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.