johannasilver

 

(Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing)

Last summer I took the best trip of my life. It was a mere four nights, and very much a work trip, but it was nonetheless the most inspiring, beautiful trip I've ever taken.

 

Linda and me crossing Kachemak Bay, led by Michelle LaFriniere of Chilly Root Peony Farm. (Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing)

Along with photo editor Linda Peters and staff photographer Thomas J. Story, I flew to Homer, Alaska to cover the gold rush taking place in the form of peony farming.

 

The end of the season at Alaska Perfect Peony. (Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing)

After many failed attempts to build an export market for something other than fish or oil, Alaskans might have finally found their niche with summer peonies—something they can produce when no one else in the world can.

 

Fields and crew at Chilly Root Peony Farm (Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing)

The farmers are almost exclusively women, entirely badass, and the setting is breathtaking. Pick up our June issue to read the full story.

 

Beth Van Sandt, owner of Scenic Place Peonies. She runs her farm entirely through WWOOF volunteers, in case you're looking fo...

Midnight sun meant we had plenty of time to get our work done and still eat! Hike! Drink beer! See a moose! And a bear (which, when we saw it in the same place for the second day, realized was just a stump).

 

I found the farmer's secret napping spot! (Johanna Silver / Sunset Publishing)

There were too many pretty images that couldn't fit on the page, so I'm sharing a few more here.

 

View from the boat! This is the day I learned all about wild berries

We've also freshened up our peony slideshow, for your enjoyment. And you can read another post I did about the local flower scene in Homer.

 

(Thomas J. Story / Sunset Publishing)

Last tip: Get yourself to Alaska.

 

 

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