He showed me a National Geographic world soil map. (The inset came from Geology.com)
soil article here from September 2008. ]
The key here, he said, is that while agriculture has been focused around the Matsu, it's Bethel that has the good soil. In Matsu they soil's not great and they have to use a lot of fertilizer to grow crops whereas in Bethel the soil is already very rich. [Will there be a comment on that from Matsu farmers?]
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Tim had a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program where people paid in advance for a set amount and selection of vegetables. It was too much food for most people, he said, so now he has a vegetable stand twice a week in Bethel. People are lined up an hour before he opens and he sells out. The prices are lower than in Bethel's super market and his food is fresh and organic.
He pointed out that Bethel has a number of flights headed for Anchorage every day, and they go with empty cargo holds. Setting up more farms like his could give Alaskans a steady supply of Alaskan grown vegetables, but it will take people with the skills and the determination to do all the work.
Visit the farm's website here.
You can hear an APRN interview with Tim here.