ALASKA FOOD SECURITY is a crisis compounded since 200 farming families from the midwestern US were brought to the fertile Matanuska Valley to try and eek out a living during the Great Depression. Later, during WWII between 5,000-6,000 head of cattle provided sustenance for our troops on Kodiak Island. Today we don’t have enough cattle statewide to feed Alaskans for more than a month or two. Commercial ag land is limited to 450-acre plots and mostly hobby farms supply produce for Farmer’s Markets.

Food for Thought for Alaskans

Alaska’s Soviet Style Food Security Program Alaskans take a lot of things for granted when it comes to food security in this state. And, while we live in the Polar Climate Zone our ability to create local food sources beyond what comes from other places is evolving. Unfortunately, public policy for food security is woefully …

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Meat is Essential!

How Can Alaska Gain True Food Security? This updated story was first published June 5, 2020  Alaskan grown beef prepared for market at Mt. McKinley Meats & Sausages. Alaskans know when calamity strikes we can expect to see responding events happen fast. The November 2018 earthquake was such a wake up call–and the pandemic of …

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Can a Ready Veteran Workforce Assure Food Security?

To Dream the Impossible Dream… Let’s imagine our elected State of Alaska officials–who like to blow smoke about Alaska Food Security–suddenly made land available for Commercial Agriculture… IMAGINE 10,000-acre parcels dedicated to serious farming endeavors instead of current 460-acre parcels where farmers do each other’s laundry. Such fantasy SOA Ag offerings would require successful bidders …

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Alaskans beware!

Bill Borden: The Man, the Legend, the Publicity Stunt… Original title: Iditarod teaches Lessons in Georgia In early 2022 Bill Borden had this Instagram Account although he had not owned dogs in more than a decade. He ran the race once in 2002 coming in almost last as a promotional stunt for his Atlanta, Georgia …

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Year-end review

Seeking Alaskan Truths in 2021 (2021©   Living the Alaskan Lifestyle is by definition active. Sitting at a computer screen or looking at a phone are not active pursuits. So, having lived the Alaskan Lifestyle 60 years means I have mostly found my groove in dealing with demands of Alaskan Life—I’ve done enough Alaskan stuff …

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Feeding Alaskans in Mat-Su

MatSu Food Bank Builds Community (2021©   MatSu Food Bank Executive Director, Eddie Ezelle, took me for a tour of the organization’s new facility on Blue Lupine Rd. in Wasilla. At any given time there are as many as 18 Food Pantries in the Matanuska Susitna Valley providing nutritious food to local residents, some supplied by …

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Let’s talk about Fertilizer

How Agriculture Works in Alaska (2021©   The theme of the long-time Spenard bar fits many, but not all, Alaska farmers.   Alaska gardeners are familiar with the work of Jeff Lowenfels, a local authority on plants and gardening, who together with Wayne Lewis wrote a book called Teaming with Microbes for those who want …

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An Eagle River Institution:

Mike’s Meats Once Aspired to Provide Alaska Food Security This is an update of a story first published June 5, 2020. Cattle lagging behind are urged down from the upper deck of the trailer at Rocket Ranch by Greg Giannulis at 3 am. The herd of cattle moved toward the far end of their enclosure after a …

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Steps to Food Security for Alaska: Are Alaska Agriculture Efforts Working?

Do more farms mean more production for Alaskans? In his self-satisfied memoir—written after serving two terms as Alaska’s fifth governor–Jay Hammond, in his book Tales of Alaska’s Bushrat Governor, reflects on …major disappointments in my second term. One, deemed by many the biggest blunder of my administration, was an attempt to promote Alaska agriculture. [1] …

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