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Archive for the ‘Sitka Farmers Market’ Category

Home-BasedFoodBusinessPhoto

Photo courtesy of UAF Cooperative Extension Service

The Sitka District office and other regional offices of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service now have on hand a new publication, “Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business.”

Have questions about Alaska Food Code exemption requirements? Want to know more about recipe formulation, product testing, labeling, safe preparation packaging, or starting your own business? Are you curious which homemade foods can be sold at farmers markets and festivals, and which ones require a commercial kitchen?

The 12-page handout features the answers to these questions and many other topics discussed during the training sessions about food regulations for farmers markets, hosted in February by Kate Idzorek with the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, and by Lorinda Lhotka and Morgan Poloni with the Alaska DEC Food Safety and Sanitation office.

View and download a copy of the publication onlineor contact the UAF Cooperative Extension Service’s Sitka office at 747-9440 for a hard copy.

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Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

The state’s Chef at the Market program is accepting grant applications from Alaska chefs interested in providing demonstrations at local farmers markets between May and September this year, according to a press release in the Juneau Empire.

The Chef at the Market program began in 2011 to promote fresh Alaska Grown specialty crops and teach Alaskans new ways to prepare them. The program has also provided a new opportunity for chefs to develop relationships with the local food vendors who supply restaurants and with Alaskans interested in cooking Alaska Grown at home.

In the summer of 2013, six Alaska chefs performed a total of 27 demonstrations at nine local farmers markets and special events.

Suzan Brawnlyn hosted four Chef at the Market presentations during the 2012 Sitka Farmers Market season, but wasn’t able to renew her grant last year because the kitchen was closed due to construction at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in 2013. The construction is finished and the kitchen is open again, so Sitka chefs are encouraged to apply for 2014. In addition to hosting demonstrations at the Sitka Farmers Market, Suzan prepared recipes and other information about how to use the local produce she highlighted each week.

To apply for a 2014 summer program grant, go to
http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/ag_grants.htm. Grant applications are due on Wednesday, April 30.

To find out more information about Chef at the Market demonstrations, contact Jacquelyn Schade at jacquelyn.schade@alaska.gov or 907-761-3858.

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network has extended the application deadline as it seeks a manager and assistant manager to coordinate the 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. These are contract positions, and the manager and assistant manager (who reports to the manager) receive small compensation depending on experience for their work organizing the six scheduled farmers markets this summer. The new application deadline for both positions is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18.

This is the seventh year of operation for the Sitka Farmers Market, which features six markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from June through September at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (this year’s tentative dates are June 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9, 23, and Sept. 6). SLFNGroupwLindaThe farmers markets feature booths from local farmers/gardeners, local fishermen, and artisans and craftspeople. These events are great Sitka gathering places, and we promote local foods and other local goods at them.

A detailed description of the market manager duties can be found at the link below. For more information or to submit applications, contact Maybelle Filler at 738-1982 or mocampo25@hotmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Applications (a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three recommendations) are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18. The market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market reports to the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors.

• Description of duties for market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market Manager (2014)

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Farmers Market Regs

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will team up to offer two training sessions about food regulations for farmers markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both Wednesday, Feb. 26 (videoconference available in five locations, including Sitka) and on Thursday, Feb. 27 (by teleconference available statewide).

During these trainings you will learn how to market your products, how to set up your temporary food booth, and what foods do and do not require Alaska DEC permits. The course will be taught by Kate Idzorek with the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, and by Lorinda Lhotka and Morgan Poloni with the Alaska DEC Food Safety and Sanitation office. Kate will discuss marketing strategies including packaging and sampling, Lorinda will talk about Alaska DEC cottage food rules and the different types of permits, and Morgan review temporary food booth rules, resources and setup.

The first training will be offered by videoconference in five locations on Wednesday — Juneau, the Matanuska Valley, Soldotna, Fairbanks and Sitka. The Sitka videoconference site is University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, Room 110 (see the flier for the other videoconference locations). The second training will be offered by teleconference or webinar (Go-To Meeting).

To register, go to http://bit.ly/MarketReg2014. For more information, contact Kate at 1-907-474-5211 or jizdorak@alaska.edu, or contact Morgan at 1-907-269-7501 or morgan.poloni@alaska.gov. The UAF Cooperative Extension Service can be reached (toll-free) at 1-877-520-5211. (Editor’s note: the three PowerPoint presentations from the Feb. 26 workshop are linked below as PDF files.)

• Cottage Foods at the market handout

• Food safety at farmers markets PowerPoint (opens as PDF file)

• Update on Alaska Farmers Markets Quest Card program PowerPoint (opens as PDF file)

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network is looking for a manager and assistant manager to coordinate the 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. These are contract positions, and the manager and assistant manager (who reports to the manager) receive small compensation depending on experience for their work organizing the six scheduled farmers markets this summer.

This is the seventh year of operation for the Sitka Farmers Market, which features six markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from June through September at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (this year’s tentative dates are June 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9, 23, and Sept. 6). SLFNGroupwLindaThe farmers markets feature booths from local farmers/gardeners, local fishermen, and artisans and craftspeople. These events are great Sitka gathering places, and we promote local foods and other local goods at them.

A detailed description of the market manager duties can be found at the link below. For more information or to submit applications, contact Maybelle Filler at 738-1982 or mocampo25@hotmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Applications (cover letter, resume, three recommendations) are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. The market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market reports to the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors.

• Description of duties for market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market Manager (2014)

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On Saturday, Jan. 11, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosted its 2014 annual meeting and potluck dinner at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

The two dozen or so participants shared a meal of local food dishes, as well as heard reports on some of the various projects the Sitka Local Foods Network is coordinating and/or supporting. We also were introduced to new board member candidates who were added to the board a week later.

Here are some scenes from the event.

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The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 6-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 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. “New board members also are being recruited.”

Individuals interested in board of directors membership can email sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com for an application. For more information, call Lisa at 747-5985.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors application

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors job description

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK Sitka Farmers Market Interim Manager Garrett Bauer, left, and Co-Manager Francis Wegman-Lawless, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to to Peter Williams of Ata "Let Me See" Alaska (http://www.seaotterfur.com/) during the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Peter is a Yup'ik  (Ata is Yup'ik for let me see) who sells handmade garments made sea otter fur, the softest and densest fur on earth. Peter has been selling at the Sitka Farmers Markets for a couple of years. He received a gift bag with fresh produce, fand a certificate and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the sixth year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. Also, don't forget the Sitka Local Foods Network will host the annual Running of the Boots costumed fun run at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 (registration at 10 a.m. and costume contest at 10:30 a.m.), with the start/finish line near St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Sitka. The Running of the Boots is a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network. Some late-season vegetables and other items will be for sale at this event. Finally, don't forget to vote for the Sitka Local Foods Network in the 50 States for Good contest. We are Alaska's only finalist in the national contest, where 51 nonprofit organization finalists (one from each state and the District of Columbia) have a chance to win $10,000 from Tom's of Maine, which will award grants of $10,000 each to the top 15 vote-getters in an online vote. You can vote for us once each day through Oct. 15 by going to http://www.50statesforgood.com/ and following the instructions. We appreciate your support.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK
Sitka Farmers Market Interim Manager Garrett Bauer, left, and Co-Manager Francis Wegman-Lawless, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to to Peter Williams of Ata “Let Me See” Alaska (http://www.seaotterfur.com/) during the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Peter is a Yup’ik (Ata is Yup’ik for let me see) who sells handmade garments made sea otter fur, the softest and densest fur on earth. Peter has been selling at the Sitka Farmers Markets for a couple of years. He received a gift bag with fresh produce, and a certificate and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the sixth year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork.

SitkaFarmersMarketSignWe had glorious, sunny weather for the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the 2013 summer, on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.).

We had a decent crowd, with many people hanging out outside to listen to Slack Tide play. A slideshow with scenes from the sixth market is below.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 19th annual Running of the Boots, a costumed fun run that serves as a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Food Network. The Running of the Boots will be at 11 a.m. (registration at 10 a.m., costume contest about 10:30 a.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the tent near St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Street. (there is an entry fee of $5 per person or $20 for families). Some late-season vegetables will be available for sale at this event. To learn more, click this link for details.

Finally, don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Local Foods Network in the 50 States for Good contest. We are Alaska’s only finalist in the national contest, where 51 nonprofit organization finalists (one from each state and the District of Columbia) have a chance to win $10,000 from Tom’s of Maine, which will award grants of $10,000 each to the top 15 vote-getters in an online vote. You can vote for us once each day through Oct. 15 by going to http://www.50statesforgood.com/ and following the instructions. We appreciate your support.

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The seventh annual Sitka Health Summit is coming up, and this year’s event features health fair, lunch-and-learn, community planning day and community wellness awards.

This annual event got its start in 2007, when leaders from Sitka Community Hospital and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) got together to try and build bridges between their health organizations. Working with other partners, they created the Sitka Health Summit as a way to help improve the health culture in Sitka.

Summit_LogoThis year’s summit opens with the Sitka Community Health Fair, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. This event features workers from the Alaska Health Fair Inc., who will provide a variety of medical tests such as cholesterol checks, glucose tests, vision screenings, flu shots, and more. It also includes informational booths from a variety of health-related programs in Sitka.

At noon on Monday, Sept. 23, at Kettleson Memorial Library will be a lunch-and-learn with Dr. Don Lehmann, a local physician and sports medicine specialist. He will give a brief talk called “Whistle While You Walk,” which will feature highlights about Sitka’s trail system. Participants can enter for a chance to win a set of walking sticks.

The “Community Planning Day: Selecting Sitka’s Wellness Goals” is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at Sweetland Hall. This all-day event is when members of the community get together and select two community wellness projects to work on this year. The two projects will receive $1,500 in seed money, plus facilitation to help get the project going. Last year’s three winning projects included the Sitka Downtown Revitalization project, Walk Sitka‘s work in applying for a Walk Friendly Communities award, and the Sitka Community Food Assessment. Some of the top projects from previous years include the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community award applications in 2008 and 2012, the Choose Respect mural at Blatchley Middle School to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence, the Sitka Outdoor Recreation Coalition’s Get Out, Sitka! project to get more families and kids outdoors, supporting the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center as a community resource, etc. There also have been several projects related to local foods, such as creating a Sitka Farmers Market, expanding community gardens and building a community greenhouse, planting dozens of fruit trees around town, promoting more local fish in school lunches, community composting,, and more. The first 65 people to RSVP will receive a free lunch (contact Clara Gray at clara.gray@searhc.org).

Finally, this year’s Sitka Community Wellness Champion Awards will be presented as part of the Monthly Grind at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi on Katlian Street. The awards are made in a variety of categories, such as physical fitness, nutrition, tobacco control and policy, holistic health, injury prevention, and general wellness.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or go to the Sitka Health Summit’s website at http://www.sitkahealthsummitak.org/.

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The Sitka Local Foods Network has been selected as the Alaska representative in the fifth annual 50 States for Good contest, where one representative nonprofit organization from each state and the District of Columbia compete for a chance to win $10,000 from Tom’s of Maine.

Supporters of the Sitka Local Foods Network can take part in a public vote to help the organization share in $150,000 total grants from Tom’s of Maine (15 awards of $10,000 each). Voting is simple, just go to http://www.50statesforgood.com/, and follow the instructions. People can vote once per day for one nonprofit finalist during the period from 8 a.m. Alaska time (noon Eastern) on Monday, Sept. 16, through 4 p.m. Alaska time (8 p.m. Eastern) on Tuesday, Oct. 15. A free Facebook account is required for voting, and people who do not already have an account can go to https://www.facebook.com/ to create one.

The 50 States for Good program was created to help uncover local nonprofit groups that address a variety of community needs and engage volunteers to get the work done. This year’s finalists offer a diverse range of community services, such as improving access to local foods, working with people who have autism, helping street teens, supporting the needs of low-income residents, providing food and hygiene products to the homeless, building playgrounds, and more.

The Sitka Local Foods Network works on a variety of food-oriented projects in Sitka, a community of 9,000 people on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska. Even though there is no commercial agriculture on the island, the Sitka Local Foods Network created the Sitka Farmers Market, which sells produce grown at the organization’s St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and from family backyard gardens. The Sitka Local Foods Network also is trying to build the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, which will be a commercial greenhouse providing local produce and bedding plants for residents, and an education center teaching local students about gardening. Education is another focus of the network, which hosts the annual Let’s Grow Sitka garden exhibition in March and brings nationally known speakers to town to teach about gardening, seeds and greenhouses.

“We are honored to be chosen to represent Alaska in the 50 States for Good competition,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “If we are successful, we hope to further food production in Sitka using a host of strategies, such as creating an additional community garden, offering seed money to the community greenhouse and education center working group, or helping the school district jump start a school-based garden program. An award of $10,000 from Tom’s of Maine can really help Sitka make strides in improving its local food system.”

The 51 finalists (one from each state plus the District of Columbia) were selected from a pool of about 1,100 nominated nonprofit organizations by an independent panel of judges that included Huffington Post columnist Lisa M. Dietlin, Cool People Care president Sam Davidson, assistant features editor covering social good for Mashable.com Matt Petronzio, and The Vampire Diaries star and nonprofit founder Ian Somerhalder.

“A desire to do more for a favorite can often be hindered by a lack of time to volunteer or the financial means to make a donation,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “The 50 States for Good program makes it easy for anyone to have an impact and directly help organizations that are bringing goodness to communities in a variety of creative and inspiring ways.”

For several decades, Tom’s of Maine, a natural products company focused on oral and personal care products, has donated 10 percent of its profits back to the community and encourages its employees to use 5 percent (12 days) of their paid time off to volunteer every year. For more information, visit http://www.tomsofmaine.com/ or like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TomsofMaine. Voting information will be at both links.

To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network and some of its community projects, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ or like the organization’s new Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork.

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