Alaska’s giant vegetables: Why do vegetables grow so big in Alaska?

Have you heard about Alaska’s giant vegetables? Alaska is known for yielding particularly big vegetables that wind up setting Guinness World Records. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe, and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska’s soil in recent years. 

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The Alaska State Fair held annually in Palmer is not a regular agricultural show. Here farmers from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley routinely display vegetables and produces of gargantuan sizes. Plants like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, potatoes, beets, carrots, spinach, and lettuce all grow very well here.

Alaska typically has a very short growing season, only 105 days, on average. However, the Alaskan growing season does not have long dark nights. The state is located close to the north pole where it enjoys up to 19 hours of sunshine each day, in summer. The extra hours of sunlight allow Alaskan crops to keep growing and growing. 

The extra sunlight also makes the produce sweeter. Alaskan carrots, for instance, spend nearly 3/4th of the day making sugar, and only the remaining 1/4th of its time is spent turning that sugar into starch. Gardeners who live here take advantage of the summer sun to go for award-winning Alaska’s giant vegetables.

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