Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Checking in...

I was on vacation for a few days in Alaska with my husband, showing him the sites etc. For me it was a homecoming since I was born and raised in AK. For my first few years we lived out on a cabin in Wrangle-St. Elias National Forest and then later moved to Anchorage (the big city) when I was about 5.

We had a fantastic time and I'll probably post pictures in the next few days.

Something that really stuck out to me though was the temperature difference. Alaska is having a wet summer which happens since it's in the Pacific Northwest and so it's wet and cold this summer. No big deal really except for the first time I really paid attention to how things were growing.

My uncles lettuces were doing great and were colorful and full. But his tomatoes had essentially curled into a ball and while they weren't officially playing dead I would be surprised if they did anything productive in terms of fruit this year.

We stayed at a B&B whose focus was on sustainability (Berry Patch B&B in Seward, AK). She mentioned that her strawberries weren't really coming up and that her crab apple and cherry trees hadn't really flowered this year. She was predicting a less than fruitful season.

That makes me think on climate change and how a true ice age would really affect human food sources. Right now it's almost 100 in Colorado. It's in the high 50's to 60's in AK. My tomatoes are really starting to come in but I have to water almost twice a day to keep my plant from wilting. My uncle will be lucky to get A tomato.

On the other hand I was really surprised at how much actual knowledge about edibles in AK I had. Being raised the way I was for a number of years I was able to talk about wild rhubarb, crow berries, lignonberries, wild raspberries, where we used to pick wild blueberries and even about how Alaskan Roses can be used in a variety of ways from a shot of vitamin C to turning the blossoms into jam etc. I wish I had that knowledge for the place I live now.

It did make me want to purchase a wild edibles book for Colorado. While I am all about stocking up water and some food for a long term storage plan that is not an end all/be all for when the SHTF. While that may last a few days or weeks or even months if I get silly with it, ultimately, knowing what to eat and how to eat it is going to be far more valuable.


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