Agriculture

Ouzinkie’s Spruce Island Farms testing kelp farming as a way to provide revenue and restore the environment

Spruce Island Farms with the City of Ouzinkie is planning to test the feasibility of growing kelp in Narrow Strait, just offshore from the eastern part of Kodiak Island, between the southern end of Spruce Island and Nelson Island. Based on the permit application with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the two entities are looking at farming sugar kelp, …

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Kodiak’s agriculture community has a new outreach & education coordinator to assist with rising costs, challenges with island farming

The cost of food production in rural Alaska continues to be challenging, but farmers, ranchers and growers of all kinds in Kodiak are adapting. As KMXT’s Davis Hovey reports, a new federally funded position on the island is hoping to help ease the growing pains. It’s a sunny afternoon in late-February, and a few inches of snow cover the ground …

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Senate Agriculture committee’s ranking member visits Kodiak to talk fisheries and farms

Alaska’s senators brought Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas to Kodiak this week. Boozman is the ranking member of the Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee and is on a tour to see what farming looks like around the country.  One of their first stops was the Kodiak Harvest Foods Co-op. They asked staff and volunteers some questions about how the …

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Pandemic leads to boom in Alaska backyard poultry sales

By Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage –May 25, 2021 Don Dyer stood among boxes full of tiny, fluffy chicks on a recent weekday afternoon in Anchorage as he read off customer Rachel Varela’s order. “One Dominant Copper. One Rhode Island Red. One Blue Sapphire. Two Barred Rocks,” the poultry farmer called over a chorus of high-pitched chirps. “That’s …

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First Shellfish and Seaweed Festival kicks off this week

The first ever Shellfish and Seaweed Festival is kicking off on Zoom this evening, hosted by Alaska Seagrant. Presenter and Kodiak’s own resident mariculture expert Lexa Meyer can’t wait to spread the word about seaweed and kelp farming. “In response to COVID-19, you know, we saw a sharp decrease in sales of bivalves, especially of oysters in Alaska, because that …

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Interest in kelp farming is on the rise in Alaska, but the infrastructure is still catching up

Erin McKinstry, KCAW | Mar 17, 2021 For years, Bret Bradford has lived the seasonal rhythm of a commercial fisherman. He spends summers gillnetting salmon out of Cordova, and in the winter, he looks for odd jobs around town. When a friend asked if wanted to spend the winters growing kelp instead, he saw an opportunity for stable, year-round work. “I …

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COVID-19 supply chain woes provide opportunities to local farmers

While crops aren’t catching COVID-19, that doesn’t mean that the business of farming hasn’t changed on Kodiak. Just ask Siene Allen and Gideon Saunders of BrightBox Farms. “You know, there’s a demand for locally grown produce supply chains with the pandemic were interrupted, trucking was maxed out. They were moving product as fast as they could, across the country… there …

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