Pete Dale

Interviewed by Riley M

            Farmer and part-time tinkerer Pete Dale has been living in Alaska all of his life. Pete currently lives on a farm in Fairbanks, Alaska with his wife and son, where they grow basil, cabbage and other greens, potatoes and carrots (carrots being the main crop). Pete's family began living in Alaska starting with his parents moving to Alaska in the 50's to attend the College of Fairbanks, Alaska and then staying to this day. In addition to his parents, Pete has a brother that lives in Fairbanks and has the rest of his family spread throughout the country.
            Onto the farming, Pete has been running his farm for about 20 years now. Pete told me that even though he has more land, he only uses about 3 acres to grow crops. Pete's main income comes from the Farmers Market where I met him. Another part of his income comes from Community Assisted Agriculture, which is where a person or group of people pay a certain amount of money for a share of the crop for (in Pete's case) 14 months. Pete explained that the growing season goes from around the last two months of May until the first of October at the latest. In addition to Pete, his wife and his son working on the farm, Pete hires some of the kids in his neighborhood during the growing season to help him plant the crops and weed the fields. During the off months, he normally hires only one or two people to help around the farm.
            No what was that about a tinkerer? Well, on his free time Pete likes to make and fix things. In addition to fixing bikes and cars, Pete has made several gadgets to help him around the farm. He has made a automatic greenhouse door opener and a device that can carry crates of produce up from his underground storeroom to the surface to be loaded (because who wants to carry a 100lb crate of potatoes up a stairwell) for the CSA buyers or the Farmers Market, just to name a few things Pete has made.
            When I asked about Pete's favorite thing about Alaska, he told me it was the winter. Pete loves winter, because it is when he can indulge in another one of his past-times: skiing. Pete said the type of skiing does not matter. He could be cross-country skiing or otherwise, Pete enjoys it all.