Alaska’s Latest Crop was Once a Soviet Military Secret

This article was written by Melissa Breyer and first appeared on the Treehugger Blog Long admired for its beneficial medicinal properties, Alaskan farmers are happy to find that this Siberian herb loves their climate.

While we may not think of Alaska as an agricultural hotspot, grow things they do, and in fact farmers there manage to raise some of the country’s largest produce thanks to all that summer sunlight. But the growing season is short and many crops there are forced to fit into the specific demands of the clime. What to do? Find plants that are specifically suited to the north, of course.

One such plant that has recently proven keen to the climate is a Siberian succulent called Rhodiola rosea. Also known as "golden root" and "rose root," the herb has been used for ages as a natural remedy for depression, stress and as a libido enhancer. In the Arctic and the Altai Mountains of Siberia, the roots of the plant are used to make an energy-boosting tea...