Bethel shoppers might have seen a Facebook post this past weekend that brought some sad news: Meyers Farm has shut down its market on Ptarmigan Street. Tim Meyers says that the priorities have changed at Meyers Farm.
"The wife really wants to retire, but I don’t want to stop growing," Meyers said.
Lisa Meyers was the only one helping him run the small store on Ptarmigan Street after his daughter and son-in-law moved to Anchorage. It was too much.
"It’s been 10 years, and we’re just going to be selling produce online now," Meyers said.
Meyers says that they were not selling enough produce in their store, and switching to mixed-produce boxes could be one way to reduce food waste. Meyers began experimenting with those boxes last year. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation offered to cover all the costs to send those boxes for free to villages, where fresh produce is rare or grown at home. YKHC is continuing to cover the shipping and part of the cost of the box. The Food Bank of Alaska is also covering part of the cost of the produce through a grant from Mogran Stanley. That includes six apples that will be part of the boxes through October.
Then, Meyers started offering them to people in Bethel. Now the Alaska Food Bank has covered part of the cost of the produce and YKHC covers the rest, including shipping. That makes a big difference.
"It would cost you $32 in Anchorage or $55 in the village, but we’re selling it and landing it for $15," Meyers said.
People in Bethel actually have to pay $16 dollars because of sales tax. And the only way to get a box?
"The only way you can do it is to go online," Meyers said.
Meyers says that he’s not doing it any other way. On the website, Meyers Farm also has a fax form to download and send.
The last produce box will ship out of Bethel on Nov. 30.
The article has been updated with the correct prices for the mixed-produce boxes, clarifying Food Bank of Alaska's role and to note that the winter squash boxes are no longer available. The Meyers Farm website has been updated this morning to reflect those changes.