To the Editor,
Kodiak Farmers Market’s mission is to develop and promote interior Alaska’s agricultural, horticultural and cottage industries, providing quality produce and products to the public. The mission of the Alaska Farmers Market Association is to support and promote vibrant and sustainable farmers markets throughout Alaska.
Farmers markets have experienced a renaissance throughout the nation, and have begun to spring up all over Alaska. While our short growing season and cold climate offers many challenges to our farmers, farmers’ markets are thriving across Alaska. In 2005, the Division of Agriculture listed 13 markets throughout the state. In 2014, that number grew to 37, and in 2017 there were 41, with more markets in planning stages. Farmers markets are good for farmers and good for the communities they serve.
Farmers markets provide a place where farmers can reconnect with consumers directly and capture retail dollars for their fresh, high-quality products. Farmers markets are family-friendly, community-building events that bring neighbors together, attract retail activity to surrounding businesses, create forums for civic education and involvement and provide direct access to Alaska’s agricultural bounty.
The Alaska Farmers Market Association with parent organization Cook Inletkeeper received a 2017 USDA FMPP Grant to promote connectivity and collaboration amongst Alaska’s farmers markets. The Kodiak Farmers Market has received $1,150 from that grant to support our local market. With this funding our market bought promotional materials such as shirts, totes and stickers to advertise our market and help place it more in the public eye.
The Kodiak Farmers Market looks forward to working together with the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the other markets around the state to grow and improve our local farmers markets. As a vibrant and integral piece of our local community and its economy the Kodiak Farmers Market looks to be a consistent voice at the council in support of farmers, cottage food producers and local crafters.
Thank you for your supporting Alaska’s farmers markets and growers!
Why is it important to support our local farmers market?
•You create a sense of community through buying locally and cooking and eating locally-grown food with friends and family.
•You build a healthier lifestyle by buying, cooking and eating real food, rather than eating processed, commercially-prepared foods.
•You create stronger social structures by cooking and eating with family and friends.
•You are promoting and protecting Alaskan agriculture for our future.
•You are protecting Alaska’s precious agricultural lands from development.
Why is it important to buy local food?
•The produce tastes better because of our cool climate! Our cool nights make the vegetables sweeter and more delicious than anything grown in hotter climates.
•The produce tastes better because it’s fresher! With vegetables grown just a few miles away, harvests can be much more recent than for produce shipped from Outside.
•Your produce will stay fresh much longer after you buy it, because it is so fresh to begin with.
•The transportation costs of buying local food are much lower than buying produce that has been shipped from the Lower 48. You’re conserving all kinds of energy by buying local food!
•You’re supporting local farmers and ensuring that farming and local food production will remain viable in Alaska.