Edible Alaska

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:40pm
  • Opinion

When the governor signed a seed bank bill in Palmer, it’s likely Ketchikan hardly noticed.

First, Palmer is more than 775 miles north of here.

Second, it’s peppered with farmland, and Ketchikan doesn’t farm.

It doesn’t farm. It grows in greenhouses during a summer like this. Or maybe a few outdoor gardens. Local produce is coming from one or the other, and it’s been wonderful to taste.

Fresh cucumbers. Fresh tomatoes. Fresh beans. They make a delicious and healthy meal when combined with wild salmon or halibut. The meal can be topped off with a pie made with locally picked blueberries.

This goes to show that Alaska can feed itself.

The importance of that was spelled out by Gov. Bill Walker.

He signed a bill that helps to establish community seed banks.

The bill notes the importance of Alaskans sharing local knowledge and resources pertaining to agriculture — whether farms, greenhouses or gardens — and what seeds have been tried and tested for success in Alaska. It speaks to grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers and other commercially viable plants.

Walker pointed out that when Alaska became a state, Alaska grew 50 percent of its food. It grows 5 percent today.

When you think about it, food production reduces reliance on other states and nations to feed Alaska. It decreases the costs of shipping food to Alaska. It’s an investment in local farmers, businesses, communities and the state’s economy.

And agriculture isn’t all that different from commercial fisheries about which Ketchikan is well informed.

Alaska should do all it can be become self-reliant when it comes to its food. This bill, which was signed oh so far away, is significant to Ketchikan.

—Ketchikan Daily News, Aug. 22, 2018

More in Opinion

Charlie Franz.
Point of View: Election integrity is not anti-democratic

The federalization of elections by the Freedom to Vote Act infringes on the constitutional right of states to regulate elections.

Snow blows off Mt. Roberts high above the Thane avalanche chute, where an avalanche blew across the road during a major snowstorm. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
An Alaska winter of discontent

It’s been a hard winter throughout the state.

A Uncruise Adventures cruise ship, with a fleet of kayaks in the water behind it, in the Tongass National Forest. Uncruise, a boutique local cruise ship operator, has been vocal about the importance of the intact Tongass National Forest, or SeaBank, to its business. (Photo by Ben Hamilton/courtesy Salmon State)
Alaska Voices: The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’ are the state’s untold secrets

Southeast Alaska’s natural capital produces economic outputs from the seafood and visitor products industries worth several billion dollars a year

Opinion: The pulse of fealty

Let’s be honest. Trump’s demands go beyond his one stated condition.

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: Permanent fund integrity in peril?

Alaskans need to be kept informed of what the trustees are doing with their money.

A cast member holds up a cue card in Soldotna High School’s production of "Annie" on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Is theater dead?

“It will not be an easy task, performing CPR on this theater, but imagine the joy that you could bring to the students.”

Bjørn Olson (Photo provided)
Point of View: Homer Drawdown moves forward with climate-change solutions

Two years ago, a small group of concerned citizens decided to use this book as a guiding document

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21 in Kenai, Alaska.
Voices of the Peninsula: Fight for democracy

When the Insurrection occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, it was a direct attack on our democratic rule of law.

Most Read