SPRUCE ISLAND FARMS
City of Ouzinkie
P.O. Box 109 Ouzinkie, AK 99644
Spruce Island Farms provides affordable, organic, and healthy foods to our community while fostering sustainability through the generations.
Located on Ouzinkie’s old air strip, Spruce Island Farms was built from the hard work of the Ouzinkie community and now stands as an incredible example of community cooperation and resiliency. In the words of Mayor Elijah Jackson, Ouzinkie is "grounded in the foundation of our ancestors and Elders while working towards the future". This can be recognized in the efforts of those involved in the operations of the farm, in not only the establishment of food security for community members but in their work in sharing Alutiiq plant knowledge and traditions with younger generations.
Spruce Island Farms is operated by the city of Ouzinkie with financial support from the Native Village of Ouzinkie. Collaboration between many individuals for the success of the farm include dedicated grower Duke Delgado with help from Cienna Johnson. Dedicated community volunteers include Vickie Novak, Herman and Vicki Anderson, Linda Getz, Sonja Delgado, Steve Martin, Kari Ivory, and Matthew Lestenkof. The farm is also supported by the youth of the Ouzinkie School, who assist with planting as well as participate in different educational classes such as learning traditional edible and medicinal plants!
The farm operates two hoop houses and a large soil farm seasonally growing winter greens, lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, rhubarb, peas, pole beans, potatoes, and strawberries! Year round, Spruce Island Farms grows lettuces and basil with a hydroponics cabinet located in the city office, for additional production they will be receiving a second cabinet in the spring of 2022. Ouzinkie and its growers are always looking to expand and strengthen their farm’s operations. Long term goals include expanded soil building, purchasing an additional hoop house to increase production, continued training and education, and much more.
Establishing food security in Ouzinkie is an important goal to the residents of the community as well as the farm. Vickie Novak states that food security means "whether it is a time of abundance or shortage that we are prepared and can take care of ourselves as a community no matter what is happening in the world". And Spruce Island Farms is managing to establish that security, with 100% of the farm's harvests goes to providing fresh and local produce to members of their community. Keep an eye out for the incredible things that this community farm is accomplishing over on Spruce Island Farms!
Recently returning to Ouzinkie after 30 years, Ouzinkie local Duke Delgado began working as the farm grower for Spruce Island Farms June 2021. Thanks to Duke's gardening experience and hard work ethic he has been a tremendous help in maintaining the farm. As the farms only full-time employee Delgado has been working diligently to organize and create positive change. He continues to make improvements and has a lot of ideas for how we move forward in strengthening food security in Ouzinkie. We are deeply grateful to the Ouzinkie Native Corporation’s donation which helps to support Duke in his work at the farm.
Quyanaa to Duke and his hard work on growing food for the Ouzinkie community!