Learning about Alaska farms and farmers

Farm, Matanuska Valley, AK Agricultural farm in Alaska in the Matanuska Valley near the town of Palmer. The prominent mountain in the background is Pioneer Peak.. Not many people think of farming when they hear about Alaska – however, there are about 900 farms located throughout Alaska with 318 different soil types. Summer days of nearly constant daylight allow some crops to grow to enormous size including 19 pound carrots and cabbage plants over 100 pounds. Hay is the most common crop grown on approximately 21,000 Alaska acres. Alaska harvests almost 18 million pounds of potatoes each year. Livestock farms in Alaska commonly raise cattle, pigs, sheep, reindeer, bison, yak, and elk.” (Photo and information from NIOSH, 2007, Wiklmedia)

The idea for today’s show was purely seasonal. After a satisfying trip to a local farmer’s market, my curiosity about the workers who bring this produce to market grew. I found Margaret Adsit, owner/operator of Alaska Farm Tours. I learned she was the daughter of a

A Palmer, Alaska-area farmer washes carrots. Photo by Stephen Nowers, used with permission
A Palmer, Alaska-area farmer washes carrots. Photo by Stephen Nowers, used with permission.

grain farmer in the Midwest, and passionate that people come to understand our food system and the role farmers play in it. She tries to serve as a conduit between farmers and the public on questions of food quality, food security and more.

We’ll have one or two farmers on the air with us, talking about the reality of their work world. We expect to have a representative from the Division of Agriculture as well.

I’ll update this post as we secure commitments from guests. I hope you’ll join us with your own questions about how local food comes to market and the challenges Alaska farmers face.

Thanks for listening!

 

HOSTKathleen McCoy

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  • LIVE: Monday, July 30, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • REPEAT: Monday, July 30, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.