Feeds:
Posts
Comments

communitykalecelebration

bridgetkauffmanotherwomancheckoutkaledishesKale grows well in Sitka and has lots of important vitamins and minerals, but what do you do with it once it’s ready to harvest from your garden? Sitka residents were able to find out more about how to grow and prepare kale at the inaugural Community Kale Celebration on Monday, Sept. 26, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road).

There was a variety of dishes using kale, prepared by the Sitka Kitch advisory team and the 4H Food and Nutrition club, including a crustless kale quiche, a savory kale bread pudding, kale chips, reindeer sausage kale soup, and chocolate kale cupcakes. In addition, there was kale juice (with carrots, apples, ginger and lemons) and kale smoothies (with bananas and blueberries). Participants learned how to incorporate more of this “super food” into their diets and how easy it is to grow in Sitka.

kalecupcakeskalechipskalebreadpuddingkalequicheMoney raised from this event will help the Sitka Kitch develop a scholarship fund for future Sitka Kitch classes, such as the class on making your own yogurt at home that takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10. To learn more about our upcoming classes and to register for them, please check out our online registration page at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on the class title to register).

A slideshow of scenes from the Community Kale Celebration is posted below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

fmc-best-in-class-2016

This week marked the end of American Farmland Trust’s summer-long Farmers Market Celebration — an annual effort to rally support for local farms and family farmers by calling on shoppers to identify the best of America’s farmers markets, During the summer-long voting, the Sitka Farmers Market was rated top 50 best in class nationwide and/or top three in Alaska.

FARMMARKETCELEB_LOGO_D“Farmers markets are critical for new and beginning farmers,” says Susan Sink, American Farmland Trust’s Vice President of Development and External Relations. “Next generation farmers selling directly to consumers at farmers markets have nearly a 10 percent greater chance of staying in business than those selling goods through traditional retail. And when family farmers thrive – our community, economy and families thrive.”

This year’s Celebration encouraged market customers, family farmers, community members – anyone who believed they had the best farmers market in the country – to endorse their market in four unique areas: Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community and Champion for the Environment.

The Sitka Farmers Market’s national rankings are:

  1. People’s Choice: 57th nationally, second in Alaska
  2. Focus on Farmers: 55th nationally, second in Alaska
  3. Healthy Food for All: 55th nationally, second in Alaska
  4. Pillar of the Community: 52nd nationally, second in Alaska
  5. Champion for the Environment: 50th nationally, second in Alaska

“While farmers markets have been growing in popularity, keeping family farmers on farmland remains a nationwide challenge,” Sink says. “Many family farmers struggle to stay financially afloat and face daily pressure from development to sell their land. Farmers markets provide a wonderful opportunity for family farmers to sell directly to consumers and keep their farmland in farming.”

The United States has been losing more than 40 acres of farmland per hour to development. Farms closest to America’s cities—often the providers of the delicious local food found at farmers markets—are directly in the path of that destruction. American Farmland Trust has helped slow this trend over the last 35 years by permanently protecting over five million acres of fertile farmland and contributing to conservation improvements on millions more.

To visit the full list of top rated markets nationwide, visit http://www.lovemyfarmersmarket.org today.

zucchini

Do you have a need for locally grown zucchini? How about some other veggies grown here in Sitka? Even though the Sitka Farmers Market is over for the year, we still have some veggies for sale.

St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt said we still have enough produce growing that she can sell 5-10 weekly boxes of produce through the next month. She said the boxes will run $30, and will likely contain about four pounds of carrots, two pounds of potatoes, two pounds of beets, one bundle of chard, one head of lettuce, with other possibilities such as cucumbers, basil, a half-dozen eggs, etc. She also has an excess of zucchini.

To learn more, contact Laura at ljschmidt835@hotmail.com.

GreensLowTunnelAtStPeters

Do you grow vegetables or fruit or want to? Would you like to meet and learn from other gardeners in Sitka and visit their gardens?

Then come to Sitka Local Foods Network’s informal, unofficial Garden Club meeting from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, at the home of Suzanne Shea, 105 Toivo Circle. This is a chance for Sitka gardeners to share successes and discuss problems they may be having with their gardens. Appetizers will be provided.

Participants will decide the next location and club meeting date (so bring your calendars). For more information, contact Suzanne at 747-3220.

img_1732

img_1993The final batch of classes (Class Six) for the 2016 Sitka Local Foods Network garden mentor program are being set for our two participating first-year families and our three returning second-year families. The classes will be similar at each location, and they are open to the public.

There were six classes in the series, with Class Six being about preparing the garden for the winter. Class One focused on site selection, garden preparation, building planter beds, simple vegetables and soil preparation, while Class Two was about simple vegetables and planting. Class Three was about garden maintenance, with Class Four about early harvest and Class Five about the final harvest.

Our first-year gardener families (Erin Mathes and Fran Baratki), learn how to grow four hardy crops for Sitka — kale, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb. Our three returning families (A.J. Bastian, Rebecca Kubacki and Breezy) will be planting carrots, chard, green onions and peas this year. These four crops are slightly more difficult crops to grow that our first-year plantings of kale, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb. Even though the crops for our second-year students are more difficult to grow, many gardeners in Sitka still have good results with these vegetables. These classes are essentially the same, so feel free to attend the class that best fits your schedule.

The class schedule and location for the one first-year and three second-year families is (some classes still need to be scheduled and will be announced later):

  • ERIN MATTHES (first-year family), 716 Etolin Street — CLASS 6: 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.
  • FRAN BARATKI (first-year family), 180 Price Street, No. 6 (purple trailer) — CLASS 6: TBA.
  • A.J. BASTIAN (second-year family), 207 Brady St. — CLASS 6: 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
  • REBECCA KUBACKI (second-year family), 1202 Halibut Point Rd. — CLASS 6: 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3.
  • BREEZY (second-year family), 616 Sawmill Creek Rd. — CLASS 6: TBA.

img_1911This is the third year of the garden mentor program, which provides one-to-one mentoring to families who are trying to garden for the first time. In order to reach more people, our participating families allow the classes to be made public. By teaching families the basics of gardening, we are helping them improve their family nutrition, extend their family food budget, and increase food security in Sitka.

Michelle Putz has been contracted to coordinate the program and design lesson plans. We also have about a half-dozen experienced Sitka gardeners who serve as mentors for the program. For more information, please contact Michelle at 747-2708.

jumborunningbootsbychurch

Angie and Ryan Hutchins make for a jumbo-sized pair of XtraTufs as they run past St. Michael The Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral during the Running of the Boots on Sept. 17, 2016, in Sitka.

It was rainy in Sitka on Saturday, Sept. 17 (stop the presses), but the rain abated long enough for us to hold the 22nd annual Running of the Boots costumed fun run fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network.

racestartThis year there was a new start-finish line and course, as our big tent was set up in Totem Square park and runners ran along Lincoln Street from Totem Square to the stoplight and back. We had a shark and fisherman, a jumbo-sized pair of XtraTufs, a young lad as Captain America, a young lady as Strawberry Shortcake, and more in the costume contest.

The Running of the Boots is an annual fundraising event for the Sitka Local Foods Network, whose mission is to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. The Sitka Local Foods Network operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, the Sitka Farmers Market, and hosts an education program that includes the family garden mentoring project.

The Running of the Boots is part of the Season’s-End Celebration festivities hosted downtown by the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Cruise Line Association, where Sitka residents were served hamburgers, hot dogs, salmon and cole slaw to celebrate the end of the summer.

The Sitka Local Foods Network also hosted a produce booth at the Running of the Boots, with produce from the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden. By the way, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt said we still have enough produce growing that she can sell 5-10 weekly boxes of produce through the next month. She said the boxes will run $30, and will likely contain about four pounds of carrots, two pounds of potatoes, two pounds of beets, one bundle of chard, one head of lettuce, with other possibilities such as cucumbers, basil, a half-dozen eggs, etc. She also has an excess of zucchini. To learn more, contact Laura at ljschmidt835@hotmail.com.

A slideshow of scenes from the 22nd annual Running of the Boots is posted below. Click this link for a story on KCAW-Raven Radio about the event.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

communitykalecelebration

Kale grows well in Sitka and has lots of important vitamins and minerals, but what do you do with it once it’s ready to harvest from your garden? Join us for the inaugural Community Kale Celebration from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road).

Sitka Kitch will join the 4H Food and Nutrition club and local cooks to introduce Sitkans to the wonders and scrumptiousness of kale. Participants will learn how to incorporate more of this “super food” into their diets and how easy it is to grow in Sitka. The 4H club will prepare several recipes for people to try, and local chefs will prepare a couple of additional recipes during the event.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door (family rates are available) or online at http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (just click on the event title to sign up). Money raised will help us develop a scholarship fund for future Sitka Kitch classes. Hope to see you there.