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FillAGrowlerAtBIBCO

BIBCOlogoSitka’s local brewery, Baranof Island Brewing Co. (BIBCO), will host a community night fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, at the brewery’s taproom (215 Smith St.).

BIBCO hosts community nights on Wednesdays for a variety of community nonprofit organizations and worthy causes (only one group per night). The brewery donates a portion of the day’s gross sales to the cause depending on the overall sales (up to $500 gets 10 percent, $501-$1,000 gets 15 percent, and $1,001 or more gets 20 percent). The nonprofit groups are able to share information about their projects during the event.

The brewery is owned by Rick Armstrong and Suzan Hess, who started selling small batches of their beer in 2010. The brewery has grown in the few years it’s been open, and now the brew is distributed throughout Southeast Alaska and other parts of the state. On occasion they’ll source locally harvested spruce tips and other flavorings for the beer, and they make their spent grain available to local gardeners for compost (bring your own container).

The BIBCO taproom has a variety of locally brewed beer available (Halibut Point Hefeweizen, Peril Strait Pale Ale, Medvejie Stout, Silver Bay IPA, Redoubt Red Ale, Baranof  Brown Ale, seasonal and special brews, and Ben’s Brew Root Beer for the kids and non-drinkers), pizza and other food, and a selection of BIBCO swag (t-shirts, refillable growlers, glassware, beer bread mix, soap, etc.). If you can’t stay for some food and liquid refreshments (note, there is a 36-ounce limit on alcoholic drinks served at the taproom, per state law), Wednesday is a good time to refill your growlers or buy some BIBCO swag for your family and friends.

AshmosOrderingIn addition to BIBCO beer, the Ashmo’s food truck will be at the event selling a variety of local fish items (fish and chips, salmon mac and cheese, black cod tips, fish tacos, salmon tacos, etc.). Ashmo’s, owned by Ashley Moore, is one of several new food trucks/carts operating in Sitka this summer. Watch for a feature about some of the new food trucks/carts later this week.

For more information about Baranof Island Brewing Co., call 747-BREW (747-2739), stop by the brewery, go to the BIBCO website, or go to the BIBCO page on Facebook.

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Parishioners from St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church held a Blessing of the Garden service on Wednesday, May 13, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, where they prayed for a bountiful harvest from the garden used by the Sitka Local Foods Network to grow veggies for the Sitka Farmers Market, school lunch and food assistance programs, etc. The service was led by Kit Mellema, and as part of the rogation service tradition in the church the parishioners walked to all corners of the property as Rev. Julie Platson, the new priest in charge at St. Peter’s, sprinkled holy water on the various vegetable garden beds, trees and flowers. A photo slideshow from the service is linked below.

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Sitka National Historical Park volunteer gardener Pam Vanderweele helps Baranof Elementary School kindergartner Arianna Moctezuma-Hernandez, 6, plant peas in the Russian Bishop’s House garden on a recent sunny morning. The kindergartners will return to the historical garden in the fall when they are in the first grade to harvest the crops and cook them in a soup. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

PLANTING A GARDEN: Sitka National Historical Park volunteer gardener Pam Vanderweele helps Baranof Elementary School kindergartner Arianna Moctezuma-Hernandez, 6, plant peas in the Russian Bishop’s House garden on a recent sunny morning. The kindergartners will return to the historical garden in the fall when they are in the first grade to harvest the crops and cook them in a soup. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Rev. Julie Platson, the new priest in charge at St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church, will host a short “blessing of the garden” service at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm.

St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm is a communal garden located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (611 Lincoln Street). This communal garden is where the Sitka Local Foods Network grows most of the fresh veggies it sells at the Sitka Farmers Market, to local school lunch programs, on Chelan Produce weekends, and for food assistance programs.

“It will be a short service of prayers and blessings of the gardens and the work you do,” Rev. Platson wrote in an email to the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors.

The church decided to host the blessing of the garden service as part of its usual Wednesday services, since this Wednesday is known as “a ‘rogation day’ in our tradition — a day to ask God’s blessings on gardens, farms, the labor and the work,” Rev. Platson wrote.

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ONeillAndPutzThe third classes for the 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network garden mentor program have been set for three of our four participating first-year families, and the classes will be open to the public. The classes will be similar at each location, except one where we will be planting a container garden instead of our usual raised garden beds.

The third class of the six-class series is about garden maintenance (slug and pest control, thinning, watering, garden care, etc.). For our first-year gardener families, we teach them how to grow four hardy crops for Sitka — kale, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb. These classes are essentially the same, so feel free to attend the class that best fits your schedule.

The class schedule and location for these three families is:

  • Josephine Dasalla, 1709 Halibut Point Rd., No. 31 (green trailer) — 4 p.m., Thursday, May 14.
  • A.J. Bastian, 207 Brady St. — 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 26.
  • Rebecca Kubacki, 1202 Halibut Point Rd. — 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 26.
  • Breezy, 616 Sawmill Creek Rd. — TBA (waiting for soil upgrade).

Please note the classes at the Dasalla residence involve container gardens instead of building raised garden beds like we’ve done for our other families.

This is the second year of the garden mentor program, and our two families from last year — Anna Bradley and Tami O’Neill — are back for a second year where they will learn how to grow a few more difficult crops for Sitka, such as carrots and onions. Their first classes recently were announced and take place in May. These classes also are open to the public.

Michelle Putz has been contracted to coordinate the program and design lesson plans, after the Sitka Local Foods Network received a community development grant from First Bank. We also have about a half-dozen experienced Sitka gardeners who serve as mentors for the program. For more information, please contact Michelle at 747-2708.

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ONeillAndPutzIt’s time to plant your vegetable garden along with the Sitka Local Foods Network’s two second-year garden mentor families.

These two families (Anna Bradley and Tami O’Neill) participated in the first year of the program last summer, and now they’re back for more. Our two returning families will be planting carrots, chard, green onions and peas this year.
These four crops are slightly more difficult crops to grow that our first-year plantings of kale, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb. Even though this year’s crops are more difficult to grow, many gardeners in Sitka still have good results with these vegetables.
The classes at each location will be similar, and they are free and open to the public. The schedule is:
  • Anna Bradley, 4764 Halibut Point Road, 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 10 (EDITOR’S NOTE: This class was rescheduled from its original May 3 date due to illness).
  • Tami O’Neill, 2309 Merganser Drive, 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 23.
Don’t forget the schedule of third classes (garden maintenance) for our first-year garden mentoring families has been posted and these classes also are open to the public. The first two classes, which took place in April and early May, were about selecting the best garden site, building a raised garden bed, and planting.
Michelle Putz has been contracted to coordinate the program and design lesson plans, after the Sitka Local Foods Network received a community development grant from First Bank. We also have about a half-dozen experienced Sitka gardeners who serve as mentors for the program. For more information, please contact Michelle at 747-2708.

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The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a meeting for prospective and past vendors of the Sitka Farmers Market from 5:45-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street.

This is the eighth year of operation for the Sitka Farmers Market, which features six markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from July through September at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (this year’s dates are July 4, 18, August 1, 15, 29, and September 12). The Sitka Farmers Market was a community health initiative from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit.

The farmers markets feature booths from local farmers and gardeners, local fishermen, local bakers, and local artisans and craftspeople. Our emphasis is on local products from Sitka and Southeast Alaska. The farmers markets also are great Sitka gathering places.

A detailed description of the farmers markets and vendor forms can be found our websitehttp://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ (scroll down or look in the right-hand column). If you have any questions, please email Sitka Farmers Market Manager Debe Brincefield at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com.

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