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August 17, 2018: Alaskan Agriculture

My friend Jacki’s daughter Eva is closing in on 30 and has come to realize that she wants to farm. She’s had some experience in this area, having worked at a 300 member community assisted agriculture farm. While she’s been here, I have been attempting to introduce her to those we know who farm and all have been very giving of their time. It makes me proud to be a part of this community.

Eva lives in Buffalo, and right now she is working in a horse barn, as a stable hand. She loves this job, and it sounds like the barn owners are treating her and the horses quite well.

I am not convinced that she has the horse gene because her interactions with my four have been minimal. I do think that she does have the gardening gene. The other day I took her over to Sun Circle Farm where she spent the day weeding. After, she gave a very good assessment of the operation, pro and con and talked about how she might do things differently.

 Eva and Alys with record Cabbage
Eva and Alys with record Cabbage

Seeing how this 50 member CSA might be done through her eyes made me realize that I don’t have the gardening gene but rather the livestock gene. I say I don’t have the time to garden, which means that, again, I don’t have the gene. It really does make me feel some remorse because gardening is one of the best ways to give back to this now very on the brink planet.

Eating well – good, nourishing food, this is also something Eva has a strong interest in. This too is really important as is buying local. Buying local is countering corporate control – for example, that huge box store that has changed the character of our town sells Krogers Products – and Krogers buys its good from food corporations. This stuff is not good for you and profits go into the hands of corporations. Eva, of course knows this.

In addition to taking Eva to meet local farmers, I also took her to the local recycling center, where I introduced her to those who run it. I hoped to instill in her a sense of community, some of which is tangentially related to agriculture.

And tonight I took her to Cottonwood Creek Farm where Suzy and Mike are currently milking 17 goats. It took a lot of doing to arrange for this visit and in my mind it was worth the effort. Eva got to see what’s involved in milking and caring for so many Alpines. Suzy also talked at length about her six new bucks, all of whom are going to improve her breeding lines. And as well, she talked about her move to diversify, having just acquired two Oberhasli goats – they are a differing breed.

Tomorrow Eva is going to spend the day at Ben and Mimi’s place over on Ridge Runner Circle. Ben and Mimi are growing produce in their market garden, taking it to Anchorage for sale.

We’ll see. I am glad to have contributed to her cold climate gardening education.

Next: 229. 8/18/18: The Gift of a Good Ride

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