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Archive for the ‘Sitka Local Foods Network events’ Category

 

GreensInHoopHouseStPeters

Want to learn how to grow or gather your own food, or teach others about growing and gathering food? Your Sitka Local Foods Network invites Sitkans to learn more at an education committee meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Those interested in learning more about or volunteering on Sitka Local Foods Network education projects are invited to attend. SLFN board members and volunteers will discuss the past and future of our Family Garden Mentor Project, begin to plan the 2014-15 “It’s time to …” garden classes, and discuss new opportunities for projects such as a home business garden mentoring project and a future garden tour. Those interested in learning more and volunteering are encouraged to attend.

For those who cannot attend the meeting or want more information, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

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FermentationDemo

At this Saturday’s Sitka Farmers Market, Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel will host a live fermentation booth where she will give out samples of locally made sauerkraut and information on how to ferment at home.

Fermentation is an ancient process where microorganisms in our food extend their usefulness and enhance flavor. Fermentation is used in a wide variety of food from around the world, including the yeast that helps make bread, wine, beer, cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, coffee, soy sauce, and more. Sandor Katz, who wrote The Art of Fermentation, calls it “the flavorful space between fresh and rotten.”

Another advantage to fermentation is it can extend the shelf life of many foods. “It’s not forever, like canned foods that you can put into a pantry or storm cellar and forget about for 10 years and still eat it,” Katz said. “These foods are alive, they’re dynamic, but they’re extremely effective strategies for preserving food through a few seasons, which is really the point.”

Recently, one of the big discussions about fermentation is how it can help replenish healthy gut bacteria, especially when items are fermented by lactic acid bacteria. These helpful probiotics are essential in an age where so many of our foods include chlorine in the water, antibiotic drugs, antibacterial cleaning products, and other sanitizing methods that kill healthy bacteria with the bad.

In addition to learning how simple it is to make sauerkraut, visitors to the booth will be able to learn about and taste kombucha. Bring a small jar to the market so you can take a kombucha starter home with you.  This week’s Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the market.

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LoriAdamsAndGuyBuyingJelly

SitkaFarmersMarketSign(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.) 

A couple of miles outside of town, up Sawmill Creek Road, there is a thriving garden with everything from fennel and radishes to kohlrabi and raspberries. Lori Adams operates the Down-to-Earth U-Pick Garden at 2103 Sawmill Creek Rd.

Adams grew up on a farm in Oregon and met her husband Dale in high school through the church community. The couple came to Sitka in 1986 and worked as commercial fishermen. They now have two sons, Ben, 24, and Levi, 18. Ben has a degree in biology and fisheries, and works at the Sitka Sound Science Center as a Chum Resource Coordinator. Levi is studying foreign languages at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The family lived on a boat for 11 years (as Adams says, “It’s a great way to start out here.”) and moved around before settling down on Sawmill Creek Road.

In 2009, Adams started Down-to-Earth U-Pick, shortly after the Sitka Local Foods Network started the Sitka Farmers Market. Adams credits Florence Welsh, the “matriarch of the Sitka gardening community,” for teaching her much of the gardening knowledge she knows today. They were neighbors on Halibut Point Road before Adams moved up Sawmill Creek Road with her family.

LoriAdamsGiftBasketAdams had a serious passion for gardening from the beginning, but was frustrated that fruits and vegetables would come and go, and were not consumed. She wanted to share her produce with others. She contacted Wells Williams in the Sitka Planning Department with her idea and he responded, “You want to do WHAT?” Perplexed at first, Williams soon jumped onboard. He helped to rewrite the city bylaws so Adams would be able to start the U-Pick, and she was approved.

Although the garden requires a lot of upkeep, she loves it and spends hours every day tending to it. Dale, a hunting guide, often asks her, “Why can’t you just be a carrot lady?” And she answers that providing the community with diverse locally grown produce is her true passion. Adams likes to provide a variety of vegetables so that people can see what grows well in this climate. “There is always something someone can pick.” Sometimes one thing will get over-picked, but it’s never been a real problem. Her garden is so successful in part because she is particular in her composting. “I know what’s here, and I bring in the cleanest possible [additions].” She has a family of ducks on the property that help perform slug control and add fertilizer to the beds.

In operating the only registered U-Pick garden in Sitka, Adams has overcome many obstacles. Despite the fact that locals are positive towards her about what she’s doing, she says, “People who are really into local food aren’t my regular customers because they grow their own food, but they do support me.” She has some regulars to the garden, but often her clientele consists of families with kids who usually get their produce from the grocery store, but like to tour the garden. Adams tries her best to keep up with what the grocery stores are charging and seems to be doing a great job. “I’m not a making a living here, but it pays for itself.” Her fennel runs $4 each, peapods are $5 per plastic crate, and carrots are 20 cents each, no matter the size.

She encourages anyone and everyone to start a U-Pick and would love to help them with the venture. “It would be great if we could have U-Picks like this become more of a feasible option for the community [through having more people start them].”

LoriAdamsWithBookIn the future, Adams hopes to expand into all of her usable property, and either continue with her U-Pick garden or possibly transition to farming and supply for restaurants and other similar institutions.

You might have recently spotted Lori driving down the road in the newest addition to her family: a 1946 Chevy pickup with running gear from a 1991 Caprice. A few years back while in her late 40s, she decided that for her 50th birthday, she was going to buy herself an old truck. She has always loved them. “I grew up on a farm. I think it’s just part of the nostalgia.” Her and Dale drove all the way from Kentucky, where they bought the truck, to Seattle, to send it home on the barge.

When she’s not gardening or driving her sweet new ride, Adams likes to crochet and design patterns, scrapbook, and when traveling, watch the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri, as there isn’t a television at home. One of her favorite go-to breakfast meals consists of a toasted bagel (she used cranberry-orange the other day) with real butter, garlic scape pesto, a fried egg, and locally smoked salmon. She loves garlic scapes. She puts them on everything — even into her vanilla smoothies!

Follow her two-week-long road trip journey with Dale from Kentucky to Seattle in her new vintage pickup, as well as her life at the U-Pick Garden on her blog at http://downtoearthupick.blogspot.com/. In addition, Adams sells copies of her book, “How to Grow Vegetables in Sitka, Alaska,” a collection of her 2012 Daily Sitka Sentinel “Gardening in Southeast Alaska” columns, for $20 each.

Come visit Lori and pick some produce from her beautiful garden Monday through Saturday between noon to 6:30 p.m. She will be at the next three Sitka Farmers Markets (Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6) with samples of her produce, but is also at the garden by 3 p.m. on those Saturdays. A few weeks ago, she came to the market with garlic scapes pulverized with olive oil and spread on a cracker. The combination was a HUGE hit. At the last market, she brought her Down-to-Earth peapods and homemade jams. Come visit her at the market this Saturday!

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KerryMacLaneWithBlackcodCollars

SitkaFarmersMarketSign(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.) 

On Saturday mornings at the Sitka Farmers Market, the smell of slightly singed, brown-sugar, soy-sauce blackcod tips fills the air. Wandering Sitkans are lured to 235 Katlian St. in search of the origin of this barbecued aroma. Outside of the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, visitors to the Sitka Farmers Market can find a bearded man in overalls and a straw hat cooking freshly caught and deliciously marinated black cod tips.

Kerry MacLane is a familiar face in the food community here in Sitka and we’re thrilled to see him cooking up his black cod tips at each farmers market. After blackening the tips, he takes them fresh off the grill and lays them on brown or white rice. He offers shredded kale and soy sauce as condiments for the steaming hot bowl of pure goodness. It’s not uncommon for a line to accumulate at MacLane’s booth, because his blackcod tips are wildly popular.

BlackcodCollarsRiceGreensMacLane is originally from Montana, where he worked as an organic farm inspector. Today his children (and now grandchildren!) still live in Missoula, but after going through a divorce, he decided to venture off to Alaska and fell in love with the state. He saw Alaska as Montana 30 years ago before large investors came in, such as Charles Schwab, who bought out his property there. In Tok, he first worked harvesting mushrooms. Throughout most of his life he has always been getting himself into trouble, being jailed time and again for civil disobedience. (Today on his property stands a sign that reads “WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.”)

After Tok, he worked in Fairbanks as a teacher, and wrote a curriculum for a sustainable agriculture track. In 2007, he made his way down to Sitka, working as a deck hand. There, he was able to sample a lot of fish and gain knowledge of varying species and cleaning techniques.

“If you live long enough and are poor enough, you learn skills.” He decided to stay in Sitka and “reinvent himself,” as the “The Harbor Handyman” and was just that. Many people called for his help and he came to realize the need for reconstructive handy help on the island.

He lived on John Zarley’s Shamrock boat for the first years after his arrival in Sitka. Both Zarley and MacLane were born the same hour of the same day in the same year, though as MacLane says, “He’s a wealthy doctor and I have more hair.” The boat is a Monk design from 1940. Ed Monk was a famous shipwright and naval architect in the Pacific Northwest, who designed commercial and pleasure vessels, power or sail.

Within a year of his time in Sitka, MacLane became involved in the Sitka Health Summit during the program’s early years. He had worked in and helped build community gardens and grow local farmers markets in the past, but had never built his own community greenhouse. At the time, he was also working at SEARHC as a grant writer, and thanks to the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, he was able to write $10 million in grants in his first year.

After the 2008 Sitka Health Summit, he helped form the Sitka Local Foods Network into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with the help of Linda Wilson (try her fabulous homemade rhubarb pie at the market) and other local food-interested individuals. MacLane served as the first president of the Sitka Local Foods Network.

BlackcodCollarsOnGrillHe met his girlfriend, Sherie Mayo, a commercial fisherman working on her family’s boat called Coralee, here in Sitka and Kerry is able to operate his blackcod prepared food business with her help. He discovered the tasty benefits of blackcod tips nearly by chance. Mayo had always thrown out the tips under the blackcod gills until she met a few Russian women who taught her the importance of saving the decadent tips. As a result, MacLane’s blackcod recipe was featured on the Cooking Channel television show, “Hook, Line and Dinner,” where they contacted him to share his knowledge of cooking blackcod tips and other Sitkan delicacies. (Note, blackcod is not a true cod, and also is known as sablefish or butterfish for its high oil content.)

Together, Mayo and MacLane are buying a beautiful boat called the Blue Merlin, so named for its exterior blue tinge, and the infamous story of fisherman Ward Eldridge’s boat Merlin from 1999. On July 7 of that year, the Merlin sunk in Whale Bay after a whale poked its head through the hull. Before Mayo and MacLane started dating, MacLane hired Eldridge to take his son, daughter and himself to Goddard Hot Springs. MacLane remembers that trip as “magical,” and says that he himself is “turning into the little old man that Ward is now… [And] it is a pretty good place to age into.” According to MacLane, the Blue Merlin, Ward, Mayo and Kerry are like family now.

Someday, MacLane wants to learn to sail his boat to Hawai’i.

This coming Saturday, Aug. 9, come out to the Sitka Farmers Market and taste Kerry MacLane’s locally harvested and barbecued blackcod tips!

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Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Pat Hanson, second from right, of Hanson Baked Goods while Jim Hanson, second from left, and friend Taylor Ihde look on at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Pat has been selling homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and scones at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years. She 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, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by coming to the Sitka Farmers Market. 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)

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Pat Hanson, second from right, of Hanson Baked Goods while Jim Hanson, second from left, and friend Taylor Ihde look on at the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Pat has been selling homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and scones at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years. She 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, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by coming to the Sitka Farmers Market. 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)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignPat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods won Table of the Day during the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer, which took place on Saturday, July 26, 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 enjoyed the second market with our new bus service from Sitka Tours. This free service will be available at all of the rest of our markets this summer.

The fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at ANB Founders Hall. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by attending the Sitka Farmers Market. To learn more, watch this site for updates. A slideshow with scenes from the third market is below.

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WhyFarmersMarkets

SitkaFarmersMarketSignU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared Aug. 3-9 as National Farmers Market Week this year, as noted by the Farmers Market Coalition, and you can celebrate the week by attending the Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.).

Farmers markets are a great way to connect with the community, while also purchasing local produce, wild fish, locally baked bread and arts and crafts. Besides providing access to fresh local produce, farmers markets create strong economic engines in communities, promote local health and bring a diverse group of people together. They also help consumers meet and get to know the people who produce their food.

SLFNGroupwLinda“The Sitka Farmers Market is a community festival where people of all walks of life come together and find great stuff, good food, amazing music, awesome produce, freshly harvested, and above all, great company!” said Debe Brincefield, one of the two Sitka Farmers Market co-managers.

Farmers markets have been growing nationally, from 2,863 in 2000 to more than 8,100 in 2014, a jump of more than 280 percent. While Alaska doesn’t have as many farmers markets as other states, it did have the highest percentage of new markets in the country in recent years, up to 35 markets in 2011 or 46 percent. The national rate of new market growth was 17 percent in 2011 and 9.6 percent in 2012.

Aug. 9 will be the fourth of six full Sitka Farmers Markets this summer, with the schedule running on alternate Saturdays (June 28, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun.

SitkaFarmersMarketBusNEW2The Sitka Farmers Market was the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons, and we also accept SNAP EBT payments. In addition, this year we teamed up with Sitka Tours to offer free bus service on market Saturdays. The bus picks up at Sawmill Creek Apartments at 9:45 a.m., at Indian River at 9:50 a.m., and Swan Lake Senior Center at 10 a.m., with the return trip leaving ANB Founders Hall at noon.

For more information about the market or hosting a booth, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Ellexis Howey or Debe Brincefield at 738-8683 or sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. By the way, we always need volunteers to help set up and take down the market before and after the event. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Also, we need volunteer harvesters from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Friday and 8-9:30 a.m. on market Saturdays at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, which is located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (the dark brown brick-and-wood church on Lincoln Street above Crescent Harbor). Fresh veggies will be available for a donation to the Sitka Local Foods Network or a WIC farmers market coupon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Mondays before a market Saturday. For more info on garden work parties, contact St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm Lead Gardener Laura Schmidt at 738-7009 or 623-7003.

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StPetersSignWithToDoListSignYour Sitka Local Foods Network needs a few volunteer harvesters to help pick the veggies at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm on Friday afternoons and occasional Saturday mornings.

We need veggie pickers from 3:30-5:30 p.m. every Friday throughout the summer to help harvest for the Sitka Farmers Market or our booth at Chelan Produce on non-market weeks. Volunteer harvesters also are needed from 8-9:30 a.m. on the Saturdays when we host the Sitka Farmers Market.

St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm is a communal garden located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street (above Crescent Harbor). The communal garden grows produce sold at the Sitka Farmers Markets (held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on alternate Saturdays — July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). On non-market weekends, we host a booth with locally grown produce when the folks from Chelan Produce are in town across from AC Lakeside.

In addition, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Mondays the week of a Sitka Farmers Market (July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 18, and Sept. 1) people who use WIC coupons can purchase produce from St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm. We will sell produce to anybody on those Mondays, but we are not set up to take SNAP (food stamp) EBT payments and so those without WIC coupons need to pay cash.

Volunteer harvesters usually can get small amounts of produce for their family when they help at the garden. For more information, please contact St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm Lead Gardener Laura Schmidt at 738-7009. Volunteer harvesters should call Laura ahead of time to let her know you’re coming. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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TODAllisonSayerHeartsAndFlowers

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 Sopow 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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IMG_9095

IMG_6075Free dirt is now available to the people of Sitka for their gardening needs. On a trial basis, your Sitka Local Foods Network (SLFN) worked with and formalized an agreement with the City and Borough of Sitka, Sitka School District, and the Blatchley Community Gardens to provide free dirt to individuals, families, and non-commercial entities for developing fruit, vegetable, and flower gardens and beds.

The free community dirt pile is located at Blatchley Community Gardens, behind Blatchley Middle School. The pile is to the right (north) of the community garden and only dirt between the signs should be removed. People can remove dirt at any time, though avoiding school hours when school is in session is preferred.

“This is raw dirt, mostly from land development in forest and muskeg lots around Sitka. It is NOT top soil, but it is a good starting point for gardens when mixed with locally purchased lime and sand, and locally purchased or produced compost, manure, and other organic materials,” said Michelle Putz, SLFN vice-president. The Sitka Local Foods Network asks that gardeners not remove sand, rocks, live kelp or live creatures from local beaches to build their soil.

People taking dirt should bring their own shovels and containers for dirt. To make sure there is enough for everyone, SLFN asks Sitkans to take as much as you need but please do not use it for commercial use or developing a lot. People who are coming for dirt need to respect the gardens, gardeners, compost, equipment and other materials at the site by only taking dirt from the pile and not removing or using anything else at the site.

“One of the most asked questions SLFN gets is ‘where can I get dirt to start a garden?’ We recognize that dirt is scarce in Sitka, and we wanted to try to do something about it,” Putz said. “Making soil, the starting point of all gardens, more available to people really helps us to meet our mission of increasing the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. We hope that people will take all the dirt they need to build new and larger vegetable, fruit, and flower beds, planters and gardens.”

Local contractors, like Troy’s Excavating are providing the dirt. If this trial goes well, the Sitka Local Foods Network hopes to continue to provide free dirt. Compost will not be given away or created at this time.

Those with questions or wishing to help volunteer on this or other SLFN projects should call Michelle Putz at 747-2708. (Editor’s note, click this link to listen to an Aug. 5 story about the community dirt pile from KCAW-Raven Radio.)

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LoriAdamsWithBook

Your Sitka Local Foods Network reminds Sitkans that now is a great time to think about scaling up vegetable garden production with local soil amendments. Large scale production in your garden takes some forethought and requires good, productive, healthy soil. Local amendments such as seaweed, fish parts, chicken and duck manure, and other materials can help boost the production in your garden.

Lori Adams, owner and manager of Down-to-Earth U-Pick Garden, will host two discussions and hands-on workshops on large-scale garden production using local amendments at her u-pick garden at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road (across from the Mormon church). Classes will be held from 3-4 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, or at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 28.  All are welcome to come and attend these free classes.

Other topics that may be discussed include using ducks in the garden, organizing and simplifying techniques to keep costs down, and proven seed varieties for success.

Lori grew up on a farm in Oregon, and has gardened in Sitka for 20 years. Her u-pick garden has been in production for about six years. In 2012, Lori wrote a series of garden columns for the Daily Sitka Sentinel (and reprinted on the Sitka Local Foods Network website), and in 2013 she produced a book of those columns, “How to Grow Vegetables in Sitka, Alaska,” which she sells for $20 a copy at her Sitka Farmers Market booth. For information or directions to the garden, call Lori at 747-6108 or 738-2241.

The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee has been hosting a series of “It’s time to …” workshops this spring and summer designed to help local residents learn about various aspects of vegetable gardening and fruit growing. Many of these classes will be informal get-togethers at various gardens around town. Please watch our website, Facebook pageFacebook group, and local news media for information about upcoming classes. If you have an “It’s time to …” workshop you’d like to teach, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

The SLFN education committee is still looking to expand our network of local volunteers who can teach classes (formal and informal) this year about growing food, please email Charles Bingham at charleswbingham3@gmail.com with info about what topics you can teach, your gardening experience, and contact information so we can add you to our database of instructors.

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