Well after being battered by storms these last few weeks all up and down at least the west coast of Alaska we are wondering if this is how our entire winter is going to play itself out.
For those of us on the Alaska Peninsula and Bristol Bay the weather has actually been pretty mild in many areas with only a few cold snaps, into the 20s and not a lot of snow. The storms have had lots of rain and sleet associated with winds upwards of 70+ kt. So when this real ‘cold snap’ hit we were all a little surprised. We had become accustomed already to watching for winds speeds and not paying too much attention to temperatures.
We had been harvesting the last of the outside cold tolerant crops like cabbage, any potatoes left in the ground and covering the perennials that we are attempting to grow through the winter these last few weeks.
This week was the time to see if the things we are trying to grow and harvest late into the winter are going to make it or if our efforts were now killed with these hard freezes. Ground temperatures are holding right now at 34/35 degrees even through the night, as measured by probes down about 6″-8″ under the surface inside the high tunnels.
So far, so good. We clipped a salad from the chard (rainbow) just a few evenings ago, letting these greens get bigger and pulled a few other things.
In our high tunnels we still have green onions, some spinach and carrots still being harvested. I was told a week or so ago that at least one high tunnel grower in Dillingham was still getting kale, and a number of other crops the last week in October. They generally have colder, wetter weather than we do further south in this part of Bristol Bay, even being only about 50 miles away by way the crow flies.
The last few years have been fast-moving as a lot more information is being shared, projects considered, even other set of high tunnels in our tiny village, and generally an effort to be more sustainable in our own areas.
We will keep you posted on how the winter efforts go to furnish at least part of our own fresh things up here in Alaska!