Our 102nd Real Farmer Care recipient is Spring Alaska of Sakari Farms @sakarifarm in Bend, OR.
Spring writes, “Sakari Farms (Sakari is Inupiaq for Sweet) is a multiacre farm located in the Central Oregon High Desert. Our farm is owned by Spring Alaska Olson (Upingaksraq- Time when the ice breaks) a Inupiaq native Alaskan with family lineage reaching back to Little Diomede Island and Nome, Alaska. The farm focuses on growing traditional native foods, providing technical assistance and educational outreach to tribal members and regional entities. We provide on-farm learning settings to tribal members with seed saving classes, indigenous cooking classes, business development and sustainable agricultural curriculum-based learning programs. Sakari Farms is the host of our regional county Central Oregon Seed Exchange, Sakari Farms Tribal Seed Bank, and Sakari Botanicals our tribal food product business. All tribal seed is grown out and re-distributed for free to those tribal members in need for food and educational purposes. Our tribal food boxes are also free (not subsidized) to tribal members and include traditional food, berries, healing products and ceremonial medicines. We practice organic growing methods, do not use herbicides or chemicals, practice weed control with use of fire, tilling and cover crops. We are in a crucial time of food insecurity nationally and among those areas where tribal members live. As a Chief’s daughter, it is my role among my tribe to teach and always help others in anyway possible. My focus is on our youth and young adults, and I have a motto “if I can do it, you can too”. I want young women to learn that they too can become chefs, teachers, educators and carry our traditions in a powerful and healthy way. COVID has been quite the learning lesson for us here at the farm - highs and lows. There was literally a tornado of seed demand and increase in awareness from the public regarding how to access local food. There has also been a cultural uprising with the recent BLM and mistreatment and acknowledgement of those people of color. All of these issues have an incredible impact on farming and growing food here in Central Oregon.”