Artist Tours Palmer, Alaska, Farms


This is our second year attending the Mat-Su Farm Bureau Farm Tour and it did not disappoint.  Shown above is the group from our bus eating lunch on the lawn of one of the Havemeister Dairy Farm families.  We were served a total “Alaska Grown” lunch complete with ice cream topped with strawberry sauce.

We toured the Havemeister Dairy Farm milk production facility and the brand new sparkling clean bottling plant.  The farm, established in 1935, is going into the bottling and distribution of fresh milk in Alaska sometime this summer.  We are proud to have this beautiful dairy in the Mat-Su Valley located along the highway about a mile from our studio/residence on Finger Lake.

The tour took us to The Gray Owl Farm, pictured above, where we saw acres of peony’s grown for the cut-flower market as well as their gorgeous perennial gardens, green houses and various colorful and eclectic out buildings.  I love this farm!  We also visited the small flower and vegetable Earthwork’s Farm, the Glacier Valley Farm where we picked and sampled fresh ripened strawberries right from the vine.

At the VanderWeele Farm we saw the potato packing plant and toured their many large fields throughout Palmer where every kind of vegetable is grown for market.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the sweet little baby boy experiencing the pleasure of soft dirt, a future farmer indeed!  The day was golden, sunshine from beginning to end, flowers filled the landscape, grass was green and vegetables were ripening and ready to pick.  A very worthwhile experience, and a rich resource for me as an artist.  I was able to gather a lot of wonderful reference material to use in future paintings.

Gail Niebrugge, Alaska artist

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