Spring Creek Farm is an experiential education program located on the Kellogg Campus of Alaska Pacific University that engages student workers directly in hands-on learning about ecological horticulture. The food these students grow is then served in the APU dining hall, closing the gap between farm and table, introducing a nuanced understanding of the food system and strengthening local food security.
In addition to the dining hall, Spring Creek Farm grows produce for a small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program which provides a weekly share of the harvest to members who invest in the Farm in the spring. This model gives our students the tools to begin their own small scale and economically-viable agribusiness, while providing members with the freshest and most delicious local produce. CSA shares are now available for the 2015 farm season from Alaska Pacific University’s Spring Creek Farm. For more information contact Spring Creek Farm Manager, Megan Talley.
Why is local food important? 95% of Alaska’s food is imported each year (around $1.9 billion in sales per annum). With drought wracking California and Mexico, and extreme weather events which can ruin the harvest becoming more common, Alaska’s reliance on imported food becomes a less secure strategy. Not only does food purchased from local famers support the Alaskan economy and reduce the petroleum footprint of shipping, it also helps build a more secure local food system that can rely less heavily on foreign imports, and which is more resistant to environmental shocks and changes in the price of fuel. In order to secure a more resilient local food system, it is imperative that we cultivate new farmers, a better understanding of how food gets from the farm to our plate and pride and delight in eating Alaskan foods in their season.
An ecologically sustainable method of growing food is taught and utilized on the Farm, where we work with the native ecosystem to control pests and disease by applying local inputs rather than using traditional chemical pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer. In this way, we practice and get the word out about a method of growing food that will preserve the earth, the air, the groundwater, and our rich biodiversity for generations to come. Learn more about Alaska and local food systems at the Spring Creek Farm Alaska Facebook page.