• Sitka to host five farmers markets in 2009


Sitka to host five farmers markets in 2009

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a series of five Sitka Farmers Markets this summer on alternate Saturdays starting July 18. These markets will 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 2 p.m. on July 18, Aug. 1, 15, 29 and Sept. 12, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall and the adjacent Baranof Island Housing Authority-owned parking lot (between the waterfront and Katlian Street). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen and cooked and ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, kids’ activities, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun.

“In 1970 there were only 340 farmers markets in America, and by 2006 there were more than 4,385. I think this dramatic growth is attributed to the many layers of social and economic benefits these markets offer,” said Doug Osborne, a health educator at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). “Last year, several participants said Sitka’s markets were among the highlights of their summer.”

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Coordinator Kerry MacLane has participated as a vendor at many public markets over the last 20 years. He said, “Farmers markets are a great place to spend a Saturday morning with your neighbors, enjoying healthy and tasty local produce, hot coffee and fresh-cut flowers. The Sitka Farmers Markets also are great for people who want to sell and eat locally caught fish.”

The Sitka Farmers Market started as a community project from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. This event is sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

Vendor fees are just $5 per market, with both indoor and outdoor table options available. We are the first farmers market in Southeast to accept WIC coupons. To learn more or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Coordinator Linda Wilson at 747-3096 evenings or e-mail lawilson87@hotmail.com.