Farmers Fresh Market invites growers to apply for vendor space in the new market, which will operate Tuesdays, 3-6 pm, starting June 4 in the parking lot at Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. This is a food-centered market (no craft booths) intended to benefit growers, the Food Bank, and the community at large. Click here to download the market policies and application form. Space is limited, so contact Market Manager, Dan Funk, soon if you are interested: 260-5295, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm use grows: Agricultural sector sewing seeds of progress on peninsula
Redoubt Reporter, Apr. 17, 2013
Room to grow: Agricultural community looks for land
Peninsula Clarion, Apr. 17, 2013
Area peony farmers see blooming potential
Peninsula Clarion, Apr. 14, 2013
“Putting Peninsula Agriculture on the Map!”
Location: CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER, KENAI
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Forum promises to be a day full of timely topics and opportunities to learn from fellow producers. How was agriculture reflected in the Borough’s recent land use survey? What are the next steps to developing a Borough agricultural policy? What are the emerging opportunities?
Event tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Vendor Table space available for $20. – Contact Heidi Chay 907.283.8732 x 108
Tickets may be purchased at these area locations:
UAF Cooperative Extension Office, Soldotna, 907.262.5824
River City Books, Sterling Hwy, Soldotna, 907.260.7722
Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, North Kenai, 907.283.3335
Kenai Feed and Supply, Kenai, 907.283.1929
Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District Office, Kenai, 907.283.8732 x 108
Homer Soil & Water Conservation District Office, Homer, 907.235.8177 x 5
9:00 Ray Price, President. Kenai Peninsula RC&D
9:10-9:50 Marcus Mueller, Borough Land Management Officer Borough Land Use Survey Results and the Future of Peninsula Agriculture
9:50-10:30 Amy Petit, Division of Agriculture Ag Marketing in Alaska
10:30-10:40 Networking Break
10:40-11:10 Sue Benz, National Agricultural Statistics Service Why Participate in the Ag Census?
11:10-11:30 Richard Repper, Echo Lake Farms and Wayne Floyd, Cool Cache Farms New Market for Alaska Peonies
11:30-12:00 Lee Coray Ludden, Shepherd’s Moon Keep Alaska Fiber Association
12:00-1:30 Lunch Speakers: Lydia Clayton, CES and Rupert Scribner. Funny River Fjord Ranch, What is Sustainable Agriculture?
1:30-2:00 Don McNamara & Donna Rea Faulkner, Oceanside Farms Certified Seed Potato Production
2:00-3:00 John Walker, JTAK Food Safety Intro to Food Safety for Growers
3:00-3:10 Networking Break
3:10-3:45 Kyra Wagner, Sustainable Homer High Tunnel News from Homer
Sponsors: Kenai Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development District, Central Peninsula Garden Club, UAF Cooperative Extension, and the Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District
It was a full house on Jan. 16 when the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce, Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District and UAF Cooperative Extension co-sponsored a joint luncheon to promote business relationships between local restaurants and farmers. Speakers included Alaska Division of Agriculture Marketing Manager Amy Pettit who introduced the Alaska Grown Restaurant Rewards Program. The program, launched in 2012, reimburses food service businesses up to 20 percent for what they spend on Alaska-grown produce. Alice Kerkvliet, owner of Michel’s Restaurant in Soldotna, said she would certainly be signing up for the new program. She and chef Denise McCamon both sang the praises of locally-grown and said they buy it whenever possible, to the tune of 20 to 25 % of their produce purchases annually. Judy Fischer, owner of Fischers’ Fresh Farm Produce in Kasilof, listed the health, economic and environmental benefits of consuming local, organic produce. She has sold produce to the Mermaid Cafe in Homer and would love to find buyers in the Central Peninsula area. After the luncheon, local growers and restaurateurs had the opportunity to visit and explore possibilities for the upcoming growing season. Click here for a Peninsula Clarion article on the event.
The public is cordially invited to the District’s Holiday Open House, December 11, 3 – 6 pm. We’re celebrating our progress in 2012! Come see our new space, learn about District projects and browse our new Sustainable Ag library of books, magazines and videos. Lots of homemade holiday treats to enjoy!
Click here: SWCDHolidayFlyer
Homegrown revolution — Gardeners expand to tackle Alaska’s food insecurity
By Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter
Here’s something to chew on with your breakfast: The eggs for that omelet you’re eating — or the milk in your cereal, the meat in your sausage, the honey in your tea, the jam on your toast — probably wasn’t produced in Alaska. But half a century ago, it probably was.
The factors contributing to this fact are many, and about as complicated as making a soufflé in an Easy-Bake Oven with no electricity at the 17,200-foot camp on Denali’s west buttress.
Convenience, cost, and consumer demand related to those, are big parts of the equation. It’s also a product of changes in globalization, infrastructure, transportation, supply chains, the increase in corporations and conglomerations vs.. privately owned businesses, marketing strategies, subsidies, technologies and growing conditions. It doesn’t break down into an easy recipe, with one part of this to two parts of that, or three tablespoons of this whisked into four cups of that.
The result, however, is quantifiable: In 1955, 55 percent of the food consumed in Alaska was produced in Alaska. Today, a mere 5 percent of the food Alaskans eat is produced in Alaska.
And that, say experts concerned with the health, stability and economy of Alaska, is as bitter a problem as mistaking salt for sugar.
“In 1955 we were pretty self-sufficient, but from 1955 to 2010, we have gone from being self-reliant and independent to completely vulnerable, completely dependent on the next plane,” said Danny Consenstein, director of the Alaska Farm Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Consenstein points to three justifications for needing a better local foods system in Alaska… See the rest of the article at: http://redoubtreporter.
The Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District is happy to announce a poster contest open to students in grades K-12 in Nikiski, Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling, Kasilof and Clam Gulch. The theme of this local, state, and national contest, “Soil to Spoon,” gets kids learning and thinking about where food comes from, as well as the connection between soil conservation and the food we eat every day. First prize winners in each age category (K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-6th, 7th-9th, 10th-12th) win $20 and the chance to compete in the state-level competition. Second place in each age group wins $10, and third place wins $5. Prizes will be awarded 7 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Central Peninsula Garden Club meeting at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Building. The entry deadline is Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. We’d like to thank our co-sponsors, the Central Peninsula Garden Club, UAF Cooperative Extension, 4-H, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. Click the following links to download contest rules and the entry form. And good luck!
Did you know that the Alaska Legislature allocated $3 million in this year’s state budget for the pilot phase of the Nutrional Alaskan Foods in Schools grant program and that $131,135 is earmarked for Kenai Peninsula Borough schools Register now for an introductory webinar on Sept. 14 at 9:30 – 10:30 am, or Sept. 19, 2 – 3 pm to find out how you can take advantage of this program to market your produce, perhaps in future years. Have produce for sale right now Contact Dean Hamburg, Student Nutrition Services Administrator at 714-8890 to let him know what’s available right here in our community. And please spread the word to parents, teachers and students! Local decision-makers need to hear that local people want fresh, healthy local food.
The Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District seeks an experienced equipment operator for contract work preparing land for agricultural purposes. Must have 60 hp tractor (or larger), truck, large flatbed trailer, and excellent references. For information, please contact the District Manager at 283-8732 x 108 or email@example.com
Kenai Resilience, a volunteer-run community group, has published the 2012 update of its Local Foods Directory for the Central Kenai Peninsula. The Directory includes 27 listings, up from 19 when it was first published in 2011. Inspired by successful, season-extending Northern farmers from Tim Meyers in Bethel to Eliot Coleman in Maine, Peninsula farmers started planting and harvesting earlier this year than ever before. Some high tunnel growers had lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, kale, and other greens for sale by late April or early May!
Local food producers are expanding their marketing channels from the traditional farmers’ markets to subscription services with weekly pick-ups (e.g., Ridgeway Farms, Winter Greens Organic Gardens, Peninsula Dairy), email or on-line ordering (e.g., Cloudberry Acres, Sarah’s Alaska Honey, Alaska Berries), U-pick operations (e.g. Jackson Gardens), and farmstand sales (e.g. Alaska Berries, O’Brien Orchards). Buying locally supports a healthy local food economy and puts fresh, healthy food on the table for your family. July and August are peak of the season for fresh fruit and vegetables on the Kenai Peninsula, so visit a farmers’ market or farm soon! To view and print the 2012 Local Foods Directory, click here, or go to www.KenaiResilience.org.