Palmer, Alaska farmer Arthur Keyes has been experimenting with a pair of California strawberry varieties this summer. The California-in-Alaska story seems improbable, but Keyes sees a huge upside to growing the berries in Alaska. The fruit can ripen on the plant, increasing sweetness, and Alaska’s harsh winters and isolation mean that there are very few crop-threatening pests.

An artisan farmer has a tough job with very narrow margins, but if a creative thinker can find niche market….

Keyes says the strawberries have been very popular with his customers at the South Anchorage Farmers Market and I’m interested to see what happens next year if he expands his operation as planned.

[Still photo gallery from A&M Farms]