ALASKA CHAT for JULY! - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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Only 8 minutes? I thought Willow was about 30 miles out of Houston. Well, I really don't know much about Alaska, other than it's big, it's got several climate zones, and it's pretty to look at. Pm coming... gimme a minute.
Willow proper, where the gas station is, is about 11 miles? from Housten.
Its 30 miles from Wasilla, which is what you might be thinking.
Takes us 20 minutes to get to the edge of Wasilla from our house.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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Where can we find blueberries to pick??
Ummmm....wellllll......your asking a lot here
We do not divulge our secret places, but one of them is near a creek, and the other is literally in a swamp, where you have to wear waders or hip boots to pick.
High bush are what we go after, as they taste sweeter and are easier to pick.
You'll just have to ask around.
I only know about these two, cause when dh and I were courting he entrusted me to knowing about them.
However, Hatcher's pass has lots of lowbush, especially on the Palmer side, if you can get to them before everyone else does.
Archangle road is a good one to head into.

Now, when it comes to lowbush cranberries, I am very likely to be more then happy to let you tag along.
They should be real good this year.
I picked 12 gallons 2 summers ago, and then due to the weather last year, I think we found 1 gallon!

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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I LOVE blueberries, but have this unnatural fear of bears that pretty much keeps me from picking them. I should really work on that, but I'm literally terrified of being attacked by a bear whenever I'm more than a few feet from my vehicle.

It's so ridiculous that when we were on top of Hatcher pass in the middle of winter, with the telescopes..... looking at Jupiter, I was certain a non-hibernating bear was going to come eat me.

I have issues... this I am aware.

: Karen, wife to my : Mad Scientist and mama to :Emma (10-21-03).
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Alaska has several varieties of blueberries actually when you consider high bush and low bush..
Yes! We discovered they were ripe last weekend and cannot wait to go back and load up! We totally hit a mother lode!! I now have a secret patch!
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:05 AM
 
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FTR, the lowbush blueberries in the drylands are not ripe yet out here. But the highbush in the swamps are ripe. So are the currants, gooseberries and raspberries. Watermelon berries are getting close... Man there are a ton of crowberries...

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, when it comes to lowbush cranberries, I am very likely to be more then happy to let you tag along.
They should be real good this year.
I picked 12 gallons 2 summers ago, and then due to the weather last year, I think we found 1 gallon!
Now usually you can find both low-bush cranberries in the same areas as I have found low-bush blueberries. But sometimes not. (yeah, totally contradicted myself there!)

Anyway the place where we found the cranberries first, was where I spotted the blueberries..... then on our way out of the woods we found the real blueberry patch! Oh hell, I'll tell you it was on base.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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FTR, the lowbush blueberries in the drylands are not ripe yet out here. But the highbush in the swamps are ripe. So are the currants, gooseberries and raspberries. Watermelon berries are getting close... Man there are a ton of crowberries...
man, where are you? our raspberry plants in my yard are hardly even berried up yet? Where do you find currants and what are watermelon and crow berries? I think I need an Alaskan wildberry book!
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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man, where are you? our raspberry plants in my yard are hardly even berried up yet? Where do you find currants and what are watermelon and crow berries? I think I need an Alaskan wildberry book!
Our currents have been ripe for a good week now, and the watermelon berries look good as well.
Crowberries are easiest found up in the Pass, but not for awhile yet. They are so high up, its late August I think when they are ready.

Def. get yourself a good wild plants book. It is well worth it.

Crow berries grow on "moss" that looks like teeny tiny evergreens.
We use a berry picker for those, and I can fill a 5 gallon bucket in no time flat.
They are a berry that you use to make jellys and wines with.
You have to crush and strain them, because they are full of tiny seeds that do not taste very good.
The jelly is like a light tasting grape jelly, and the wine. Oh My!
I made a tiny bit last year, that we have been taking a sip out of every so often, and the flavor is so intense! Right now it has a strong vanilla like undertone.
I plan on making many bottles and putting them up for the winter.

Watermelon berries just look like red watermelons, and they have next to no taste. Very watery. Excellent for rehydrating when out fishing, and adding to other berries to help them stretch for jelly.

Speaking of wine, I just uncapped the last bottle of lowbush cranberry cordial.
Nummy.
I love this time of year!

I no longer make canned jelly or jam.
I learned how to make lacto fermetned berries and jellys, and I wil never go back to sugary processed ones.
These are so much better, are raw, and have a good shelf life.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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man, where are you? our raspberry plants in my yard are hardly even berried up yet? Where do you find currants and what are watermelon and crow berries? I think I need an Alaskan wildberry book!
I'm on Castle Mountain, above Chickaloon. Currants grow near alders and cottonwoods. Watermelon berries are also called twisted stalk. I like them best fresh and then I spit the seeds far and wide to grow more plants. Our crow berries intergrow with low bush cranberry and low bush blueberry. All are located in the same patches. Up here, there are TONS of crowberries this year. Blueberries and cranberries are not looking so hot...

Get the book Discovering Wild Plants by Janice Schofield if you really want to learn...

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Old 07-23-2009, 06:32 AM
 
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We have cranberries in the area?? Yeah, I seriously don't know what's out there! I love berries.... any kind, seriously (um I think at least!). I need to find some good spots. Dh is home from the slope in a few days and guess what we'll be doing.

Becky
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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Yeah, there's lowbush cranberries and highbush cranberries. Not related. Neither are ripe yet...

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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well, my mother has bad knees, so she just bought some plants.. she bought rhubarb, currant, raspberries...

her plan is to get some blueberries going as well... and do it urban style.. since she can't traipse around like she used to.. so they won't yield for a while, but there is hope even for those of you that don't know "where" to go (I don't really either).

You can find them at the farmer's markets for not too much $$..
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Watermelon berries are also called twisted stalk. I like them best fresh and then I spit the seeds far and wide to grow more plants.

Get the book Discovering Wild Plants by Janice Schofield if you really want to learn...
LOVE that book!

Funny, I always think of watermelon berries in reference to a Crow Pass trip I did one year w/o enough water--we were loving those big fat juicy berries!
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Pinoikoi;14127683] for those of you that don't know "where" to go (I don't really either).

QUOTE]

I would be more then willing to plan a Crow Berry picking day, up in Hatcher Pass, as soon as they are ripe.
I tend to pick in the area around the newly reopened mine.
I use those berry pickers you can get at WalMart, as that speeds up my picking by about 90% LOL!
They make a very good jelly!
Paula

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you know, we tried the berry pickers and I did not like them at all! I got way too many leaves and twigs then sorting them at home was a PAIN~

I had some blueberry wine last fall that was nummy num num! A Filipino lady made it. She also made some good lumpia!

If you are looking at the ground you will probably see small patches of cranberries everywhere! They are all over Alaska. Probably along many of the wooded trails and you never even knew it.

http://www.alaskastock.com/resultsfr...tkeys1=lowbush

But they are ready later, generally after school starts. But you can start looking for the plants! They are growing the berries now and just need to get ripe!
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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I use those berry pickers you can get at WalMart, as that speeds up my picking by about 90% LOL!

Paula
What is a berry picker? My mom and grandma would answer, 'you are' or 'your fingers'.

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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Its a rake with an attached basket that is solid on one side and slatted on the other to let sticks and leaves fall through...

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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I had some blueberry wine last fall that was nummy num num! A Filipino lady made it. She also made some good lumpia!
mmmm lumpia.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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omg! So I looked up these crowberries and I have been bypassing them for years cuz I never knew they were edible! Dang!

No more!


Oh, I also found this....

Lingonberries:
Lingonberries ripen in August and are red, tart and smaller than cranberries but with a finer flavor. The jewel-like, ruby-red lingonberries with small, shiny oval-shaped green leaves are much smaller than commercial cranberries. They are found on slender stalks, sometimes in clusters, low to the ground in woods, thickets, mountain slopes and tundra. Lingonberries are an extremely versatile and valuable food source and also have a high level of antioxidants.

It appears as though the berries I refer to as Low-Bush Cranberries are also called Lingonberries.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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you know, we tried the berry pickers and I did not like them at all! I got way too many leaves and twigs then sorting them at home was a PAIN~

!
Yes, they are a pain! I use them for the crow berries, cause they are the only berry that I actually wash.
I just through everything into a big water bath, and sorting is fairly easy, as the berries float well.
They do not work for any other berries though.
I think they tend to be more for the tourists, then anything

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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It appears as though the berries I refer to as Low-Bush Cranberries are also called Lingonberries.
Hehe Yes, cranberry is a "modern term".

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Old 07-23-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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Sounds like lots of berry picking is going on here!

We picked abou 1.5 inches of a big ice-cream bucket of raspberries last week. Made granola, berries and milk with them ( oh, and sugar...but it was organic brown sugar, lol).

I'd love to go blueberry picking, but we just run out of time. Between the girls' Youth Court commitments (they're both attorneys, A is a senior attorney now), library volunteering, karate, swimming, and now wood-hauling season, we're just swamped. And the fair is coming up! Lots of prep for that to do...sigh.

Spent allllll day two days ago felling trees and chainsawing. I love my chainsaw, but every year it's three days of agony before my muscles remember what they're supposed to do. Now only about 8 weeks of day after day hauling, felling, splitting, stacking...*sob*

I tie-dyed my best whitish outfit, and just about everything else white I could get my hands on. I wore my good white skirt and blouse out camping, and the shirt will never be white again. So W actually dyed that set...and I did a bunch of kids' shirts and socks. The skirt and top came out...interesting. The tops, I was amazed at how well they turned out! I must have learned something!

Need to buy more soda ash and have a tie-dye party.

love, busy p

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The plan is to go camping this weekend. Hmmmm, wonder where we will end up at!
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:42 AM
 
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I had no idea those were cranberries (i'm way too nervous to pick berries if I don't know what they are in case they are poisonous), but I think we have some on our property. I'll have to make sure though.

Becky
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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There's only one kind of poisonous berry in Alaska, and like the rest of our "poisonous" plants- its an emetic... and will make you puke before you eat enough to get sick or die.

They are called doll's eyes because they have a small black dot to identify them. They are red or white and are round and shiny and grow on the end of branches on a single stalk.

The real name is baneberry. Here's a berry montage for IDing... though not the best guide, because you can only see the berries not the whole plant.

ETA: here's a better pic of baneberry. Remember they can be white OR red.

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Old 07-24-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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Yea but there are soap berries. They taste like amonia! But the bears love them.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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hey - good job getting the word out about the H2Oasis thing. i saw the article in adn this morning.

Katie
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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hey - good job getting the word out about the H2Oasis thing. i saw the article in adn this morning.
Yeah, I saw the article this morning, also, but honestly I thought it came off as a "he said, she said" thing..
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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I didn't see the original message, but I saw a couple of responses to it...
I have gotten GREAT school uniform clothing (slacks, polo shirts, etc) at www.frenchtoast.com The slacks run around $15 and polos are $8-10 depending on whether you get the plain ones or fancier ones. They have slim sizes which is vital cuz my son is suuuuuper skinny (everything falls off his little tooshy ) and they also have pants with reinforced knees up into size 12 or so as I recall...also vital for my son, as he can put a hole in the knee of a pair of pants within two wearings (I'm not kidding, he's done it more than once!)
If you order more than $60 or so they have free shipping--I'm not sure about their shipping to AK (I wasn't here when I ordered last) but imo their stuff is good enough, and the prices are good enough, that it's worth it even if you have to pay extra shipping.

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Old 07-24-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Do any of you have suggestions for something to clean my tub that isn't harsh and fumey?
Try filling several inches of water, then pouring a few cups of vinegar in and letting it sit for 30 min...I've learned that 1c of vinegar in a toilet bowl works wonders, and I suspect a similar thing in a tub would too.


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William T Riker (otherwise known as "number 1") learns he was born in Alaska.. I looked it up, and sure enough, his character was supposedly born in Valdez.. :
l knew there was a reason I liked him.
You mean a reason besides that he's really really rediculously good looking?!


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So who has Facebook pages? My name is Georganne Hampton.
I'm Jenni Black Brighton, if anybody wants to add me...be sure to attach a message that you're from the AK mamas on MDC or I won't know who you are (and I only befriend people I actually know )



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Oh my! Blueberries? Abigail cannot get enough of them! She's making us broke! I never even knew they grew up here in Alaska.
DH lived in Norway for two years--pretty similar climate--and he said the berries there were the best he ever had anywhere. I think it's the long hours of daylight.
I didn't know we had lingion berries. Mmmmm!!!

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