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 email@example.com, or call 283-8732 x 5. To learn more about what weeds are a problem and why, visit www.kenaiweeds.org.
The State of Alaska Division of Public Assistance invites farmers to register for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program which helps low income families and seniors purchase fresh produce directly from farmers. May 15 is the deadline to register. You’ll find all the details here:
Dates, hours and who to call for information…
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 www.ninilchikfarmersmarket.com
Soldotna Saturday Market (the area’s oldest farmers market)
Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm, June 9 – Sept. 8
Kenai Spur Hwy & E. Corral
Clayton Hillhouse, 252-6177
Additional information for Kenai Peninsula farmers at http://kenaisoilandwater.org/projects/kenaifarmcentral/
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.
Alaska Natural Resources Conservation Service has just announced its 2018 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) that funds conservation practices associated with soil health, manure management, high tunnels, organic transition and more. All applications for FY18 funding are due Nov. 30. For more information, go to https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ak/programs/financial/eqip/.
“Farmers & Chefs” is an occasional networking event for farmers, food professionals and anyone interested to get more local farm products on area tables. On Tuesday, Nov. 7. the discussion theme will be “lessons learned from the 2017 season.” This event is … Continue reading
Do you understand how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will (or will not) impact your small farm? On-farm food safety, FSMA, intentional crop planning and post-harvest handling are some of the topics to be covered in a free workshop to be held Saturday, Apr. 8, 9 am to 5 pm at Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai. We are fortunate to have Atina Diffley of Family Farmed coming to lead the workshop, as well as a similar workshop in Homer on Apr. 7. Atina is an organic farmer, top-notch presenter and author of the 2012 award-winning memoire, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works. This don’t miss event is co-sponsored by Homer Farmers Market and Homer Soil & Water Conservation District.
There is no fee to attend. Bring your own lunch. And please register at http://tinyurl.com/FamilyFarmedAK. Questions? Email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.