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

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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.

• Local merchants provide coffee grounds, spent beer grain for garden compost

Alana Peterson shows where gardeners can find used coffee grounds from the Back Door Café.

Alana Peterson shows where gardeners can find used coffee grounds from the Back Door Café.

Sitka’s constant rains tend to wash the nutrients from our soil, which means many Sitka gardeners also use compost to build new soil. Some local merchants provide used coffee grounds and spent beer grain so gardeners can add them to their compost piles.

Alana Peterson of the Back Door Café (104 Barracks St.) said the person who normally collects her business’ used coffee grounds has reached his max capacity, so now they are available for other gardeners to gather. She usually puts them in one of the plastic containers outside the main entrance to the shop, under the tree by the large black plastic garbage container. The coffee grounds are in plastic bags, so they’re easy for gardeners to grab.

The Baranof Island Brewing Company, aka BIBCO (215 Smith St.), provides free spent beer grain for gardeners. The spent grain is kept in a tote near the brewery’s Tap Room, and gardeners need to bring their own buckets to carry the grain home (a shovel is in the tote).

At both businesses the compost items are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please double-check with the merchants if you have any questions.

• Scenes from Alaska’s first Lexicon of Sustainability gallery show in Sitka

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the_lexicon_of_sustainability_postConversations were started, ukuleles were played, and kale-feta salad was eaten as the Sitka Local Foods Network hosted Alaska’s first pop-up art gallery show of the Lexicon of Sustainability on Thursday night, Aug. 28, at the Back Door Café.

So what is the Lexicon of Sustainability? According to the website, “The Lexicon of Sustainability is based on the simple premise: People will live more sustainably if they understand the basic terms and principles that will define the next economy.” The Lexicon of Sustainability features dozens of large photos of our food and farming systems, water and energy, with a variety of topics defined on each photo, such as food security, sustainable fisheries, farm to table, permaculture, etc.

“The Lexicon of Sustainability illuminates the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it, the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture. The Lexicon of Sustainability educates, engages and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.”

The photos from this first show will be on display through Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Back Door Café. Future Sitka shows include a Sitka Local Foods Network fundraiser tentatively set for Oct. 23 at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp/Sheldon Jackson Campus, and possibly a show at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus at a date TBA. Then the photos will go to Anchorage for the Alaska Food Festival and Conference on Nov. 7-9, hosted by the Alaska Food Policy Council. This batch of Lexicon of Sustainability photos will stay in Alaska so different groups can use them in their communities.

To learn more about this project, contact Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors President Lisa Sadleir-Hart at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. A slideshow of images from Thursday night’s event is posted below.

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• Sitka Local Foods Network to host Alaska’s first Lexicon of Sustainability pop-up art show

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the_lexicon_of_sustainability_postYour Sitka Local Foods Network will host a free Alaska premiere of the Lexicon of Sustainability pop-up gallery art show from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Back Door Café. Samples of a kale feta salad featuring kale grown in Sitka at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm will be available, and the Back Door Café will be selling drinks and food during the show.

So what is the Lexicon of Sustainability? According to the website, “The Lexicon of Sustainability is based on the simple premise: People will live more sustainably if they understand the basic terms and principles that will define the next economy.” The Lexicon of Sustainability features dozens of large photos of our food and farming systems, water and energy, with a variety of topics defined on each photo, such as food security, sustainable fisheries, farm to table, permaculture, etc.

lex84_salmonsafe“The Lexicon of Sustainability illuminates the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it, the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture. The Lexicon of Sustainability educates, engages and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.”

In addition to the photos, the Lexicon of Sustainability includes a book, “Local: The New Face of Food and Farming in America,” by Douglas Gayeton. The project also was featured in a “Know Your Food” series of short films on PBS. Copies of Local have been ordered by Old Harbor Books and will be available for purchase soon.

WildHarvest“I had the good fortune to view the Lexicon of Sustainability art show at the Food Justice Conference in Oakland in 2012,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “As conference attendees gathered around the posters, amazing conversations sprung up and started us thinking collaboratively about solutions and make connections with each other. I couldn’t wait to use art this way to stimulate social change conversations in Sitka around food.”

This will be the first of several Lexicon of Sustainability shows in Sitka, before the photos move north to Anchorage and the rest of the state (this batch of photos will remain in Anchorage with the Alaska Food Policy Council for future shows around the state). The photos from this first show will be on display through Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Back Door Café. Future Sitka shows include a Sitka Local Foods Network fundraiser in late October at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp/Sheldon Jackson Campus, and possibly a show at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus at a date TBA.

To learn more about this project, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

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