agriculture

Alaska State Fair

 Nominations are open for the 2020 Alaska Farm Family of the Year, conducted by the Alaska Division of Agriculture and Alaska State Fair.

The award was established in 2000 to honor an Alaska family that epitomizes the spirit of the farm industry and show appreciation for hard-working Alaskans committed to agriculture and aquaculture.

Two Kenai Peninsula families have been recognized with the honor. Laurie and Brian Olson, owners of Alaska Berries farm and winery, were chosen in 2018.

While the coronavirus has interrupted just about every aspect of life, there is a bastion of normalcy this summer — fresh, local produce from farmers markets.

Market managers and vendors were anxious in May, not knowing how or if they’d be able to operate this summer. The markets operated differently — more spacing between booths, masks, hand sanitizer and the like. But some things haven’t changed this year — gardens are still growing and people are still shopping.

Kenai Change

Looking for a way to save the world? Here’s an idea: Feed chickens, not landfills.

OK, that’s maybe overly optimistic, but Kenai Change is finding that even a small project, like repurposing food scraps, can have a big impact. In October, the group started a community composting project to reduce the amount of organic waste going to the Soldotna landfill. The idea came out of a book-to-action series, which helped the group brainstorms ways the central Kenai Peninsula could help combat global warming.

The book, “Drawdown,” presents potential solutions, large and small, and the group used it as a way to research and plan what to work on locally. Kaitlin Vadla, with Cook Inletkeeper’s Community Action Studio in Soldotna, helped facilitate the program.

Borough looking to expand agriculture on the Peninsula

Jan 15, 2020
Alaska Department of Natural Resources

 

Last week, the annual Industry Outlook Forum took place in Seward. The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District organizes the event each year to showcase the latest trends and players in the local economy. The typical industries like oil and gas and fishing are well represented, but the point of the forum is to see what else is going on. And this year, agriculture is high on that list.

 

 


 

 

When you think of the value of farmers markets, what likely comes to mind is fresh, local produce, where you can meet the people who grew it just down the road from where it’s sold.

And, sure, it’s commerce, so there’s money involved. But shoppers might not be thinking about everything they’re supporting when they buy that zucchini or jar of jam.

In honor of Aug. 4 through 10 being national Farmers Market Week, let’s take a look at the economics of farmers markets.

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