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Colony Farms near Palmer

Wisconsin
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277 posts
8 reviews
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Colony Farms near Palmer

I'm looking for information on the Colony Farm areas in and around Palmer. We would like to tour this area next June. Are there any farms in that area that give tours? I see there is a Colony House Museum in Palmer and a cheese factory that we are interested in visiting. Are there more things to do and see in that area that pertain to the farm colonies? We've already seen the Muskox Farm so don't need to do that again. Thanks

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Winny this post made me LOL . . . a cheesehead wanting to see AK cheese being made :)

Just kidding . . . it's great to see how others do it. Wish I could help you but I look forward to learning more from the others here on TA.

Bristol, Connecticut
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2. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Timesharevon, the cheese factory makes the best cheese curds which is something I used to get from my cheesehead friends when they were visiting their home state. The factory is doing a great service...

If you are into GPS this page has a list of the information markers that you can download:

http://tinyurl.com/5rvdbmr

Wisconsin
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3. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Von, my hubby grew up on a dairy farm and never got it out of his system. He wants to visit the Colony Farm area to see how they farm in Alaska. P.S. My son in Anchorage turns 26 on Friday so I sent him out a big box of Wisconsin cheese including curds for a super bowl party on Sunday.

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Wasilla, Alaska
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4. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Winny52: The Matanuska Creamery processes milk from our local dairy farms into cheeses including cheese curds, ice cream, and of course pasturized milks. By using local milk, the milk products are much fresher. The creamery's website is www.matanuskacreamery.com, so you might want to visit it before you arrive in Alaska. You might check with the creamery via direct e-mail thru their website to see if there are tours of the dairy farms.

Once you are here, I recommend visiting the Visitors' Center in Palmer to get information on the local farms. There are several produce farms in the Palmer, such as Van der Weele and Dinkel, but I am not sure if they have tours. Personal contact with any of them would be your best source of information. It looks like you are familiar with the computer and the internet, so googling 'Palmer farms' or the names I provided may lead to their websites where you can contact them.

Having lived in Alaska since 1976 and in the Valley since 1983, friends tell me I can provide information to summer visitors that are sometimes overlooked by the tourism industry and are not included in brochures. I hope this is true in this case. One thing I need to recommend is to be VERY CAREFUL where you might purchase souveniers. Most of the major stores unfortunately carry 'Alaska souveniers' that are actually made in China. Smaller local craft stores are the places to shop for Alaska made items. Of course, if you want to really travel light 'Take nothing but pictures and Leave nothing but footprints' is our motto.

Enjoy your stay in our wonderful state!

Jamie Smith

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Wisconsin
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277 posts
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5. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Thank you so much for the informative reply. As a matter of fact our Wisconsin Public Television aired a video "Alaska Far Away" this past Saturday night which I unfortunately missed. It was all about the people who moved to Alaska in the 1930's to develop the farming colonies. I contacted the TV station to see if it will be aired again before we leave for vacation in June.

This is our 5th summer vacationing in AK and love every minute of it. Our son lives in Anchorage so we visit him and try to visit some place new every year. This year we will start out in the Kenai, fishing in Homer. We will then head to the Valley visiting Palmer and Hatcher Pass. We will travel on toward Valdez then either take the ferry to Whittier or drive back to Anchorage. We have 16 days of Alaskan fun! Thanks again for the info.

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Alaska
Alaska
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Kenai
Kenai
Alaska
Hatcher Pass
Hatcher Pass
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Alaska
Valdez
Valdez
Alaska
Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Sounds like you have a great trip planned! If you haven't been on the Kenai before, be sure to check out some of the small towns on the way to Homer such as the native village of Ninilchik then Anchor Point. If you're camping, there's a great State campground at Anchor Point. If you are not camping, at least drive out to the campground to check out the scenery - it's right on the water and ready for great photos. Also, there's a great Lookout just before heading down into Homer. You can see the various volcanoes from there as well as getting an overview of Homer and Homer Spit. The pull out is on the right side, so there's easy access and exit.

Before venturing to Hatcher Pass check with the State Troopers in Palmer to ask if the Pass is open all the way. If it is, by all mean make the entire trip from Palmer to Willow. If it isn't and you have time, head to the Pass from Palmer and be sure to stop at Independence Mine before heading up into the Pass. There is a new Park Ranger at the Mine this year, and he has great plans to expand tourist information to include not only the Mine but local flora and fauna information as well. Plan to at least travel as far as Summit Lake when your heading into the Pass. You will encounter gorgeous scenery from there and there may even be some wildlife out and about. June is a great time for babies, so watch for moose mamas and calves as well as bears with cubs.

Should you still have time, I recommend visiting Talkeetna if you haven't already. It's a wonderful old Alaska community with lots of history. Talkeetna is also a great place to catch a view of Mt McKinley without going all the way to Denali Park.

As for traveling to Valdez and taking the ferry to Whittier... I definitely recommend taking the ferry!!! Taking it from Valdez is the best as most of the marine life can be seen during the first few hours of the trip. Then you can relax for about an hour and a half before arriving in Whittier for the trip back to Anchorage.

With your son living in Anchorage, you definitely have ties to Alaska. I just retired from Civil Service at Elmendorf AFB the first part of this month. Now I can see much more of Alaska than only weekends and short vacations would allow - and I'm looking forward to doing more fishing as well! Remember, what you can't do this year, put on top of your list for next year - or your next visit!

Now you see what my friends mean when they say I could/should write up some brochures! Have a wonderful trip, and enjoy your stay!

Jamie

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7. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Thanks Jamie for the additional info. We are traveling in a motorhome so your suggestion for the campground around Anchor Point was appreciated. Which one is it I found 3 in that area, Anchor Point State Recreation Area, Deep Creek or Kachemak Bay? I was hoping we could watch people dig clams in that area seeing the tides are minus when we will be going through there. We also want to catch Hobo Jim in Homer on Wednesday night or Sunday Night in Seward. I put out a post a few weeks ago about filling in some holes in our itineary if you can find it you can see our more detailed plans. We flip flopped when we will be heading to Homer so now we will go there the 1st weekend. Our son has a friend with a boat who takes us out fishing every year so this is the weekend that works for him.

We stopped in Talkeetna last year, walked around the town, happened to catch a craft show and bought a couple growlers of the local beer. It's a nice little town. Hatcher Pass we will enter from Palmer and go as far as the Mine seeing that we have a rented motorhome that restricts us from traveling the entire road.

We stopped in Eagle River last year to visit an old high school classmate who same as you retired from the military and civil service recently.

Talk about rambling, hope I'm not talking your ear off, lol. Thanks again for the info.

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Homer
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Estero, Florida
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8. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

http://www.pppfarm.net/

We usually go by this u-pick farm when we go hike the butte. Not far from Palmer and the musk ox farm

Wasilla, Alaska
4 posts
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9. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

Anchor Point State Recreation Area is where we camp. Be sure to walk down to the beach, as you may be able to watch how they use a 'cat to launch the fishing boats into the water - or to take them out. I was completely amazed when I saw this the first time, but it only makes sense considering the size of the boats and the surf/tide action. Either Clam Gulch or Ninilchik would be a good area to watch folks dig clams. Clam Gulch is before Ninilchik as you head toward Homer, so it might be best to check there first. Then go on into Ninilchik to see the Russian Orthodox Church on the hill there. It's an interesting native village as well. We've seen Hobo Jim quite often and really enjoy his show. If he asks for requests, which he often does, ask him to do 'Fishing for Chickens'. It's yet another good one of his.

After I sent the last post, I talked to my husband about your trip to Hatcher Pass. Going as far as the mine is a good idea, as he said the road probably won't be open all the way thru the Pass in early June. It usually isn't open until the end of June or early July, due to snowfall. Once you park at the mine, there are also several hiking trails you could explore that are not too demanding. I'm sure some of the Alpine plants will be blooming about then so be sure to check for them, too. And, of course, take the tour of the mine. You know, no matter how long I live here I'll never tire of taking in the scenery. Whether it's the mountains or the smallest of flowers, it's just all so beautiful!

Pyrah U-Pick Farm is one of my favorite places to go! The first time I was there, I took in the view of the farm with its acres of produce and wondered why I even plant a garden! Of course, my answer it always 'because that's what I do!' I am so glad we are fortunate enough to have this local farm. So many folks are able to take advantage of their offerings at prices we can all afford. I know I plan to visit them more often this summer to gather some of the local produce items to can. The veggies are just so much more tasty than those shipped in from the Lower 48! Naturally, I will also put in a garden again - it's just not summer if I'm not down on my knees getting my hands dirty!

Two more ideas: If you haven't already been there, be sure to visit the Reindeer Farm in Palmer. It's on the same road as the Pyrah Farm, and you can actually walk out among the reindeer herd. A real treat after viewing musk oxen thru the fence - but of course that's a safety factor at the musk ox farm! In Seward, be sure to visit the SeaLife Center. It's definitely NOT like SeaWorld, but is educational as well as entertaining. Discounts are available to Alaska residents - your son could get you the tickets - and to seniors also. Googling 'Alaska Sea Life Center' should get you current information.

And I just go on as well... Have a wonderful day!

Jamie

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10. Re: Colony Farms near Palmer

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