header


HOME PAGE

ABOUT US

PARTICIPANTS

BULK FUEL
    a) Committee
    b) News
    c) Projects
    d) Contacts

RENEWABLE ENERGY
    a) Committee

    b) News
    c) Projects
    d) Contacts

CONSERVATION
    a) Committee
    b) News
    c) Projects
    d) Contacts

FOOD SECURITY
    a) News
    b) Projects
    c) Contacts

SERVICES DIRECTORY

LINKS TO RESOURCES


FOOD SECURITY NEWS

10/2/2012
If you are interested in growing your own food, and especially in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, you will be interested in reading this short paper. Here’s an excerpt:
Abstract Soon after Russian fur hunters arrived in Alaska in the mid-18th century, they began gardening to supplement the limited foods they brought with them and the locally available food resources. Although published accounts of gardening become more numerous by the early 19th century, the details of such efforts in the Aleut region of southwestern Alaska remain unclear. Archaeological and ethnohistoric data from several locales in this area, especially the Korovinski site on Atka Island, indicate that gardening, particularly for potatoes, was an important subsistence enterprise during the Russian era, not only for the Russian colonial population but also for Aleuts (Unangax^1), whose overall subsistence economy underwent profound changes following contact.”
2012-1002_Veltre 2011 Gardening in Colonial Russian America.pdf (573K)

12/7/2011
Southwest Alaska Monthly Indicator - Profitable Alaskan Greenhouses
In the midst of a cold snap, Alaskan grown agricultural is likely the last thing from most of our minds. However, under a different set of assumptions, it is very likely that growing our own veggies is far more feasible than we may think. In Canada,where average winter temperatures are often colder than much of Southwest Alaska, a successful greenhouse industry has proven to be highly profitable, worth excess of $3 Billion annually. Their secret is controlling the environment and optimizing growing conditions.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Greenhouses must manage energy inputs in order to turn a profit, as output is optimized. Costs are simply a function of energy inputs, to include temperature, lighting, water, air and nutrients.Using these standard assumptions about output, we determined* the average veggie consumption per capita and derived an appropriate greenhouse capable of meeting an entire community's demand; this gives us the Square Feet per community. Using empirical data from from the Canadian industry, we applied average costs per square feet for variable and fixed costs. Heating costs reflect the actual cost of heat at the local price of diesel oil. Electrical costs was assumed to be $0.12 per kw. Total revenue was determined by the retail prices of veggies at each local market.

Based on the assumptions provided, the communities of Kodiak, Akutan and Dillingham prove as viable CEA hosts; Saint Paul does not. A note about the assumptions. Revenue was based on supplying a community's total vegetable supply at retail prices; this may not be feasible even though it is the current price being paid at the grocery store. Variable and fixed costs were assumed to be that of a mature Canadian industry; a small rural community would likely have trouble constructing and maintaining the greenhouse at that level of efficiency. The largest and most important assumption is that of electrical costs assumed to be $0.12 per kw. In our own analysis the largest factor in determining the profitability of any single operation was lowering the cost of electricity. While all of SW Alaska currently pays substantially more for power than $0.12 per kw, it is a rate achievable through proven technologies. The point is that while a more thorough analysis is required, meeting our entire demand for growable produce is viable.
*Taken from an internal 2010 SWAMC report.

10/12/2011
Food Security Updates Blog
by Robert Mikol
http://foodsecurityupdates.com

8/31/2011
Food Security Updates Newsletter
2011-0831_FYI_Food_Security_Shortage_articles.pdf (166K)

7/27/2011
Renewable Energy Powered Greenhouses Concept Paper
by Robert Mikol
2011-0301_RenewableEnergyPoweredGreenHouses_aConceptPaper.pdf (332K)

Food Security Archives
A collection of past articles, news events and meetings


footer