• Sitka to host five farmers markets in 2011; first market is Saturday, July 16

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its fourth summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with five markets that start on July 16 and take place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 10. The Sitka Farmers Markets 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 Saturday, July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27 and Sept. 10, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. We are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2011/07/06/%E2%80%A2-don%E2%80%99t-forget-to-vote-for-the-sitka-farmers-market-in-this-year%E2%80%99s-america%E2%80%99s-favorite-farmers-markets-contest/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is like a carnival every other Saturday,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Kerry MacLane said. “It’s a fun community space to enjoy with your family or to meet your friends for fresh coffee and baked goods. There is live music, cooking demonstrations, art, and, of course, fresh veggies, fruit and seafood.”

The Sitka Farmers Market started as a community project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. This event is sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

“This is our fourth year for the Sitka Farmers Market and thanks to our great vendors we look forward to another successful season,” said Linda Wilson, Sitka Local Foods Network VP and Sitka Farmers Market Coordinator. “Outdoor vendors will enjoy a new paved parking lot with landscaping, thanks to BIHA. A tent will be set up for outdoor dining where you can listen to live music and enjoy some great food. New this year is a vendor selling Sitka Sea Salt. Look forward to fresh snap and snow peas for snacking, rhubarb goodies and many other edibles.”

Vendor fees are $2.50 per foot for table space, or $2.00 per foot for vendors with their own outside tents. The fees help us cover the costs of renting ANB Hall and its kitchen, hiring musicians and other expenses. To learn more about being a vendor or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Coordinator Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or by e-mail lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other information for potential vendors can be found at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2011/06/01/%E2%80%A2-vendors-need-to-start-registering-for-booth-space-at-this-years-sitka-farmers-markets/.