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Archive for the ‘Sitka Local Foods Network events’ Category

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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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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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 Excavation, 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 at 747-2708.

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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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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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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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Your Sitka Local Foods Network reminds Sitkans that now is the time to get out in your garden and thin the apples on your tree. Thinning fruit increases the size and quality of your fruit and reduces the chances that limbs will break. Thinning also reduces the chances of spreading diseases.

Jud Kirkness will host a free discussion and hands-on workshop on fruit thinning and fruit tree care from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, at 131 Shelikof Way. Jud also will look for and discuss fruit tree pests. All are welcome; call Michelle Putz at 747-2708 for more information or directions to the garden.

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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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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Have you ever wanted to learn more about growing vegetables in a high tunnel or hoop house? Your Sitka Local Foods Network is teaming up with local landscape architect and 20-year Sitka gardener Barth Hamberg, who will host a free discussion about high-tunnel gardening at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25, at Hamberg’s garden.

High tunnels, also known as hoop houses or temporary greenhouses, extend the growing season so more food is produced before and after the traditional dates for growing stuff outdoors. High tunnels are different than greenhouses in that they are passively heated by the sun, so they have lower energy costs than greenhouses. This link has frequently asked questions and answers about seasonal high tunnel systems for crops.

“Last summer I constructed a high tunnel with a grant from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service),” Hamberg said. “This is my first season in production and I’m experimenting with may different plants and learning a lot about the advantages of the high tunnel. It’s working great.”

Some of the topics Hamberg will discuss include:

  • siting and constructing a high tunnel
  • selecting a high tunnel manufacturer and style of tunnel
  • planting for winter harvest
  • planting for early spring harvest
  • high tunnel maintenance requirements
  • irrigation systems
  • making the high tunnel an enjoyable place to work and to be
  • compost-based soil fertility in the high tunnel

“My interest is growing food in the most efficient and beautiful way possible,” Hamberg said.

People interested in attending this discussion should call Hamberg at 738-9145 to reserve a space and to receive the address and directions to his garden.

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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