Agriculture might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Alaska. Home to frozen landscapes, snow-covered mountains, glaciers and months of darkness, it’s not exactly the kind of place you would expect to find a lot of productive farmland. Despite the state’s harsh climate in the winter months, however, there are 762 farms and over 800,000 acres of farmland in the state. And while farming in Alaska is often a challenge, the short but intense growing season in the summer can actually yield world-record-size produce. Scroll through the slideshow to take a closer look at eight foods that grow in Alaska.
Contributing a net value of over $3 million to the state’s economy annually, potatoes are one of the most valuable crops grown in Alaska. Planting usually begins in the middle of May, when the day length reaches about 17 hours, and the growing season continues through September. The continuous sunlight during the summer creates favorable conditions for crop production, particularly in the Matanuska Valley where the sun barely falls below the horizon from mid-May to mid-August. Common potato varieties grown in the state include Yukon Gold, Russet Norkotah and Green Mountain.