Scenes from the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2017 summer

Table of the Day: Sitka Farmers Market manager Nina Vizcarrondo, left, presents the Table of the Day award to Peter Williams of Humpback Farms during the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2017 summer, held Saturday, July 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. Peter sold lettuce, salad mixes, micro-greens and rhubarb. He received a Sitka Local Foods Network apron, a Biorka Beets t-shirt, some walking onions and some rhubarb.

There was a strange blue cast to the sky and a bright, hot thing beaming down on us when we held our second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2017 summer season on Saturday, July 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian Street).

While our cold weather this spring means we don’t have as much produce as we like, we still had about three dozen vendors at the market (between those inside ANB Founders Hall and those outside in the Baranof Island Housing Authority parking lot) so there was a nice variety of items being sold. Vendors sold harvested foods (such as chaga tea and traditional medicinal tinctures), homemade baked goods, banana-Nutella crepes, hot seafood dishes, fresh smoothies, reindeer hot dogs, blackcod tips, arts and crafts, and home-baked bread. We also had an expanded selection of Alaska Grown products at the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand.

The next Sitka Farmers Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at the ANB Founders Hall. There also are markets scheduled for Aug. 12, Aug. 19, Sept. 2, and Sept. 9. To learn how to be a vendor at the market, contact market manager Nina Vizcarrondo at (907) 738-9301 (new number) or assistant manager Charles Bingham (907) 623-7660, or email us at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. We also have a new kids vendor program at the market for young entrepreneurs age 12 or younger. Don’t forget to like our new Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook.

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

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Scenes from the 22nd annual Running of the Boots held on Sept. 17

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Angie and Ryan Hutchins make for a jumbo-sized pair of XtraTufs as they run past St. Michael The Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral during the Running of the Boots on Sept. 17, 2016, in Sitka.

It was rainy in Sitka on Saturday, Sept. 17 (stop the presses), but the rain abated long enough for us to hold the 22nd annual Running of the Boots costumed fun run fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network.

racestartThis year there was a new start-finish line and course, as our big tent was set up in Totem Square park and runners ran along Lincoln Street from Totem Square to the stoplight and back. We had a shark and fisherman, a jumbo-sized pair of XtraTufs, a young lad as Captain America, a young lady as Strawberry Shortcake, and more in the costume contest.

The Running of the Boots is an annual fundraising event for the Sitka Local Foods Network, whose mission is to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. The Sitka Local Foods Network operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, the Sitka Farmers Market, and hosts an education program that includes the family garden mentoring project.

The Running of the Boots is part of the Season’s-End Celebration festivities hosted downtown by the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Cruise Line Association, where Sitka residents were served hamburgers, hot dogs, salmon and cole slaw to celebrate the end of the summer.

The Sitka Local Foods Network also hosted a produce booth at the Running of the Boots, with produce from the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden. By the way, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener Laura Schmidt said we still have enough produce growing that she can sell 5-10 weekly boxes of produce through the next month. She said the boxes will run $30, and will likely contain about four pounds of carrots, two pounds of potatoes, two pounds of beets, one bundle of chard, one head of lettuce, with other possibilities such as cucumbers, basil, a half-dozen eggs, etc. She also has an excess of zucchini. To learn more, contact Laura at ljschmidt835@hotmail.com.

A slideshow of scenes from the 22nd annual Running of the Boots is posted below. Click this link for a story on KCAW-Raven Radio about the event.

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Scenes from the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer

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Anna Wane, Tamie Parker-Song and Heather Hanson pose with some of the produce from Heather’s and Alli’s Garden. This was one of the new booths at the market this week.

The wind was blustery, but it didn’t rain when we held the second of the seven Sitka Farmers Markets of the 2016 summer on Saturday, July 16, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

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Andrea Fraga and Kaleb Aldred of Middle Island Organic Produce, another of the new booths at the market this week.

We had several new vendors at this market, but not as many customers as usual. We had four booths selling produce, two selling beach greens, another selling homemade bread, another with homemade tamales, and even some frybread.

We always welcome new vendors who want to sell produce they’ve grown, fish they’ve caught, and local cottage food products they’ve made. To learn more about how to be a vendor, contact Matthew Jackson at (907) 821-1412 or jackson.mw08@gmail.com or Brandie Cheatham at (907) 687-9927 or vista_brandie@yahoo.com.

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Jeren Schmidt of Sitka Spruce Catering dishes up a homemade tamale for a customer.

The next Sitka Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at the ANB Founders Hall. The other markets this summer are on Saturdays, Aug. 13, Aug. 20, Sept. 3, and Sept. 10. The Sitka Farmers Markets receive sponsorship funding from the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the American Farmland Trust’s eighth annual Farmers Market Celebration.

A slideshow of scenes from the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer is below.

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• Skagway Garden Club hosts Southeast Alaska Garden Conference on July 19-21

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The Skagway Garden Club will host the Southeast Alaska Garden Conference on July 19-21 at various locations in Skagway, Alaska. The cot for the conference is $99.

The keynote speaker will be Garden Writers of America Hall of Fame member  Jeff Lowenfels, longtime garden columnist with the Anchorage Daily News and the author of the books “Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web” and “Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardeners Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition.” Lowenfels also was the founder of the “Plant A Row for the Hungry” (aka PAR) program that has provided more than 14 million meals for the hungry, and he is former president of the Garden Writers of America.

Garden enthusiasts will be thrilled at the selection of topics ranging from gardening for Alaska’s pollinators to cooking with local edibles through the science behind the process of composting. The conference will have activities for kids and tours of Skagway’s finest gardens and historic garden sites, which includes the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park’s Herbarium.

The conference includes a Friday evening opening reception at the Red Onion’s Bombay Room; Keynote and Saturday program at the Arctic Brotherhood Hall; Saturday continental breakfast; garden tours; lunch at the Westmark Hotel featuring Laurie Constantino, author of  “Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska;” glassblowing demonstration and dinner at Jewell Gardens; and Sunday workshops. This year’s conference is hosted by the Skagway Garden Club and sponsored by the Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau.

• Master schedule for the 2013 Southeast Alaska Garden Conference

• Sitka photographer Psalm Oines celebrates Lori Adams’ Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden

Sitka photographer Psalm Oines didn’t look far to find her latest subject for a photo essay. Psalm drove a couple of miles down Sawmill Creek Road to the Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden owned by Lori Adams. Lori’s garden, located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road, is popular with people looking for fresh veggies before the Sitka Farmers Markets get started each summer or during the weeks in between the markets. Click this link to see Psalm’s great photos of Lori’s garden. To learn more about Lori (shown here during an August 2010 Sitka Farmers Market) and her garden, go to this link from 2010.

• Large crowd braves weather for Running of the Boots to support Sitka Local Foods Network

Participants line up behind the Running of the Boots banner before the start of the race

Participants line up behind the Running of the Boots banner before the start of the race

Despite high winds and rain, a large crowd of about 150-200 people showed up at Crescent Harbor Shelter on Saturday, Sept. 25, for the 16th annual Running of the Boots, a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network. The event was part of the third annual Summer’s End Celebration hosted by the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Cruise Association.

Many of the runners were in costume, especially the younger runners. There were

Two fairy princesses and their dogs before the race

Two fairy princesses and their dogs before the race

Jesuit Volunteer priests, fairy princesses, witches, swimmers and a bug. Some costumes were covered by heavy rain gear, but the XtraTuf rubber boot (aka, the Sitka Sneaker) was a key part of just about every costume.

While there was a race on Saturday, the event was all about fun, with a lip-synch event and the Sitka Blues Band to spice things up. And we even had a table to sell late-season Sitka Farmers Market produce.

The Sitka Local Foods Network appreciates everybody who participated in this fundraiser. A slideshow from the Running of the Boots is posted below, and you can go to our Shutterfly site for a similar slideshow.

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• Iris Klingler wins Table of the Day Award for her bread, honey and jelly during fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer

Sitka Local Foods Network board members Maybelle Filler, left, and Suzan Brawnlyn, right, present home baker and honey/jelly maker Iris Klingler with the Table of the Day Award for the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 11, 2010.

Sitka Local Foods Network board members Maybelle Filler, left, and Suzan Brawnlyn, right, present home baker and honey/jelly maker Iris Klingler with the Table of the Day Award for the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 11, 2010.

Iris Klingler won the Table of the Day award at the fifth and final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

The local home baker and honey/jelly maker was presented with a certificate, $25 cash and a farmers market cookbook by Sitka Local Foods Network board members Maybelle Filler and Suzan Brawnlyn. Iris is one of the market’s newest vendors, but her table was a big hit. She sold out of her bread before the market was much more than an hour old, and her honey and jelly also sold well.

One vendor at each of the five Sitka Farmers Markets this season received similar prizes as the Table of the Day. This was the last big market of the summer, so Sitka residents will have to wait for next summer for the next opportunity to buy locally grown produce, locally caught fish, locally baked bread and locally made crafts at the Sitka Farmers Market.

Also, don’t forget the 16th annual Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka

Runners hit the trail during the 14th Annual Running of the Boots race on Sept. 27, 2008, in Sitka.

Local Foods Network takes place at 11 a.m. (registration opens at 10 a.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 25, as part of the third annual Summer’s End Celebration hosted by the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Cruise Association. This fun run for people sporting XtraTufs rubber boots features a run from the Crescent Harbor shelter through downtown Sitka and around St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Since St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and several other local gardeners have late produce, the Sitka Local Foods Network will have a table or two of produce for sale at the Running of the Boots, with all proceeds going to the non-profit Sitka Local Foods Network to help us with our various projects. The produce tables won’t be as big as a typical Sitka Farmers Market, but WIC clients will be able to use their farmers market produce coupons. More details on the Running of the Boots are posted elsewhere on this site.

A slideshow of photos from the fifth Sitka Farmers Market is posted below, and a similar slideshow can be found on our Shutterfly site.

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