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Students learned how to make a variety of dishes that will help people balance their blood sugar levels on Monday, March 13, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the second of five classes in the Nourish: Using Food As Medicine For Optimum Health class series offered as part of National Nutrition Month this March.

The class series is taught by Holly Marban, a Sitka nutritionist and holistic health coach. In this class, students made a vegetable frittata, a kale salad with an apple cider vinaigrette, a lentil and veggie salad with nuts and herbs, with buckwheat granola, lemon vanilla yogurt, and berries for dessert. Future Nourish classes include (unfortunately, this class series is full):

  • Class 3: Everyday Superfoods — 6-8 p.m. on Monday, March 20
    • In this class we’ll take a look at some nutritional superstars of the plant kingdom and explore ways to boost the nutrient content of everyday foods. Sprouting, soaking, and fermentation will be discussed as ways to amp up the nutritional profile of certain foods. We’ll create a colorful meal of quinoa vegetable “sushi” with sprouts, a super greens salad with hemp-ginger dressing, and chia pudding with herbed citrus compote.
  • Class 4: Foods to Fight Inflammation — 6-8 p.m. on Monday, March 27
    • In this class, we’ll explore the concept of inflammation in the body and how it can impact overall health. Learn what inflammation is, which foods more easily cause inflammation, and how to use food to decrease and/or prevent it. We’ll make a version of the recently popular warm beverage called “golden milk,” coconut-ginger braised leafy greens with chickpeas and steamed buckwheat, and a raw blueberry tart.
  • Class 5: Spring Detox — 6-8 p.m. on Monday, April 3
    • Learn how to use whole foods to support the natural detoxification processes in your body. With a focus on spring greens and other seasonal produce, we’ll make a simple green smoothie, red beet hummus with cruciferous vegetables, green goddess salad, and creamy cauliflower soup.

 

In addition, the Sitka Kitch still has three classes remaining in its Cooking Around The World class series with space available. These classes are:

  • Thailand — 5:30-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 28, taught by Nancy Knapp. Nancy is a longtime health educator from Sitka who spent several years in Laos and Thailand. She still hasn’t announced which dishes she will teach for this class, but she taught a Thai cooking class last year that sold out quickly and had a long waiting list. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 25.
  • Austria6-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, taught by Suat Tuzlak. Suat is the former owner of the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and co-author of “Little Cookbook For The Great Outdoors.” For this class he will teach students how to make a savory strudel with two fillings and a sweet strudel with apples that’s great with ice cream. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.
  • Turkey — 5-7:30 p.m., Monday, April 17, taught by Suat Tuzlak. For this class, Suat, who is Turkish, will teach students how to make a Turkish dinner that is vegan and gluten-free without using sophisticated ingredients. You will learn to make red lentil soup, green beans with olive oil, festive rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts, and a fusion dessert, chia-coconut pudding. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Friday, April 14.

When registering, students should prepay for the class through the Sitka Kitch online registration site, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, using PayPal or credit/debit card. If you need other payment arrangements, contact Chandler or Clarice of Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 to arrange a time when you can pay with cash or check. To qualify for a partial refund, please notify us at least three days in advance if you need to cancel. The registration deadline is three days before each class so our instructors have time to purchase materials. Please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org with any questions.

Watch the Sitka Kitch page on Facebook or our online registration page to see when these and any future classes are scheduled (there will be a Preserving The Harvest class series this summer).

A slideshow of scenes from the balancing blood sugars class follows below.

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Join Sitka residents for a discussion about herring, which is the Food Talks topic for Thursday, March 16. This event takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the Sitka Public Library’s Gus Adams meeting room (in the back corner of the library near the water).

This free meeting is open to the public, and people are invited to share their stories about all aspects of herring in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. Please share your stories about subsistence harvests, commercial harvests, eating herring or herring eggs, how you feel about herring, how to maintain sustainable quotas/harvests, and more. Feel free to share photos, too. Someone may be at the meeting filming stories as part of a grant from National Geographic.

For more information, contact Nina Vizcarrondo of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Subsistence Committee at (863) 286-9230. Also, watch for upcoming announcements about the annual Sitka Herring Festival week events in April.

The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the March 2017 edition of its monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This month’s newsletter features short items about our open Sitka Farmers Market manager position, a showing of two free films for Alaska Food Security Awareness Week, info about how people and businesses can sponsor the Sitka Local Foods Network, recruiting for new board members, and info about a variety of upcoming classes. Each story has links to our website for more information.

You can sign up for future editions of our newsletter by clicking on the registration form image in the right column of our website and filling in the information. If you received a copy but didn’t want one, there is a link at the bottom of the newsletter so you can unsubscribe. Our intention is to get the word out about upcoming events and not to spam people. We will protect your privacy by not sharing our email list with others.

Food security can be a precarious thing in Alaska, where 90-95 percent of our food has to be shipped here from the Lower 48 or elsewhere. In honor of the third annual Alaska Food Security Awareness Week, join us for two short, free movies on the theme of “All About Alaska Grown” from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 24, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

The first movie, “Alaska Far Away,” is about an hour long and tells the story of the New Deal colonists who settled in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys to farm during the 1930s. The second movie, “Five Reasons To Choose Alaska Grown,” is about 30 minutes and features interviews with Alaska farmers about why they enjoy Alaska Grown produce.

The movies, which also are showing in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau during the week of March 13-17, are coordinated by the office of Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who has introduced several bills over the years to improve Alaska’s food security. The Sitka showing of the films is co-hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network and Sitka Public Library.

Do you have an old family recipe for barbecue sauce you think would sell at the local farmers market? Have you seen your friends and neighbors selling their home-processed jams and jellies and thought you could do that too? Do you like to bake bread and cookies and think you could sell them?

The Sitka Local Foods Network and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service have a free class for you. Join us from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus for a https://www.uaf.edu/ces/small-food-business/cottage-foods/ basics class.

This class will be taught via videoconference by Sarah Lewis of the Juneau District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, with assistance from Sitka by Nina Vizcarrondo of the Sitka Local Foods Network. The short class will teach people some of the basics of the home-based food industry, including Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation food safety regulations for home-based food businesses, how to market your products, how to set your prices, and more.

For those folks hoping to sell home-based food items at the Sitka Farmers Market, there will be a special discount for class attendees of 50-percent off for your first Sitka Farmers Market table of the 2017 season.

Please pre-register for this free class by clicking this link and filling in this short online form. For questions, contact Nina at (863) 286-9230 or email us at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

The Sitka Local Foods Network has a sponsorship program to help promote our mission, and Sitka businesses and individuals are welcome to join. The goal of the sponsorship program is to make the projects we undertake (Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, gardening education, etc.) more sustainable.

“Sitka has a precarious position when it comes to food security, and the Sitka Local Foods Network is trying to improve our food security through our mission to increase the amount of locally harvested and produced foods in the diets of Southeast Alaskans,” Sitka Local Foods Network president Charles Bingham said. “Sponsors of the Sitka Local Foods Network are working with an organization and a farmers market that values local, fun, premium quality goods and experiences.”

This year there are seven Sitka Farmers Markets from July through September. The 2017 farmers markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 12, Aug. 19, Sept. 2, and Sept. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). We grow most of the local produce sold at the markets at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and a couple of other locations in town. In the next few days, we will be posting a list of upcoming gardening education courses this spring. We also are helping with a project to create a new community garden program in Sitka.

There are four levels of sponsorship available, and each has its own set of perks.

  • Grower ($2,500-plus) — We’ll hang your banner at ANB Hall during the Sitka Farmers Markets, include your logo and company name prominently in our merchandise and advertisements, and thank you on our social media and web pages. If appropriate for the Sitka Farmers Market, you may set up a free promotional booth.
  • Harvester ($1,000-$2,499) — We’ll hang your banner at ANB Hall during the Sitka Farmers Markets and include your logo and company name in our merchandise and advertisements.
  • Planter ($250-$999) — Your banner will hang at ANB Hall during the Sitka Farmers Markets.
  • Friend ($50-$249) — You are listed on our online sponsor page.

We have limited space for banners at the Sitka Farmers Markets, so please contact us by May 1 to guarantee your spot. To learn more about the sponsorship program, click the link below for details and a registration form. For more information, contact Charles Bingham at (907) 623-7660 or by email at charleswbingham3@gmail.com, or email us at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

• 2017 Sitka Local Foods Network sponsorship program details and registration form

The Sitka Local Foods Network is seeking a manager to coordinate the 2017 Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. This is a contract position, and the manager receives a small compensation depending on experience for his or her work organizing the farmers markets this summer.

SLFNBoothGroupPhotoThis will be the ninth year of operation for the Sitka Farmers Market, which features seven markets during the summer from July through September. The markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 12, Aug. 19, Sept. 2, and Sept. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. The farmers markets feature booths from local farmers/gardeners, local fishermen, and artisans and craftspeople. These events are great Sitka gathering places, and we promote local foods and other local goods at the markets.

This year we have new leadership for the market from within the Sitka Local Foods Network, and we are trying to streamline things so it’s easier for the market manager and vendors. We are not hiring an assistant manager this year, so all applicants will need to commit to be at all seven markets this year. In addition, the market manager needs access to a vehicle (for hauling signs and supplies around) and to the Internet.We have gone back to our 2015 vendor pricing, so hopefully we’ll be able to rekindle and bring the fun back to the market this year.

A detailed description of the market manager duties can be found at the link below. For more information or to submit applications, contact Charles Bingham at 1-907-623-7660, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com (please put “Sitka Farmers Market Manager” in the subject line).

Applications should include a cover letter, resumé and three recommendations, and they are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 31. The market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market is a seasonal contract position that reports to the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors via a board liaison (Tiffany Justice).

Once we sign a contract with our market manager, we will announce a couple of meetings for potential vendors. We also will announce in the next few days an April class on cottage food business basics for those thinking about starting a home-based food business, and students taking that class will receive a reduction on their first table fee from the Sitka Farmers Market in 2017.

• Description of duties for market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market Manager (2017)