Indian Valley Farm
By Marc Donadieu
Glacier City Gazette
This week, Turnagain Arm Pit BBQ is featuring a new menu item – fresh salads with homegrown lettuces. Owners Jack Goodsell and Carol Van de Rostyne recently purchased and shipped the first freight farm in Alaska. Think of a semi-trailer with a hydroponic garden installed inside.
The computer-controlled garden has systems for nutrients, temperature, lights and carbon dioxide, which is pumped in to enhance growth. The rear of the semi-trailer is vertical lined with four rows of hanging trays with long strings of lights between them.
Besides lettuces, there are mustard greens, collard greens, a variety of herbs and lots more. Goodsell is experimenting with a variety of plants to see what works best and what needs tweaking before offering it on the menu.
Goodsell said the garden is part of the restaurant’s move to offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to the restaurant’s clientele and visitors from around the world.