Grow & Share

In Sitka, Moby the Mobile Greenhouse is being used to grow and share food. Moby is a project started by the Sustainable Southeast Partnership. The greenhouse on wheels travels across Southeast Alaska kickstarting local growing efforts. Over the past three years, Moby spent growing seasons in Kake, Hoonah, Yakutat and Sitka in hopes of catalyzing interest in growing food through hands-on learning at schools and in communities.

This past growing season, Moby was at Sitka’s Pacific High School as part of the school’s garden and culinary program. Students spiffed up Moby with help and additional artwork from Sitka Conservation Society’s Heather Bauscher and Alaska Raptor Center’s Britainy Wright. 

Photos courtesy Mandy Summer

Moby was scheduled to be in Hoonah this spring, but had to extend its stay in Sitka since the Alaska Marine Highway ferry service sailings have been unavailable. With food security in mind during Covid-19, some neighbors got together and are keeping Moby growing food until it can be moved to the next community. Andrew Thoms, Executive Director of SCS, had the idea and his neighbor, Sean Faust, offered his backyard for Moby to reside.

They have a variety of starts going, including some herbs and greens, like lettuce, spinach, chard, and bok choy, which all work well in this greenhouse and grow well in the region. Some of the seeds were a donation from Foundroot, a small farm and seed company in Haines. Andrew is generously sharing them within the community and his next-door neighbors including Nancy Behnken, who is excited about gardening more than she ever has this season. Currently, she is growing mint, french sorrel, nettles, raspberries, apples, salmonberries, currants, lettuce and mixed greens, rhubarb, chives, rosemary, lemon thyme, parsley, kale, carrots, leeks, and nasturtiums.

Photos by Lione Clare

If you don’t have a greenhouse or your garden beds ready or planted yet, you can still speed things up by doing starts inside your home by a sunny window and transplant them later. Egg cartons can be reused for this purpose!    

More info on Moby: http://sustainablesoutheast.net/foodsystems/mobilegreenhouse/


For additional resources on Growing, visit the Local Foods Challenge’s list of resources: https://www.saltandsoilmarketplace.com/localfoodchallenge-resources and also consider signing up to participate in the Challenge!