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  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Something’s hatching in Old Harbor

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 17, 12:07

    Old Harbor hugs rugged mountains on the southeast side of Kodiak Island, home to about 200 people who think of themselves as farmers of the sea, not the land. But that’s about to change. The tribal government recently built a chicken coop on a hillside, which staffers regularly check for fresh eggs. “We’re getting about […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Plant Materials Center provides seeds to grow local agriculture

    by Lauren Maxwell on Apr 03, 10:30

    Many Alaskans are interested in eating local, but eating local isn’t just about the food we put on the table. It’s also the seed that food is grown from. In Alaska, there is just one certified seed laboratory in the state — the Plant Materials Center in Palmer run by the Division of Agriculture. The center […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    ‘Harvesting Alaska’ wins prestigious James Beard Award

    by Gina Romero on Mar 15, 14:40

    The James Beard Foundation announced Tuesday that the KTVA series “Harvesting Alaska” won the prestigious award for “Best Television Segment”. KTVA’s Heather Hintze and Lauren Maxwell, along with producer Gina Romero, former KTVA web editor Jessica Stugelmayer, and former photographer Carolyn Hall earned the accolade for their stories on yak farming in Delta Junction, how […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Herd-shares help people get their goat milk

    by Lauren Maxwell on Sep 26, 14:04

    The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend drinking raw milk, nor does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But others say raw milk has health benefits that pasteurized milk doesn’t have — and it’s popularity seems to be growing. In Alaska, it’s illegal to sell raw milk, but there is a legal way that […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Apple farmer goes out on a limb to give to others

    by Shannon Ballard on Sep 12, 12:35

    There’s just something about a crisp autumn morning. In his Wasilla backyard, Dan Elliott can taste the changing season in any of the 120 types of apples harvested on his property. Some might call him an expert. “It’s hard when you ask for a favorite to come up with less than 10,” Elliott said. Elliott started […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: So you want to be a judge of food entries at the fair?

    by Jessica Stugelmayer on Aug 30, 16:56

    High up on a plain white wall, the skinny hand of a clock ticked away the seconds, counting down the moments competitors had left to enter their creations. When the time came, the door was shut to the dark and stormy night outside and a small group of 12 judges were assigned to stations around […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Fair competition brings out generations of bakers

    by Heather Hintze on Aug 29, 10:25

    As the deadline neared for the baked goods competition at the 80th annual Alaska State Fair, dozens of people filled Hoskins Hall, eager to drop off their entries. Among them, Teresa Taylor and her box full of goodies: several plates of cookies and a bag of peanut brittle. She and her daughter Heidi Taylor enter […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Blueberry picking brings back fond memories in Unalakleet

    by Heather Hintze on Aug 22, 12:33

    The tundra outside Unalakleet stretches for miles, blanketed in blue. “There are just berries everywhere this year. They’re so abundant,” said Davida Hanson. On a sunny Friday evening, she and her family headed for the hills near the Norton Sound village to fill their buckets with blueberries. “To bring the kids out here to teach […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Summer produce donations needed at Food Bank of Alaska

    by Gina Romero on Aug 11, 15:21

    Donations at Food Bank of Alaska are sparse. Entire shelves in the dry pantry are bare. Produce in cold storage is running low. “We’re way down. The storage area is usually full,” said Cara Durr, director of public engagement at the food bank. Produce donations come from various sources including farms, grocery stores and individual […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Ranchers try to meet demand for yak meat

    by Heather Hintze on Aug 08, 8:26

    Hand-raised yaks, not in the Himalayas, but the heart of Alaska. “Trina!” Barbara Fithian called out. She knows almost every one of her animals at the Circle F Ranch by name. “Woebegone gets fed with a bottle because his mom didn’t have enough milk,” she explained. Another steer, Drifter, is special to the Fithians. “He’s […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Embracing summer’s end with a taste of bountiful berries

    by Heather Hintze on Aug 04, 16:46

    As summer slowly comes to an end, the fireweed climbs higher on the stalk, the days get a little shorter and the hills and tundra around Alaska come alive with berries. Most weekends in July and August, you’ll find me in the mountains picking blueberries. After work last Friday, my coworker Daniella Rivera and I […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: From farm to fiber art in Mat-Su Valley

    by Sierra Starks on Aug 01, 13:48

    Every day, Michelle Olsen comes home to the soothing sound of bleating sheep. “This is my therapy,” Olsen said of her wooly companions. “When I come home from work, I come out here and I play with my babies and just love them.” Olsen’s Palmer farm is one of many in the Mat-Su Valley contributing […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Fish, berries, veggies and me — all Alaska grown

    by Megan Mazurek on Jul 22, 8:38

    I was 7 years old when I caught my first fish. It was during a canoe trip with my family on the Swanson River, somewhere between Sterling and Nikiski. I remember my dad helping me drop a line in a shallow, calm pool. When I looked down I could see dozens of fish swimming; their […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: The growing need for young farmers

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 18, 6:29

    The manager of a Palmer Farm says Alaska needs to attract a younger generation to farming, a field that is rapidly aging, especially as the demand for local food continues to grow. Megan Talley says the typical Alaskan farmer is someone in their late 50s. “I think it’s 58, 59? That’s the average age,” said […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Smoked salmon, versatile and better than candy

    by Megan Edge on Jul 12, 16:57

    I start to feel like Bubba from “Forrest Gump” when I talk to people about all of the ways we prepare those fresh, Kenai River sockeye salmon stuffing the chest freezer in my little Spenard home. There’s baked salmon, grilled salmon, sweet and spicy salmon, salty and sweet salmon, jalapeño and parmesan salmon, salmon sweet […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Garden to bowl, a soup kitchen nourishes the hungry

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 04, 6:55

    The downtown soup kitchen has the ultimate urban garden. Dozens of boxes and planters are tucked into every corner of its rooftop and flourishing with local greens. “We have several different kinds of kale, Swiss chard and lots of parsley,” Martha Jokela listed off. Jokela is a master gardener and a regular volunteer at the […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Arugula adds zip to any meal

    by Gina Romero on Jun 23, 6:37

    I plant many of my flower starts in February. Digging around in the dirt awakens a strong craving for fresh arugula. I want to fast forward through the rest of winter to get a taste of the strong, robust greens. Fortunately, the cold-hardy plants grow quickly. I’m close to harvesting my first batch and will […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: CSAs offer fresh, healthy produce and convenience

    by Carolyn Hall on Jun 20, 7:40

    Refrigerators are full for about 90 families who buy from Arctic Organics farm in Palmer. For these folks, summer is officially here. “This is what tells me that summer starts, it doesn’t matter what temperature it is, or what the sky is like, this is the beginning of summer,” says Peg Faithful, who’s been a customer […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: High tunnels protect environment, spur sustainability in the Last Frontier

    by Gina Romero on Jun 16, 7:00

    Kathryn Fritz came to Alaska from Oregon on contract as a speech and language therapist. She made a commitment to stay after meeting her husband. There was one catch. She needed fresh produce. “If I can’t find a way to grow things, I don’t want to live here,” she said. Produce in Alaska is much […]

  • Harvesting Alaska

    Harvesting Alaska: Making the most of early season veggies

    by Jessica Stugelmayer on Jun 10, 7:00

    The growing and harvest seasons are always my favorite time of year because it seems that everyone is talking about food as much as I normally do. Everything is fresh and green, which gets people excited about cooking again. With a bountiful summer crop, my friends and family (and anyone who will listen) hear me parrot […]