Yukon Food

Wheaton River Garden

(867) 668-5964
P.O. Box 10011
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 7A1

Small is What We Have!

Fall Weather


In 1980, I returned to the Yukon, where I was born and raised. I had been ‘outside’ for a few years on a teenage gallivant around North America. Perspective on my homeland lent me a new appreciation for what the north had to offer, and my partner of the time and I bought a small acreage, 16 miles in the bush, off a secondary dirt road, 40 miles from Whitehorse. The early homestead years were about raising my two children, Jude and Levon, raising goats and sled dogs, building a house, and an addition…and another….and another. We formed a three- share co-op in 1981 and have proceeded with rural homestead life- partners have come and gone, families have grown and changed. Sled dogs have been traded in for workhorses and sheep and llamas have replaced the goats. And gardens have grown into a CSA …

The Gardens
I offer CSA shares in my garden providing 12-14 weeks of local organic produce for shareholders. Payment ($400.00) is upfront in June, and to the best of my ability, I will provide seasonal fresh food. Early summer bags have rhubarb, salad greens, onions, radishes, herbs and baby greens. The summer will add many Chinese vegetables, head lettuces, chard, kales, peas, turnips and exotic greens. Fall weights the bags down with potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage and leeks at the end of the season. Wet years may include mushrooms, berries and jam if time permits. Volunteers are welcome for weekend or weeklong stays. Four hours of work per day will get you room and board, in a private riverside guest cabin. Spring work includes turning the beds, adding lots of compost, some wood ash and bone meal. After planting, which proceeds through the month of May, all my raised beds get covered with plastic or growing cloth row covers until late June. In mid summer garden helpers join for the ‘big weed’. There are always animal pens to clean, fences to build or mend and late summer evenings to spend eating home grown meat, wild harvest fruit and of course, garden vegetables.



The Animals
Razz, the Haflinger stallion and Anika, my Fiord- cross mare roam with the two llamas, George and Lily. The Icelandic sheep, Willow, Blackie, Ramsey and Little Goat (a sheep) round out the mixed herd of grass eaters. We have fenced the property and our mixed animal friends do well on the loose. Their compost abilities, including quite a few rabbits, keep the gardens well -fed on beautiful compost. The gardens in turn feed the rabbits; the horses graze the alleyways with gusto. The sled dogs have given way to a blue heeler with an attitude, who keeps track of the grazers. This year we will add some geese to the mix and last year we raised a pig- Josephine. It is a ceaseless wonder for us to watch all the animals together. They are each other’s herd companions, often friends, and all speak a common language- there is no misunderstandings and much tolerance. That we should all learn from what they teach…
Poul Lutzen, who joined us last year, is a natural hoofcare practitioner, with the job of improving the health of horses through their feet. This includes natural trimming, advice and program design for pens and lifestyle that get horses moving and aim at allowing horses to be horses. He trims in the Whitehorse and Watson Lake areas and is available for consultation and trims.

The Arts
I am a full time artist since 1991, and both teach and sell feltwork-from our woollies- beadwork and willow basketry. Workshops include all three mediums, with group workshops in large -scale willow sculpture. I teach within the community and at home. Both group and individual mentorships are possible.

Poul and I are at the Whitehorse Fireweed Market all summer, on Thursdays, with my artwork and workshop schedules. Sometimes there is extra produce available after the CSA shares are delivered.


For the visitors that find their way here, for workshops or to volunteer in the gardens, it is a chance to experience a working system of animals, people, gardens and nature.

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© Shiela Alexandrovich 2007