• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors to meet on Wednesday, Dec. 7

The Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at its winter board retreat on Dec. 3, 2011. From left are Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Doug Osborne, Maybelle Filler, Cathy Lieser, Robin Grewe, Linda Wilson and Kerry MacLane. Not pictured is Tom Crane.

The Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at its winter board retreat on Dec. 3, 2011. From left are Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Doug Osborne, Maybelle Filler, Cathy Lieser, Robin Grewe, Linda Wilson and Kerry MacLane. Not pictured is Tom Crane.

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the upstairs offices at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

Key topics for the meeting include a recap of the recent SLFN board retreat, an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, an update on the Sitka Food Co-op, an update on recent work by the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the Sitka Composting Project, our new logo and t-shirts, planning for upcoming educational events such as Let’s Grow Sitka in March, and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public, usually once a month (except summer). We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654 or 747-3475.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting agenda for Dec. 7, 2011

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors to meet on Thursday, May 12

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

Key topics for the meeting include the start of work parties at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, preparations for the upcoming Sitka Farmers Market season, an update on fruit tree planting efforts from the Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative, an update on the Sitka Seafood Festival, an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, a recap of the Let’s Grow Sitka event on March 20, an update on Blatchley Community Garden plans for the spring and summer, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the Fish In Schools Hooray (FISH) project to get more locally caught fish into school menus.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors to meet on Thursday, April 7

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St. This is a change from the board’s regular meeting schedule.

Key topics for the meeting include an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, a recap of the Let’s Grow Sitka event on March 20, an update on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and Blatchley Community Garden plans for the spring and summer, an update on the Sitka Farmers Markets that start in July, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the two new food projects from the Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 apple or other fruit trees in Sitka and getting more locally caught fish served at Sitka schools), and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.

• Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event is Sunday, March 20

Mark your calendars, because the 2011 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Celebrate the first day of spring and get ready to garden.

This annual event brings together local garden supply stores, local gardeners, landscapers and anybody who is interested in learning how to grow food and/or flowers. This year’s theme is “Adding edibles to your landscape — focus on fruit trees and berry bushes.”

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau will be on hand to provide expertise during the show. Buyarski will give a special presentation on “Growing Fruit in Southeast Alaska” at 11 a.m. on March 20 at ANB Hall (just before the show opens).

Buyarski also will lead some free hands-on tree pruning workshops on Saturday, March 19, with the first tree pruning workshop at 10:30 a.m. at the trees outside Patty Bickar’s house, 310 Cascade (at the top of the hill). The tree pruning workshops will continue Saturday afternoon at the trees outside the home of Tory O’Connell, 608 Etolin Way (off Baranof Street downtown). Buyarski will provide instruction on how to properly prune the trees and bushes to encourage fruit production and maintain healthy growth. Pruning needs to be done before the trees bud, so NOW is the time to get it done. The tree pruning workshops are hosted by the Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative.

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages people to share their knowledge by hosting a booth or posting an educational display about a specific garden topic. We especially want people with experience growing fruit trees to share their knowledge about growing apple, cherry or crabapple trees in Sitka; growing strawberries; growing rhubarb; growing unusual berry varieties that do well in our climate such as aronia, sea buckthorn, honeysuckle (fruiting), gooseberry, currant and elderberry; and how to legally transplant and cultivate wild berry bushes to your property.

In addition, you can learn about home greenhouses, how to prepare your soil, how to raise chickens and what to do with all those slugs. Buy seeds and plant starts. Swap ideas and tips. Come learn, share, and get ready to grow your garden. Learn about plans for the Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. Let’s Grow Sitka is organized by the Sitka Local Foods Network and is part of the Arti Gras Sitka Music and Arts Festival, which takes place March 6-20.

There still are a few FREE tables available for vendors, education and demonstrations. For more information about Let’s Grow Sitka or to reserve table space, contact Linda Wilson at lawilson87@hotmail.com or call her at 747-3096 (in the evenings or on weekends only). She also has information about the tree pruning workshops.

Master gardeners are encouraged to sign up to share their personal experience on how to create a successful garden in Sitka. Also, anyone with a garden-related product or service to sell is invited to participate. Some of the expected booths are from:

  • True Value Garden Center (type Sitka or 99835 into the store locator search bar) — garden supplies
  • White’s, Inc/Harry Race Pharmacy — garden books, magazines, accessories
  • Garden Ventures — lots of lovely primroses for sale along with garden supplies
  • Lori Adams — Down-To-Earth U-Pick garden promotion
  • Andrew Thoms — raising chickens and chicks for sale (Andrew suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.)
  • Eve Grutter — jams for sale, garden and raising chickens expertise to share
  • Sitka Local Foods Network — garden information and volunteer sign up
  • Sitka Farmers Market — tomato plant starts for sale, Farmers Market information
  • St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm — seed starter kits
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — information on growing your own fruit trees and berry bushes in Sitka
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — community fruit tree mapping project
  • Sitka Seed Savers — information on how to save your own garden seed, and a sign up to participate in an educational workshop on how to save vegetable seed and start a seed savers group in Sitka
  • Display and information handouts on growing rhubarb and its nutritional benefits
  • UAF Cooperative Extension Service — lots of free garden handouts
  • Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau — edible landscaping

• Let’s Grow Sitka event flier for March 20, 2011, at ANB Hall (please print and post around town)

• Mark your calendar for several upcoming meetings about local food projects

As we near spring, it’s time to start marking your calendar with meetings, workshops and garden preparation events. Here is a list of some of the upcoming events, so you can add them to your calendar. All of these events are open to the public and new volunteers are more than welcome to join each project.

  • The Sitka Seafood Festival planning committee meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at the Baranof Island Brewing Company, 212 Smith St. The Sitka Seafood Festival is May 20-21 this year, and there are several fundraising events (such as the Sitka Culinary Tour Passport event on March 10-13) in the months leading up to the festival. For more info, contact Alicia Olson at 1-928-607-4845 or sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.
  • The Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative work group will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more info, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985 or Doug Osborne at 747-3752.
  • The Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building, 408 Marine St. For more info, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.
  • The Sitka Farmers Market planning group meets at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building, 408 Marine St. For more info, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights, weekends).
  • The Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event starts at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, 456 Katlian St. Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau will be at the Let’s Grow Sitka event to discuss fruit trees. Buyarski also will give a pruning workshop at a time and location TBA on Saturday, March 19; and he will give a talk about fruit trees at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 20, at ANB Hall. For more info, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights, weekends).

• Save the date — ‘Let’s Grow Sitka’ gardening education event is Sunday, March 20, at ANB Hall

The view from above at closing time of the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka garden education event.

The view from above at closing time of the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka garden education event.

Mark your calendars, because the 2011 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Celebrate the first day of spring and get ready to garden.

This annual event brings together local garden supply stores, local gardeners, landscapers and anybody who is interested in learning how to grow food and/or flowers. This year’s theme is “Adding edibles to your landscape — focus on fruit trees and berry bushes.”

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages people to share their knowledge by hosting a booth or posting an educational display about a specific garden topic. We especially want people with experience growing fruit trees to share their knowledge about growing apple, cherry or crabapple trees in Sitka; growing strawberries; growing rhubarb; growing unusual berry varieties that do well in our climate such as aronia, sea buckthorn, honeysuckle (fruiting), gooseberry, currant and elderberry; and how to legally transplant and cultivate wild berry bushes to your property.

Young girls check out a baby chick at the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka event. Andrew Thoms will have egg-producing chicks and information about how to raise them available this year, but he suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.

Young girls check out a baby chick at the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka event. Andrew Thoms will have egg-producing chicks and information about how to raise them available this year, but he suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.

In addition, you can learn about home greenhouses, how to prepare your soil, how to raise chickens and what to do with all those slugs. Buy seeds and plant starts. Swap ideas and tips. Come learn, share, and get ready to grow your garden. Learn about plans for the Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. Let’s Grow Sitka is organized by the Sitka Local Foods Network and is part of the Arti Gras Sitka Music and Arts Festival, which takes place March 6-20.

Master gardeners are encouraged to sign up to share their personal experience on how to create a successful garden in Sitka. Also, anyone with a garden-related product or service to sell is invited to participate. Some of the expected booths are from the True Value Garden Center (type Sitka or 99835 into store locator box), Andrew Thoms (chickens, see note with photo above), White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy, St. Peters Fellowship Farm (seed starter kits), Sitka Local Foods Network, University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, the Sitka Fruit Tree Planting Initiative and many others. Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau also will be on hand to provide expertise.

There still are a few FREE tables available for vendors, education and demonstrations. For more information or to reserve table space, contact Linda Wilson at lawilson87@hotmail.com or call her at 747-3096 (in the evenings or on weekends only).

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors to meet on Monday, Feb. 14

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St. Starting this month, meetings will move to the second Monday instead of the first.

Key topics for the meeting include an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, plans for the Let’s Grow Sitka event on March 20, an update on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and Blatchley Community Garden, a recap of the Sitka Farmers Markets, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the two new food projects from the Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 apple or other fruit trees in Sitka and getting more locally caught fish served at Sitka schools), and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654 .

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host annual meeting and local foods potluck on Saturday, Jan. 29

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its annual meeting and local foods potluck from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

This event is free and open to all Sitka residents. The annual meeting portion of the program will feature an update on all of our current projects, including the two new local-foods-related projects that came out of the 2010 Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 fruit trees around town and getting more local fish in school lunches). We are gearing up for the annual Let’s Grow Sitka gardening education event on Sunday, March 20; the community garden season with work parties starting in April or May; and for the upcoming Sitka Farmers Market season starting in July. New volunteers always are appreciated.

We encourage everyone to bring a favorite dish that features local foods, such as venison steaks, grilled salmon, seafood chowder, freshly baked bread and salmonberry preserves, seaweed, herring eggs and vegetables from the garden. For more information, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or lawilson87@hotmail.com.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors to meet on Monday, Jan. 3

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will hold its monthly meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3, at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s new office in the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building, 408 Marine St.

One of the key topics will be discussion of the Sitka Local Foods Network’s annual meeting and local foods potluck from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Building. This free event is open to all Sitka residents, who are encouraged to bring their favorite dishes made with local food from Sitka (local fish, deer, seaweed, berries, veggies, etc.).

Other key topics for the meeting include an update on the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center project, plans for the Let’s Grow Sitka event in March, an update on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and Blatchley Community Garden, a recap of the Sitka Farmers Markets, an update on the Alaska Food Policy Council, an update on the two new food projects from the Sitka Health Summit (planting 200 apple or other fruit trees in Sitka and getting more locally caught fish served at Sitka schools), and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects. For more information, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends).

• St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm hosts first planting party of the season

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The first of three scheduled planting parties this month took place on Saturday, May 15, at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (located by the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street). In addition to the slideshow above (which also includes some photos from a SEARHC WISEGUYS men’s health group work party the same day at its plot in the Blatchley Community Garden), click here and scroll down for a similar slideshow on our Shutterfly site.

The volunteers planted a variety of plant starts, including many that were grown by local residents who signed contracts at the Let’s Grow Sitka garden show in March. Residents who have plant starts from their Let’s Grow Sitka contracts can drop them off at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm planting parties.

Food grown at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden is sold at the Sitka Farmers Markets. This summer the Sitka Farmers Markets take place on five alternate Saturdays starting on July 17 and running through Sept. 11.

Two more planting parties are planned, from 2-4 on Saturday, May 22 and 29. Tools and gloves will be provided. For more information on the planting parties, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985 or 3akharts@acsalaska.net, or contact Doug Osborne at 747-3752 or doug_las@att.net.