• The Sitka Farmers Market needs your vote in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest

Do you enjoy the Sitka Farmers Market? Do you feel like it helps contribute to the community of Sitka? Then we need your vote in the 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest, which is a national contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust.

The contest is designed to raise national awareness about the importance of supporting fresh food from local farms and farmers. Market shoppers will vote to support their favorite farmers market starting June 1 until midnight (Eastern time) on Aug. 31, 2010. People can vote for as many participating farmers markets as they choose, but can only vote for each market once.

At the end of the contest, one small, medium, large, and a new category, boutique, farmers market will win the title of “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” for 2010. The reward for the winning market in each category will be a shipment of No Farms No Food® tote bags, along with other prizes including free printing services from igreenprint and free graphic design services from Virginia based design firm, SQN Communications. The categories are based on the number of vendors the farmers market has. The four categories are Boutique (15 or fewer vendors), Small (16-30 vendors), Medium (31-55 vendors) and Large (more than 56 vendors). The Sitka Farmers Market competes in the Boutique category.

In addition to the national competition in each of the four size categories, there also is a ranking for the top vote-getters in each state. The Sitka Farmers Market was leading for Alaska on July 29, but a flurry of votes moved HomeGrown Market of Fairbanks (which competes in the Medium category) into a commanding lead. We need your help to close the gap.

Voting is simple, just click on the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest logo in the right-hand column of this webpage, or click this link and follow the prompts. Then, after you vote, please spread the word to your friends or post a note on Facebook to let other people know to vote. Your vote shows your support for fresh, locally grown produce.

The Sitka Farmers Market features locally grown produce, locally caught wild seafood, home-baked goods, jams and jellies, arts and crafts, music and fun for the whole family. Our emphasis is on local foods and fun.

By the way, the remaining Sitka Farmers Markets this year are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. We’ll see you there.