Sitka Farmers Market vendor registration information for 2017 now available

Registration for the 2017 Sitka Farmers Markets is open, and vendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the markets can find all the vendor forms, information sheets, rules and regulations for this year by going to the Documents page on this site, or look at the bottom of this post for the documents. The forms include information about how to register your table for this year’s markets.

The 2017 Sitka Farmers Market manager is Nina Vizcarrondo, who helped manage a New York City farmers market and brings experience to Sitka. She can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or (907) 738-9301 (Note: new phone number) during the market season. The dates for our 2017 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays — July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 12, Aug. 19, Sept. 2, and Sept. 9 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall at 235 Katlian Street.

This year, the Sitka Local Foods Network rolled back its Sitka Farmers Market table prices to 2015 levels and simplified them, and we hope this helps us reclaim some of the vendors we lost last year. The table fees will be $40 for a full table (slightly longer than eight feet) or $20 for a half table per market. We also have a deal where vendors who reserve space for and participate in all seven markets can receive a refund of one market fee after the season (so get seven markets for the price of six). There no longer is a price differential between indoor and outdoor booths. We want to bring back some of the excitement to the markets, where it returns to being a community gathering place, and that means we have to make the market attractive to vendors.

If you are an Alaska food vendor and don’t have the time to host a table at the market, we might be interested in buying your products at wholesale rates or selling them on consignment at our Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand. We want to show Sitkans the variety of local food products available in our community and state.

New this year is a children’s vendor program, where kids get to become entrepreneurs and sell their own locally made food or arts and crafts. This program is modeled after the city’s program where children younger than age 12 buy a season permit to sell items near Harrigan Centennial Hall on cruise ship days. In our children’s vendor program, the fee is $10 for the full market season.

Nina is available to answer questions and to make suggestions that will help new and returning vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, updates to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program and WIC (Women, Infants, Children) supplemental food program, etc. We hope to schedule a pre-market meeting or two for potential vendors between now and the first market.

There are several changes to the 2017 rules and responsibilities, so please read them carefully. The last page has the vendor registration form for adult and child vendors.

In addition, we are trying to increase our labor pool of volunteers to help out with the market. We need people to help us set up, take down, sell produce at the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand, and more. If you are interested in volunteering, send us a note with your contact info. We usually have musicians play at the market, so we are gathering a list of music groups that want to perform.

For more information, contact Sitka Farmers Market manager Nina Vizcarrondo at (907) 738-9301 (new number) or sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Tiffany Justice is the SLFN board liaison to the market (and board treasurer) and Charles Bingham is the SLFN board president, and both will assist with the market.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• 2017 Vendor Rules and Responsibilities (with Registration Form, updated July 3, 2017)

• Sitka Farmers Market vendor agreement to accept Alaska Quest SNAP EBT tokens (2017)

• Link to 2015 Farmers Market Resource Fact Sheets from Alaska Division of Agriculture

• 2015 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• Cottage Food Fact Sheet — “Understanding Alaska’s Cottage Food Exemptions”

• Cottage Food Exemptions

• Washington Farmers Market Vendor Marketing Guide (March 2014)

• Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business (March 2014 document from UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation includes Alaska food safety information and regulations for farmers markets and other food sales)

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Sitka Kitch provides opportunities for education, entrepreneurship

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Lisa Sadleir-Hart, left center, watches as Julie Platson, Cheryl Call, Libby Stortz and Kristen Homer heat milk during a Nov. 14, 2016, Cooking From Scratch class on making homemade yogurt held at the Sitka Kitch.

(NOTE: The following article appeared in the Daily Sitka Sentinel‘s Weekender section on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. It was written by Sitka Local Foods Network board president and Sitka Kitch advisory team member Charles Bingham, who also took the photos.)

By CHARLES BINGHAM
For the Daily Sitka Sentinel

kitch_logo_mainWith a mission to “Educate, Incubate, Cultivate,” the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen serves a variety of functions to improve food security in Sitka. It’s a classroom, a maker space and a community meeting place.

The Sitka Kitch project was a result of the 2013 Sitka Health Summit and is coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society. Located inside the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road), the Sitka Kitch is best known for the variety of cooking and food preservation classes it regularly hosts.

Right now, registration is open for five classes in a Cooking Around The World series, where a variety of instructors will teach students international dishes from Morocco, Chile, Thailand, Austria (strudel), and Turkey. Registration also is open for a five-class series called “Nourish: Using Food As Medicine For Optimum Health,” taught during National Nutrition Month (March) by Sitka nutritionist Holly Marban.

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Jasmine Shaw and Joyce Pearson add brine to a jar of squash during a July 18, 2016, Preserving The Harvest class on simple pickles and sauerkraut held at the Sitka Kitch.

The Sitka Kitch plans a series of food preservation classes this summer, and may host a cottage foods entrepreneurship class in the future. It also has offered basic culinary skills and Cooking From Scratch classes in recent months. In addition, the Sitka Spruce Tips 4H Club has hosted cooking and food preservation classes for kids at the Sitka Kitch.

The Sitka Kitch offers a full schedule of classes because learning how to cook and preserve your own food allows Sitkans to improve their nutrition and extend their food budgets.

“The Sitka Kitch programming team already has plans underway for a dynamic 2017 Preserving the Harvest series,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, a member of the Sitka Kitch advisory team. “In addition to some old time favorites like pickling, jam, jelly and fruit butter classes, the Sitka Kitch team is hoping to offer classes focused on local foods and medicinals like seaweed, devil’s club, rhubarb and rosehips. June will showcase a ‘Clean Out Your Freezer’ class and an ‘Introduction to Food Dehydration’ class as well.”

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Lisa Sadleir-Hart, left, shows Lavina Adams, Sue Falkner and Cheryl Call how to knead and pinch their dough during a Nov. 28, 2016, Cooking From Scratch class on baking whole-grain breads using the Tassajara bread technique held at the Sitka Kitch.

While it isn’t as well known as the classes, the Sitka Kitch also provides an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation-certified commercial kitchen for local cottage food entrepreneurs to use as a maker space. One of the businesses that rents the Sitka Kitch (by the hour) is Simple Pleasures, a Sitka company that sells jams, jellies, kelp pickles and other products around the state. In addition, other groups have used the Sitka Kitch as a meeting venue, such as the Sitka Conservation Society, which hosted its 2016 annual meeting in the Sitka Kitch.

“The Sitka Conservation Society is proud of the Sitka Kitch’s work to build community connection and celebrate local, healthy and delicious food,” said Sitka Conservation Society Community Catalyst Chandler O’Connell, another member of the Sitka Kitch advisory team. “We hope that the community kitchen will continue to be a positive space for Sitkans to come together and share their skills.”

The Sitka Kitch has a website where people can learn how to rent the kitchen, http://www.sitkakitch.org/, and a Facebook page which posts class updates and other info, https://www.facebook.com/SitkaKitch. To learn more about and register for classes, go to the online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/, and click on the class title. You can pay for classes online using credit/debit cards or PayPal, or you can call Chandler or Clarice at the Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a time to pay with cash or check.

Local businesses can sponsor upcoming classes for $300 per class, which helps cover the instructor stipend, facility rental and food/supply costs. Contact Chandler at 747-7509 or email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org for more info.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor registration information for 2016 now available

SitkaFarmersMarketSign

Registration for the 2016 Sitka Farmers Markets is open, and vendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the markets can find all the vendor forms, information sheets, rules and regulations for this year by going to the Documents page on this site, or look at the bottom of this post for the documents. The forms include information about how to register your table for this year’s markets.

The 2016 Sitka Farmers Market manager will be hired soon, and he/she can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. The tentative dates for our 2016 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays — July 2, July 16, July 30, Aug. 13, Aug. 20, Sept. 3, and Sept. 10 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall at 235 Katlian Street.

The Sitka Local Foods Network already held two pre-market meetings to discuss market changes for potential vendors, and we may hold additional meetings as we get closer to the market season. Most of the info about changes is in the 2016 Vendor Rules and Responsibilities document. This document also includes information about commercial kitchens in Sitka and other helpful hints to make your booth more successful, plus it has your registration form for this year.

Sitka Local Foods Network board liaison Matthew Jackson is available to answer questions and to make suggestions that will help new and returning vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, updates to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, etc.

There are several changes to the 2016 rules and responsibilities, so please read them carefully. For more information, contact Sitka Farmers Market board liaison Matthew Jackson at (907) 821-1412 or jackson.mw08@gmail.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• 2016 Vendor Rules and Responsibilities (with Registration Form, updated March 30, 2016)

• Link to 2015 Farmers Market Resource Fact Sheets from Alaska Division of Agriculture

• 2015 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• Cottage Food Fact Sheet — “Understanding Alaska’s Cottage Food Exemptions”

• Cottage Food Exemptions

• Washington Farmers Market Vendor Marketing Guide (March 2014)

• Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business (March 2014 document from UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation includes Alaska food safety information and regulations for farmers markets and other food sales)

• A quick tour of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen

Sitka Kitch Advisory Team Members, from left, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Kristy Miller, Sarah Lewis, and Dorrie Farrell go through the orientation packet before a recent series of canning and cottage foods classes taught by Lewis.

Sitka Kitch Advisory Team Members, from left, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Kristy Miller, Sarah Lewis, and Dorrie Farrell go through the orientation packet before a recent series of canning and cottage foods classes taught by Lewis.

kitch_logo_mainDid you know Sitka has a community rental commercial kitchen?

The Sitka Kitch, located inside First Presbyterian Church at 505 Sawmill Creek Road, officially opened in March and is available for cottage food businesses needing a commercial kitchen, people wanting to put up their own harvest, cooking and canning classes, and even groups who want to cook a dinner for friends and family that’s too large to hold in someone’s home.

The Sitka Kitch is a rental community commercial kitchen project coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society, in partnership with the Sitka Local Foods Network, located inside the First Presbyterian Church. The Sitka Kitch was a project from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit designed to improve food security in Sitka while also providing a space for people wanting to get into the cottage food business or wanting to preserve their harvest for storage in the home pantry. Sitka Kitch (Facebook page) officially opened after a series of renovations to make the church kitchen pass Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation commercial kitchen food safety standards.

The Sitka Food Co-op and Everything Organic Sitka regularly use the facility for deliveries and distribution.

Kristy Miller, the facilities manager for First Presbyterian Church, serves as the manager of Sitka Kitch and helps with scheduling and communal supplies. If you are interested in learning more about how to rent the Sitka Kitch, please go to this website, http://www.sitkawild.org/sitka_kitch, and the best way to schedule a rental is by email at sitkakitch@sitkawild.org.

The slideshow below provides a quick tour of the facility.

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• Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for 2015 now available

SitkaFarmersMarketSign

Vendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the 2015 Sitka Farmers Markets can find all the vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for this year by going to the Documents page on this site, or look at the bottom of this post for the documents. The forms are in downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF or Microsoft Word DOC files. In addition, potential vendors should note two upcoming meetings to go over rules and regulations, fees, and other information they’ll need for this summer’s markets.

The 2015 Sitka Farmers Market manager and assistant manager will be hired soon, and they can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. Our 2015 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on six alternating Saturdays starting in late June (July 4, July 18, Aug. 1, 15, 29, and Sept. 12) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall at 235 Katlian Street.

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host two pre-market meetings for potential market vendors, and all potential vendors are encouraged to attend at least one of the two meetings. The first meeting will be from 5:45-7:45 p.m. on Monday, March 30, at Harrigan Centennial Hall, and the second meeting is 5:45-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. (NOTE: The Monday, March 30, meeting has been postponed to a date TBA.)

Sitka Local Foods Network board members will be available to answer questions and to make suggestions that will help new and returning vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, updates to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, and any other changes. For more information, contact Maybelle Filler at 738-1982 or mocampo25@hotmail.com, Brandie Cheatham at vista_brandie@yahoo.com, or you can email the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• Link to 2015 Farmers Market Resource Fact Sheets from Alaska Division of Agriculture

• 2015 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• 2015 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Rules And Responsibilities Packet

• 2015 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Registration Packet

• 2015 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Guidelines Signature Page (this must be on file for all vendors)

• Cottage Food Fact Sheet — “Understanding Alaska’s Cottage Food Exemptions”

• Cottage Food Exemptions

• Washington Farmers Market Vendor Marketing Guide (March 2014)

• Guide to Operating a Successful Home-Based Food Business (March 2014 document from UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation includes Alaska food safety information and regulations for farmers markets and other food sales)

• Scenes from the March 9 ribbon-cutting celebration for the Sitka Kitch community commercial kitchen

MarjorieHennessyAndCyndyGibsonCutRibbon

kitch_logo_mainOn Monday, March 9, a couple of dozen people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Sitka Kitch community commercial kitchen, located at Sitka First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road).

The new community commercial kitchen came out of a food security project from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit. Sitka residents decided a community kitchen would serve several functions as a place to teach cooking and nutrition classes, a place to teach food preservation classes, a place for small cottage food businesses to have access to a rental commercial kitchen, etc. It is a place for education, business incubation, and community cultivation about food in Sitka.

The Sitka Kitch project (note, new website for scheduling) is a partnership between the Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka First Presbyterian Church, Sitka Local Foods Network, Sitka Food Co-op, Sitka Health Summit, Sustainable Southeast Partnership, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service (Sitka District Office). The kitchen recently was renovated after the church received a $13,000 community blessings grant from the Northwest Coast Presbytery.

sikta_kitch_sheet-791x1024During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Marjorie Hennessy of the Sitka Conservation Society and Sustainable Southeast Partnership discussed the history of the project and some of its goals. Then she and Cyndy Gibson, representing Sitka First Presbyterian Church, cut the ribbon.

Please check out the linked brochure for the current rental rates, which are tiered depending upon the planned use of the facility. This kitchen does meet Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation commercial kitchen food safety standards, but renters are required to get all of their other required permits (business license, food-handling permits, etc.) before renting the kitchen. Groups that already regularly use the facility for deliveries, such as the Sitka Food Co-op and Everything Organic Sitka, will continue to use the facility.

For more information about Sitka Kitch rentals, check the website, contact sitkakitch@sitkawild.org or call the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509. Eventually the management will switch over to the church.

A slideshow is posted below the brochure with photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

• Sitka Kitch informational brochure

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• Ribbon-cutting event March 9 to celebrate launch of Sitka Kitch community kitchen at First Presbyterian Church

 

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.