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Archive for the ‘Sitka Local Foods Network events’ Category

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???????????????????????????????For a second year (2014-15), the Sitka Local Foods Network (SLFN) education committee wants to help families in Sitka learn how easy it can be to grow some of their own food. We are looking for up to four families who would like to learn about and try vegetable gardening in their own backyard through our Family Garden Mentor project.

Through a series of six workshops to be held at the families’ homes, Sitka Local Foods Network education committee volunteers will help the families:

  • Choose a location for a vegetable bed (learning about sun, drainage, etc.),
  • Build (or find) a planter/container or raised bed, and acquire soil and soil amendments,
  • Learn about soil and prepare the soil for planting,
  • Plant 2-4 easy-to-grow plants — specifically potatoes, lettuce, kale, and maybe a perennial edible such as rhubarb or fruit bushes,
  • Learn to take care of their plants over the summer — teaching how to care for and pick the vegetables (without killing the plant),
  • Harvest potatoes, and
  • Cook a meal using the vegetables they have grown.

IMG_0005The Sitka Local Foods Network will provide all materials — soil, lumber, seeds, etc. — free to the participating families. Families will be expected to provide the labor, enthusiasm for gardening, and healthy appetites to eat the vegetables they grow.

The requirement to own your property or home has been dropped for 2015. Interested families must meet only three requirements:

  1. They must be first-time vegetable gardeners (this project is meant to help people who are just starting to garden),
  2. They must want to try vegetable gardening and be committed to participating throughout the summer, and
  3. They must agree to let others come and attend classes at their property.

Other criteria, such as availability and interest in a second year of mentoring, will also be used to help select the final four families. Families that are not selected will be placed on a waiting list in the hope of future continuation and expansion of this project.

IMG_0751The Sitka Local Foods Network has expanded the program this year to include more families and to include at least two households living in rental housing that will garden in portable containers or planters appropriately sized for their space (in case moving is necessary). We also will offer a second year of mentoring to previous participants, so families can expand their knowledge and try growing more “difficult” vegetables such as carrots and green onions.

Workshops may start as early as this fall or winter with selecting the site, ramp up in the spring of 2015 and run through September’s late harvest. First-year classes will focus on the easiest-to-grow vegetables (and fruit) in Sitka — potatoes, lettuce, kale, and rhubarb.

Families interested in participating should contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708, and provide a name, address, and contact phone number. Please contact Michelle by Monday, Oct. 6, if you hope to participate in the 2014-15 family garden mentor project.

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Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Florence Welsh and her daughter Cory Welsh of Welsh Family Forget-Me-Not Gardens at the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. The Welsh family has one of the larger gardens in Sitka, raising a variety of veggies including cabbage, carrots, zuccini, potatoes, greens, and more. Florence received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh carrots, fresh rhubarb, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This concludes the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. While the Sitka Farmers Market is over for the summer, we will host a produce table at the 20th annual Running of the Boots, with registration at 10 a.m., costume judging at 10:30 a.m. and race at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, near St. Michael of the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Street. 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 Florence Welsh and her daughter Cory Welsh of Welsh Family Forget-Me-Not Gardens at the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. The Welsh family has one of the larger gardens in Sitka, raising a variety of veggies including cabbage, carrots, zuccini, potatoes, greens, and more. Florence received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh carrots, fresh rhubarb, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This concludes the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. While the Sitka Farmers Market is over for the summer, we will host a produce table at the 20th annual Running of the Boots, with registration at 10 a.m., costume judging at 10:30 a.m. and race at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, near St. Michael of the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Street. 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)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignFlorence Welsh, along with daughter Cory Welsh, of the Welsh Family Forget-Me-Not Gardens won the Table of the Day Award for the sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer, held Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

This easily was the rainiest Sitka Farmers Market in our seven-year history (we had a record 3 1/2 inches of rain in 12 hours that Saturday), but we still had a decent crowd show up for the market.

While the Sitka Farmers Market is done until the 2015 summer, the Sitka Local Foods Network will host a produce table at the 20th annual Running of the Boots on Saturday, Sept. 27 (10 a.m. registration, 10:30ish costume judging, 11 a.m. race), near St. Michael of the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Street. The Sitka Local Foods Network also has a local produce table on weekends when Chelan Produce is in town. A slideshow with scenes from the sixth Sitka Farmers Market is below.

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The 2014-15 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors. Front row, from left, Suzan Hess, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Maybelle Filler. Back row, from left, Beth Kindig, Lauren Fetzer, Michelle Putz, and Charles Bingham. Not pictured are Jack Ozment, Milt Fusselman, and Rick Armstrong.

The 2014-15 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors. Front row, from left, Suzan Hess, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Maybelle Filler. Back row, from left, Beth Kindig, Lauren Fetzer, Michelle Putz, and Charles Bingham. Not pictured are Jack Ozment, Milt Fusselman, and Rick Armstrong.

Are you interested in promoting and encouraging the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska? The Sitka Local Foods Network could use you on its board of directors.

The Sitka Local Foods Network currently has two vacancies on its nine-person board of directors, with the possibility of additional spots opening up in January.

Board members are concerned about increasing access to local food for all Sitka residents. They also are concerned about rising food prices in Sitka, and they want to advocate for more community and family gardens in Sitka.

Board members help direct the Sitka Local Foods Network, a non-profit that promotes the harvest and use of local food in Sitka. In addition to setting the focus of the group, board members also help on a wide variety of projects such as the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, and the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee. In addition, over the years our board members have supported community food-related projects such as the Blatchley Community Garden, Let’s Grow Sitka, the Sick-A-Waste compost project, the Sitka Community Food Assessment project, Sitka Fish-To-Schools, the Sitka fruit-tree-planting project, other school education projects and more.

To apply for a spot on the board, please fill out the attached application and submit it to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org. The Sitka Local Foods Network board is a working board, which means each board member also participates in one of our four focus groups (farmers market, fellowship farm, education committee, and greenhouse). For more information, contact Sitka Local Foods Network board president Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985.

Our current board members and the year their terms end are:

  • 2014 — Milt Fusselman, Charles Bingham, one vacant seat
  • 2015 — Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Michelle Putz, Maybelle Filler
  • 2016 — Beth Kindig, Matthew Jackson, one vacant seat

We also are looking to increase our pool of volunteers who will help out during the various projects hosted by the network each year (no formal application needed, just send us your name/contact info and what types of projects you enjoy).

The next Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, in the upstairs meeting room at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. The board generally meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (with a brief finance committee meeting from 6-6:30 p.m.) on the second Monday of each month, except during the summer (June, July, August) when board members are busy working with the Sitka Farmers Market and St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors application

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors job description

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applooza_flyer

The Sitka Conservation Society is looking for donations of quart and pint (preferably the shorter, wide-mouth pints) canning jars for a 4-H project called Applooza.

During the project, participants in the Sitka 4-H club will harvest apples from the apple trees planted on public property (probably about Sept. 20) and will learn how to make apple sauce (probably about Oct. 10). The jars of applesauce then will be donated to the Swan Lake Senior Center and the Salvation Army.

To donate the canning jars and/or lids, bring them to the Sitka Conservation Society office at 201 Lincoln St., Suite 4 (upstairs above Old Harbor Books). For more information, contact Marjorie Hennessy or Mary Wood at 747-7509. Other partners in this project include the Sitka Local Foods Network, the Sitka Food Co-op, and Sitka Kitch.

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LindaWilson

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.) 

Taking a stroll through this summer’s Sitka Farmers Markets, several perfectly baked rhubarb pies may have caught your eye. Outside in the tent next to the Sitka Local Foods Network produce tent, stood the talented gardener and craftswoman Linda Wilson, a Sitka local for the past three decades who owns Seaview Garden and Jewelry Arte.

Wilson’s father was in the USDA Forest Service. Wilson was raised in California until the age of 6, when her family moved to Ketchikan. A few years later, her father moved the family to Sitka and then to Juneau for his work. Wilson attended high school in Juneau, but yearned to be back in Sitka where they had bought a house in 1975 out on Halibut Point Road. The family returned to Sitka after Wilson’s father retired from the USDA Forest Service in 1982. Wilson lost both her mother and her brother to illnesses, and has been taking care of her father in Sitka since his retirement.

LindaWilsonWithZucchiniIn Sitka, Wilson fell into gardening, because outside of the house is where she felt she had the most control and freedom. Inside the house was dad’s territory. She ripped out her salmonberry bushes in 2004, and learned how to grow broccoli when she met Florence Welsh. Today, she grows carrots, snap peas, greens including kale, collard, and lettuce, and rhubarb. She loves composting and mostly uses coffee grounds and spent grains. At the Sitka Farmers Markets, she sold collard greens and delicious pies. Strawberry-rhubarb is her favorite.

This year, she has been growing zucchini and tomato plants inside her newly established high tunnel via a NRCS grant. She thanks those in the community who helped her put up the high tunnel, and particularly market vendor Kerry MacLane’s instrumental assistance. Even though she has retired from the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors, Linda was one of the original board members. She also was one of the first managers of the Sitka Farmers Market, and she organized the first Let’s Grow, Sitka! education event.

LindaWilsonWithPieWilson loves making homemade pizza from scratch with homegrown tomatoes, onions, sliced zucchini, nasturtiums, broccoli, garlic, and basil. She says, “I grow tomatoes because it’s a challenge, and I’m gonna get it.” She also makes a mean pesto with carrot top greens. When she produces an overabundance of produce, she donates to the Salvation Army.

She loves to go mushroom foraging, and also picks berries to make a variety of jams. Her favorite is blueberry-huckleberry jam.

From 1985 until 2007, Wilson managed one of the local gift shops in town, where they sold authentic Russian imports. From 2003 to 2006, she also worked on a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea where she lectured on Russian arts and crafts, knowledge she had gained while managing the gift shop. Today, she works part-time with the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA), takes care of her father, and makes beautiful sculpted wire jewelry with gemstones.

Every February, Wilson makes a two-week trip down to one of the biggest jewelry shows in the world. She has attended the show 12 out of the past 13 years. Her favorite stones are fossils: coral, ammonites, and sand dollars, because, she says, “They used to be living.” She has a rock shop in her house where she houses her jewelry making studio with beautiful stones and lapidary equipment including a slab saw, trim saw, grinder, and rock tumbler, throughout. “Nature makes amazing things.”

LindaWilsonsJewelryWhen she is not out in the garden, tending to her father, or making jewelry, Wilson loves “petting kitty bellies.” They have two cats, Spike and Sandy, at home, though many more are buried out back. “Serving as compost,” Wilson jokes.

If you don’t see her at the Sitka Farmers Market, make sure to check out Linda Wilson’s beautiful jewelry at the Island Artists Gallery, an artists cooperative on Lincoln Street. Her jewelry makes great gifts for yourself, family members, and friends.

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PatAndJimHansonOfHansonBakedGoods

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.) 

When you walk into the Sitka Farmer’s Market, comforting aromas of freshly baked breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls overcome the senses. Near the entrance of ANB Hall, you can find the talented baker Pat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods selling a beautiful selection of her baked wonders that are nearly impossible to resist. Trust me, I’ve tried.

PatHansonHansonBakedGoodsHanson bakes for the market as a public service, not for a profit. She uses organic ingredients whenever she can, and the only thing that is not organic is butter, which she is working on sourcing organically. Her baked goods are more expensive, because of her insistence on using organic eggs and other crucial organic products. Hanson fell into a passion for baking, because she loves to eat and loves organic food.

Born in Colorado, Hanson lived in the Centennial State until she was 25, when she moved to Canada with her husband at the time. For the past seven years, she has lived in Sitka with her second husband, Jim, whom she met here. Hanson used to work as a school psychologist in Washington and California, but is retired now. She now volunteers at the Sitka Food Co-op, a buyer’s club organization that thrives with increasing membership. Her husband works at Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Arrowhead Transfer.

PatHansonWithCinnamonRoll“You don’t go into the food industry to make money.” Hanson says that she likes food and likes to know what’s in it. “I won’t sell anything that I don’t think tastes good.”

Hanson sells organic breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls. She makes white sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, dark rye, and honey oat breads. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side make sure to pick up one of her lemon blueberry, cranberry orange, or maple oat scones. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to get a taste of her pumpkin spice scone with ginger chunks, the baker’s favorite.

When she’s not busy baking, Hanson enjoys reading, and was actually a literature major before becoming a teacher. She especially loves Arizonian author Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, now a popular STARZ original series.

Come out to this summer’s last Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.) to experience Pat Hanson’s delectable baked beauties.

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Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Erin Keenan of Bear Buns at the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Erin has been selling her homemade diapers at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years, plus she was selling handmade baby booties from Charlee Oh Creations for Springer Black and Raven's Ink hats for Raven Shaw. Erin received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh carrots, 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 final market of the summer is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. 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 Erin Keenan of Bear Buns at the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Erin has been selling her homemade diapers at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years, plus she was selling handmade baby booties from Charlee Oh Creations for Springer Black and Raven’s Ink hats for Raven Shaw. Erin received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh carrots, 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 final market of the summer is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. 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)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignErin Keenan of Bear Buns homemade diapers won Table of the Day during the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer, which took place on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

We wound up with a bit of sunny weather for this market, which was a nice change from our recent rain. We also enjoyed another 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 sixth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at ANB Founders Hall. We also plan to host a produce table at the 20th annual Running of the Boots on Saturday, Sept. 27, near St. Michael of the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church on Lincoln Street. A slideshow with scenes from the fifth Sitka Farmers Market is below.

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