Garden Tips: From grain to glass, one Interior farm does it all

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Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 5:04 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -Locals of Eielson Farm Road know -- it’s not the end of summer until you’ve gotten lost in a corn maze.

For the last three years Arctic Harvest, a grain farm and distillery just outside of North Pole, has invited guests to come explore their land, get lost in a corn maze and -- if you are old enough -- try some of their whiskey.

Arctic Harvest Co-Owner, Kelly Eggleston, says their spirits are from grain to glass.

“We grow the grains, we go from start to finish right here on the farm, we grow barley, wheat and rye,” Eggleston explained. “We also malt that barley, which is the process of developing natural enzymes inside that grain, just so it’s as local as we can make it.”

No one else in the state, and only a handful of distillers in the country, do the entire process in the same location -- and Kelly says that’s because it’s not easy.

“If you count the growing season, it’s going to take a whole summer to grow the grain... and then this process, the mashing and fermentation, if you are not aging it, it takes about a month, then if you throw that aging in there too, we have some whiskey that’s two years old.” Eggleston said.

Arctic Harvest Co-Owner and father of Kelly Eggleston, Stu Davies, originally came to Alaska from Idaho 40 years ago.

“I left farming in Idaho for a new start. I had no idea that you could farm in Alaska. So it’s kind of in my blood, my grandparents were farmers, my dad was a farmer,” Davies said.

Davies said the farm and distillery is a family operation with the entire family now living on the farm.

“Having my family involved is the cat’s meow, it’s pretty fun,” Davies said. “I’m sure it’s going to continue well after I’ve decided to stop. I’m an old guy, I can’t keep doing this.”

Arctic Harvest has recently purchased almost 150 acres to expand their business. Davies hopes to attract people looking for the agritourism experience.

“We hope to make some trails back there for skiing, hiking, maybe build a cabin or two for people to stay overnight,” Davies added.

It’s clear that this farm is more than just fields of grain, a corn maze or even handcrafted liquor -- the true spirit of Arctic Harvest is family.

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