Evelyn Sarten and her late husband Ed (Dwight) have gardened in Ruby, Alaska, for a quarter of a century. Evelyn, who was raised on the land on a Native American reservation in Taos, New Mexico, estimates she grows about 30% of her food.
She was taught to live with the land and she’s always grown her own food. Their garden in Ruby is characterized by innovation and making do with what is available. For instance, their chicken coop fence was constructed from an old couch frame, old bed frames, and leftover fencing from the school. Now her one remaining chicken lives in her Arctic entryway.
In addition to growing her own large garden, she also works for the Native Village of Ruby as the natural resources and agriculture program director, helping others in Ruby garden as well. With Evelyn, I and the Tribes Extension Program (www.uaf.edu/ces/tribes) sent out vegetable and flower seeds and organized gardening and plant foraging workshops at the school. We also purchased and built a raised bed garden for the school.Continue reading