

We supply the seeds and the soil! Organic, Heirloom and open pollinated varieties. Everyone will go home with at least 72 seed starts. Starting seeds can extend the growing season 4-6 weeks! Learn how to provide your starts the nutrition and care they need.

May 10, 2018: Prepare for Planting: Mulch/Water: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

Food growing spaces need preparation before direct sow or transplanting. Knowing the steps and the systems to install early in the season will save us time (so we can fish)! Following several Permaculture techniques, we will explore all the benefits that mulch ha stop offer. Most mulch material we can obtain for free! Water is a critical resource especially in the dry summers under the midnight sun. We will learn how to use water catchment in our growing spaces.

May 24, 2018: Transplanting: Hardening Off/Compost: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

Right around this time everyone is ready to set those beautiful starts outside….NOT YET! Transplants need a gradual introduction to the Summer Sun. We make the hardening off process easy. In this class we will also explore composting in depth with free recipes and how to guides to ensure a safe and healthy compost.

June 7, 2018: Greenhouse Gardening: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

We play the role of Mother Nature when we grow in the greenhouse. Learn expert tips of proper humidity, water, amendments and hand pollination.

June 21, 2018: Soil Amendments/Integrative Pest Management: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

Feed the soil web! We will make our own fertilizers! Integrating beneficial insects into our garden reduces the need to use pesticides!

July 12, 2018: Plant Health: Vitality: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

What is wrong with my plant? We will explore plant deficiencies and how to correct them. Its not too late to save your crop!

July 26, 2018: Season Extenders/Cover Crops: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

Season extenders come in variety of shapes, sizes and materials. We will explore all of the options that are unique to Alaska and then some! 
 
The benefits of using cover crops are too long to list….come learn how to build your soil even in the winter!

August 9, 2018: Seed Saving/Winter Harvest Gardens: $15.00

This class is located on Lazy Mountain in Palmer at a private residence. Address information will be provided at the previous class!

Saving seed is like putting money in the bank. It can be a little overwhelming for the novice though. We make it easy, simple and fun.

Our policy: If you are unable to attend a “live” class but have made payment, we will provide the online presentation and credit your account $5.00 towards a future course.

Arctic Permaculture Seed Starting Course

We provide the seeds and the soil! Everyone will go home with a minimum of 72 seed starts! This class is being held May 3rd at the Wasilla Museum and Visitor Center

$35.00

 

10 Course Arctic Gardening Series

Join us as we learn Permaculture Gardening in the Arctic. Classes are Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30pm. Pay in full for all 10 classes and receive a $15 discount!

$150.00

 

Online Presentations

Unable to come to the live class? Presentations are tailored so they can be viewed online. Questions are welcomed!

$10.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we Grow!

Late January is the time to start Artichokes! Artichokes can be easily grown in Alaska with some creativity and Permaculture! Artichokes are expensive in the store…one organic artichoke sells for $7.99!

Sign up for the class series (10 classes for $150.00) and you will receive 3 Organically grown transplants (a $15.00 value)!

Arctic Permaculture Garden Series

 We design systems to minimize inputs and maximize outputs. Permaculture Design allows us to think in “systems” that reduce waste and enhance crop production.
Come learn with us!