• Sitka Local Foods Network building a pool of volunteers who can teach gardening


Are you an experienced Sitka gardener willing to share some of your knowledge? The Sitka Local Foods Network needs you. The Sitka Local Foods Network is building a pool of volunteers who can teach gardening to local residents who might be new to growing local food.

We’re looking for people who can teach all aspects of gardening, such as how to build a raised garden bed, how to amend soil, how to choose seeds and plant starts for our climate, how to manage your garden once it’s planted, and more. To learn more about our education plans and our efforts to build a pool of teaching volunteers, please join us for a Sitka Local Foods Network education committee meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, March 3, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

While we encourage people who have completed the Master Gardener program to apply, you don’t have to be a Master Gardener for our list of teaching volunteers. Just send us a a note expressing your interest in teaching or helping with a class, what types of classes you’re comfortable teaching, and the best dates and times for teaching that class. Please list your prior experience with these skills (such as I’ve been growing my own garden in Sitka for 12 years).

In addition to skilled gardeners willing to teach basic gardening, we’re also looking for people who can teach Sitka residents how to gather seaweed and other beach greens, how to go berry picking, how to preserve and can food, how to field dress a deer, how to cook with some of the lesser-known veggies that grow in Sitka, and other local food skills. Also, please let us know if you can teach specialized classes, such as permaculture, hydroponics, square-foot gardening, container gardening, how to raise chickens, etc.

This spring our local University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service agent is retiring, so we’re trying to build a pool of volunteers who can provide gardening education until the UAF Cooperative Extension Service can hire a replacement. We might be without a Sitka agent for a period of time, and when they hire a new agent they may rewrite the job description.

To join our pool of teaching volunteers, send your information to charleswbingham3@gmail.com. Please put SLFN Education in the subject line of your email. Please send us a note if you’re willing to teach at a later date and not just this spring or summer. We thank you for your support.