• Celebrate National Farmers Market Week by going to the Sitka Farmers Market on Saturday, Aug. 18

Aug. 5-11 is National Farmers Market Week this year, as noted by the Farmers Market Coalition. The Sitka Farmers Market didn’t quite line up its dates with National Farmers Market Week this year, but if you didn’t attend our market on Saturday, Aug. 4 you still can celebrate the week by attending the Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).

Farmers markets are a great way to connect with the community, while also purchasing local produce, wild fish, locally baked bread and arts and crafts. Besides providing access to fresh local produce, farmers markets create strong economic engines in communities, promote local health and bring a diverse group of people together. They also help consumers meet and get to know the people who produce their food.

“The Sitka Farmers Market serves as a family friendly place for people to meet and to visit with other members of the community,” Sitka Local Foods Network Vice-President Linda Wilson said. “Some people spend an hour or two just going around mingling with folks and chatting, catching up on the local news, telling jokes, and sharing ideas and information. There is a lot of good energy around during the market.”

Farmers markets have been growing nationally, from 2,863 in 2000 to 7,864 in 2012, a jump of more than 270 percent. While Alaska doesn’t have as many farmers markets as other states, it did have the highest percentage of new markets in the country last year, up 35 markets in 2011 or 46 percent. The national rate of new market growth was 17 percent in 2011 and 9.6 percent in 2012.

Aug. 18 will be the fourth of six full Sitka Farmers Markets this summer, with the schedule running on alternate Saturdays (July 7, 21, Aug. 4, 18, Sept. 1 and 15). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, 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 are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2012/06/22/%E2%80%A2-dont-forget-to-vote-for-the-sitka-farmers-market-in-this-years-americas-favorite-farmers-markets-contest/.

For more information about the market or hosting a booth, contact Sitka Farmers Market Manager Johanna Willingham at 738-8836 or johanna.willingham@gmail.com. By the way, we always need volunteers to help set up and take down the market before and after the event. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Also, there will be a couple of work parties from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and  from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, which is located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (the dark brown brick-and-wood church on Lincoln Street above Crescent Harbor). Fresh veggies will be available for a donation to the Sitka Local Foods Network or a WIC Farmers Market Coupon. For more info on garden work parties, contact St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm Lead Gardener Laura Schmidt at 738-7009 or 623-7003.

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• Don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in this year’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest

The fifth season for the Sitka Farmers Market doesn’t open until July 7, but you can vote for us now in the fourth annual America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. The contest is sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America’s agricultural resources.

To vote, click here and then search for the Sitka Farmers Market by typing in the Sitka Farmers Market name or by using the zip code or state directories. You also can vote by clicking the contest logo at the top of this site’s right column or the contest logo at the bottom of this post. Voting opened on June 22, and the deadline to vote is midnight EST on Monday, Sept. 3 (8 p.m. Alaska time on Sunday, Sept. 2). The online voting form asks what you like best about the market, so be prepared to type something in the box. The top boutique, small, medium and large markets win a large quantity of “No Farms, No Food” totebags to distribute at a market in September, in addition to other prizes to help organizers run a better market. Click here for more information about the contest, and click here for a FAQ page with more details.

By the way, the summer’s first Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). Other markets are scheduled for alternate Saturdays — July 21 Aug. 4, Aug. 18, Sept. 1 and Sept. 15. There also will be a small Sitka Farmers Market produce booth at the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Sept. 29 at the Crescent Harbor covered shelter. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the markets.

Our markets feature a variety of vendors with locally grown produce, locally caught fish, baked bread, prepared foods and arts and crafts. We usually have musicians on stage and a table with children’s activities. After construction two summers ago kept us from being outside, this summer we will be able to host many of our usual booths outdoors in the ANB Hall/Baranof Island Housing Authority parking lot. To learn more about reserving booths for the Sitka Farmers Market, contact Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 or by e-mail at johanna.willingham@gmail.com. Vendor rules and other information can be found at this link.

If you have extra produce from your garden, the Sitka Local Foods Network table (outside ANB Hall by the Sitka Farmers Market sign) gladly accepts donations and will buy some produce to sell at its booth. The Sitka Local Foods Network sells produce grown at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and a few other local gardens at its Sitka Farmers Market booth. All money raised by the Sitka Local Foods Network booth goes into various projects sponsored by the network — a 501(c)(3) non-profit group — including the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, the proposed Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center and other projects.

Local Food and Local Farms

• Don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in this year’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest

The fourth season for the Sitka Farmers Market doesn’t open until July 16, but you can vote for us now in the third annual America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. The contest is sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America’s agricultural resources.

To vote, click here and then search for the Sitka Farmers Market by using the zip code or state directories. You also can vote by clicking the contest logo at the top of this site’s right column or the contest logo at the bottom of this post. Voting opened on June 1, and the deadline to vote is midnight EST on Wednesday, Aug. 31 (8 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday, Aug. 30). The online voting form asks what you like best about the market, so be prepared to type something in the box. The top boutique, small, medium and large markets win a large quantity of “No Farms, No Food” totebags to distribute at a market in September, in addition to other prizes to help organizers run a better market. Click here for more information about the contest, and click here for a FAQ page with more details.

By the way, the summer’s first Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). Other markets are scheduled for alternate Saturdays — July 30, Aug. 13, Aug. 27 and Sept. 10. There also will be a small Sitka Farmers Market produce booth at the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Sept. 24 at the Crescent Harbor covered shelter. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the markets.

Our markets feature a variety of vendors with locally grown produce, locally caught fish, baked bread, prepared foods and arts and crafts. We usually have musicians on stage and a table with children’s activities. After construction last summer kept us from being outside, this summer we will be able to host many of our usual booths outdoors in the ANB Hall/Baranof Island Housing Authority parking lot. To learn more about reserving booths for the Sitka Farmers Market, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or by e-mail at lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules and other information can be found at this link.

If you have extra produce from your garden, the Sitka Local Foods Network table (outside ANB Hall by the Sitka Farmers Market sign) gladly accepts donations and will buy some produce to sell at its booth. The Sitka Local Foods Network sells produce grown at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and a few other local gardens at its Sitka Farmers Market booth. All money raised by the Sitka Local Foods Network booth goes into various projects sponsored by the network — a 501(c)(3) non-profit group — including the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, the proposed Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center and other projects.

Local Food and Local Farms

• Sammee’s Creations wins Table of the Day Award at third Sitka Farmers Market of the summer

Sitka Local Foods Network board president Kerry MacLane, left, and secretary/treasurer Linda Wilson, right, present Sammee Falk of Sammee's Creations with the Table of the Day award at the third Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka.

Sitka Local Foods Network board president Kerry MacLane, left, and secretary/treasurer Linda Wilson, right, present Sammee Falk of Sammee's Creations with the Table of the Day award at the third Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka.

Sammee Falk of Sammee’s Creations won the Table of the Day award at the third Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

The local jewelry maker was presented with a certificate, $25 cash and a farmers market cookbook by Sitka Local Foods Network board president Kerry MacLane and board secretary/treasurer Linda Wilson. Sammee has been at every market for the last two years. She uses beads and a lot of found objects in her jewelry, such as broken glass found on the beach.

One vendor at each of the five scheduled Sitka Farmers Markets this season will receive a similar prize. The next markets are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on alternate Saturdays, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, at historic ANB Hall. We look forward to seeing you at our next market.

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

By the way, if you haven’t already done so, please go to the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest site, run by the American Farmland Trust, and vote for the Sitka Farmers Market.

Voting is broken down into four categories based on the number of vendors at each farmers market. The four categories are Boutique (15 or fewer vendors), Small (16-30 vendors), Medium (31-55 vendors) and Large (more than 56 vendors). The Sitka Farmers Market competes in the Boutique category, and we need about 50 votes to climb into the national top-20 ranking for our category.

Even though the Sitka Farmers Market is in the smallest size category, it was the leading vote-getter for Alaska as of Thursday, July 29. But a flurry of voting that night vaulted HomeGrown Market of Fairbanks (originally listed as a Medium market, but now listed as Boutique) well ahead of us in the battle for the top market in the state. Voting continues through Aug. 31 so we need your votes to close the gap.

And don’t forget, the Alaska Grown Eat Local Challenge takes place on Aug. 22-28 and our next market is on the last day of this special week that promotes eating locally grown and harvested foods. Stop by the Sitka Farmers Market on Aug. 28 to buy what you need to make a local meal.

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• Malinda and Karen’s Bakery wins Table of the Day award from second Sitka Farmers Market

Sitka Local Foods Network boardmember Johanna Willingham, left, presents Karen Christner, center, and Malinda Bonsen, right, of Malinda and Karen's Bakery with the Table of the Day award at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on July 31 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka.

Sitka Local Foods Network boardmember Johanna Willingham, left, presents Karen Christner, center, and Malinda Bonsen, right, of Malinda and Karen's Bakery with the Table of the Day award at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on July 31 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka.

Karen Christner and Malinda Bonsen of Malinda and Karen’s Bakery won the Table of the Day award at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on July 31 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

The two local home bakers were presented with a certificate, $25 cash and a farmers market cookbook by Sitka Local Foods Network boardmember Johanna Willingham. Karen and Malinda baked bread, cinnamon rolls and other desserts to sell at the July 31 market. They also sold some flowers and vegetables from their home gardens.

One vendor at each of the five scheduled Sitka Farmers Markets this season will receive a similar prize. The next markets are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on alternate Saturdays, Aug. 14, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, at historic ANB Hall. We look forward to seeing you at our next market.

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

By the way, if you haven’t already done so, please go to the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest site run by the American Farmland Trust and vote for the Sitka Farmers Market.

Voting is broken down into four categories based on the number of vendors at each farmers market. The four categories are Boutique (15 or fewer vendors), Small (16-30 vendors), Medium (31-55 vendors) and Large (more than 56 vendors). The Sitka Farmers Market competes in the Boutique category, and we need about two dozen votes to climb into the national top-20 ranking for our category.

Even though the Sitka Farmers Market is in the smallest size category, it was the leading vote-getter for Alaska as of Thursday, July 29. But a flurry of voting that night vaulted HomeGrown Market of Fairbanks (a Medium market) well ahead of us in the battle for the top market in the state. Voting continues through the end of August so we need your votes to close the gap.

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• Lori Adams of Down To Earth U-Pick Garden wins Table of the Day at first Sitka Farmers Market

Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Doug Osborne presents Lori Adams of Down To Earth U-Pick Garden the Table Of The Day award for the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2010 summer season

Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Doug Osborne presents Lori Adams of Down To Earth U-Pick Garden the Table Of The Day award for the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2010 summer season

Lori Adams of Down To Earth U-Pick Garden received the Table of the Day Award from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2010 summer season July 17 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Adams, who has had booths in the Sitka Farmers Market for three years, grows vegetables, flowers, berries and herbs at her garden, located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road. Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Doug Osborne presented Adams with a certificate, $25 cash and a copy of the South Anchorage Farmers Market Cookbook.

One vendor at each of the five scheduled Sitka Farmers Markets this season will receive a similar prize. The next markets are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on alternate Saturdays, July 31, Aug. 14, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, at historic ANB Hall.

The first market of the season received lots of publicity, including a KCAW-Raven Radio morning show interview (link has audio) with Sitka Local Foods Network President Kerry MacLane on Friday, July 16, to preview the first market, and an audio postcard on KCAW’s Monday, July 19, newscasts. The Daily Sitka Sentinel also ran a Weekend feature on Friday, July 16, and had a front-page photo from the market on Tuesday, July 20 (password required to view content).

A slideshow of photos from the first market is posted below, and a similar slideshow can be found on our Shutterfly site. By the way, if you haven’t already done so, please go to the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest site run by the American Farmland Trust and vote for the Sitka Farmers Market. The Sitka Farmers Market was the leading vote-getter for Alaska as of Thursday, July 22, but voting continues through the end of August so we need your votes.

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• Don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in this year’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest

The third season for the Sitka Farmers Market doesn’t open until July 17, but you can vote for us now in the second annual America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. The contest is sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America’s agricultural resources.

To vote, click here and then search for the Sitka Farmers Market by using the zip code or state directories. You also can vote by clicking the contest logo at the top of this site’s right column or the contest logo at the bottom of this post. Voting opened on June 1, and the deadline to vote is midnight EST on Tuesday, Aug. 31 (8 p.m. Alaska time on Monday, Aug. 30). The online voting form asks what you like best about the market, so be prepared to type something in the box. The top boutique, small, medium and large markets win a large quantity of “No Farms, No Food” totebags to distribute at a market in September, in addition to other prizes to help organizers run a better market. Click here for more information about the contest, and click here for a FAQ page with more details.

2010 Sitka Farmers Market schedule

2010 Sitka Farmers Market schedule

By the way, the summer’s first Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). Other markets are scheduled for alternate Saturdays — July 31, Aug. 14, Aug. 28 and Sept. 11. There also will be a small Sitka Farmers Market produce booth at the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Sept. 25 at the Crescent Harbor covered shelter. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the markets.

Our markets feature a variety of vendors with locally grown produce, locally caught fish, baked bread, prepared foods and arts and crafts. We usually have musicians on stage and a table with children’s activities. Due to construction this summer, we will not be able to have many of our usual booths outdoors in the ANB Hall/Baranof Island Housing Authority parking lot. We will do the best we can to fit as many booths inside ANB Hall as we can, and we are asking vendors to try and do more with vertical displays. To learn more about reserving booths for the Sitka Farmers Market, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or by e-mail at lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules and other information can be found at this link.

If you have extra produce from your garden, the Sitka Local Foods Network table (outside ANB Hall by the Sitka Farmers Market sign) gladly accepts donations and will buy some produce to sell at its booth. The Sitka Local Foods Network sells produce grown at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden and a few other local gardens at its Sitka Farmers Market booth. All money raised by the Sitka Local Foods Network booth goes into various projects sponsored by the network — a 501(c)(3) non-profit group — including the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, the proposed Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center and other projects.

Local Food and Local Farms