Food Sovereignty and Environmental Stewardship in Coffman Cove, Alaska
Alaska Garden Grant Winner
In an area where 95% of food is imported, a community of 200 people in Coffman Cove, Alaska, got together to create a vision to use their empty spaces for a greater purpose. The local school wanted to incorporate lessons of food sovereignty and environmental stewardship in their school’s curriculum. They believed “by growing our own food, we are also growing the health of our children, our economy, and our community, to create a wholesome space for teaching and learning.”
As part of a BirdSleuth Garden Grant, they purchased supplies and held a “Grand Opening” event at the school farm. With more than 40 volunteers, they were able to build potato beds, a garden shed, and help plant seeds and transplant seedlings. The volunteers fenced off a 10,000 square foot area to develop a greenhouse, chicken coop, composters, fruit trees, berry bushes, potato beds, and an aquaponic greenhouse to grow live fish. These structures now house 25 chickens, 15 ducks and an observation beehive for lessons in pollination, and there are hopes of further developing the area with a duck pond and feeder station to become a natural space for birds to use too.