Glacier Valley Farm CSA, which is based in the Palmer area, is considering expanding its distribution network to include some Southeast communities, including Sitka.
Glacier Valley currently distributes its produce in the Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley and Kenai Peninsula areas. However, a customer service rep named Nelli said the CSA has been receiving a lot of interest from Southeast Alaska. For those not familiar with a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, small farms sell subscriptions or memberships to local residents, who share in the produce of that farm through weekly boxes of fruits and veggies (and sometimes fresh bread). Glacier Valley Farm CSA is owned by Arthur and Michelle Keyes, who also own A & M Farms.
“We are getting a growing list of interested people together, so that when we officially launch our Southeast service we can let folks know,” Nelli wrote in an e-mail.
She encourages people to go to the Glacier Valley Farm CSA website and learn more about the services it provides. On its site, Glacier Valley advertises itself as, “The only year-round CSA produce box program featuring Alaskan vegetables.” When it can, the program uses Alaska Grown produce from some of the better-known Mat-Su Valley farms. But sometimes Lower 48 fruits and veggies do make it into the boxes, especially in the winter when storage veggies may look a bit sketchy.
The CSA’s site lists produce box contents from previous weeks, community pick-up locations, recipes, and how to order information.This link features photos of some of the fruits and veggies Glacier Valley Farm CSA sells at the South Anchorage Farmers Market.
Nelli said if people are interested in regularly ordering a produce box or have any questions, they should e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know. She said people also should let her know their home community (Sitka, Juneau, etc.) so she can let people know when there are enough people in that community to start service.
While the Glacier Valley Farm CSA program is not based in Southeast Alaska, there are some people in town who prefer to eat Alaska Grown produce, even if it travels nearly the same distance from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley as produce from Washington-based Full Circle Farm CSA, Chelan Produce and other organizations that serve Sitka. The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages Sitka residents to buy produce grown by Sitka gardeners first, then look within the region before buying produce grown elsewhere.