Winter Dreams of Springtime

The solstice has past, the presents are unwrapped and the New Year is here. We’re already used to writing 2017, and our Valentines are on our mind. While we still have a few more months of interior winter, we are already finalizing plans for the upcoming seasons produce garden and improvements to the farm infrastructure. We’ve had fun so far this winter hosting guests from around the world in our bed and breakfast cabins. The open fields are a great place to view and photograph the aurora. The relatively moderate temperatures don’t hurt either.

Our success last season with onions and peppers has led us to focus on these produce items for the upcoming season. Onions, especially large storage type onions, can be tricky to produce in the interior. The method that Chris Dubois adapted for this farm produces large onions in a short period and mitigates root maggot infestation. A drawback is the time consuming nature of the bare-root planting procedure. We are trying a new procedure this year that will hopefully speed-up the transplant of the bare-root starts through the ground cover plastic, while making a minimally sized hole in the plastic.

We are planting three varieties of sweet pepper, and eleven varieties of hot peppers including Heritage Hatch, Pablano, and Havasu for roasting, as well as Jalapeño, Habanera and Serrano. We will also be trying some super hot Ghost, Reaper and Fatalii peppers. Of course we’ll be roasting on-site at the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market every Saturday during the market season.

This spring we have plans to begin replacing the electric poly fencing around the animal pastures with more permanent wire and wooden rail fences. Along with this project we will be improving the trails (winter and summer) around the farm to create natural weed barriers for the forage pastures and to make more areas of the farm easier for guests to access and enjoy.

We at the farm hope your winter is warm and that the arrival of spring beats the onset of cabin fever. Happy mushing, sledding, skiing or just enjoying the beauty of the interior Alaska winterscape.