Bare Hands Farm was the initial enterprise embarked upon by Graham Knapp, Mindy Sykes, and John Sargent before life changes led Bare Hands Farm to become The Grove.
Bare Hands Farm Beginnings
Bare Hands Farm was born when the creators crossed paths in Alaska and Colorado. The three shared a dream of farming in Alaska, and found a property to lease on the outskirts of Talkeetna.
The first two years of growing food on our Bare Hands Farm in Talkeetna taught us that we could be successful farmers, introduced us to the community, gave us some insight into what worked and what didn’t and got us excited about owning our own property.
During our time as Bare Hands Farm, we were privileged to be interviewed by KTNA about our initial efforts and then again as we transitioned from Bare Hands Farm to The Grove
Bare Hands Farm Becomes The Grove
After two years leasing and learning, the Bare Hands Farm owners were ready to own their own space and to take their new skills closer to the Talkeetna community. With one partner returning to his former endeavors, the remaining farmers purchased a historic property in Talkeetna and renamed it The Grove.
The Grove’s new property offered so much more potential than just farming, in addition to being more accessible for guests and visitors.
Bare Hands Farm & The Grove Principles
Bare Hands Farm focused on small, organic, sustainable, bio-dynamic, community-oriented farming, and The Grove continues farming with those principles. The Talkeetna farm is nestled amongst the wild foothills of Denali in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Bare Hands Farm was developed to combat the severe reliance of imported food in our great state, and The Grove enthusiastically continues this tradition.
Bare Hands Farm Product Continuation
Bare Hands Farm produced microgreens, raised chickens, sold eggs, and built the soil using spent grain from the local brewery – Denali Brewing Company. The brewing company’s restaurant – Twister Creek – became Bare Hands Farm’s first micro greens customer. The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge soon followed.
The Grove now provides the latter venues with microgreens as well as the 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern on the Parks Highway near Denali, Nagley’s Store in Talkeetna, and town favorites Talkeetna Taco and Spinach Bread. The Grove also delivers micro greens to customers in Anchorage once a week.
In addition to Bare Hands Farm’s model with microgreens and chickens, The Grove has added many elements to their permaculture endeavors. Farm volunteers and interns provide greatly appreciated labor. The Grove raises pigs, providing Talkeetna CSA meat shares. The Grove’s location, much closer to the pulse of Talkeetna than Bare Hands Farm, allows opportunities for agrotourism and allows them to provide a Talkeetna event venue. A fledgling food forest has been started on The Grove’s cold-climate permaculture property, providing a food foundation for years to come.