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Palmer is the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the state of Alaska, USA. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of the city is 5,937 according to the 2010 Cenus.
The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley (the location of Palmer) were the Dena’ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They traveled throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741, bringing with them the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the mid-1880s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after this Alaskan pioneer. The city was then planned and built by the World War I veterans and other immigrants.
Palmer is home to world record vegetable harvests. The Mat-Su Valley, and Palmer in particular, are known as the farming center for the state of Alaska. The growing conditions are close to ideal. Vegetables adapted to cool temperatures thrive, the glacial soils provide organic matter to keep nutrients in the root zone, many insect pests, diseases, and weeds that are common in the more southern states are not common in Alaska, and there is plenty of sunlight in the summer to help plants grow. In June, Palmer gets 19 hours of daylight every day, so crops can keep growing until midnight. The sunlight also makes crops sweeter.