In the News: District’s Farm to Food Bank Project

by Victoria Petersen, Peninsula Clarion, Friday, September 14, 2018

Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District are expanding their catalog of affordable agricultural rental equipment through a charitable project that benefits both farmers and the community.

Three pieces of equipment, which includes a potato digger, a potato washer and a potato planter, were purchased with the assistance of grants from the Kenai Peninsula Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation and Western SARE. The equipment can be rented to small-scale farmers for $25 day, plus a donation of 25 pounds of potatoes to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. It’s a small price to pay for equipment that could cost a single farmer thousands.

Full story: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2018-09-13/farm-food-bank-equipment-rental-leads-community-benefit/

Harvest Moon Farm Tour, Sept. 8

 

Wondering what it takes to produce and sell food on the Kenai Peninsula?  Join us
Saturday, Sept. 8 to tour three local farms that have met the challenge in unique ways. Meet the farmers and hear their stories: how their farms evolved, lessons learned along the way and why they are passionate about what they do.  Taste a variety of Alaska Grown wines to complete the tour. This tour, sponsored by Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District and Kenai Local Food Connection, in collaboration with Alaska Farm Tours, is the special kick-off event for Harvest Moon Local Food Week, Sept. 8 – 15, 2018. 

Tickets: $50, include a wine tasting at Alaska Berries.  TICKETS ON SALE NOW

See the full schedule of Harvest Moon events at www.KenaiLocalFood.org.

 

2018 Market Contacts

Dates, hours and who to call for information…

Alaska Food Hub (formerly Kenai Peninsula Food Hub)
Wednesdays, May – October
Drop off/pick up locations in Anchorage, Homer, Seldovia, Soldotna
Robbi Mixon, 907-235-4068 x 23 http://www.alaskafoodhub.org/

Farmers Fresh Market (at the Food Bank)
Tuesday, 3 – 6 pm, June 5 – Sept. 11
K-Beach Rd./Community College Dr.
Paul Sutherland, 262-3111

Homer Farmers Market
Wednesday, 2 – 5 pm, Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm
May 26 – Sept . 29
Ocean Drive, across from The Washboard
Robbi Mixon, 299-7540  www.homerfarmersmarket.org

Ninilchik Farmers Market  (NEW in 2018)
Monday, 1 – 5 pm
June 11 & 18, July 2-20
Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds
Tiffany Sherman, 907-567-3670 http://www.ninilchikfarmersmarket.com/

Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market  (the area’s oldest farmers market)
Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm, June 9 – Sept. 8
Kenai Spur Hwy & E. Corral
Elaine & Bill Howell, 907-394-2175 Facebook page

Soldotna Wednesday Market
Wednesday, 11 am – 5 pm, June 6 – Aug. 29
Soldotna Creek Park
Annette Villa, 907-252-7264 http://www.soldotnawednesdaymarket.com/

Additional information for Kenai Peninsula farmers at http://kenaisoilandwater.org/projects/kenaifarmcentral/

 

2018 Weed-Free Inspections Offered

Aside

Alaska’s Certified Weed-Free Gravel Program is a voluntary inspection program administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources/Plant Materials Center and carried out on the Kenai Peninsula by the Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District.  The purpose of the program is to increase the availability of weed-free products to land managers working in sensitive areas to prevent the spread of invasive weeds and protect fish and wildlife habitat.

The demand for certified weed-free gravel is growing.  The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge began requiring certified weed-free gravel for all construction projects within Refuge boundaries in late 2013.  The US Forest Service, US Department of Transportation and BLM have also started to include weed-free provisions in their contracts.  We expect demand to continue to expand as a result of large-scale highway projects slated for the Kenai Peninsula.

Getting certified is probably easier than you think.  The first thing to know is that not all weeds are on the invasive list.  The second is that even when invasive weeds are found, it is possible to treat them to meet certification requirements.  Keep in mind that gravel has to be inspected before being moved.  Certificates are good for 1 – 6 months depending on time of year and site conditions.

Certification is affordable.  The annual fee of $500 includes three to four inspections and expert guidance on weed prevention and effective control measures at one site up to 5 acres.  Partial-year certification is also available for short-term projects.

Be ready to bid on projects requiring certified weed-free gravel by requesting inspection early.  Inspections are scheduled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

For an inspection request form and fee schedule or request information about our Certified Weed-Free Forage program, email kenaiswcd@gmail.com, or call 283-8732 x 5. To learn more about what weeds are a problem and why, visit www.kenaiweeds.org.

 

Indoor Gardening for Alaska Schools

Our partners at Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom, hosted by Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District, have announced that their new Alaska Indoor Gardening Curriculum is now available on-line. The curriculum is a compilation of lessons developed by the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, the National Agriculture in the Classroom (NAITC) organization, and educators throughout Alaska.   Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District is interested to hear from local teachers and schools who want to implement indoor gardening projects using the new curriculum.  Contact us at 283-8732 x5!

Development of the Alaska Indoor Gardening Curriculum was made possible by grants from the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Alaska Farm Bureau.

2018 Local Food Directory

Calling all farmers, fishers, local food business and local food supporters!  Sign up today to list your business or organization in the 2018 Kenai Loves Local Food Directory!  Choose your level of support: individual business ($25), farmers market ($75) or directory sponsor ($150, includes logo and business listing if desired). You’ll find registration and payment info here.