local food

Sabine Poux/KDLL

There is perhaps no better time to start a culinary business than on Pie Day, or March 14. That's when Joe Spady opened Three Peaks Mercantile, an eatery and shop next to Artzy Junkin in Soldotna. He celebrated the business’s second anniversary this week.

Snow might still be on the ground but spring isn’t far away. When we get there, gardeners need to have their planting plans ready. Here’s some food for thought — growing native edible perennials. Local vegetables, if you will. Didn’t know there was such a thing? Shawn Jackinsky, of Green Cannon Gardens in Ninilchik, can tell you all about it. This is a “Know Your Lands” presentation from the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District. Find more of their presentations on their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Diluvium Culinaire

When Keith Huss died in September, he left behind both good friends and good food in his food truck business. One of those friends, Brant Feather, of Soldotna, wants to keep Huss’s food truck aspirations alive.

“To be able to have that trailer as something that I had helped out with, to know that it’s going to me and that I’m going to be able to provide the public with a service just the same as he was, was what inspired me to go ahead and buy his trailer from his family," Feather said. "I can continue on what he was doing. Maybe not in the same style of food but in the same manner that he was.”

Huss, an accomplished fisherman who grew up on the Kenai Peninsula, was killed in September. Sarah Dayan, of Homer, was charged for his murder.

It makes sense that the Alaska Food Hub has done so well this year. The virtual farmers market uses the same sort of online delivery system that brick and mortar stores have adopted during the pandemic. It was COVID-safe before COVID even came into being.

In 2020, the Food Hub tripled its sales. And famers are reaping the benefits.

Jenny Neyman

All Alaska producers are eligible for federal assistance under a new USDA program. But days before the deadline, not many have applied.

This is the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, administered by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Round one was reserved for producers who worked with certain commodities and could prove they were impacted by the pandemic.

This round is open to many more producers working with a large swath of commodities, said Alaska FSA Program Manager Jeff Curry. That includes peonies, a popular crop on the Kenai Peninsula.