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Archive for December, 2010

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

One of the key topics will be discussion of the Sitka Local Foods Network’s annual meeting and local foods potluck from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building. This free event is open to all Sitka residents, who are encouraged to bring their favorite dishes made with local food from Sitka (local fish, deer, seaweed, berries, veggies, etc.).

Other key topics for the meeting include an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, plans for the Let’s Grow Sitka event in March, an update on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and Blatchley Community Garden, a recap of the Sitka Farmers Markets, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the two new food projects from the Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 apple or other fruit trees in Sitka and getting more locally caught fish served at Sitka schools), and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends).

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Josh Peavey, right, talks over Baranof beer at a recent all-Alaskan dinner at Bayview Restaurant and Wine Bar in Sitka. The entire menu down to the butter and the bread was made by Peavey with only Alaskan ingredients. (Courtesy Photo Josh Peavey)

Josh Peavey, right, talks over Baranof beer at a recent all-Alaskan dinner at Bayview Restaurant and Wine Bar in Sitka. The entire menu down to the butter and the bread was made by Peavey with only Alaskan ingredients. (Courtesy Photo Josh Peavey)

The Dec. 23-29, 2010, edition of the Alaska Journal of Commerce statewide business weekly newspaper has a feature story about the local food offerings of Sitka chef Josh Peavey. The article also was featured in the Dec. 29-Jan. 4 issue of Capital City Weekly.

Peavey is the executive chef at the New Bayview Restaurant and Wine Bar. He also owns The Alaskan Kitchen catering company. Peavey’s wife, Alicia, headed up the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival in August.

In the article, Peavey discusses his efforts to serve more local foods in his restaurant and catering meals, even if that means looking elsewhere in Alaska to find ingredients. In November, Peavey hosted an all-Alaska-ingredients fundraising dinner that included some produce from the Sitka Local Foods Network and several types of finfish and shellfish from a variety of Sitka fish companies. The meal also included pork from North Pole, reindeer sausage from Anchorage, dairy products from the Matanuska-Susitna valleys and even beer from Sitka’s own Baranof Island Brewing Co.

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Author/photographer Larry Johansen poses with a copy of his new book, "XTRATUF: An Alaskan Way of Life," during the Sitka Artisans Market on Dec. 4

Author/photographer Larry Johansen poses with a copy of his new book, "XTRATUF: An Alaskan Way of Life," during the Sitka Artisans Market on Dec. 4

Photos from the Running of the Boots, an annual fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network, are featured in the new book “XTRATUF: An Alaskan Way of Life,” by Douglas resident Larry Johansen.

The Running of the Boots is a fun, end-of-the-summer event where people run a short downtown course while wearing colorful costumes and their XtraTuf boots, which also are known as Sitka Sneakers or Juneau Tennyrunners. About three years ago, the board of the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce, which had managed the race, decided to let the Sitka Local Foods Network use the Running of the Boots to raise money for its main projects, which include the Sitka Farmers Market, expanding community gardens in Sitka, trying to get a Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center built, encouraging the sustainable use of traditional foods, and providing education and encouragement for people who want to garden or harvest more local foods.

Runners hit the trail during the 14th Annual Running of the Boots race on Sept. 27, 2008, in Sitka.

Johansen, who used to work for now-defunct cruise company, was an amateur photographer who began taking photos seriously after his employer abruptly quit business. He told the Juneau Empire he focused on XtraTufs as a way to talk about how Southeast Alaskans connect with their environment. He started his own business, Rowdy Dog Images, and tried to take at least one good photo a day while he worked on the book. Johansen wrote all of the copy in the book, but did use some borrowed photos (including his photos from the Running of the Boots, which were supplied by Charles Bingham).

Since the book came out in October, Johansen has been traveling the region to promote it. He did this Oct. 29 interview with Jeff Brown on KTOO-FM’s A Juneau Afternoon show. Johansen also had a booth at the Sitka Artisans Market on Dec. 3-5, and he did an interview with KCAW-Raven Radio news director Robert Woolsey, which appeared in this story on KCAW’s regular newscast with extended audio posted on the station’s website (the extended audio aired on KCAW as a Morning Edition interview on Wednesday, Dec. 8).

According to a 2008 article in Capital City Weekly, about a third of the 100,000 XtraTuf boots sold each year end up in Alaska. Commercial fishermen liked the boots because the chevron outsole doesn’t slip on wet boat decks, and the neoprene kept fish oils from getting into the rubber. The boot’s popularity quickly moved to land as people saw how well the boots worked in Southeast Alaska’s rainy and icy weather.

The boots have been around since the 1950s, when B.F. Goodrich commissioned Norcross Safety Products of Rock Island, Ill., to manufacture the boots. Norcross bought the rights to the brand in 1985, but in 2008 to Honeywell Safety Products acquired Norcross and the XtraTuf brand. Until this year, the boots always had been manufactured in the same Illinois factory, but now they will be made in China.

Johansen’s book can be found in Sitka at Old Harbor Books. People also can order it off of his website for $19.90 a copy (plus postage).

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Apples are still on the tree in front of a house on Sawmill Creek Road in early December 2010.

Apples are still on the tree in front of a house on Sawmill Creek Road in early December 2010.

Folks working on the Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

The Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative hopes to plant 200 apple, crabapple or cherry trees in Sitka before the next Sitka Health Summit on Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011. The group just turned in an order of 40 “project” apple trees — 30 Williams Pride and 10 Pristine — with Garden Ventures. Penny Brown, owner of Garden Ventures, also has an order of 60 fruit trees coming for her regular supply.

In the meantime, the Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative continues to host fundraising events where Sitka residents can buy shares of fruit trees for $100 (full), $50 (half) or $25 (quarter). They also can buy shares in fruit-producing berry bushes ($25). The fruit tree shares make nice alternative gifts this holiday season, and purchasers receive a certificate to place under the Christmas tree. To learn more, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart of the Sitka Local Foods Network at 747-5985. The gift information brochure is posted below as a PDF file.

• Sitka Fruit Tree Project gift information brochure

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Alaska Fish Tacos (photo courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute)

Alaska Fish Tacos (photo courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute)

Do you have a great fish taco recipe that uses wild Alaska seafood, Sitka’s premier local food? If so, that recipe might earn you a trip to Los Angeles to serve your winning dish.

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is sponsoring the contest, in partnership with celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feninger of Los Angeles-based Border Grill. The grand prize winner will fly to LA to serve his or her fish tacos alongside the chefs on their gourmet taqueria on wheels, the Border Grill Truck. All recipes must use at least one type of wild Alaska fish in a tortilla (so a burrito or quesadilla will work, too). For more details about the contest, go to http://www.alaskafishtaco.com/.

The recipe contest opened in November and runs through Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. Submit your recipe through the www.alaskafishtaco.com site, which also has videos and a few recipes from the chefs. In addition to the grand prize winner, there also will be a People’s Choice contest that starts on Feb. 15, 2011. The winner of the People’s Choice contest receives and Apple iPad.

If you have a great fish taco recipe using fish caught in Sitka, send the recipe and a photo of your masterpiece to charles@sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org. We don’t have any prizes, but the best recipes will be posted on the Sitka Local Foods Network site. Personally, I like a smoked king salmon quesadilla or a salmon taco with mango/peach salsa.

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The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 5-6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

Key topics for the meeting include an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, an update on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and Blatchley Community Garden, a recap of the Sitka Farmers Markets, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the two new food projects from the Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 apple or other fruit trees in Sitka and getting more locally caught fish served at Sitka schools), and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.

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