Feeds:
Posts
Comments

IMG_0022

The Sitka Local Foods Network is looking to contract with a Sitka resident to coordinate our garden mentoring education program.

This contract run from spring through fall 2015, and the coordinator will be in charge of developing curricula, teaching classes, obtaining supplies, and providing evaluation of the program. A full list of job duties and expectations can be found in the linked document at the bottom of this article.

Applicants should have at least 3-5 years of varied vegetable gardening experience, preferably in Southeast Alaska. They also should have 3-5 years of project coordination experience, as well as demonstrated communication, organizational, and teaching/mentoring skills.

The garden mentoring project began in 2014 when two families of first-time gardeners were chosen to receive help planning and building a simple garden to grow four relatively easy plants for Sitka (kale, rhubarb, potatoes, lettuce). In 2015 the program is expanding to provide mentoring service to four new first-time gardening families, plus the two families from 2014 will receive a second year of mentoring as they learn a few more difficult to grow plants (such as carrots). There are six classes with each family, and they usually are open to the public.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and resume by Wednesday, Jan. 28, to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Please put “Garden Mentor Coordinator” in your email subject line. The contract pays $1,500 in three installments of $500 each over the summer. Questions about the contract can be directed to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

• SLFN garden mentoring coordinator contract information

 

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Chastain, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Cheatham, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The Sitka Local Foods Network elected officers and welcomed three new board members at its monthly board meeting on Jan. 12.

President Lisa Sadleir-Hart and treasurer Maybelle Filler retained their elected offices, while Matthew “Jackson” Jackson was elected vice president and Alli Gabbert was elected secretary. Charles Bingham remains communications director.

In addition, Alli Gabbert, Jennifer Carter and Brandie Cheatham officially became board members in January (at our annual board retreat on Jan. 10). They were selected to join the board in December, but weren’t able to vote until January.

The 2015 board members are (terms end in December):

  • Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president, board term ends 2015
  • Matthew Jackson, vice president, board term ends 2016
  • Alli Gabbert, secretary, board term ends 2015
  • Maybelle Filler, treasurer, board term ends 2015
  • Charles Bingham, communications director, board term ends 2017
  • Jennifer Carter, board term ends 2017
  • Michelle Putz, board term ends 2016
  • Beth Kindig, board term ends 2016
  • Brandie Cheatham, board term ends 2017

The Sitka Local Foods Network meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, with a 30-minute budget meeting at 6 p.m., at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (usually in the upstairs classroom). However, in February we will meet on the third Monday (Feb. 16) to avoid a couple of board member conflicts.

Our board usually doesn’t meet during the summer (June, July, August), when the Sitka Farmers Market is in session and most people are gardening or fishing. Meeting times are subject to change so watch the website calendar for schedule updates. Meetings are open to the public, and new volunteers are welcome. We usually select new board members in December and elect officers in January.

 

Winter blahs got you down? Thinking about your garden, especially with our warm winter? It’s time to mark your calendars with several upcoming Spring 2015 garden classes offered by the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee.

GreensInHoopHouseStPetersThese free classes will cover a variety of topics, from gardening basics and choosing what veggies to grow in Sitka to learning about fruit tree pruning, composting and seed-starting. Some of the classes have limited space and require preregistration, so sign up early. Also, we may be adding more classes to this list as they become available, so check the website for updates. We plan to post individual class announcements as we get closer to the actual class dates. (NOTE: The list of classes was updated on Jan. 21.)

And now, here’s the list of classes so far:

  • Vegetable Gardening 101 — 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teachers Michelle Putz and Linda Wilson, class tailored for beginners, no preregistration required.
  • Choosing What Veggies to Grow in Sitka — 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teachers Lisa Sadleir-Hart and Maybelle Filler, class tailored for beginners, no preregistration required.
  • Everyone Can Compost — 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street), teacher Jennifer Carter, no preregistration required.
  • Fruit Tree Pruning Basics Workshop — 10 a.m., Saturday, March 7, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church), teacher Jud Kirkness, no preregistration required.
  • Growing and Fertilizing Rhubarb — 11 a.m., Saturday, March 14, at the home of Perry Edwards/Michelle Putz (131 Shelikof), teachers Perry Edwards and Michelle Putz, no preregistration required.
  • Starting Vegetable Seedlings Workshop — 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teacher Jennifer Carter, learn how to start seedlings and go home with a tray of planted seeds, class limited to 15 people, preregistration required.
  • Seed-Starting Basics — 2 p.m., Saturday, April 11, call for location (Michelle Putz, 747-2708), teacher Linda Wilson, class limited to 8-10 people, preregistration required.

These classes will kick off a year-long series of education classes on a variety of topics related to vegetable gardening in Sitka. Our garden mentor program classes also will be open to the public. For more information or to sign up for classes requiring preregistration, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

In addition, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service teaches several classes that can be accessed from Sitka. The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a five-session class on Feb. 3, 5, 10, 12, and 17 on starting and operating a specialty food business in Alaska, and it will host an online Alaska Master Gardener course from Feb. 17 through May 18. These also will be announced on our website when they become available.

• Winter/Spring 2015 garden education classes from the Sitka Local Foods Network (opens as PDF)

FarragutFarmFields

Bo Varsano and Marja Smets of Farragut Farm in Petersburg will host the inaugural Southeast Alaska Commercial Growers Conference from Feb. 27 through March 1 in Petersburg. This conference is made possible by the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Petersburg Economic Development Council.

FarragutFarmProduceStandatIngas“The Southeast Alaska Commercial Growers Conference is an opportunity for the commercial vegetable and flower producers of Southeast Alaska to get together and exchange ideas and techniques, with the purpose of improving and expanding local agricultural production,” Bo Varsano said. “Commercial agriculture in Southeast Alaska is still minimal, but is rapidly expanding with new growers starting up every year. While there are many uniquely specific challenges to growing in our region, few fully developed and publicized strategies currently exist for the new grower to follow. In light of this, gathering with other growers to share our experiences and ideas may be the best way to aid the growing agricultural movement in Southeast Alaska.”

FarragutFarmMarjaInGreenhouseIt’s not too late to sign up to participate, so please take a look and let us know if you have any questions or if you are interested in joining the fun. If the travel and lodging costs are dissuading you from participating, please remember that we can arrange a home-stay for anyone (contact us by Jan. 18 to arrange home-stays) and we still have one travel stipend ($200) to hand out to someone in need.

A few things to consider:

  • This conference is open to commercial farmers, aspiring farmers, as well as anyone in the general public who is interested in the local agriculture industry.
  • Participants are responsible for their own breakfasts and lunches.
  • Friday’s dinner will be prepared by KFSK, our local radio station. This meal is a fundraising event for the station, and a suggested donation will be requested.
  • Saturday’s dinner will be a communal dinner, jointly prepared for and shared by all conference participants at the venue.
  • There is no fee to attend, however, we will be asking for a minimal donation from each participant to cover the cost of venue rental and Saturday evening’s dinner.

Several regional farmers and industry specialists have volunteered to give presentations relevant to the issues and challenges faced by Southeast Alaska growers.  The following topics will be addressed:

We will begin the conference with a brief “show and tell” session. All conference participants will be asked to give a short (under 10 minutes) introduction including a description of their farm, their farming aspirations, or their involvement in the farming industry.

We especially encourage sharing photos of your operation. If you choose to do so, please bring those photos on a memory stick in JPEG format (in the largest original format). That is the ONLY photo format that we can guarantee will work with our computer.

We hope to see you all in February, and again, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. The best way to reach us is by email, at farragutfarm@gmail.com.

Please print up the attached documents (which include a conference agenda and a map of Petersburg showing the locations for the conference) and bring them with you when you come.

• 2015 Southeast Alaska Commercial Growers Conference Agenda

• Map of Petersburg

DisplayBasketOfCrops

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine St., parking off of Spruce Street).

Participants are encouraged to bring a dish featuring local foods to share, and please bring your own utensils (note, this is a non-alcoholic event). This event is a good event to attend for people who want to learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network and what we do around town.

“Attendees will hear about project updates, plus the current board will vote on by-law changes,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “We will introduce our new board members for 2015, and we will elect officers.”

Individuals interested in learning more about the Sitka Local Foods Network can email sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com to learn about our projects and volunteer opportunities. For more information, call Lisa at 747-5985.

Bobbi Daniels of The Sawmill Farm grooms a rabbit at The Sawmill Farm Feed and Fiber store on Katlian Street. Bobbi raises some rabbits for their hair (to make yarn) and others for meat.

Bobbi Daniels of The Sawmill Farm grooms a rabbit at The Sawmill Farm Feed and Fiber store on Katlian Street. Bobbi raises some rabbits for their hair (to make yarn) and others for meat.

Want to see and taste some of the local food possibilities in Sitka? The Sawmill Farm will host a Farm-to-Table Dinner with two seatings (at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 31, at Ludvig’s Bistro (256 Katlian St.). Ludvig’s Bistro owner/chef Colette Nelson will be preparing the meals.

“We will be featuring locally grown foods as much as possible,” said Bobbi Daniels, co-owner of The Sawmill Farm. “This will include rabbit, eggs and vegetables, among other things.”

Tickets are $75 each, and seating is limited with only 25 people per session. To make reservations, call Bobbi at 738-4481 or send a message to The Sawmill Farm’s Facebook page.

p2p-bobbi-daniels-560x400The Sawmill Farm is bringing commercial agriculture to Sitka, and supporting Sitkans who are maintaining their own backyard operations. The farm will raise rabbits, chickens, goats, pigs, and more. It also has a feed store. The Sawmill Farm is one of 12 semifinalists for fledgling Southeast Alaska businesses in the Path to Prosperity contest sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and Haa Aaní LLC (the economic development arm of Sealaska). The three winners, which will be announced in late January, will each receive $40,000 to help their businesses grow.

“The Sawmill Farm is working to produce locally and humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic free livestock and poultry in Sitka using the cast-off food from the grocery stores and restaurants,” Bobbi said. “Currently the city is paying highest disposal rate that is charged to have this food barged as ‘non-recyclable garbage’ to a landfill in eastern Washington. The bottom line is Sitka pays out a fortune to barge perfect pig food to Washington and then we barge corporate factory farmed pork chops back to Sitka. The Sawmill Farm wants to stop the insanity, keep that food and money local, create jobs and produce healthy meat.

“The Sawmill Farm also will support Sitkans who have their own backyard poultry and livestock. We will be selling feed, hay and straw, along with poultry chicks, and baby and adult rabbits. We have started carrying Scratch and Peck organic poultry and goat feeds, and will shortly be adding hay and straw.”

The Sawmill Farm Feed and Fiber store opened in August 2014, on Katlian Street, across from the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. A photo slideshow of The Sawmill Farm Feed and Fiber Store is posted below.

“The feed store is stocked with assorted organic poultry and goat feeds, and straight grains for mixing feeds, to supplement livestock diets or for growing fodder,” Bobbi said. “We also have non-organic rabbit feed, hay and straw, and supplemental products such as poultry grit and diatomaceous earth (DE). We still do not have any set retail hours so, again, message us on Facebook or call 738-4481 and we’ll meet the customer there and get them taken care of.”

• The Sawmill Farm Feed and Fiber price list from August 2014

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PCGFarmersMarket2015

As 2014 winds to a close, many Alaskans already are thinking about applying for their 2015 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividendcheck in January. As usual, Alaskans can share their wealth with a variety of Alaska nonprofits, including the Sitka Local Foods Network, through the PFD’s Pick.Click.Give. program.

PickClickGiveFlier3DYDPRINTThis is the second year the Sitka Local Foods Network will participate in the Pick.Click.Give. program, which allows people to donate in $25 increments to their favorite statewide and local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations when they file their PFD applications from Jan. 1 through March 31. We thank the 56 donors who pledged $2,900 to the Sitka Local Foods Network in 2014, and we appreciate your support again in 2015.

When you choose to donate part of your PFD to the Sitka Local Foods Network, you support the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, Blatchley Community Gardens, education programs about growing and preserving food, the sustainable use of traditional foods, the Sitka Community Food Assessment, the Sitka Food Summit, and a variety of other projects designed to increase access to healthy local foods in Sitka.

Lovalaska FB Square PhotoGrid Tag (1)In 2014 a record 26,773 Alaskans gave $2.77 million to their favorite nonprofit organizations, up from $545,000 donated by 5,175 people in the program’s first year of 2009. Some Alaskans choose to donate to just one group, while others may spread several donations around to many groups. There now are more than 500 total 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations participating in Pick.Click.Give. for 2015, including 22 from Sitka.

To encourage more Alaskans to donate through the Pick.Click.Give. program, this will be the second year of the Double Your Dividend contest. Anybody who makes a non-anonymous Pick.Click.Give. donation to at least one of the registered nonprofits will be entered into a contest where 10 lucky Alaskans will win a second PFD check. The winners will be announced in October, about the time the PFDs start hitting bank accounts.

PCGKidsHarvest2015So how do you make a donation to the Sitka Local Foods Network through the Pick.Click.Give. program? First, go to http://pfd.alaska.gov/ and fill out your PFD application. When you get to the section of the application asking if you want to participate in Pick.Click.Give. Charitable Contributions program, click on the PCG link and search for the Sitka Local Foods Network. You also can look for us by using the town search for Sitka.

The Pick.Click.Give. program is available only to people who file their PFD applications online, and not to those who file by mail. Even though you can’t file a new PFD application after March 31, you can go back into your application and update your Pick.Click.Give. donations through Aug. 31 each year.

You still can donate to the Sitka Local Foods Network if you aren’t from Alaska or aren’t eligible for a 2015 PFD. To donate, send your check to the Sitka Local Foods Network, 408D Marine St., Sitka, Alaska, 99835, or go to our page on Razoo.com, http://www.razoo.com/story/Sitka-Local-Foods-Network, and click the Donate button to make an online contribution. You also can send in a check or make an online donation if you are trying to make nonprofit donations before the end of the 2014 tax year. Please let us know if you need a receipt for tax purposes. For more information about donating, you can send an email to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

Thank you for supporting our mission of promoting and encouraging the growing, harvesting and eating of local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers