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Archive for February, 2015

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One of the problems with gardening in Sitka is the frequent rain washes a variety of nutrients out of the soil. Composting your kitchen scraps is a great way to rebuild the nutrients in your soil, but many people aren’t sure where to start.

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host the free class Everyone Can Compost from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street).

This class will teach Sitka gardeners why people compost, the mechanics of composting, and what to compost. It also will show you what you need for your kitchen to collect scraps, and how to set up a compost box outside if you have a large space (or how to compost when you live in an apartment). In addition to providing fresh nutrients for your garden soil, composting is a good way to track your food waste.

“We will present the class in a way so you can personally adapt composting to your situation,” teacher Jennifer Carter said.

This class is free and open to all Sitka residents wanting to learn how simple it is to compost. For more information, contact Jennifer at 747-0520. It also is one of many free classes being offered this year by the Sitka Local Foods Network education committee. Click here to get a full list of our upcoming spring classes.

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March2015SLFNNewsletterScreenshot

The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the March 2015 edition of its newly launched monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This edition of the newsletter has brief stories about Sitka neighbors forming chicken coop co-ops, our open manager and assistant manager positions for the Sitka Farmers Market, some upcoming spring garden and livestock classes, and the 2015 Pick.Click.Give. fundraising campaign. Each story has links to our website for more information.

You can sign up for future editions of our newsletter by clicking on the registration form image in the right column of our website and filling in the information. If you received a copy but didn’t want one, there is a link at the bottom of the newsletter so you can unsubscribe. Our intention is to get the word out about upcoming events and not to spam people. We will not share our email list with others to protect your privacy.

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The Sitka Health Summit congratulates the folks at Sitka Kitch and First Presbyterian Church on their $13,000 grant. The funds will go a long way towards renovation of their community kitchen. "Sitka Kitch is a community collaboration to augment and strengthen Sitka's workforce through the development of food-based curriculum and training." It is an initiative of the Sitka Health Summit. From left are Patrick Williams, Marjorie Hennessy, Clara Gray, Cheri Hample, Martina Kurzer, Suzan Brawnlyn, Cyndy Gibson, and Betsy Decker. (Photo Courtesy of the Sitka Health Summit)

The Sitka Health Summit congratulates the folks at Sitka Kitch and First Presbyterian Church on their $13,000 grant. The funds will go a long way towards renovation of their community kitchen. “Sitka Kitch is a community collaboration to augment and strengthen Sitka’s workforce through the development of food-based curriculum and training.” It is an initiative of the Sitka Health Summit. From left are Patrick Williams, Marjorie Hennessy, Clara Gray, Cheri Hample, Martina Kurzer, Suzan Brawnlyn, Cyndy Gibson, and Betsy Decker. (Photo Courtesy of the Sitka Health Summit)

kitch_logo_mainThe Sitka First Presbyterian Church and the Sitka Conservation Society are pleased to announce the official opening of the Sitka Kitch, a new community commercial kitchen for Sitka.

Please join us to commemorate this exciting event. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 9, at the Sitka Kitch, in the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Sawmill Creek Road. Light refreshments courtesy of the Back Door Café will be served.

Sitka Kitch is a community initiative that arose from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit, and is a truly collaborative and partner-rich project. The Sitka Conservation Society, First Presbyterian Church, Sitka Local Foods Network, Sitka Food Co-op, Sitka District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership have all contributed to turn Sitka’s dream of a community kitchen into reality. Sitka Kitch received $13,000 from the Northwest Coast Presbytery Community Blessings Grant. These funds went directly towards renovating the church’s kitchen so that ‘Sitka Kitch’ could meet the requirements of becoming an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)-certified commercial kitchen.

sikta_kitch_sheet-791x1024The Sitka Kitch now is ready to function as a shared-use community kitchen. Our goal is to provide food-based education, at various levels, to the greater Sitka community. With these renovations completed, the Kitch can offer a DEC-certified commercial kitchen to local entrepreneurs and small businesses for an affordable hourly rate. Instructors interested in developing and offering food-based classes may also rent the kitchen and space. The Kitch also hopes to develop and provide career and technical training, and community canning events.

Through multi-use access to a commercial kitchen, Sitka Kitch’s goals are to support a sustainable local foods culture, spark local foods entrepreneurship and empower the community to become more independent and food secure. This will continue to be the delivery location for the Sitka Food Co-op and Everything Organic Sitka. Sitka Farmers Market and other cottage food industry vendors who need to process food products in a commercial kitchen now will have a place they can rent.

For more information on using Sitka Kitch, please contact sitkakitch@sitkawild.org.

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SLFNSpringGardenClassesFEB2015

Thinking about your garden, especially with our warm winter? It’s time to mark your calendars with several upcoming Spring 2015 garden classes offered by the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee.

GreensInHoopHouseStPetersThese free classes will cover a variety of topics, from gardening basics and choosing what veggies to grow in Sitka to learning about fruit tree pruning, composting and seed-starting. But wait, there’s more. We recently added classes on raising chickens and rabbits. Some of the classes have limited space and require preregistration, so sign up early.

We will be adding more classes to this list as they become available, so check the website for updates. We plan to post individual class announcements as we get closer to the actual class dates.

And now, here’s the list of classes so far:

  • Everyone Can Compost — 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street), teacher Jennifer Carter, no preregistration required.
  • Fruit Tree Pruning Basics Workshop — 10 a.m., Saturday, March 7, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church), teacher Jud Kirkness, no preregistration required.
  • Growing and Fertilizing Rhubarb — 11 a.m., Saturday, March 14, at the home of Perry Edwards/Michelle Putz (131 Shelikof), teachers Perry Edwards and Michelle Putz, no preregistration required.
  • Raising Chickens 101 — 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street), teacher Bobbi Daniels, no preregistration required.
  • Starting Vegetable Seedlings Workshop — 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teacher Jennifer Carter, learn how to start seedlings and go home with a tray of planted seeds, class limited to 15 people, preregistration required.
  • Raising Rabbits 101 — 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 8, Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street), teacher Bobbi Daniels, no preregistration required.
  • Seed-Starting Basics — 2 p.m., Saturday, April 11, call for location (Michelle Putz, 747-2708), teacher Linda Wilson, class limited to 8-10 people, preregistration required.

We had 55 people attend our first two classes in January and February, kicking off a year-long series of education events on a variety of topics related to vegetable gardening, livestock, and food preservation in Sitka. Our garden mentor program classes also will be open to the public, once they start in April.

For more information or to sign up for classes requiring preregistration, contact Jennifer Carter at 747-0520 or 1-850-491-2666 (cell), or Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

• Spring 2015 garden education classes from the Sitka Local Foods Network (opens as PDF)

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2015SLFNLudvigsBistroEvent The Sitka Local Foods Network will benefit from a “Fill the Bistro” fundraiser on Thursday, March 26, at Ludvig’s Bistro (256 Katlian St.). Fill the Bistro is a series of community fundraisers held on Thursdays this spring for local organizations working in Sitka (in previous years they were on Wednesdays). Ludvig’s Bistro is open from 5-9 p.m. serving traditional Mediterranean fare and seafood. The beneficiary organization for each Thursday’s Fill the Bistro event receives 10 percent of the night’s sales. Due to the small size of Ludvig’s Bistro, it is recommended that diners call 966-FOOD (966-3663) to make reservations. If the restaurant is closed, there is an answering machine to take reservations (please call in and don’t email the restaurant). The Sitka Local Foods Network thanks Ludvig’s Bistro owner/chef Colette Nelson for including us in this year’s series of Fill the Bistro fundraisers.

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Salmonberries await picking near the entrance to Sitka National Historical Park

Salmonberries await picking near the entrance to Sitka National Historical Park

A new biology class by University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus associate professor Kitty LaBounty will itself be a “hybrid”.

klabountyThe DNA of most traditional botany classes is to gather students around a table of samples and look at them in a face-to-face classroom setting. By offering Flora of Southeast Alaska as both a local and distance class, students from anywhere can get up to speed on how to identify the common native trees, shrubs and herbs of southeast and south central Alaska. Local students can participate in the lectures on campus, while students across Alaska can see the imagery online and hear the lectures either live or via digital recording.

Flora of Southeast Alaska is a one-credit, seven-week workshop. The focus will be on identification of common species and attaining an understanding of their place in the ecosystem of Southeast Alaska. Students will discover how these plants interact with other plants and animals, and how humans use these plants for food, fuel, medicine, or simply enjoyment.

In addition to illustrated weekly lectures, there will be written exercises and “check for understanding” activities. The class is available to any student without prerequisites. It does not count as credit toward a biology major at UAS.

Professor LaBounty brings her lifelong passion as a gardener and scientist to this topic, along with more than 25 years experience working on plant identification for state, federal and non-profit agencies in Alaska.

The class will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursdays from March 5 to April 30 — with March 19th off for spring break. The cost is $187 for local students and $227 for eLearning (distance) students.

For more information, contact Kitty LaBounty at UAS Sitka Campus. 747-9432. To register, call 747-7700. or toll-free, 800-478-6653.

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SitkaFarmersMarketSign

The Sitka Local Foods Network is looking for a manager and assistant manager to coordinate the 2015 Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. These are contract positions, and the manager and assistant manager (who reports to the manager) receive small compensation depending on experience for their work organizing the six scheduled farmers markets this summer.

SLFNGroupwLindaThis is the eighth year of operation for the Sitka Farmers Market, which features six markets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from July through September at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (this year’s market dates are July 4, 18, Aug. 1, 15, 29, and Sept. 12). The farmers markets feature booths from local farmers/gardeners, local fishermen, and artisans and craftspeople. These events are great Sitka gathering places, and we promote local foods and other local goods at the markets.

A detailed description of the market manager duties can be found at the link below. For more information or to submit applications, contact Maybelle Filler at 738-1982 or mocampo25@hotmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com (please put “Sitka Farmers Market Manager” in the subject line). Applications should include a cover letter, resume, three recommendations, and they are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6. The market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market reports to the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors, and the assistant manager reports to the manager.

• Description of duties for market manager of the Sitka Farmers Market Manager (2015)

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