• Sitka Local Foods Network to host six Sitka Farmers Markets in 2014

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with six markets this year starting on June 28 and taking place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 6. The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts.

The Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked goods, locally made jams and jellies, live entertainment and music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. We were the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons and Alaska Quest EBT for SNAP (food stamp) users. We also plan scheduled transportation from Sitka Tours for the last five markets (details coming soon), and don’t forget to support the Sitka Farmers Market in the I Love My Farmers Market Celebration (click logo) at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is a great way to connect with community members and support local entrepreneurs,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “Circulating your dollars locally also has a multiplying effect and helps your neighbors.”

2014 Quest Flyer SitkaThe Sitka Farmers Market started as a community wellness project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. The markets are sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, the Alaska Farmers Market Association, the Alaska Division of Public Health Cancer Control Program, and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

“We are excited to have Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield working as a team as our new market co-managers,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Ellexis and Debe bring loads of enthusiasm and some new ideas to the market, and they are focused on creating a sustainable market that can be in Sitka for the duration. As always, the market will be a place to support the growing local food movement in Sitka and learn more about how to eat more sustainably.”

Vendor fees are $30 for a 6-foot table, $40 for an 8-foot table and $20 for a 4-foot table. Vendors with their own tents pay $5 per foot. As always, we offer cost incentives for vendors growing locally produced food. The fees will help us cover the costs of renting ANB Founders Hall and its kitchen, hiring musicians and other expenses. To learn more about being a vendor or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers, Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield at 738-8683 or by e-mail sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other info for potential vendors can be found on the Documents page at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

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• Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for 2014 now available

SitkaFarmersMarketSignVendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the 2014 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 Acrobat PDF files.

The 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be managed by Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, and they can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. Our 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on six alternating Saturdays starting in late June (June 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9, 23, and Sept. 6) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall on Katlian Street.

Ellexis and Debe already have hosted one pre-market meeting for potential market vendors, and the next pre-market meeting for market vendors is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church on Lincoln Street. All potential market vendors are encouraged to attend. Ellexis and Debe are 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, changes to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, and any other changes.

For more information, contact Ellexis or Debe at the numbers above.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• 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)

• 2014 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Rules And Responsibilities Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Registration Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Guidelines Signature Page (this must be on file for all vendors)

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market EBT Alaska Quest Vendor Agreement

• Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for 2014 now available

SitkaFarmersMarketSignVendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the 2014 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 Acrobat PDF files.

The 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be managed by Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, and they can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. Our 2014 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on six alternating Saturdays starting in late June (June 28, July 12, 26, Aug. 9, 23, and Sept. 6) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall on Katlian Street.

Ellexis and Debe will host at least one pre-market meeting for potential market vendors, tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. They 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, changes to the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, and any other changes.

For more information, contact Ellexis or Debe at the numbers above.

Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms

• 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)

• 2014 City and Borough of Sitka Sales Tax Form for Sitka Farmers Market Vendors

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Rules And Responsibilities Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Registration Packet

• 2014 Sitka Farmers Market Vendor Guidelines Signature Page (this must be on file for all vendors)

• Sitka Farmers Market vendor forms, information sheets and regulations for 2013 now available

SitkaFarmersMarketSignVendors looking to sell local food, arts and crafts, and other items at the 2013 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. The forms are in downloadable Acrobat PDF files.

The 2013 Sitka Farmers Markets will be managed by Bridget Kauffman, and she can be reached at sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com or 738-8683 during the market season. Bridget’s co-managers will be Sabrina Cimerol for the first three markets and Garrett Bauer for the last three. Bridget is a former vendor (she used to sell home baked goods), so she should be a good fit for the manager position.

Our 2013 Sitka Farmers Markets will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on alternating Saturdays in July, August and September (July 6, 20, Aug. 3, 17, 31, and Sept. 14) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall on Katlian Street.

Bridget plans to host two pre-market meetings with potential vendors at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 10, and at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 24, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. This will be when she’s available to answer questions and make suggestions to help new and old vendors adjust to any food regulation changes from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, changes in the Alaska Quest electronic benefits program, etc. For more information, contact Bridget.

• Running of the Boots raises funds for Sitka Local Foods Network

It’s time to dig your XtraTufs out of the closet and gussy them up. The 18th annual Running of the Boots begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Crescent Harbor shelter.

So what is the Running of the Boots? It’s Southeast Alaska’s answer to Spain’s “Running of the Bulls.” Sitkans wear zany costumes and XtraTufs — Southeast Alaska’s distinctive rubber boots (aka, Sitka Sneakers). The Running of the Boots raises funds for the Sitka Local Foods Network, a non-profit group that hosts the Sitka Farmers Market and advocates for community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners. The network also has a representative on the Alaska Food Policy Council.

The Running of the Boots is a short race for fun and not for speed, even though one of the many prize categories is for the fastest boots. Other prize categories include best-dressed boots, zaniest costume, best couple, best kids group and more. The course involves a run from Crescent Harbor to the corner of Katlian and Lincoln streets and back, with a short course for kids looping around St. Michael’s Cathedral.

The entry fee for the Running of the Boots is $5 per person and $20 per family, and people can register for the race starting at 10 a.m. Costume judging starts about 10:30 a.m. There is no longer a lip synch contest after the race. Prizes will be awarded right after the race so folks will have time to get to the free Season’s End Celebration food booths on Lincoln Street, which are being sponsored by the Alaska Cruise Association and the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce.

Local merchants have donated bushels of prizes for the costume contest, including a flightseeing trip for three from Harris Air and a new pair of XtraTufs from Russell’s. Honeywell, the maker of XtraTuf boots, is helping sponsor the event and all prize winners will be provided with a new pair of XtraTuf boots (Honeywell is providing 50 pairs of boots). The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a Sitka Farmers Market booth with fresh veggies for sale. The booth will be able to take debit cards, WIC vouchers and Quest cards.

“This is a really fun way to advance the Sitka Farmers Market and our other Sitka Local Foods Network projects,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Kerry MacLane said. “This is a must-see annual change-of-the season tradition in Sitka.”

To learn more about the Running of the Boots, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654 or by e-mail at maclanekerry@yahoo.com. Historical information about the race (through 2005) can be found online at http://www.runningoftheboots.org/, and info about the Sitka Local Foods Network and more recent Running of the Boots events (2008-11) is online at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/ (type Running of the Boots into the search bar at the top of the page).

• 2012 Running of the Boots flier (feel free to print a few copies and post them around town)

• Meggan Turner and Kathy Branch win Table of the Day at fifth Sitka Farmers Market

Sitka Local Foods Network Quest Card coordinator Muriel Sadleir-Hart, far left, Sitka Farmers Market assistant market manager Jasmine Shaw, second from left, and Sitka Local Foods Network board member Robin Grewe, right, present the Table of the Day Award to Meggan Turner, center, and Kathy Branch for the fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the season, on Sept. 1, 2012, at ANB Hall. Meggan and Kathy sold organic bread, pasta in gift jars, jams, jellies, pie fillings, and dehydrated fruit. The Sitka Local Foods Network board selects a Table of the Day winner from the vendors at each Sitka Farmers Market of the season, and the winners receive prizes such as a fifth-anniversary market tote bag, produce and a check.

The final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.). The Sitka Local Foods Network is seeking volunteers to help set up tables and tents before the market starts, and to tear down and pack up the market after it ends. We need volunteers for this last market. If you have a strong back and helping hands, please contact Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 for more details. Also, if you are a vendor who wants to accept Quest and debit card tokens, please contact Johanna. For more information about the Sitka Local Foods Network and the Sitka Farmers Market, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/

• Slack Tide to be special musical guest at the final Sitka Farmers Market of the season

The last Sitka Farmers Market of the summer will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, so the Sitka band Slack Tide will be the market’s special guest.

Slack Tide is rock and dance band that’s jamming Sitka style. The members of the group are Joe Montagna on guitar and vocals, Jen Reid on vocals, “Pignose Bob” Jacobs on guitar and vocals, Peter Apathy on bass and Colin Herforth on drums.

Also, don’t forget the Sitka Farmers Market now accepts Alaska Quest electronic benefit cards and debit cards. You can use these cards to purchase tokens, which you then can spend with participating vendors at the market. Look for the Sitka Local Foods Network booth inside ANB Hall for more details.

In addition, we always need volunteers to help us set up before the market and to take down the market after we’re done. Please contact Sitka Farmers Market coordinator Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 if you’re interested in helping out.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Crescent Harbor Shelter. Race registration is at 10 a.m., costume judging is at 10:30 a.m., and the race starts at 11 a.m. Paint up your Xtratuf boots and get your costumes ready for this fun event that’s great for kids and families. We will have a booth or two selling late-season produce at this event. Watch for more details coming soon.