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Cultivating our way to food security

September 8, 2017 – News

Alaska is one of the least food secure states in the country. The Juneau Commission on Sustainability wants to examine how the capital city can become more self-sufficient when it comes to local food supply and less dependent on importing. Partnering with local organizations, the commission is kicking off a series of talks exploring food security. The first session is on Thursday, Sept. 14, 5:30 p.m. at Juneau-Douglas High School.

“Agriculture, like mining and other sectors, are bases of an economy, and the stronger any of those are, the stronger your community is. The Juneau Commission on Sustainability looks at what Juneau can do that’s renewable and locally produced so our community is more resilient,” commission chair Duff Mitchell said. “How do we do a better job of integrating locally-produced, locally-grown products into our community and economy?”

The first session in the series will focus on Juneau’s community gardens. A panel of local experts will present and discuss how gardening affects food security in Juneau. The session, also sponsored by UAF Cooperative Extension and Juneau Community Garden, is for the entire community, not just gardeners. “Not everyone wants to garden, but you may want to know how to support those that do and how to help promote Juneau food security. We’ll discuss what the local gardening community does well, what can be done better and what issues they need more involvement and support in,” Mitchell said.

Upcoming sessions on food security in Juneau will occur throughout the fall and winter. Topics include composting, livestock and local entrepreneurs in food production.

The Juneau Commission on Sustainability was established in 2007 to research and advise the City and Borough of Juneau on community sustainability. The commission consists of nine Assembly-appointed public members, one Assembly member and one Planning Commissioner. Commission duties include coordinating sustainability initiatives, making recommendations to the Assembly on policies and programs that promote sustainability, and acting as a liaison between the public and the Assembly on sustainability-related issues.

For more information, contact Tim Felstead, Community Planner and CBJ staff liaison to the Juneau Commission on Sustainability, at 586-0466 or tim.felstead@juneau.org.