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SarahLewisThis is a great time of the year to be in Sitka. The fish are running, gardens are starting to produce, and berries are ripe for the picking.

Many Sitka residents have pressure canners to preserve their harvest, and this weekend Sarah Lewis of the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will be in town to teach three classes about canning on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She also provide free pressure canner gauge testing at the Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

“People can bring the gauge or the lid with the gauge still attached,” Sarah said. “If they have any questions about the full canner (gaskets, damage, how to use, etc.) they can bring the whole thing.”

In addition to testing pressure canner gauges, Sarah plans to work with Jasmine Shaw of the Sitka District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service to have a wide variety of publications available about home canning. In addition, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service has a series of online tutorials on its website called “Preserving Alaska’s Bounty.” Pressure canner gauges should be tested at least once a year to make sure they are hitting the right pressures for safe food preservation.

We posted earlier about Sarah’s canner classes this weekend, hosted by the Sitka Kitch project, and info can be found here. However, the location for the first two classes has been moved to the Sitka Presbyterian Church (from Sitka High School) and the topic and time have been changed for Sunday’s class (new topic is Canning Jams and Jellies, new time is noon to 3 p.m., location remains Sitka High School). The canning classes are $20 each, and preregistration is required (call Marjorie at the number below).

For more information about the Sitka Kitch project and to register for Sarah’s canning classes, contact Marjorie Hennessy of the Sitka Conservation Society at marjorie@sitkawild.org or 747-7509.

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Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, third from left, present the Table Of The Day Award to Allison Sayer of Hearts and Flowers, second from left, while tablemate Kitty Sopo looks on at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, July 12, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Allison is a new vendor at the Sitka Farmers Market and she sold fireweed syrups and jellies, salmonberry fruit leather in the shape of a heart, journals and pendants. Allison received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. Bring your canner pressure gauge to this market to have it checked. Also, check our website to learn about our new bus service to the market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer took place on Saturday, July 12, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

We wound up with a bit of rainy weather for this market, but we still had a nice crowd and some new booths. We also launched our new bus service from Sitka Tours. This free service will be available at all of the rest of our markets this summer.

The third Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, at ANB Founders Hall. Sarah Lewis of the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will be at this market providing free pressure canner gauge testing, so bring in your gauge or pressure canner. To learn more, watch this site for updates. A slideshow with scenes from the second market is below.

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Sitka Farmers Market Co-Manager Ellexis Howey, left, and Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Hope Merritt of Gimbal Botanicals, second from left, and her assistant Brenon Littlefield at the first market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, June 28, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Hope has been a regular vendor at the Sitka Farmers Market since it started, selling herbal teas, herbs, and beach greens. She received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, earrings, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer took place on Saturday, June 28, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

This market kicked off our seventh summer, and it was the first time we’d hosted a market in June. After a week of rainy weather, we wound up with a nice overcast day with no moisture. We had a nice crowd, and several new booths.

The second Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, at ANB Founders Hall. This will be our first market with free transportation from Sitka Tours. To learn more, watch this site for updates. A slideshow with scenes from the first market is below.

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Have you ever wanted to go to the Sitka Farmers Market, but couldn’t because there’s no regular bus service in Sitka on Saturday? Well, now you can. The Sitka Local Foods Network and Sitka Tours are teaming up to offer free, scheduled transportation to the last five Sitka Farmers Markets this summer.

“The Farmers Market planning team realized that access to the market may prove challenging to those without transportation given that The Ride (Sitka Community Ride) doesn’t run on Saturdays,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “To improve access, the Sitka Local Foods Network requested funding in its City and Borough of Sitka grant proposal last year. We are hoping that our pilot run out Sawmill Creek Road this season helps get more Sitkans to our amazing market.”

Sitka Tours will send a shuttle van to make one loop of three Sitka Community Ride stops before the Sitka Farmers Markets open at 10 a.m. The shuttle van will return to Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall at noon to take people home from the market. The pick-up times and stops are:

  • Sawmill Creek Apartments (Price and Burkhart Streets), 9:45 a.m.
  • Indian River Road (Kaasdaa Heen), 9:50 a.m.
  • Swan Lake Senior Center/Salvation Army (Lake Street), 10 a.m.

This service is offered through a grant from the City and Borough of Sitka that paid for bus service to four markets. Sitka Tours helped us expand the service to five markets by donating the service for an extra market.

The first Sitka Farmers Market of the season was on June 28. The last five Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

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SarahLewisSitka Kitch will host Sarah Lewis, Family and Community Development Faculty from the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, for three classes about the cottage food industry and home canning on July 25-27 at Sitka High School. (Editor’s note: The location of the first two classes has been moved to the Sitka Presbyterian Church on Sawmill Creek Road. Sunday’s class still will take place at Sitka High School, but the topic has been changed to Canning Jams and Jellies and the time will be from noon to 3 p.m.)

The three classes cost $20 each. Space is limited, so please register in advance by calling Marjorie Hennessy of the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509. Students will take home the products they make. The classes are:

  • Friday, June 25, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Cottage Foods Business Workshop — Students learn about Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation cottage foods industry regulations, as well as the food preparation and food preservation techniques that qualify. Class includes hands-on water-bath canning, dehydrating and pickling instruction. Veggies and other materials will be provided. Students must bring 8-12 half-pint canning jars with lids.
  • Saturday, June 26, 3-8 p.m., Canning the Harvest — Fish, veggies and other materials provided. Students must bring 12 half-pint canning jars with lids.
  • Sunday, June 27, noon to 5 p.m., Canning Soups and Sauces — Food and materials will be provided. Students must bring 12 half-pint canning jars with lids.

In addition, Sarah will be at the Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, where she will be available to test canner pressure gauges and provide other resources about home canning and food preservation.

Also, Sitka Kitch will partner with Sitka Tribe of Alaska to offer a pickled salmon course in August. This class is offered free of charge, but space is extremely limited. More details on date and location will be available soon.

Sitka Kitch is a community wellness project from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit designed to improve food security in Sitka. The different parts of the project include creating a community kitchen Sitka residents can rent to prepare food for their small businesses or to preserve their family harvest of fish, game, or garden veggies; expanding Sitka’s emergency food storage capacity; and providing education about preserving food and building family emergency food pantries.

For more information about the Sitka Kitch project, contact Marjorie Hennessy at marjorie@sitkawild.org or 747-7509.

 

 

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The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with six markets this year starting on June 28 and taking place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 6. The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts.

The Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked goods, locally made jams and jellies, live entertainment and music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. We were the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons and Alaska Quest EBT for SNAP (food stamp) users. We also plan scheduled transportation from Sitka Tours for the last five markets (details coming soon), and don’t forget to support the Sitka Farmers Market in the I Love My Farmers Market Celebration (click logo) at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is a great way to connect with community members and support local entrepreneurs,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “Circulating your dollars locally also has a multiplying effect and helps your neighbors.”

2014 Quest Flyer SitkaThe Sitka Farmers Market started as a community wellness project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. The markets are sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, the Alaska Farmers Market Association, the Alaska Division of Public Health Cancer Control Program, and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

“We are excited to have Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield working as a team as our new market co-managers,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Ellexis and Debe bring loads of enthusiasm and some new ideas to the market, and they are focused on creating a sustainable market that can be in Sitka for the duration. As always, the market will be a place to support the growing local food movement in Sitka and learn more about how to eat more sustainably.”

Vendor fees are $30 for a 6-foot table, $40 for an 8-foot table and $20 for a 4-foot table. Vendors with their own tents pay $5 per foot. As always, we offer cost incentives for vendors growing locally produced food. The fees will help us cover the costs of renting ANB Founders Hall and its kitchen, hiring musicians and other expenses. To learn more about being a vendor or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers, Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield at 738-8683 or by e-mail sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other info for potential vendors can be found on the Documents page at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

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StPetersSignWithToDoListSignYour Sitka Local Foods Network will host a garden party from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street) to get the veggies ready in preparation for the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Produce grown at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm is sold during the Sitka Farmers Markets to help fund Sitka Local Foods Network projects throughout the year. Some of the produce also is sold to people using SNAP benefits (food stamps) and to local schools for their lunch programs. The first Sitka Farmers Market of the season is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The remaining Sitka Farmers Markets are on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6.

In addition to planting and weeding, there may be other garden chores to do. During these garden parties we usually need people to shovel dirt and sift soil, weed, mulch and spread fertilizer (seaweed) on the existing garden beds. Most garden tools will be provided, but we may need people to bring shovels and pick-axes if they have them. These garden parties are a great place for Sitka residents new to gardening to get some hands-on instruction on how to plant their own veggie garden. The garden parties are kid-friendly, and we encourage volunteers to bring their children so they can learn where their food comes from. Volunteers can receive a share of the veggies for their work at the garden.

For more information, contact St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt at 623-7003 or 738-7009, or contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985.

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AFT_Love_My_Market_InfographicHow well do you love the Sitka Farmers Market? You can show your love by clicking this linkand pledging to spend at least $10 at the next Sitka Farmers Market as part of the “I Love My Farmers Market” Celebration, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust.

According to the American Farmland Trust:

AFT’s I Love My Farmers Market Celebration is raising national awareness about local farmers markets and putting money directly in the pockets of family farmers.

Throughout the celebration, consumers will pledge dollars they intend to spend at their local farmers markets. A pledge is a commitment to spend $10 at your farmers market. Pledges can be cast once a day, and farmers market shoppers can pledge to support more than one farmers market.

Each week, one lucky participant and their favorite farmer will receive a free No Farms No Food® hat.

The Top 100 most celebrated markets will receive a special logo honoring their achievement, “No Farms, No Food”® gear, and recognition on the I Love My Farmers Market Celebration’s website, www.lovemyfarmersmarkets.org/.

The 2014 I Love My Farmers Market Celebration started on June 13 and will end at midnight EST on Sept. 13.

Click here to listen to a 90-second PSA from the American Farmland Trust about the importance of shopping at your local farmers market, and how farmers markets benefit your health and local economy.

The Farmers Market Coalition, which provides technical resources for farmers markets and sponsors National Farmers Market Week on Aug. 3-9, recently released a report about the benefits of farmers markets. Some of the findings included:

  • There were more than 7,800 farmers markets in the US in 2012—an increase of nearly 10% in just one year.
  • For every $100 spent at a farmers market, $62 stays in the local economy, and $99 stays in-state.
  • People who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit, while they would only have one or two at the grocery store.

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThere will be six Sitka Farmers Markets in 2014. The first one takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The remaining five Sitka Farmers Market are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The Sitka Farmers Market accepts Alaska Quest card electronic benefits transfers for people using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, aka food stamps.

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignVendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets can find all the vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for this year by going to the Documents page on this site, or look at the bottom of this post for the documents. The forms are in downloadable Acrobat PDF files.

The 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be managed by Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, and they can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. Our 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on six alternating Saturdays starting in late June (June 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9, 23, and Sept. 6) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall on Katlian Street.

Ellexis and Debe already have hosted one pre-market meeting for potential market vendors, and the next pre-market meeting for market vendors is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street. All potential market vendors are encouraged to attend. Ellexis and Debe are available to answer questions and to make suggestions that will help new and returning vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, changes to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, and any other changes.

For more information, contact Ellexis or Debe at the numbers above.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business (March 2014 document from UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation includes Alaska food safety information and regulations for farmers markets and other food sales)

• 2014 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Rules And Responsibilities Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Registration Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Guidelines Signature Page (this must be on file for all vendors)

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market EBT Alaska Quest Vendor Agreement

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StPetersSignWithToDoListSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host a planting party from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, to continue planting this summer’s crops at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street).

Produce grown at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm is sold during the Sitka Farmers Markets to help fund Sitka Local Foods Network projects throughout the year. Some of it also is sold to people using SNAP benefits (food stamps) and to local schools for their lunch programs.

In addition to planting, there may be other garden chores to do. During these work parties we usually need people to shovel dirt and sift soil, weed, mulch and spread fertilizer (seaweed) on the existing garden beds. Most garden tools will be provided, but we will need people to bring shovels and pick-axes if they have them. These garden parties are a great place for Sitka residents new to gardening to get some hands-on instruction on how to plant their own veggie garden.

For more information, contact St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt at 623-7003 or 738-7009, or contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985.

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