Tuesday, May 3, 2011

And in my neck of the woods....

I woke up to snow this morning. Just a light dusting, but *sigh*. I had to pull my hat and gloves back out for the bike ride, although they came back off before I got to work because I warmed up so much. (Uphill will do that to you.)
It's starting to feel like I'll never be able to put my plants outside.
I biked to HG Market tonight, though, and it was pleasing to see the ice floes have gotten much smaller. They're still big enough to ride on, but most of the river ice is gone.
I love looking at the farm and garden section of the Fairbanks craigslist. There are everything from milking cows to sled dogs to a beekeeper's social announced there. I can't buy the advertised animals, and I'm not a beekeeper, but it's fun to see what is happening around here and be reminded that even up here in the Far North there is a robust agricultural sector. I told Spencer about the beekeeper meetings, because he was going to try his hand at bees this summer. He'll be down in Soldotna (he works on a fishing boat out of Homer during the summers) but he promised me that he'd bring honey back up here. At the state fair years ago he tried honeycomb and ever since then he's wanted to keep bees so that he'd have his own supply of "that ambrosia". I hope it works out well for him.
I also feel like I need to clarify a little better, for my own sake, what I mean when I say I'm going to try to "buy local". Because that's so generic! I know I've stated some of the problems with local (100 miles doesn't even cover from here to Denali, let alone Anchorage!), but that doesn't lessen my commitment to it. So here it is: I will do my best to buy locally sourced food and items. If I can't find it from a local manufacturer or producer, I will buy it from a locally owned store, rather than a national or multinational company. My dollars should stay in my community. ONLY after these two options have been exhausted will I by from a big store. And even then, I will try to find what I need from a source within the country. I will reduce waste by buying in bulk whenever possible, and organic when possible. I haven't yet decided what I'll do if any of these goals are at odds, but probably I'll base it on individual situations.
I know there are a lot of like-minded people right here in Fairbanks. But there are so few resources at hand to try to figure out the best way to live sustainably here. If you Google "sustainability in Alaska", most of it has to do with sustainable hunting and fishing industry. There's not much about changes that we each can make to live a more sustainable life, so that's what I'm trying to explore. Alaska has so many challenges to simply living here that I think it sometimes escapes people that we can alter our lifestyles to better suit our place. This is a big, beautiful land and I for one would like to have it be a better place when I'm gone.

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