Frontiers 120: Harvesting Alaska: Then & Now
For those of you who enjoy visits to the farmers’ markets or grow giant cabbages and branches of broccoli, you understand Alaska’s potential for agriculture.
But in 1898, when the first agricultural experiment station was launched in Sitka, little was known about what kinds of crops would grow in Alaska, and whether or not they would thrive. Later they found apple trees could withstand the cold in Rampart -- and potatoes and carrots could grow well near Palmer.
Eventually seven agricultural stations were established, and while only two in the state remain in operation today -- one in Fairbanks and the other outside Palmer -- the tradition of experimentation continues today. In this week’s Frontiers, we celebrate that culture.
Here are some of this week’s highlights:
Seeds of Tomorrow: All the seeds of tomorrow were once seeds of yesterday. We talk with Talis Colberg, a longtime student of the history of the Alaska State Fair and farming in Alaska, about the importance of the agricultural experiment stations.
Alaska Far Away: Our guest this week is Joan Juster, co-producer of the documentary, “Alaska Far Away,” the story of how 200 families from the Midwest traveled to Alaska in 1935, during the height of the Depression, to escape poverty and make a new life.
From Coast to Kitchen: KTVA’s Liz Raines and photojournalist Cal Green normally cover politics at the State Capitol. But this story of salsa, made with kelp, was just outside their doorstep and they couldn’t resist the temptation to check out some of Barnacle Food’s offerings, which also include kelp pickles.