Life on a peony farm on the Susitna: Mike and Paula’s Story

Mike and Paula Mason have owned and operated a remote and backcountry peony farm at the north base of Mt. Susitna for the past 28 years. It's a unique lifestyle, but one that they just fell into. 

"One of the big things is that we can be out in nature. And we are dealing on nature's terms and with nature's timeline. Those kinds of things appeal to us both. And what better place to have that happen than here."

Mike says that the climate in the Susitna Drainage is very important to growing peonies. Because the farm is on Mt. Susitna's north side, it receives copious amounts of snow in the wintertime, an average of over 14 ft, says Mike. 

That is more than adequate snowfall to protect those roots all winter long because peonies are a perennial root plant and have been commercially produced by us for over 25 years. So it's important to keep them happy in the winter when they're hibernating. 

Mike and Paula came to Alaska from Florida. They were both serving in the military when they met. 

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