Delivery service gets Alaska farmers' produce into Anchorage homes

Published: Sep. 4, 2017 at 9:55 AM AKDT
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Despite having lots of sunlight during the summer months, many people - especially visitors to Alaska - might be surprised to hear that tons of crops are being grown in Alaska.

But whether it's in the south, around Anchorage, or closer to the Arctic Circle, fresh farm-to-table food is possible in the Last Frontier.

And, there's even a delivery service that will help get it to your table at home.

"The exciting part is seeing what you get in your box," said Kristin Platt, one of the team members at Arctic Harvest. "Even just when it's coming - it's like, what do we have? This is the best. All the good stuff is coming out now."

Arctic Harvest is an Alaska-based delivery service moving local produce from the Matanuska-Susitna area to Anchorage.

The team running the operation harvests foods from a dozen Mat-Su farms. Then the foods, which change weekly depending on what's ready to go and what's not, are delivered to various drop off points across Anchorage.

"I try to mix it up in terms of some greens, some cruciferous, some mixed up a little bit," said Kyla Byers, owner of Arctic Harvest. "People can make some nice meals. This is what's ready too. I'm like, awesome, I'll take it. It's at the peak of freshness."

People can sign up to get deliveries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

"It's a goody bag, you know?" Platt said. "Like, what's going to be in there today?"

"Farm fresh" is literal when it comes to much of the food the group gets from the Mat-Su farms these days. While grocery store experiences can be especially underwhelming when the produce has been carted all the way from the Lower 48 - often requiring nutrient-depleting, flavor-killing freezing of what's meant to be fresh food - the Community Supported Agriculture program harvests produce the day before it's delivered to customers.

"Good food is really important," Byers said. "I think we're getting really good food from our farmers in Alaska, and it just makes sense."

However, she said, it's not just the quality and taste that makes fresh so much better.

"You're supporting your local economy," she said. "You're keeping your money in Alaska. Farming is not a lucrative business, and this is supporting us in the state."

The group's summer program is still open for registration

. The winter delivery program will open in the fall.