Foundroot began as a simple hunch. The belief that no matter one’s faith, origin, background, or beliefs, we all need to eat. That the feeling of being nourished belongs to everyone. That growing clean, healthy food doesn’t need to be hard or expensive or take vast knowledge and skill. That even in challenging conditions, we can grow plenty of good food to share. We didn’t know what was going to happen when we started this journey but it turns out that you agree with us. For that, we thank you.
Over the last two years, Foundroot has grown to stand on its own in a way that we never anticipated. With the support that you have given us and after much searching and careful consideration, we have finally found our home in the town of Haines, AK.
Although we will miss Southcentral Alaska, we chose to purchase land in the town of Haines for very specific reasons. In order to make Foundroot viable, we needed to head to a part of Alaska that was more conducive to overwintering crops. We looked at several areas with milder winters and a shallower frost line than Palmer but Haines had some special elements that convinced us further. The difference between Haines and other towns in Southeast Alaska is that Haines has around 47 inches of annual precipitation but goes through a dry spell every May through July. The deep snowpack insulates the ground through the winter but usually melts off earlier to allow for a slightly longer growing season. Less extreme temperature fluctuation, shallower frost line, insulated ground, a chance for everything to dry out, and a slightly longer season will give us a real shot at growing seriously hardy seeds.
The land we’ve purchased was a small part of the original Charles Anway Homestead. Mr. Anway was far ahead of his time growing the first apple orchard, first cherry tree orchard, and the largest strawberry in Alaska. A visionary horticulturist, Anway was also a true homesteader growing potatoes, raising livestock, and building wood furniture. The land he left has since been reforested and dappled with modern homes but the rich soil remains and the land is still sheltered from the wind and warm on its south-facing slope. You can learn more about the preservation work regarding the Anway Homestead from the Sheldon Museum in Haines. We look forward to working with them along with 7 Echoes, a developing permaculture homestead, the burgeoning group of new farmers in Southeast AK, and the broader Haines community.
During this transition, you can look forward to continuing online sales and seeing us at select events around the state. We will do our best to keep you updated with our progress through our blog and social networking sites as we undertake this great experiment. We anticipate many new challenges learning the land in a different area of the state we love so dearly. Luckily, the blossoming cherry trees, wild thimbleberries, and overwintered kale offer us much encouragement.
Please keep in touch,
Nick & Leah