By Lori Tipton
Channel 2 News
5:20 PM AKDT, May 18, 2011
When Arthur Keyes moved to Palmer several years ago, he couldn't resist experimenting with the fertile soil in his backyard.
"I was in farm country and it was really hard not to just explore what i had heard about," said Keyes.
He grew up in South Anchorage, but his family comes from Illinois and he had always heard stories about agriculture, tractors and animals from his relatives. It didn't take long for Keyes to become hooked on farming.
"I ended up working 12 hours a day and not minding it," Keyes said.
Keyes created Glacier Valley Farm and in 2008, he started a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, program. Those who subscribe to the CSA pay $35 for a box filled with local, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Right now, more than 400 Alaskans subscribe to the CSA. The dozens of boxes are loaded into a truck in Palmer and delivered throughout Southcentral -- the majority of the boxes end up in Anchorage.
"I'm not kidding when I say I should take a picture of it because it looks so beautiful," said Janet Kozloski as she stood over her CSA box sitting on the kitchen table in her South Anchorage home. "It's like a big christmas present every Wednesday when you pick it up and see what's in there and you see what you've got for the week."
The CSA boxes are a blend of local and organic produce like fruit from farmers in the Lower 48. But Keyes strives to keep the boxes filled with as much local food as possible. He is working with other farmers in the Matanuska Valley to make that happen.
"The longer we do this, the more opportunity that I see," said Keyes. "What's happening is it's creating more opportunities for other people - not just myself - other people to produce something and be able get it to market really quick."
More information about the CSA is available on the Glacier Valley Farm website
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