My original question was: can Anchorage be sustainable? I really don't think it can, Alaskans are so independent and in Anchorage, like most other cities in America I'm told, people don't talk to their neighbors. Coming from Fairbanks it was a little foreign for me. Instead of bemoaning the fact, I began to organize an urban sustainability course (aka permaculture) in Anchorage. I got Lisa DePiano, from U.Mass Amherst to come and teach it with me. The amazing thing was that Central Lutheran Church at 15th and Cordova agreed to allow us to turn their property into an urban farm during the course. As it happens they have many, many homeless folks that hang out there and are welcomed on the property. Having a farm there, the congregation said, would just allow them or anyone else to come by and get food as they need it. We just finished phase one on Saturday night: the 7,000 sq. foot food forest. Phase two will begin next summer with building the annual garden beds. Phase three will be honey bees and a composting business.
My favorite quote from Saturday was from Tony Knowles, "That doesn't look like MY garden." What we would like are some interpretive signs. Most people haven't seen berms and swales, they don't know what Good King Henry is or how good it tastes. So signs would be great, but...
Maybe more importantly we are trying to figure out fencing, so that the moose don't turn it into their private munching grounds. Maybe small fences to keep moose out, but make sure the homeless don't feel fenced out.
Funded by Alaska (August 2016)