A new program is making it easy to find restaurants that use Alaska Grown produce, as the Restaurant Recognition Program kicks off statewide this summer.
The Alaska Division of Agriculture recently launched an Alaska Grown app (available on iOS and Android) that ties the entire program together. Once you download the app, you can find which restaurants participate in the program on a map. Currently, there are four restaurants in the Mat-Su Valley that are participating - Turkey Red in Palmer, The Grape Tap in Wasilla, and Denali Brewpub and Flying Squirrel Bakery in Talkeetna. More are coming online every day.
To participate in the program, restaurants must purchase Alaska Grown crops from farmers or distributors to serve in their establishments. In return, the Division of Ag allows them to display a new Alaska Grown logo in their restaurant and provides them with additional marketing efforts at no cost. The logo is the recognizable Alaska Grown logo circled by a logo that includes a tractor and a fork and reads "Our dishes are made with Alaska Grown produce."
"We value the restaurants that are supporting Alaska's farming community and providing guests with the freshest local ingredients they can find," said Division of Agriculture Arthur Keyes in a press release. Keyes is a Palmer farmer as well.
Farm-to-table experiences is a booming trend in tourism, and this new program makes it easier than ever before for visitors to find places that offer it. It's also great news for Mat-Su Valley farmers who produce many of the vegetables and other produce that is being used in the program.
The new Alaska Grown app also allows visitors to check in to particular restaurants and upload their images.
Support a local farmer by supporting a local restaurant - that sounds like a tasty idea that benefits everyone!