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Archive for October, 2014

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The Sitka Local Foods Network is one of five Alaska food organizations included in the Food Tank and James Beard Foundation‘s 2014 Good Food Org Guide, released on Oct. 26.

According to the Food Tank website, ‘This definitive guide highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in the United States in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. Only nonprofit, scholarly, and municipal initiatives have been selected in order to spotlight efforts that are focused on community building and engagement, advocacy, and service.”

The guide is meant to be a definitive resource that highlights the exemplary work non-profit organizations in the United States are doing on food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice.

In addition to the Sitka Local Foods Network, the other Alaska groups included in the guide are the Alaska Food Coalition, the Alaska Food Policy Council, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, and Kids’ Kitchen, Inc. You can download a copy of the 2014 Food Org Guide by clicking the link below.

• Food Tank and James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Good Food Org Guide

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Help celebrate Food Day by joining the Sitka Local Foods Network as it hosts its inaugural Harvest Fest Fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Del Shirley Room upstairs in Allen Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus.

This event will feature a silent auction for a variety of local food- and garden-related items and services, including:

  • An apple tree and planting/pruning service,
  • Canning lessons,
  • 4-6 hours of work in your garden,
  • Flats of “Finn Island Farm” vegetable starts for 2015,
  • Customized local foods packages,
  • Chef services,
  • Wine-making supplies/materials/lesson,
  • Edible landscaping consultation,
  • Home-made desserts and other homegrown goodies,
  • Compost,
  • Alaska gardening books, and
  • A tour of and overnight stay at Finn Island Farm for 1-2 people, includes transportation, gourmet dinner and breakfast.

In addition, the Lexicon of Sustainability photos will be on display, we will give a short update on the state of local food in Sitka, there will be live music, light refreshments featuring local food will be served, and we will pour locally brewed beer (for those age 21 and older) and root beer from Baranof Island Brewing Company. This is a family oriented event, and there is a suggested donation of $5.

“The Sitka Local Foods Network board is excited to share the Lexicon of Sustainability photos again with the Sitka community in the context with our Harvest Fest Fundraiser,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “We’ve received a delicious array of donations from board members and friends for food-focused items and services for a silent auction, plus we will serve light refreshments focused on locally grown foods and hear about the state of Sitka’s foodscape. It’ll be a festive, informative event.”

The Sitka Local Foods Network is a nonprofit organization that promotes and encourages the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. Money raised at this fundraiser will support the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners.

For more information, contact the Sitka Local Foods Network at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org.

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The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) has formed the Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins (SEATT) partnership with six other Southeast tribes to monitor harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Southeast Alaska. In addition, STA has been awarded a grant to build a lab to monitor biotoxins, which frequently impact clams, mussels, cockles, and other shellfish harvested in the region.

raw-clams-350SEATT will unify Southeast Alaska tribes in monitoring HAB events that pose a human health risk to the subsistence shellfish harvester, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). This monitoring effort will provide weekly data on the timing and distribution of HABs, along with measurements of environmental conditions, indicators, and potential mechanisms that trigger HAB events.

In addition to STA, SEATT partners include the Klawock Cooperative Association, Craig Tribal Association, Yakutat Tlingít Tribe, Petersburg Indian Association, Organized Village of Kasaan, and the Central Council of Tlingít and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Biotoxin Programs from Seattle, Wash., and Charleston, S.C., have committed to provide training through workshops to help develop the SEATT program. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska is hosting a workshop in November for SEATT to provide training on sample collection techniques and data entry. NOAA staff will help facilitate the trainings using previously established protocols used by other HAB monitoring groups throughout nation.

Each SEATT tribe received funding through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) totaling $210,000 for fiscal year 2015, with plans to continue through 2017. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska also received an additional $150,000 to support SEATT with the bi-annual technical workshops and conduct cellular toxin analysis.

Ipe-fig1n addition, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska received $527,000 for the development of a marine biotoxin lab in Sitka from the Administration for Native Americans’ Environmental Regulatory Enhancement program. The lab will provide the SEATT partners the ability to assess their communities’ vulnerability for human health risks following with the same regulatory standards used by other state and federal agencies.

The STA lab will conduct toxin analysis on shellfish using the new Receptor Binding Assay (RBA) technique developed at the NOAA Charleston laboratory. The RBA was just recently accepted as a regulatory method used to determine toxin levels in shellfish by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) and has been adopted into the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP).

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Your Sitka Local Foods Network reminds you that it’s time to get out in the garden and harvest and store your potatoes.

The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee encourages people to come and get their hands dirty as you learn how to harvest potatoes. Participants will also learn what they need to do to keep those potatoes fresh and ready to eat from now until May.

Michelle Putz will present a free, short, hands-on potato harvesting and storage workshop at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 131 Shelikof Way. The class is open to everyone.

The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee has been hosting a series of “It’s time to …” workshops this year designed to help local residents learn about various aspects of vegetable gardening and fruit growing. Many of these classes will be informal get-togethers at various gardens around town. Please watch our website, Facebook pageFacebook group, and local news media for information about upcoming classes. If you have an “It’s time to …” workshop you’d like to teach, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

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Late harvests and preparing your vegetable garden for winter is the subject of the fifth class in the 2014 Sitka Local Foods Network education committee’s garden mentoring program.

The public is invited to join one of our current garden-mentoring families to learn about harvesting and storing potatoes, harvesting lettuce and kale into fall and winter, and preparing vegetable gardens for winter (and spring).

This free class will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, at Tami O’Neill’s house, 2309 Merganser Dr. The class is open to all first-time gardeners in Sitka.

Families that might be interested in participating in the garden mentor program are encouraged to come and learn about 2015 garden mentoring opportunities.

For more information, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708 ormichelleputzfood@yahoo.com.

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Today (Thursday, Oct. 2) Alaskans began receiving their Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend checks, which are $1,884 this year. Recently, many Alaskans have chosen to share that wealth with state and local nonprofits through the Pick.Click.Give. program.

Your Sitka Local Foods Network joined the Pick.Click.Give. program this year, and we’d like to thank the 56 donors who pledged $2,900 to help us promote and encourage the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. We thank you for supporting the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners. You can learn more about your Sitka Local Foods Network at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

You also can support us by attending the Sitka Local Foods Network Harvest Fest fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Del Shirley Room upstairs in Allen Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. This event will feature a silent auction for a variety of food- and garden-related items and services. In addition, the Lexicon of Sustainability photos will be on display, we will give a short update on the state of local food in Sitka, there will be live music, light refreshments featuring local food will be served, and we will pour locally brewed beer (for those age 21 and older) and root beer from Baranof Island Brewing Company. This is a family oriented event, and there is a suggested donation of $5.

Again, we thank you for your support,

 

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors

President Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Vice President Michelle Putz, Secretary Beth Kindig, Treasurer Maybelle Filler, Webmaster Charles Bingham, Milt Fusselman, Matthew Jackson (and two vacant seats)

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