Local farmers stay afloat during a rainy season

Dart AM Farms comes prepared and shares it's produce with the Tanana Valley Farmers Market.
Dart AM Farms comes prepared and shares it's produce with the Tanana Valley Farmers Market.(KTVF)
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 8:28 AM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2023 at 11:00 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Tanana Valley Farmers Market is not only a great place to find arts and crafts but to also see what local farmers grow in Interior Alaska.

With the cold start to the growing season and unique weather patterns this summer, John Dart owner of Dart AM Farms in Manley Hot Springs has had his fair share of rainy weather.

Dart explains, “This is the very first year over all the years I’ve grown in Manley Hot Springs that we actually watched the temperature go down. It was cold and then it started to come up and then it got cold again and the soil there is a heavy soil. It has a clay content and it wasn’t draining and it got colder and I’ve never seen that before. Where you actually see the curve go up but it started to go up like that and then it went down and we didn’t really recover in the field ...”

Although, Dart AM Farms has had a slow start, they have been able to sell what they’ve grow, such as cucumbers. With greater nutrition and a longer shelf life, Dart shares that his fresh produce helps the local food industry.

“A lot of people don’t know that when you buy green beans locally they haven’t been shipped and they’re not old so the vitamin content and nutrition is all in the bean.”

Amid the challenges and rainy weather, Dart AM Farms is here to stay and Dart shares his passion for this field. “My hope for the future generations is that they actually come and get involved and learn what they need to learn and it doesn’t have to be like how we grow. It can be something new.”

There is always something new at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market. Shop local, support local for fresh produce, baked items, and more. This year the market is open every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm until September 23rd.

For more information about the Tanana Valley Farmers Market be sure to visit their website.

This story has been updated to include the Tanana Valley Farmers Market website.