Big Orange Produce Truck Will Be Here Aug 31

With my travels, I’ve missed the big orange produce truck that comes up from Montana via California bringing fresh fruits and veggies. They’ll be back in town, parking over near the Husky Lounge, on Wednesday, August 31 all day. Then that’s it for this summer.

So if you’re craving a variety of fresher fruits and vegetables, check them out next week!

How are you getting your fresh produce as the weather cools?

A Tangled Garden in Tok

A few weeks of neglect while traveling let the vegetable garden overgrow and go to seed a bit, but despite the neglect, the rain and the limited sun this summer, our garden’s yield has been pretty good. Just a few photos from the other day.

Ended up making a fresh pico de gallo with the tomatoes and a jalapeno along with a cucumber (store bought organic) and an onion (also store bought). Delish! The only downside: the peas this year are woody. Now what can I do with several gallons of carrots? The swiss chard was easy – the whole bunch sauteed was a perfect side dish for three for a single meal.

All in an Alaska summer’s growing season.

How did your vegetable garden fare this year?

From the vegetable garden in Tok

We got an earlier start this year to our vegetable garden. Actually my husband did all the work this year, and we’re slowly reaping the rewards. The only thing not from our garden in this picture is the tomato.

Here we have chives, a killer zucchini, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, mixed greens and lambs quarter. You can eat all the lambs quarter – tastes great sauteed – and even eat the flowers which taste fine raw.

What are you growing in your garden?

Summer Is Dead. Long Live Summers in Tok.

IMG_0804Winter is here. At 20 degrees most of the morning, I know this is just a taste of what is to come, however, I’m already shivering. There was frost on the ground this morning. The rhubarb in the backyard garden are drooping, the peas are bitter. Luckily, the sun is out and bright now to warm the greenhouse and the hoards of green tomatoes, but we should really bring those in to ripen in the basement.

And as yet another sign of summer: the big orange produce truck is here today but gone for the rest of the year, not to return until next summer. Yes, the produce truck is here, and while I’m a new and loyal convert to Gene’s veggie truck, he doesn’t have fruit or a few other items that the big truck carries so I think you can get a nice supply of produce by frequenting both places.

The produce truck folks said they MIGHT be here tomorrow (Wednesday) morning as well – depends on how their supplies hold out after today.

Today, I picked up sweet onions, a bag of apples, some nice-looking plums, some large tomotoes and two acorn squash. I almost bought a few jalapenos to make homemade salsa and am still contemplating going back for those, however, that means lots of chopping work ahead, and this cold weather is making me feel so lazy.

How is the pending winter making you feel? How have you prepared for a winter without easily accessible fresh fruits and veggies?

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The Produce Tok Delivers to Tok

IMG_0804Listen to an interview with Leah Harmon of CV Farms.

There is only one more month to go on the CV Farms produce truck run so watch this blog for announcements of their arrival in August. The July produce was phenomenal. The peaches were out-of-this-world delicious and the cherries were great.

We also got plums which are almost ready to eat, a super sweet cantalope, amazing tomatoes, a healthy green bell pepper and good looking zucchini and yellow squash as well as a squat buttercup squash. I practically cried tears of joy seeing this exquisite produce.

The husband/wife team drive their semi from Montana to California to pick up the produce and then heads up to Alaska, making a number of stops. They used to mostly pass through Tok before, but have made it a definite stop this year, and I’m so grateful.

And now for some produce beauty shots…






After August, how are we going to get a nice fresh variety of produce in Tok? Open to all ideas!

Fruit and Veggies Truck in Tok Thursday

IMG_0432This Thursday, the big orange truck will be parked next to The Husky Lounge again with more fresh fruit and vegetables so get there early! They might set up Wednesday afternoon depending on how they’re feeling so keep an eye out. If you don’t see them, don’t despair! They will definitely be there Thursday of this week.

Where else are you getting your farm fresh fruits and veggies?

And does anyone have some good recipes for radishes? They are piling up in our fridge!

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How Does Your Garden Grow…in Tok?

IMG_0893I used to have a brown thumb. I’m not really sure if my thumb was actually a brown one or if my brain just wasn’t tuned into plants, and therefore I forgot about them, and therefore they died. As I child, I had a vegetable garden and loved plucking fresh veggies from the vine. But looking back now, I realize that in the same way parents end up taking care of a child’s first pet, my folks took care of that garden to make those vegetables happen.

Fast forward to today. I have a beautiful yard here in Tok, and the woman who lived here before me had the greenest thumb. There is evidence of extraordinary plant-life and edible things all over now that the snow has melted. And I’m intimidated. No, I’m afraid. Very afraid. Because I just don’t think I can live up to any of it.

I got a call the other day from a lovely woman who asked about the greenhouse in my backyard.

“Yes, I have one. Did you need to use it? You’re welcome to it!” I offered, feeling very neighborly.

Awkward pause.

IMG_0894“Well, I was going to see if you’d like some tomato plants. I’ve started some, and you could put them in your greenhouse…”

I was at a loss. Me, tomato plants, greenhouse? I couldn’t make a connection. Yes, I saw that cute little greenhouse in the back yard but hadn’t even thought of using it. In fact, when my husband started cleaning it out, pulling last year’s dead things out of it, I asked him why he was doing it.

“So you can use it,” he replied, all proud in that “I’m checking things off my To-Do list” sort of way.

“But why? I don’t…want to use it,” I confessed. Using it meant doing stuff with plants that I just don’t know how to do and am not sure I have time to do or the memory to remember to do. Or the energy.

“What? I cleared out this whole garden for you! I thought you wanted a vegetable garden!” He was visibly dismayed.

“Honey, I think I want the IDEA of a vegetable garden. I want the fruits of the labor of a garden without the labor,” I explained, just figuring out the truth myself at that very moment. I explained how the fantasy of a vegetable garden has been with me since childhood but that my parents probably did all the hard work.

“I thought you wanted it,” he said, now thoroughly confused.

“Well, I did plant seeds!” I reassured him. “Although I can’t remember what I planted or where.”

And that was the truth. I spent several hours carefully digging holes and putting seeds into the ground then meant to write down what I was planting and where but after a few hours, I had completely forgotten. So now I have a Mystery Garden.

I’m also noticing that my garden beds are covered with a green something – probably a weed, maybe chickweed – that will most likely choke any of the great things I’ve planted putting all that effort (and it was effort as I strained, panted, sweated, and cursed) planting seeds. I’m completely paralyzed since I don’t know what it is or what to do about it.

Yes, I know, probably just pull it out. But look at the picture!! It is like a blanket already! Then again, I do love pulling weeds. I could pull weeds for hours. I find weed pulling to be a very zen activity, and my brain is in constant and desperate need of zen.So maybe I really do have it in me to do this gardening stuff.

P.S. We have those tomato plants plus a pepper plant I purchased from Patsy’s on Borealis. Hubby is “hardening up” the plants (a new term I learned last night while reading The Edible Garden), and they should be in the greenhouse in a few weeks).

IMG_0892  IMG_0891

Anyone know what that green stuff is and how best (without bad chemicals) to rid my garden of it? And if it is edible, how best to harvest and prepare it?

Sign Up to Receive Organic Produce in Tok

UPDATE: Francine from the General Store has generously offered to take over the Full Circle Farm arrangements and offer her store as the pick up location. So convenient!


Interested in ordering boxes of fresh, organic produce? Full Circle Farm produce is coming to Tok.

Full Circle Farm offers three sizes of produce boxes to members. Each box regardless of size will have between 12-14 standard items and 6-8 substitution options. Members are allowed to make up to 5 substitutions per box.

Exact pricing on boxes delivered to Tok is to be determined. (To give you an idea, prices for boxes delivered to Anchorage are $40 small, $50.25 medium, and $59.50 large).

Orders will be delivered every other week to the Johnson residence on Discovery (directions provided to everyone who signs up). Get your fruits and veggies!

For more information, contact Francine at the General Store.