Jamie Woodside

Jamie Woodside

Jamie shares her thoughts and ideas as she explores organic gardening and permaculture in Big Lake, Alaska. She writes about chemical-free gardening in a cooler climate, saving energy or using alternatives, cooking from scratch, and living a more frugal lifestyle.


Frost protection in the garden

jamie-woodside-raised-bed-excerpt Spring has arrived early this year, and although most of us have experienced snowfall in May, we all seem to be having a difficult time refraining from planting the entire garden now! Now is a great time to start your garden, with a few simple precautions. Read more.

Geese in an organic Alaskan garden

jamie-woodside-goose-egg-excerpt The weather has been warm and beautiful, the days are getting noticeably longer, and the snow is slowly melting. These are all wonderful things, but this year the sure sign of spring at Woodside Gardens is goose eggs! Gerdie has laid 3 eggs so far this season, and it has me excited for the year to come. Read more.

The Last Leg of the 2013 Garden

Jamie Woodside Geese With all of the leaves gone, the weather is starting to feel less like fall and more like winter, and I'm somewhat surprised that there is no snow on the ground yet. I've been taking full advantage of the un-frozen earth, however, and am still enjoying the harvests from the garden. Read more.

Another Successful Garden Season

Jamie Woodside 2013 Garden Harvest It’s hard to believe that September is already here. Every summer I rush around trying to get as much accomplished as I can before the growing season is over, and every summer seems to fly by. This years garden has a lot more successes then failures, however, and it has me excited for the future! Read more.

Sunchokes in Alaska

Woodside Sunchoke 2 For those of you who don't know, a Sunchoke, or Jerusalem Artichoke, is a perennial related to the sunflower with a tuberous root that is very edible and quite tasty. I have been hearing about Sunchokes and their cold temperature hardiness for many years now, and they seem like a great perennial vegetable for Alaska, yet I've never seen them planted in the gardens around here. Read more.

Protect Early Starts with Recycled Milk Jugs

Jamie Woodside Hot Caps 2 I started Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower seedlings the second week of April. To get them started outside early, I decided to use all those milk jugs I've been saving and make some hot caps. Learn more.

It’s that Time of the Year

One of the benefits of living in a very rural area like I do is that there is very limited light pollution. The moon and the stars can really light up the night, and the Northern Lights are much more visible when they decide to make an appearance. Winter in Alaska may be cold, but in so many ways, it's the most beautiful time of year. Read more.

Homemade Bird Suet Cakes

The cold and frost came upon us hard and fast this year. I felt lucky that the clouds lifted for long enough to get the fall yard chores wrapped up before it hit. This time of year, I am careful to keep my bird identification book handy, because sometimes an unusual bird will make a stop at the feeder while passing through, even if it doesn't live nearby. Click for the recipe.

Fall is Upon Us

It is fall time in Alaska, and the gardens are officially done producing for the season. Like any other year, there was plenty of success and plenty of failure. The winds and the cold came earlier than normal, along with some serious, seemingly never ending rain, and I didn't get to harvest one single green bean or squash. The air is starting to get cold again, but it has the crispness of the fall rather than the almost sterile feel of a cold January morning. Read more.

A Season for Preparation and Closure

This time of the year is usually bitter sweet for me. If you have been outside lately, you are sure to have noticed the leaves starting to turn. The kids are back in school, and the Alaska State Fair is in full swing. Sweaters and hats will soon be pulled from summer storage and an inventory of winter gear is in order. Read more.

All About My Compost Pile

It is officially that time of year again, when I start a new compost pile and start preparing the old one to be spread on the raised garden beds. This summer has been considerably colder and wetter than most, and my compost is not as far along as it normally is. Learn more.