Bushes Bunches brings fair food to Palmer produce stand
The farm is serving up its fried peanut potatoes and zucchini in an effort to bring in more customers
PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) -Without the Alaska State Fair this year, vendors are finding creative ways to bring in revenue.
For Bushes Bunches in Palmer, that means moving its fair food booth to its produce stand.
“We heard there were a lot of customers who were really missing our potatoes and everything we serve at the state fair,” said store manager Crystal Kumpula.
The stand is serving up its famous deep-fried peanut potatoes as well as fried zucchini, veggie packs and beef stew.
“They’re unique. The dip is really good and they’re something you only get here,” said customer Brittney White from Wasilla, who stopped by on her way back from hiking the Butte.
Kumpula said the gourmet spuds make the perfect salty snack.
“They are one of the better frying potatoes. They’re usually the perfect size we can cut them into fries,” she said.
The orders for the fresh French fries keep Melissa Dorow busy in the kitchen.
“These potatoes came out of the ground this morning. They were washed and brought to us and we’re chopping them and getting them into the fryer,” Dorow said.
Kumpula said the farm took a financial hit this year without the state fair. They set up at Palmer’s Friday Fling and the three-day Harvest Fest at the fairgrounds in an effort to get by.
The fair food booth will be open through the fall to bring in more customers and revenue.
“We try to buy a lot of produce from other local farmers and help support them as well. In order to do that we need to have the other income coming in to help with that,” Kumpula explained.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve seen an increase in people stocking up on local produce to preserve and keep through the winter.
But that doesn’t make up for the tons of peanut potatoes fairgoers usually eat every year.
Dorow hopes people are hungry.
“My favorite part is when they’re all gone. When we don’t have any left,” she said.
The peanut potatoes will be available at Bushes Bunches Wednesday through Sunday. Kumpula said they hope to stay open through the end of October. The produce stand is located at 2605 Robin Lane off of the Old Glenn Highway.
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