Growing Food: Fun for Every Season

We have fun and enjoy the outdoors by growing food, foraging, hunting and fishing every season.

| April/May 2007

  • AmyGrisak In Garden
    Amy makes the most of Montana’s short gardening season.
    Photo courtesy GRANT GRISAK
  • Hunting For Elk
    Amy carries an elk quarter home from the field.
    Photo courtesy GRANT GRISAK
  • Fishing For Trout
    Blaine fishes for trout.
    Photo courtesy GRANT GRISAK
  • Making Applesauce
    Making applesauce with fruit fresh from the tree.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Beans On Trellis
    Beans grow on a homemade trellis.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Honey Harvest
    With 10 hives, there’s plenty of honey to enjoy, and also to sell.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Picking Huckleberries
    Picking huckleberries.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Scraping Honeycomb
    Blaine helps harvest honey.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Bee Keeping
    The bee hives, placed near the fruit trees, buzz with activity.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK
  • Ice Fishing Perch
    Amy shows off the perch she caught while ice fishing.
    Photo courtesy GRANT GRISAK
  • Montana Outdoor View
    Grant enjoys a spectacular view.
    Photo courtesy AMY GRISAK

  • AmyGrisak In Garden
  • Hunting For Elk
  • Fishing For Trout
  • Making Applesauce
  • Beans On Trellis
  • Honey Harvest
  • Picking Huckleberries
  • Scraping Honeycomb
  • Bee Keeping
  • Ice Fishing Perch
  • Montana Outdoor View

Nearly everything we do for fun involves gathering food. For my husband, Grant, my 13-year-old stepson, Blaine, and me, it’s just part of living in Montana. After all, how better to spend a summer day than to hike to a mountain lake, pick huckleberries along the way and take home trout for dinner?

I’m a freelance writer, and also occasionally do landscaping work — I especially like working with rock. Grant is a fisheries biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. We’ve been married three years now, and live in Kalispell, a town of about 15,000 people in the northwest part of the state.

When we’re at home, our lives revolve around what needs to be done in the garden, orchard and bee yard that day, and what wild foods can be found in the mountains. Each year, we grow or gather at least half of the food we eat. Every season brings something new, which varies our recreation and dinner planning.

Spring Fever in Montana

Early spring is the time to tend our old fruit trees. We have nine altogether: three plums, two pears, two apples, one crab apple and one pie cherry. When we bought this place three years ago, the 20-foot ‘Yellow Transparent’ apple tree hadn’t been touched for years. Now, when Grant prunes this veteran tree, it’s a spectator sport. He climbs as high as possible while straddling the trunk, and removes any wispy branches and limbs that are growing contrary to the pruning plan, which increases the yield of fruit.



Our vegetable garden is about 2,400 square feet. Technically, our growing season is Memorial Day to the middle of September, but I manage to add about 40 days to it with season-extending techniques. In spring, my perennial challenge is to coax the greens we planted late the previous summer to resume growing and produce fresh leaves.

After years of trial and error, I have found that if I use a floating row cover inside the cold frame, they kick into gear earlier. Now, we’re often enjoying tender, fresh salad greens by the end of March. Once winter begins to loosen its grip, I pull back a thick layer of insulating leaves and dig any carrots I left in the ground over the winter. Spending a winter in Mother Nature’s storage cellar makes them sugary sweet. It’s like finding buried treasure!

luann white
10/12/2008 9:28:05 PM

Great article. made me feel like I know what it feels like to live with the enviroment challenges of the area







Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters