• Work party and veggies available Saturday at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

St. Peter's Fellowship Farm sign

St. Peter's Fellowship Farm sign

Carrots, kale, lettuce, potatoes and other vegetables will be available for a donation from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street).

People are encouraged to stick around and help out at the regular Saturday work party at the same time. Volunteers are needed to help weed and pick slugs from the gardens. Feel free to stick around, tend the garden and enjoy the fellowship of people making local food happen in Sitka.

Call Lisa Sadleir-Hart for more information at 747-5985.

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• Work crew needed to help build a new potato bed Wednesday at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

Photo courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery / Photo by Scott Bauer -- The average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, making the tubers the vegetable of choice in this country

Photo courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery / Photo by Scott Bauer -- The average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, making the tubers the vegetable of choice in this country

Volunteers are needed to help build a new potato bed from 4:30-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street).

Lead gardener Laura Schmidt wants the bed in place in preparation for the 2012 growing season. Many hands make light work, so please join us on Wednesday to help prepare the ground for the new bed.

To learn more, contact Laura at 623-7003 or 738-7009.

• SEARHC, UAF Cooperative Extension Service to host ‘Basics of Food Preservation’ classes

University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Agent Roxie Dinstel demonstrates proper home canning techniques (Photo courtesy of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Agent Roxie Dinstel demonstrates proper home canning techniques (Photo courtesy of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

Are you looking for ways to safely put up your grub? Do you have extra salmon or veggies you want to preserve for eating this winter? Two “Basics of Food Preservation” classes will be taught Wednesday, Aug. 31, in Sitka.

The first class takes place at noon on Aug. 31 at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Litehouse Cafeteria conference rooms. The second class is at 7 p.m. at Kettleson Memorial Library.

Both one-hour classes will be taught by University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Agent Roxie Dinstel of Fairbanks, who will cover safe canning and preserving for various types of foods. Roxie helped create the UAF Cooperative Extension Service‘s new Preserving Alaska’s Bounty online tutorials for home canners, which can be found at http://www.uaf.edu/ces/preservingalaskasbounty/. (Note, Adobe Flash Player required to view tutorials, but it can be downloaded from the site.) She also helped write several of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service’s publications on canning, which are available from your local UAF Cooperative Extension Service office (at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus in Sitka) or can be downloaded online at http://www.uaf.edu/ces/publications/.

In addition to the two classes on home canning, Roxie also will be available to test pressure gauges for home canning equipment owned by Sitka residents. These tests can tell you if your gauge is still accurate, or if it needs to be replaced for safe canning.

These classes are sponsored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, Kettleson Memorial Library and SEARHC Health Promotion. All are welcome to attend, and the classes are free. For more information, please contact Martha Pearson at 966-8783 or martha.pearson@searhc.org.

• Make plans for the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer this Saturday (Aug. 27) at ANB Hall

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK  Sitka Local Foods Network board members Cathy Lieser, left, and Lisa Sadleir-Hart, right, present jewelry maker Kiki Norman of Art Glass By Kiki with the Table of the Day Award from the third Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. The prize included fresh produce, preserves and a set of Alaska Grown tote bags. The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.).

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK Sitka Local Foods Network board members Cathy Lieser, left, and Lisa Sadleir-Hart, right, present jewelry maker Kiki Norman of Art Glass By Kiki with the Table of the Day Award from the third Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. The prize included fresh produce, preserves and a set of Alaska Grown tote bags. The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.).

Be sure to attend the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).

This will be the fourth of five full Sitka Farmers Markets this summer, with the schedule running on alternate Saturdays (July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27 and Sept. 10). There also will be a small market as part of the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Sept. 24 at the Crescent Harbor shelter.

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.

For more information about the market or hosting a booth, contact Sitka Farmers Market Manager Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings or weekends) or lawilson87@hotmail.com. By the way, we always need volunteers to help set up and take down the market before and after the event.

Also, any family gardeners with extra produce to donate or sell during the Aug. 27 or Sept. 10 Sitka Farmers Markets, please contact Linda Wilson. Due to the recent rainy weather, some of our usual gardeners are low on produce for the markets. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Also, don’t forget to 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/. Search for the Sitka Farmers Market by using the zip code or state directories. You also can vote by clicking the contest logo at the top of this site’s right column.

Voting opened on June 1, and the deadline to vote is midnight EST on Wednesday, Aug. 31 (8 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday, Aug. 30). The online voting form asks what you like best about the market, so be prepared to type something in the box. The top boutique, small, medium and large markets win a large quantity of “No Farms, No Food” totebags to distribute at a market in September, in addition to other prizes to help organizers run a better market. Click here for more information about the contest, and click here for a FAQ page with more details.

• Root vegetable picking parties on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

Two kids carry a basket full of turnips during a kid-friendly carrot pull Aug. 12, 2011, at St. Peter's Fellowship Farm. The turnips were being taken to be cleaned up so they could be sold at the Sitka Farmers Market on Aug. 13.

Two kids carry a basket full of turnips during a kid-friendly carrot pull Aug. 12, 2011, at St. Peter's Fellowship Farm. The turnips were being taken to be cleaned up so they could be sold at the Sitka Farmers Market on Aug. 13.

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host two family friendly harvest of root vegetables at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street).

The picking parties are to help get root vegetables ready to sell at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).

On Friday, volunteers will help St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt pull root crops such as carrots, turnips and garlic, and dig up potatoes. The rest of the crops, such as lettuce, kale, rhubarb and other veggies, will be harvested on Saturday. The picking parties are family friendly and kids are encouraged to participate.

For additional information, contact Laura Schmidt at 623-7003 or 738-7009.

Also, any family gardeners with extra produce to donate or sell during the Aug. 27 or Sept. 10 Sitka Farmers Markets, please contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights, weekends) or lawilson87@hotmail.com. Due to the recent rainy weather, some of our usual gardeners are low on produce for the markets.

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet Aug. 23 to plan 2012 festival

The Sitka Seafood Festival will host a planning (or “see if we can make this festival happen again”) meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the fireplace pit at the Westmark Sitka Hotel (330 Seward St.).

The third annual Sitka Seafood Festival is tentatively planned for Aug 3-4, 2012, but there is a lot we need to figure out to make sure this can actually happen. If you are interested in any capacity, please either attend the meeting, or get ahold of Alicia Olson prior to the meeting.

Alicia will have specific job descriptions and tasks to try and delegate, and the steering committee will discuss the possibility of merging or piggybacking so this event can be sustainable in the future. If your organization would like to be involved, please send a rep or contact Alicia as well.

“I have heard nothing but positive, amazing comments regarding this festival, and I know we would all like to see it continue to grow, so spread the word,” Alicia said. “Thanks again to everyone for so much hard work and effort … and see you on Tuesday.”

For more information about the Sitka Seafood Festival, contact Alicia Olson at Alicia Olson at 1-928-607-4845 or sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.

• Sitka Conservation Society hosts a Sitka Salmon Tour for Kids

The Sitka Conservation Society will host a family friendly walking tour of Sitka’s salmon habitat from 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, starting at the Sitka Sound Science Center(834 Lincoln St.).The walking tour will explore the magic of salmon from stream to plate. It is similar to the walking tours offered this summer by Sitka Salmon Tours and the Sitka Conservation Society.

This special family friendly walking tour is a benefit for the Fish to Schools program, which provides local fish and stream to plate education in Sitka schools. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and available at Old Harbor Books. Space is limited to 20 participants.

For more information, contact Sitka Salmon Tours and/or the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 (both can be reached at this number).

• Flier for Sitka Salmon Tour for Kids