It could not have been a more fitting conclusion to American Grown Flowers Month.
Overlooking Kachemak Bay on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, the Homer Spit, with at least 5 different glaciers shimmering in the sunlight from across the bay, guests of our most recent American Grown Field to Vase Dinner enjoyed a floral filled evening of hope and grandeur.
Known for its towering mountain peaks, supersized salmon and incredible vistas, agriculture production doesn’t really hit the radar screen of industries Alaska’s known for. In fact, Alaska currently ranks #50 in U.S. agriculture production.
However, what we found in Alaska was a dedicated and hard working group of Alaskan peony farmers who are looking to change all of that and the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour’s stop in Homer, Alaska at Scenic Place Peonies provided a perfect opportunity to celebrate the work underway and tell their story.
Our dinner guests enjoyed a tour through the peony fields with flower farmer Beth Van Sandt and her husband Kurt Weichhand. Beth and Kurt were gracious hosts, giving our dinner attendees full reign of their property to enjoy, explore and experience.
Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore did an outstanding job featuring not only the flowers grown on the farm, but developed her creative vision to ensure that her design paid tribute to what Alaska is known for; incorporating authentic fish nets, shells and glass fishing floats.
It was beautiful.
The evening’s menu also stayed true to Alaska’s fishing and seafood heritage. Jakolof Oyster Company gave guests a real treat, providing a live shucking demonstration and what seemed to be an unlimited supply of fresh oysters for the evening’s reception. Chef Dave Thorne of Delicious Dave was responsible for the perfectly prepared King and Sockeye Salmon. The King Salmon was a late addition and a special treat added to the menu, caught the day before by Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist. Cronquist quipped during his remarks that this Field to Vase Dinner was essentially, “river to table.” Chef Dave also treated everyone to a live fish filet demonstration prior to the beginning of dinner.
This tour stop proved to be a true Alaskan adventure. The American Grown Field to Vase spotlight highlighted a vibrancy and a beauty in Alaska that really symbolizes the growing momentum, opportunity and movement for more American Grown Flowers.
Even in Alaska.
Check out more photos from the evening’s festivities found on our Flickr page.
If you attended our dinner in Alaska, please leave a comment and share your experience from the evening with our readers.