• Sitka to host six farmers markets in 2013 starting on Saturday, July 6

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host its sixth summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with six markets this year starting on July 6 and taking place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 14. 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 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, 20, Aug. 3, 17, 31, and Sept. 14 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked goods, locally made jams and jellies, 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 and Quest EBT for Food Stamps. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is a great way to connect with community members and support local entrepreneurs,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “Circulating your dollars locally also has a multiplying effect and helps your neighbors.”

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

“We are excited to have Bridget Kaufmann, bread-baker extraordinaire and former vendor, as our new market manager,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Bridget brings loads of enthusiasm and some new ideas to the market and is focused on creating a sustainable market that can be in Sitka for the duration.” AmeriCorps volunteers Sabrina Cimerol and Garrett Bauer will assist Bridget and share co-market managing duties. “As always the market will be a place to support the growing local food movement in Sitka and learn more about how to eat more sustainably.”

Vendor fees are $30 for a 6-foot table, $40 for an 8-foot table and $20 for a 4-foot table. Vendors with their own tents pay $5 per foot. As always, we offer cost incentives for vendors growing locally produced food. The fees will help us cover the costs of renting ANB Founders 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, Bridget Kauffman at 738-8683 or by e-mail sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other information for potential vendors can be found on the Documents page at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

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• Greater Sitka Arts Council seeks entries for Sitka “state” Fair on Aug. 11

2013 Sitka State Fair flierHave you always wanted to participate in one of the official Alaska State Fairs, but didn’t have the money or time to get to Haines, Palmer or Fairbanks? The Greater Sitka Arts Council is seeking entries, including food entries, for the second annual Sitka “state” Fair, which takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

“The thinking was there are a lot of people in Sitka with a wide variety of interests and talents and a state fair would give them an opportunity to share them, show them off, and have some good old-fashioned, state-fair-type competition,” said Jeff Budd of the Greater Sitka Arts Council. “We also did it because it seemed like a lot of fun and meets our  stated Vision: Art is vital to a healthy vibrant community, and Mission: To increase awareness of the value of arts in Sitka through education, advocacy and programming. Also, as we were the first capital of Alaska that we deserved a state fair as much as Palmer or Haines.”

Entries will be taken for three age divisions — age 0-10, age 10-17, and age 18-older. Entry fees are $3 per item, with a maximum of nine total entries. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place in each age division and category. Food contest entries should include two samples (one for the judges, one for display). Items are for display only, and no sales will be permitted.

Entries should be dropped off from 8-9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. They will be judged from 9 a.m. to noon, and the fair will be open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. All entries must remain on display until 5 p.m.

Categories to be judged include:

  • Cupcakes
  • Savory Pies
  • Sweet Pies
  • Savory Bread
  • Sweet Bread
  • Artisinal Bread
  • Scones
  • Muffins
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Home-Grown Vegetables
  • Hobbies (Crsfts, Collections)
  • Flower Arranging
  • Spam Hors d’Oeuvres
  • Pickling
  • Chickens (Caged)
  • Bunnies (Caged)
  • Vegetable/Fruit Art
  • Canned Fish
  • Smoked Fish

In addition, there also is a “Sitka Tuf” photography contest hosted by the Harry Race Photo Department. To learn more about it, go to the Harry Race website or the Harry Race page on Facebook.

To learn more about the Sitka “state” Fair, go to the Greater Sitka Arts Council website (scroll down for details) or the group’s Facebook page. Entry forms can be downloaded below, or you can get copies at the GSAC office, Room 108 of the Yaw Building on the Sheldon Jackson Campus, or at the Harry Race Photo Department.

• 2013 Sitka State Fair entry form

• Sitka Farmers Market among 11 farmers markets accepting Alaska Quest Cards

(The following is from a press release from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Agriculture)

EBTattheFarmersMarketPALMER, Alaska – Eleven farmers markets throughout Alaska, including the Sitka Farmers Market, are now accepting Quest Cards, enhancing the state’s efforts to make healthy, locally-grown food available to Alaska households. Six markets (including Sitka) accepted the cards in 2012, and two markets accepted them in 2011, according to the Division of Agriculture.

The Alaska Quest Card is used by households qualified through the Alaska Food Stamp Program to purchase food from farmers markets and grocery stores.

“This program improves access to fresh, local foods to community members who are struggling financially.  Additionally, the program helps increase understanding of food insecurity issues in our community and how produce and other food vendors can be part of the solution,” said Lisa Sadlier-Hart, manager of the Sitka Farmers Market (Editor’s note: A correction, Sadleir-Hart is president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors, which hosts the Sitka Farmers Markets; Bridget Kauffman is the market manager).

Quest cards are accepted in the following locations:

Anchorage

  • Spenard Farmers Market; the Anchorage Farmers Market; and the South Anchorage Farmers Markets (Saturday and Wednesday)

Kenai Peninsula

  • Anchor Point Saturday Farmers Market & Swap Meet, and the Homer Farmers Market

Western Alaska

  • The Bethel Farm Stand and the Dillingham Farmers Market

Fairbanks

  • Downtown Fairbanks Market and Calypso School Garden Farm Stands

Southeast Alaska

  • Sitka Farmers Market

These markets will also host Match Days, when Quest card holders can get twice the amount of fresh, local food for the first $20 spent with their cards.   Match Days are listed below:

Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula

  • First market of the month (markets happening twice a week will have matching both days);

Western Alaska, Fairbanks and Southeast Alaska

  • Throughout the summer until funds run out.

Check the Alaska Division of Agriculture website at http://www.dnr.alaska.gov/ag/ag_FMI.htm for more information on Alaska’s farmers markets, including those that accept Quest Cards.  For more information on the Alaska Quest Card, go to http://www.akquest.alaska.gov.

See you at the market, where it’s Closer. Fresher. Better.