Currant Affairs Newsletter – Latest Edition

Currant Affairs is a food systems-themed newsletter for Southcentral Alaska with a focus on the Anchorage area. This version is ‘live’ and updated as new events and opportunites pop up. I update and send out an email version around twice a month. This is a collaboration between Yarducopia (a program of ACAT) and the Alaska Food Policy Council.

**Marks new and updated items in this issue 

WORKSHOPS, WEBINARS, & SPECIAL EVENTS  

Saturday & Wednesday Farmers Markets!  

Most farmers markets are on Saturday (Spenard, Muldoon, Midtown, Pena Park, South Anchorage, & Anchorage Farmers Market) and Wednesday(South Anchorage, APU, and Eagle River Market), with a few exceptions (e.g. Grow North Farm farmstand is open Mon-Fri from 4-7 pm; Pena Park is open Sat-Sunday, Eagle River on Sun and Wed). Plan your weekly grocery shop on these days!  

**August 19 

Alaska State Fair kicks off this Friday! Although a lot of the giant vegetables and livestock won’t appear till the following week.

**August 21 

Yarducopia Harvest Party – A gathering to celebrate the ongoing harvest from all our gardens and the many concoctions made from what we’ve grown. We’ll be gathering from 2 –5 pm at Boyers Orchard – more details on the Yarducopia website.  

**September 3 

You Pick at Clark’s Apple Orchard across from Rabbit Creek Community Church. More info.   

**September 3-4  

Girdwood Fungus Fair returns! Brought to you by the Turnagain Arm Mycological Society – Read on!  

**September 10 

Harvest Moon Festival is the Kenai Peninsula’s biggest farmers market and local food celebration of the year! In Soldotna, more info on their event page.  

**September 12  

Webinar: Alaska Farmers Market Management & Food Access Toolkits from 5:30-7 PM. Do you have questions on how to start a market? How to set up a SNAP redemption program? Concerns about setting market policy? Join us for the answers to all this and more as the Alaska Farmers Market Association reviews two new awesome resources: The AK Farmers Market Management and Food Access Toolkits! This is for farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs, food hubs, and interested groups and individuals! Registration is free, but required. Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkc-mgpzMrG9XQSg6KIuPzqhelLZHZI8lI 

**October 8th & 15th  

In-Person Workshop: AFMA Storytelling Workshop with Story Works Alaska 9 AM to 12 PM. Location TBD. This FREE (registration required) workshop will take place on Saturday October 8th and Saturday October 15, 2022. Each session will run from 9am-12pm. You must be able to attend both sessions. The workshop will be facilitated by Story Works staff and youth storytellers. No preparation or prior experience in storytelling or media production is required. This workshop is designed for farmers and AFMA members who would like to develop a personal narrative that can be used to promote their business or connect with their community. Every person has a unique story to share. Join us to find your story, and develop tools for sharing that story with your community. Story Works Alaska will support you in developing a 3-5 minute oral narrative. You will have an opportunity to record this narrative to be used for PSAs, video promotions and more! Register for the Workshop here: https://storyworksak.org/afma-workshop-registration/ 

PROGRAM and JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS and UPDATES 

**Alaska UAF Apple Tree Pollinator Survey. In order to provide better integrated pest management information and services across the state of Alaska, the UAF Integrated Pest Management Team is conducting a fruit tree pollinator survey for 2022. This is an ANONYMOUS SURVEY and will be used to facilitate the development of useful outreach and educational resources as well as guide potential research to improve pest management in our state. Link to form.  

Grow Local, Give Local a program of Catholic Social Services, uses donations to buy food directly from Fresh International Gardens and Grow North Farm to distribute through the St Frances Food Pantry – More info here.  

**Homer Grown gardening show has a new episode on Nome Grown. You can listen to this and their other insightful programs at the KBBI radio website  

**AG Matters on Palmer’s Big Cabbage Radio recent episodes with APFGA and USDA. Check out this and past episodes here – https://www.radiofreepalmer.org/category/ag-matters/  

**Growing Classes through the Space Farming Institute and Seeds and Soil are worth a look!  

Share Waste is a handy website for seeing where to drop off food waste to be used by neighbors in personal compost piles, fed to flocks, and used at community gardens. This isn’t a ‘new’ website, but it might be new to you! In my experience, the more people using Share Waste (giving and receiving), the better it will work – https://sharewaste.com/ 

Food For Thought food fridge in Mountain View is once again the topic on AK Public Media, this time as part of a full hour Talk of Alaska – Check the earlier piece and radio show here and here. Amazing work Ziona and the FFT team!  

Midtown Garden Depot has started accepting fresh ‘green’ waste to compost on select days and by special arrangement (e.g. pesticide-free grass, yard waste, and food scraps). Check with garden@akaction.org for more info and to lend a hand & learn about small-scale composting. 

**Harvest of Hope Garden at the Lutheran Church of Hope is run by Don Bladow, producing thousands of pounds of fresh produce each summer distributed by the Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry. Learn more at Don’s blogspot for the garden.  

**Anchor Gardens is hosting a Garden Questions Hotline called Roots and Shoots every Tuesday starting at 7 pm. Sign up for Anchor Gardens to learn more, get the link, etc. They also have Wednesday classes on Garden Planning and Seed Saving. Check out this great group!  

AK Food Policy Council – We are working on a statewide map of the state food system resources. If you wish to add yourself or your organization to this map, please visit this page to read more about this important effort to provide an inclusive map of all our state food system resources. Link to info.  

Midtown Community Garden – a new community garden at 2930 Cheechako Street has space and materials to construct more garden beds. Reach out to Yarducopia at garden@akaction.org to sign up & get more info, or drop by during one of our gatherings (see above). 

Chanshtnu Community Garden in Muldoon still has a few spaces available!  

Anchor Gardens’ I Street Garden Depot infoanchorgardens.org/stockpiles 

Yarducopia (a program of Alaska Community Action on Toxics) is accepting signups for gardeners looking for growing space, landowners offering space, and volunteers offering time to help make it all happen. Reach out to Yarducopia at garden@akaction.org or their website.  

Alaska Master Gardeners Anchorage and the Alaska School Garden Network compile a list of public garden projects and volunteer opportunities – you can view it here.   

FINDING FOOD: FARMERS MARKETS, FOOD PANTRIES, & FOOD HUBS  

The Alaska Farmers Market Association launched a New Farmers Market Toolkit for starting, enhancing, and supporting a farmers’ market in your community. Well done AFMA!  

The Alaska Farmers Market Association’s Market Directory helps you easily find farmers markets you live near, the address, hours, etc.  

A List of Anchorage Food Pantries can be found at AnchorageFood.org (Address, hours, etc.)  

Locally Grown Resource Guide made by the Mat-Su Cooperative Extension – Link to PDF.   

Local Food Pickups in Anchorage and Valley – goat milk, duck/chicken eggs, and chicken, turkey, goat, and rabbit meat. Call or text (907)-885-7732 Or (907)-312-6779 

LunaChick Farm sells sustainably raised animals, eggs, etc with drop-offs on the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, and Valley. Learn more about the operation here or here or this entertaining radio interview from 2020.  

Whispering Bay Ranch has local eggs for sale in Anchorage on Thursdays, Mat-Su on Mondays. Chicken and Duck. (907) 885-7732 

APU Farmstand this Wednesday from 3:00-6:30 with kale, bok Choi, salad greens, sorrel, and more! Come get your early summer fix of fresh greens!  

Grow North Farm Farmstand open 4-7 pm Mon-Friday. Thursdays feature global cuisine to-go from a rotating Grow North Farm farmer! SNAP and WIC welcome.  

Arctic Harvest Deliveries – produce share sold out, meat and seafood shares still available 

Alaska Food Hub opened for its 7th season, with pick-ups in Homer, Soldotna, Ninilchik, and Seldovia, with more locations in the works.  

Support Alaska’s American Indian Producers – https://www.indianagfoods.org/alaska-1  & check out Ag Alaska’s list of AK farms – https://agalaska.org/alaska-farms/ 

Blue Market carries lots of locally grown and fermented foods throughout the winter. You can find Happy Mushrooms, Common Root kimchi and curtido, greens from Seeds of Change & much more.  

City Farms is an indoor hydroponics farm in Anchorage. Their veggies can be found at New Sagaya, Natural Pantry, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. https://www.cityfarmsalaska.com/  

Local Greens sell hydroponically grown veggies year-round in Anchorage. Get a weekly or every-other-week subscription, and pickup at Double Shovel Cidery at your convenience  

Far North Fungi grows and sells fresh and dried mushrooms in Anchorage & teaches fungi cultivation.  

Anchorage Greens sells direct to consumers through a weekly Green Bag subscription as well as folks who stop by for on-site ala carte purchases. https://www.anchoragegreens.com/  

Alaska Sprouts sells sprouts and microgreens online for pickup in Anchorage – https://www.alaskasprouts.com/ . Read more about their story in a 2017 issue of Edible Alaska 

To RECEIVE Currant Affairs, suggest items to ADD, CHANGE EMAIL ADDRESS or UNSUBSCRIBE, contact Nick Riordan at riordannk@gmail.com

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