Sitka Seafood Festival events kick off this weekend

The Sitka Seafood Festival kicks off Saturday afternoon with a salmon-themed paint and snack event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) Office, 304 Baranof Street.

There are a series of other events, listed below, and more events will be added as they become available.

  • Saturday, July 20, Salmon-Themed Paint and Snack, 1-3pm, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, ALFA, Office (304 Baranof St.), $20 for one ticket and $10 for each additional
  • Sunday, July 21, Boating Without the Boys (women’s only watercraft safety training provided by Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, AMSEA), 8am-4pm, ALFA Office (304 Baranof St.), $125 per person
  • Monday, July 29, Seafood Trivia Night, 7-9pm, Bayview Pub (407 Lincoln St.), no admission charge but donations encouraged
  • Sunday, August 11, Change Your Latitude Open-Water Swim Race (Baranof Barracuda Swim Club), 7am-12pm, Sitka Sound
  • Saturday, August 24, Salmon-Themed Paint and Snack, 1-3pm, ALFA Office (304 Baranof St.), $20 for one ticket and $10 for each additional
  • Monday-Saturday, September 23-28, Marine Safety Inspector Training Course, 8am-5pm, Public Safety Training Academy (877 Sawmill Creek Road), $195

So far, the event organizers haven’t announced a vendor marketplace event or fishing-related races, which have been big draws in the past. Those events could happen in late-August.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is co-sponsored by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, who last hosted the event in 2017. For more information, call 747-3400 or contact sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com or asft.outreach@gmail.com.

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Sitka Spruce Tips 4-H Club hosts summer harvest fair July 17 at Sitka Public Library

The Sitka Spruce Tips 4-H Club is hosting a summer harvest camp from 3-4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at the Sitka Public Library.

All are invited to stop by the library to enjoy summer harvest-themed snacks made by 4-H kids from their berry and garden harvests. They also will have recipes, stories and lessons learned from their week at 4-H camp.

For more information, contact Claire or Kevan at 747-7509 (Sitka Conservation Society).

Sitka Kitch to host ‘Preservation/Fermentation 102 With Kayla Caprice’ class on July 29

Learn about the science behind fermentation and its benefits to your body during the upcoming Sitka Kitch class, Preservation/Fermentation 102 With Kayla Caprice. This class takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29, at the new location of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen at the Sitka Lutheran Church (224 Lincoln Street, please use the back entrance through the alley by the former location Bev’s Flowers & Gifts, off Harbor Drive). This class is part of a new Cooking With Kayla Caprice class series this summer, and is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch.

“We will go back over the information from Preservation/Fermentation 101, about the science of fermentation and bacteria, and gut health. We will talk about local ingredients, foraging, and preserves. We will preserve lemons, and one preserved seafood,” Kayla wrote in her class description. Kayla currently works as a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

Kayla, hails from the Southeast coast, more specifically, Florida. She grew up around the ocean and fishing. Her mother was a chef and Food Network was her favorite channel growing up. She has a background in early childhood development and school-age instruction, with an emphasis on cooking and nutrition. She moved to Seattle three years ago to pursue her love of cooking, learning, teaching, and community involvement.

She has been helping educate adults and youth on cooking, nutrition and the food system with The Beechers Foundation in Seattle for more than two years. There she runs before- and after-school programs with cooking and baking clubs, as well as the school garden. She also assists in classes at Culinary Essentials in Ballard under Chef Nora Dummer, cooked at the Artist Home for the Doe Bay Music Festival on Orcas Island, worked at Firefly Kitchens (a fermentation company in Ballard), and taught the culinary summer camp at The Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island in Washington. She is currently a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

“Cooking for yourself is very important to me, as is loving good food,” Kayla wrote. “I believe everyone and anyone should have access to good food and be able to feed themselves, and the tools they need in order to do so.”

Other classes in the Cooking With Kayla Caprice series include (more details and registration information about these classes will be posted later):

  • ‘S’Lightly Southern Cooking — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 8 (this class was postponed and will be rescheduled for later this summer or fall; more details TBA)
  • Preservation/Fermentation 101 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22
  • Preservation/Fermentation 102 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29
  • Cooking For One/Small-Space Cooking — 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Aug. 14 (class targeted to teens and adults)
  • Cooking With Seaweed (in conjunction with Sitka Mermaid Festival) — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26

In addition, the Sitka Kitch has other classes coming up. They include (more details and registration information about these classes will be posted later):

  • Seafood Cooking — 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, taught by SEARHC Registered Dietitian Katie Carroll
  • Cooking With Wild Mushrooms — Time and date TBA in early September, taught by UAS Sitka Campus Biology Assistant Professor Kitty LaBounty and Beak Restaurant Owner/Chef Renée Jakaitis Trafton

The registration deadline for the first Cooking With Kayla Caprice cooking class is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, so register now since space is limited. 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, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Claire Sanchez, Chandler O’Connell or Clarice Johnson at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment. 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 Claire or 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 sitkakitch@sitkawild.org 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 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.

Sitka Kitch to host ‘Preservation/Fermentation 101 With Kayla Caprice’ class on July 22

Learn about the science behind fermentation and its benefits to your body during the upcoming Sitka Kitch class, Preservation/Fermentation 101 With Kayla Caprice. This class takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22, at the new location of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen at the Sitka Lutheran Church (224 Lincoln Street, please use the back entrance through the alley by the former location Bev’s Flowers & Gifts, off Harbor Drive). This class is part of a new Cooking With Kayla Caprice class series this summer, and is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch.

“We will be talking about the science behind fermentation and the benefits it has on your body. We will make a classic cabbage ferment to be taken home and ferment and bubble away. We will make a vegan version of kimchi, and some other fermented veggies. We will also go over ways to incorporate these foods into your everyday life,” Kayla wrote in her class description. Kayla currently works as a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

Kayla, hails from the Southeast coast, more specifically, Florida. She grew up around the ocean and fishing. Her mother was a chef and Food Network was her favorite channel growing up. She has a background in early childhood development and school-age instruction, with an emphasis on cooking and nutrition. She moved to Seattle three years ago to pursue her love of cooking, learning, teaching, and community involvement.

She has been helping educate adults and youth on cooking, nutrition and the food system with The Beechers Foundation in Seattle for more than two years. There she runs before- and after-school programs with cooking and baking clubs, as well as the school garden. She also assists in classes at Culinary Essentials in Ballard under Chef Nora Dummer, cooked at the Artist Home for the Doe Bay Music Festival on Orcas Island, worked at Firefly Kitchens (a fermentation company in Ballard), and taught the culinary summer camp at The Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island in Washington. She is currently a line cook at Ludvig’s Bistro in Sitka.

“Cooking for yourself is very important to me, as is loving good food,” Kayla wrote. “I believe everyone and anyone should have access to good food and be able to feed themselves, and the tools they need in order to do so.”

Other classes in the Cooking With Kayla Caprice series include (more details and registration information about these classes will be posted later):

  • ‘S’Lightly Southern Cooking — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 8 (this class was postponed and will be rescheduled for later this summer or fall; more details TBA)
  • Preservation/Fermentation 101 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22
  • Preservation/Fermentation 102 — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29
  • Cooking For One/Small-Space Cooking — 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Aug. 14 (class targeted to teens and adults)
  • Cooking With Seaweed (in conjunction with Sitka Mermaid Festival) — 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26

In addition, the Sitka Kitch has other classes coming up. They include (more details and registration information about these classes will be posted later):

  • Seafood Cooking — 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, taught by SEARHC Registered Dietitian Katie Carroll
  • Cooking With Wild Mushrooms — Time and date TBA in early September, taught by UAS Sitka Campus Assistant Professor of Biology Kitty LaBounty and Beak Restaurant Owner/Chef Renée Jakaitis Trafton

The registration deadline for the first Cooking With Kayla Caprice cooking class is 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, so register now since space is limited. 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, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Claire Sanchez, Chandler O’Connell or Clarice Johnson at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment. 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 Claire or 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 sitkakitch@sitkawild.org 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 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.

Scenes from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2019 summer

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK
TABLE OF THE DAY: Sitka Local Foods Network board member Amanda Anjum, right, presents the Table of the Day award to Kate desRosiers of Rainforest Rose Creations during the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2019 summer season, held July 6, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. Kate sold healthy treats, made without refined grains or refined sugar. Her products change each market, and this market she had carob peanut butter cups, caramel date carob cups, sunflower carrot bites, tigernut bites, cashew cheesecake with salmonberries, nightshade-free taco seasoning, and fresh rhubarb and yarrow from her garden. She received a tote bag filled with a bag of salad greens, a jar of Barnacle kelp salsa, a Redoubt Rhubarb t-shirt, a few Alaska Grown stickers, a Chugach Chocolate bar, and some Bridge Creek birch syrup sample straws. The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at ANB Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). Other markets this summer are Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Aug. 31, Sept. 7, and Sept. 21. For more information, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org, or like our Sitka Local Foods Network page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, and our Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SitkaFarmersMarket.

We kicked off the 12th season of Sitka Farmers Markets on Saturday, July 6, with a full market and a bit of sunny weather after the morning clouds burned off.

Our produce supply was wiped out early, which sometimes happens during the first market or two of the season as we wait for more produce to mature for harvest. But our vendors had a wide range of other products for sale. We had vendors selling homemade pancakes, eggs and bacon; reindeer hot dogs; home-baked bread; fresh, frozen or jarred seafood; garlic scapes, lettuce, carrots and other produce; arts and crafts; face-painting; musicians; and more. We also had a couple of food trucks outside. And we introduced a couple of new Alaska Grown product lines at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s farm stand.

The next Sitka Farmers Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at the ANB Founders Hall. There also are markets scheduled for Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Aug. 31, Sept. 7, and Sept. 21. To learn how to be a vendor at the marketor how to be a volunteer, contact market manager Nina Vizcarrondo at (907) 738-9301 or assistant manager Charles Bingham (907) 623-7660, or email us at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. We also have a kids vendor program at the market for young entrepreneurs age 12 or younger. Don’t forget to like our Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook.

A slideshow of scenes from the first Sitka Farmers Market of 2019 is posted below.

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Check out the July 2019 edition of the Sitka Local Foods Network newsletter

The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the July 2019 edition of its monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This month’s newsletter includes short stories about the first Sitka Farmers Market on Saturday, the Sitka Local Foods Network applying for Certified Naturally Grown status for St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, a new Cooking With Kayla Caprice class series at the Sitka Kitch, and an invitation to join the Sitka Local Foods Network’s board of directors. 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).

Sitka Local Foods Network applies for Certified Naturally Grown status for St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm

The Sitka Local Foods Network is in the middle of the application process for a Certified Naturally Grown status for St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and its satellite gardens.

We had an inspection on Tuesday, July 2, and as soon as the inspection paperwork is submitted showing we follow the CNG principles, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm will become the fifth, sixth or seventh farm in Alaska to earn the status (there also are farms in Juneau and Palmer awaiting the results of their inspections).

“This certification will show our commitment to making sure Sitkans are able to buy naturally grown produce at the Sitka Farmers Market, and they can know it’s being grown without chemical fertilizers or other additives,” Sitka Local Foods Network board president Charles Bingham said. “Nearly all of the produce we sell at the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand at the Sitka Farmers Market is grown at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and its satellite gardens, and now people will have more assurances that the food they are buying is grown in a natural and sustainable manner, and that it’s the healthiest we can provide.”

The Certified Naturally Grown program is fairly new to Alaska, but many farms are turning to the CNG program because of the difficulty receiving an USDA organic certification in Alaska. Right now there are no USDA organic certification inspectors in Alaska, so it is costly to bring an inspector from the Lower 48 to Alaska and usually only happens when a couple of farms in one area get together and split the cost. The Certified Naturally Grown program has similar principles about not using chemical fertilizers and other enhancements, but uses a peer review inspection process where other local  farmers (even those not in the CNG program) who follow these principles can perform inspections. It also costs less money.

For this inspection, Andrea Fraga of Middle Island Gardens worked with St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt to go through a multi-page checklist that asked questions about how you prepare your garden beds, how you compost, what types of fertilizer and other enhancements you use, what types of crop covers you use, how you rotate crops, and more. There are separate certifications for produce, livestock, apiaries (beekeeping), aquaponics, and mushroom farming.

There currently are four farms in Alaska that have passed their CNG inspections — Faith Farms in Kodiak, Four Winds Farm in Haines, Wilderness Earth Farm of Soldotna, and Wilderness Greenhouse of Anchor Point. The three Alaska farms waiting for CNG inspection results include Sitka Local Foods Network/St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm in Sitka, Orsi Organic Produce in Juneau, and Seeds and Soil Farm in Palmer.

Some photos from the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden inspection are posted below.

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