Check out the January 2020 edition of the Sitka Local Foods Network newsletter

Happy New Year. The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the January 2020 edition of its monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This month’s newsletter includes short articles about the Pick.Click.Give. program opening on Wednesday, hiring a new Sitka Farmers Market manager for the 2020 summer, a new fundraiser to help build a high tunnel at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, an invitation to join our board of directors, and an update about our 2020 sponsorship program. Each story has links to our website for more information.

You can sign up for future editions of our newsletter by clicking on the newsletter 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 protect your privacy by not sharing our email list with others. Don’t forget to like us on Facebooklike our Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SitkaLocalFoods).

Wednesday’s the day to start filing your 2020 PFD applications with Pick.Click.Give. donations

As 2019 draws to a close, many Alaskans already are thinking about applying for their 2020 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend check in January. As usual, Alaskans can share their wealth with a variety of Alaska nonprofits, including the Sitka Local Foods Network, through the PFD’s Pick.Click.Give. program.

This is the sixth year the Sitka Local Foods Network will participate in the Pick.Click.Give. program, which allows people to donate in $25 increments to their favorite statewide and local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations when they file their PFD applications from Jan. 1 through March 31.

When you choose to donate part of your PFD to the Sitka Local Foods Network, you support the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, education programs about growing and preserving food, the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, Sitka Community Gardens, matching dollars at the Sitka Farmers Market for SNAP/WIC beneficiaries, the sustainable use of traditional foods, the Sitka Community Food Assessment, the Sitka Food Summit, and a variety of other projects designed to increase access to healthy local foods in Sitka. We recently launched the Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest to try and inspire entrepreneurs in Sitka to work more with local foods.

In 2019 Alaskans contributed $2.9 million to 627 Alaska nonprofit organizations, and more than $24.0 million has been donated since the program started in 2009. Some Alaskans choose to donate to just one group, while others may spread several donations around to many groups. There now are  622 total 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations participating in Pick.Click.Give. for 2020 (including multi-location nonprofits), including 20 from Sitka. In 2019, Alaskans donated $39,800 to Sitka-based nonprofits, up from $33,925 in 2018.

So how do you make a donation to the Sitka Local Foods Network through the Pick.Click.Give. program? First, starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, go fill out your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend application at When you get to the section of the application asking if you want to participate in Pick.Click.Give. Charitable Contributions program, click on the PCG link and search for the Sitka Local Foods Network. You also can look for us by using the town search for Sitka.

The Pick.Click.Give. program is available only to people who file their PFD applications online, and not to those who file by mail. Even though you can’t file a new PFD application after March 31, you can go back into your application and update your Pick.Click.Give. donations through Aug. 31 each year. (NOTE, this year the Alaska PFD will be released on July 1, and the last day to update your PCG donations has been moved to June 17. While the Sitka Local Foods Network appreciates your donations, we understand many families are hurting this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you need to delete your donation to feed your family, we’d rather you do that. If you want to make an extra donation to help improve food security in Sitka and Southeast Alaska, we appreciate the donation. Thanks for your thoughts.)

You still can donate to the Sitka Local Foods Network if you aren’t from Alaska or aren’t eligible for a 2020 PFD. To donate, send your check to the Sitka Local Foods Network, 408-D Marine St., Sitka, Alaska, 99835. You also can donate online by going to our online fundraising page on, and clicking the Donate button to make an online contribution. You also can send in a check or make an online donation if you are trying to make nonprofit donations before the end of the 2019 tax year. We also have an end-of-2019 fundraiser on Facebook, and we just launched a GoFundMe Charity fundraiser to pay for a new high tunnel so we can grow more fresh, local produce at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm to sell at the Sitka Farmers Market and other events. Please let us know if you need a receipt for tax purposes. For more information about donating, you can send an email to

Thank you for supporting our mission of promoting and encouraging the growing, harvesting and eating of local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska.

Kayaaní Commission to host annual meeting on Monday, Jan. 6

The Kayaaní Commission, which is coordinated by Sitka Tribe of Alaska in partnership with other groups in Sitka, will host its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 6, at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Resources Protection Building, 429 Katlian Street. The public is invited to attend. On the agenda will be elections.

The Kayaaní Commission is a group of knowledgeable community members and tribal citizens who are concerned with preserving and protecting plants and the traditional ways they are used. It started meeting in 1997 after the USDA Forest Service created a “special forest products” category for non-timber products in the Alaska region that included many of the traditional plants gathered by Alaska Natives for food, medicine and other purposes.

The meetings provided a way for the tribe to share its knowledge and customary practices using these roots, berries, bark, fungi, and other plants with federal and state agencies, so the agencies are less likely to make regulations that prevent their harvest. The Kayaaní Commission also discusses ways to sustainably harvest these plants, so the remain a vital part of our landscape. These efforts are supported by the Forest Service, Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP), Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood (ANB/ANS), National Park Service, (NPS), Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SEAICC) and many other interested parties and individuals along the way.

For more information, please contact Tammy Young at 747-7167 or

Help the Sitka Local Foods Network build a new high tunnel at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

Since 2008, the Sitka Local Foods Network has been growing fresh, local produce at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm to sell at the Sitka Farmers Markets each summer.

In 2019, we decided to add a high tunnel, aka a hoop house, to St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm to see if that helped us increase production. It worked wonderfully, so in 2020 we want to add a second high tunnel to the property to make more produce available for the Sitka Farmers Markets. Now we need your help. This new high tunnel will cost us about $3,500, so we have a GoFundMe Charity fundraiser to try and help pay for it.

For those not familiar with high tunnels, they can extend the gardening season by warming up the soil and keeping some of the inclement weather off the plants, but they don’t have all the heating and electricity needs of a greenhouse. They also are easy to vent, so you can lower the temperature on the really hot days.

By adding a second high tunnel to St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, we expect to increase our produce production, and the produce will be available for sale at the Sitka Farmers Markets and when Chelan Produce is in town. We also have a few restaurants and catering companies that buy produce from us. At the Sitka Farmers Markets, we match the first $20 of SNAP and WIC benefits, which means we’re able to get more local produce into the diets of lower-income Sitka residents.

The produce grown at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and sold at the Sitka Farmers Market has a Certified Naturally Grown designation, which is a national program encouraging sustainable agriculture.

The mission of the Sitka Local Foods Network is to increase the amount of locally harvested and produced foods in the diets of Southeast Alaskans, so this project fits in our mission. For more details, please go to, email, or call SLFN board president Charles Bingham at 623-7660.

Sitka Kitch to offer Winter Baking Series: Sourdough Bread With Carolyn Rice class on Jan. 14

Learn how to bake sourdough bread in the first class of the new Winter Baking Series at the Sitka Kitch. The Sourdough Bread With Carolyn Rice class takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Sitka Kitch community commercial kitchen.

In this class, Carolyn will teach students how to make delicious sourdough bread. With just a little bit of instructions you’ll be on your way to making your own crusty, customized loaves.

Information on future Winter Baking Series classes will be posted when it becomes available.

Carolyn  is an Alaska Fellow with the Sitka Conservation Society and the USDA Forest Service. She works to publicize the hard work that goes into managing the Tongass National Forest — and how awesome it is.

Raised in a tiny town in the Colorado Rockies, Carolyn has since lived all over the American West. Now, she “kind of” hails from Portland, Ore. — but feels at home generally in kitchens and when her feet are dirty. She loves to make sourdough bread, run, write poetry, and watch sunsets.

The registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11. Space is limited, so register early to secure your place in the class. We need at least eight students to register and pre-pay to make this class happen. The class costs $40, which is part of our new all-inclusive fee system (you no longer have to pay a class fee to register, then a separate food/supply fee). You can register and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal on our EventSmart page, (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Chandler O’Connell or Clarice Johnson at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment.

Current (paid) members of the Sitka Food Co-op are now able to attend the classes for $30 each (the co-op will cover the other $10 of your class fee). Please use the Sitka Food Co-Op ticket when you register and send an email to letting them know you’re in the class.

For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440. We do offer one potential scholarship spot per class for people with limited incomes, so long as we have enough students registered to make the class happen. Contact Chandler at SCS for more details about the scholarship. This class is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch.

Students should enter the Sitka Lutheran Church through the back entrance (through the alley off Harbor Drive by the old Bev’s Flowers and Gifts location). The door on the right should be open for students to enter. Please do not park in the church’s back parking lot. Please use the public parking lots off Harbor Drive.

The Sitka Kitch also has a new class cancelation policy. If you register for a class, then find out you can’t attend, please email us at and we may be able to help fill your slot through our waiting list. If you cancel from the class at least five days in advance (eg, by Wednesday the week before for a Monday class), you are eligible for a partial refund of your class fee, minus $5 for processing (in this case, $35). If you need to cancel with less than five days advance notice, there is no refund.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service offers Certified Food Protection Manager class by videoconference Feb. 18 in Sitka

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will teach a certified food protection manager workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 18. This is an all-day statewide class that will be offered by videoconferencing to Fairbanks, Palmer, Juneau, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Valdez, and Sitka, plus other locations that may arrange for the class.

A certified food protection manager (CFPM) is responsible for monitoring and managing all food establishment operations to ensure that the facility is operating in compliance with food establishment regulations.

A CFPM is knowledgeable about food safety practices and uses this knowledge to provide consumers with safe food, protect public health and prevent food-borne illnesses. Alaska regulations require food establishments to have at least one CFPM on staff.

This course takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a half-hour lunch), and participants will take a computer-based exam at the end of the class. The reason the deadline is two weeks before the class is to guarantee course materials reach all the students in time for the class. The cost is $200, and the course will be taught by Julie Cascio of Palmer. Students can register here, and the registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The Sitka videoconference for the class will take place in a room TBA at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. To learn more, contact Jasmine Shaw at the Sitka District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service at 747-9440, or contact Julie Cascio at (907) 745-3677 (Palmer number) or Note, this class is taught in English but textbooks are available in Korean, Chinese and Spanish, just contact Julie at least three weeks before the class.

Also, the ServSafe book ($70) and certification exam ($75) now are available online, if people want to order the book and study independently without taking the class. Just go to this website and purchase the book and exam items.

Scenes from the Sitka Kitch class Rainforest Recipes AIP Pizza With Kate DesRosiers

Students learned how to make a gluten-free pizza crust and a variety of different toppings for the pizzas during the Rainforest Recipes AIP Pizza With Kate DesRosiers class held Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

Kate, who has Type 1 diabetes, cooks using the auto-immune protocol (AIP), which helps people with auto-immune diseases such as diabetes or celiac disease find ways to enjoy alternatives to foods others can eat. With her diabetes, Kate has found it better to avoid certain types of grains and vegetables so her glucose levels don’t spike out of control. Others using the AIP may find the alternatives are easier to digest and are easier on the gastro-intestinal tract.

She taught the students how to make a basic crust using tapioca flour (or arrowroot starch), coconut flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sea salt, olive oil, water, and a variety of herbs. She also taught the students how to make an artichoke-garlic pesto, an olive-garlic tapenade, and a nomato (beet) sauce to replace common toppings such as marinara sauce or alfredo sauce commonly used on pizzas. After rolling out the dough and doing a pre-cook, the students added the sauces and ingredients such as artichokes, onions, olives, spinach, pepperoni, and more, before putting the pizzas back in the oven for a final bake.

The Sitka Kitch is launching a new Winter Baking Series of classes in January. The first class is Sourdough Bread With Carolyn Rice, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Sitka Kitch. Other classes in the series will be posted once their information becomes available. The registration fee is $40, and the registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

A slideshow of scenes from the AIP Pizza class is posted below.

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Scenes from the Sitka Kitch class Oyster Shucking 101 with Renée Jakaitis Trafton

Students learned how to safely shuck an oyster without poking a hole in your hand, and they sampled a couple of sauces and made Oysters Rockefeller during the Sitka Kitch class “Oyster Shucking 101 with Renée Jakaitis Trafton” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

Renée, who is chef-owner of Beak Restaurant, showed students the proper way to shuck an oyster, using oysters from Shikat Bay Oysters on Prince of Wales Island. She also provided recipes for making a cocktail sauce and a mignonette sauce. In addition, she showed students how to prepare Oysters Rockefeller, which adds garlic, wilted spinach, parmesan cheese and Pernod to the oysters before heating them in the oven.

In the next Sitka Kitch class offering, Kate DesRosiers will teach her Rainforest Recipes AIP Pizza class, using the auto-immune protocol (AIP) for people with auto-immune diseases such as celiac’s disease or diabetes, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, and/or 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Sitka Kitch. These classes cost $40, and the registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, for the Dec. 12 class, and 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, for the Dec. 14 class. Space is limited, so register early. We need at least eight students to make each class happen.

Some scenes from the Oyster Shucking 101 class are in a photo slideshow below.

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Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and partners to host seaweed farm training in Sitka, Ketchikan and Kodiak

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) and partners, including Alaska Sea Grant, are excited to announce a new training program for people interested in starting a seaweed farm. The program will be held in Kodiak, Ketchikan and Sitka in February 2020.

Applications are due by Dec. 20, 2019. The seaweed farm workshops take place Feb. 13-14, 2020, in Kodiak; Feb. 17-18 in Ketchikan; and Feb. 20-21 in Sitka.

The training is part of the Alaska Mariculture Initiative and is intended to provide tools and knowledge to anyone planning to farm seaweed commercially in Alaska. The program is targeted toward commercial fishermen, tribes, coastal residents and others. The program will consist of:

  1. an online webinar
  2. a two-day in-person workshop
  3. one-on-one mentoring for high-performing participants

Participants will be required to attend the webinar and one of the in-person workshops to be held in Kodiak, Ketchikan or Sitka. If the participant does not live in one of those communities, they will be responsible for paying all travel and lodging costsTopics covered will include identification of seaweed species, lifecycles of seaweed, the hatchery process, site selection, use of the Alaska Ocean Observing System Mariculture Map, farm gear and equipment, business plan development, farm loans, state lease application process, gear deployment, seeding and harvesting techniques, quality handling, and safety considerations.

Information and instruction will be provided by GreenWave, Alaska Sea Grant, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Blue Evolution, OceansAlaska, AFDF, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, and others. Materials and food during the workshops will be provided.

While the training is free for those selected for the program, participants will be expected to attend and complete work products in order to continue in the program. Space will be limited to ten participants per workshop, and six participants overall will be selected for one-on-one mentoring.

Apply online or download and fill out a PDF application, and email it to Riley Smith at For more information about the workshops, click this link for a story from KFSK-FM radio in Petersburg.