Scenes from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignLast week was National Farmers Market Week (Aug. 7-13), but someone forgot to tell the weatherman. So we had a bit of rain and inclement weather during our fourth of seven Sitka Farmers Markets of the 2016 summer on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

Things will be a bit different, as we host another Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the ANB Founders Hall (235 Katlian Street). That’s right, we’re having markets on back-to-back Saturdays for the first time in history.

SalvationArmyBreadDavidKitkaMajorTurnieWrightWe 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.

The other markets this summer are on Saturdays, 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 fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer is below.

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Scenes from the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignAfter a week of rain, we lucked out with no rain when we held the third of the seven Sitka Farmers Markets of the 2016 summer on Saturday, July 30, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

PeoplCheckOut4HFairWe had several new vendors at this market, and the Sitka Spruce Tips 4H club sponsored by the UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Sitka Conservation Society hosted the first 4H Fair at this market, with lots of exhibits by the 4H kids.

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.

RachelMorenoWithFrybreadThe next Sitka Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the ANB Founders Hall. National Farmers Market Week is Aug. 7-13, so celebrate by coming to the market on Aug. 13.

The other markets this summer are on Saturdays, 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 third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer is below.

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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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scenes from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer

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SitkaFarmersMarketSignAfter raining the night before, we ended up with some sun when we held the first of the seven Sitka Farmers Markets of the 2016 summer on Saturday, July 2, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

The market was a bit smaller than usual, partially because of competition with the Fourth of July booths at Baranof Elementary School and because of our attempts to refocus the market to put more of an emphasis on local food. We did have some new vendors at the market, and there were a couple of discussions from potential vendors asking about space at the next market.

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Jessica Gill was one of our new vendors this market with Marco’s Munchies dog treats.

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.

The next Sitka Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the ANB Founders Hall. The other markets this summer are on Saturdays, July 30, 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 first Sitka Farmers Market of the 2016 summer is below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sitka Local Foods Network to host seven Sitka Farmers Markets this summer

 

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Sitka residents might notice a few changes when the Sitka Local Foods Network opens its ninth season of Sitka Farmers Markets this Saturday. For one, there will be more markets — seven instead of the six markets hosted in recent years. Another change is a more compact market, with a revised vendor price structure and fewer special programs that put the emphasis back on local foods.

SLFNBoothAlliGabbertHelpsGuyBuyingLocalIngredientsForHalibutChowder“The Sitka Farmers Market is a community gathering as much as it is a market,” said Matthew Jackson, newly installed president of the Sitka Local Foods Network and co-manager of the Sitka Farmers Market this year with Brandie Cheatham. “It’s a great way to connect with your neighbors and support local entrepreneurs. In Alaska we know all about the leaky bucket effect, so shopping at the Sitka Farmers Market is a way to keep money circulating in our community.”

The first Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The other markets this summer take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 16, July 30, Aug. 13, Aug. 20, Sept. 3, and Sept. 10, at ANB Founders Hall.

SLFNBoothLauraSchmidtAndDaughterWithPotatoesThe markets feature a variety of locally grown produce, locally harvested seafood, locally manufactured cottage foods, locally made arts and crafts, music and fun. The Sitka Farmers Market was the first market in Southeast Alaska to accept Alaska Quest (SNAP) electronic benefits transfers (EBT) and WIC coupons.

“For the last four seasons we’ve been proud to welcome Alaska Quest EBT and WIC shoppers at the market,” Jackson said. “It is so important to make sure local food is accessible to everyone.”

SLFNBoothLisaSadleirHartHelpsCustomersThe second Sitka Health Summit in April 2008 planted the seeds for the Sitka Farmers Market, as Sitka residents chose starting a local foods market as one of their community wellness initiatives for the year. About the same time, St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church was looking for a way to put some recently cleared land behind the church’s See House into use for a community project. St. Peter’s offered to lease the land to the group that became the Sitka Local Foods Network for $1 a year, and in May 2008 a group of Sitka residents built raised garden beds and planted a variety of crops. Later that summer, there was enough produce grown at St. Peter’s to supply our first three Sitka Farmers Markets starting in August 2008.

2016SitkaFarmersMarketSponsorsWe grew to five markets in 2009, followed by six markets each year from 2010-15 and now seven markets in 2016. Led by lead gardener Laura Schmidt, the production of local produce at St. Peter’s has grown each year, and there now are satellite gardens, such as the one on land owned by Pat Arvin. Most of the food grown at St. Peter’s and the satellite gardens is sold at the Sitka Farmers Market, but there has been enough for the Sitka Local Foods Network to also have a table when Chelan Produce is in town and to sell to local school lunch programs and restaurants. The money raised helps support the Sitka Local Foods Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in its mission “to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans.”

To learn more about the Sitka Farmers Market and how you can become a vendor, contact Matthew Jackson at (907) 821-1412 or jackson.mw08@gmail.com. The Sitka Local Foods Network website, http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, also has more info on the markets and links to vendor forms. The Sitka Farmers Market is sponsored by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).

Sitka Farmers Market vendor registration information for 2016 now available

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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)

• Scenes from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2015 summer

Sitka Farmers Market Assistant Manager Francis Wegman-Lawless, left, and Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Brandie Cheatham, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Phyllis Moore at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2015 summer on Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Moore sells jams and jellies, baked goods, and a variety of knitted items from hats and potholders to Afghan blankets. She received a gift bag with fresh greens and fresh rhubarb. This is the eighth year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. Don’t forget the Sitka Slug Races take place at 12:30 p.m. at the Aug. 29 Sitka Farmers Market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, or follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

Sitka Farmers Market Assistant Manager Francis Wegman-Lawless, left, and Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Brandie Cheatham, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Phyllis Moore at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2015 summer on Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Moore sells jams and jellies, baked goods, and a variety of knitted items from hats and potholders to Afghan blankets. She received a gift bag with fresh greens and fresh rhubarb. This is the eighth year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. Don’t forget the Sitka Slug Races take place at 12:30 p.m. at the Aug. 29 Sitka Farmers Market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, or follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

Sunny weather was the highlight of the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season, held Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

We had a few new vendors, and a few who hadn’t been around so far this year. But we also were missing a few of our regulars due to travel schedules and a funeral. Still, there was a lot of fresh produce for sale as the gardens are starting to hit peak production.

Don’t forget that our next Sitka Farmers Market will feature the inaugural Sitka Slug Races, so catch your slugs and train them for the races. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the ANB Founders Hall.

A reminder, due to health codes we can’t allow any pets in the ANB Founders Hall or the parking lot other than service dogs. We also don’t allow tobacco (smoking or chewing) at the Sitka Farmers Market because this is a health event (our event started out as a Sitka Health Summit project).

Finally, if you’ve ever wanted to be a vendor you can learn more by clicking this link or sending an email to sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. We always need new vendors, especially those selling produce from their home gardens, commercially caught fish or locally baked bread.

A slideshow from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market is posted below.

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

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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)

• Sitka Local Foods Network elects officers, installs new board members at January meeting

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Chastain, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Cheatham, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The Sitka Local Foods Network elected officers and welcomed three new board members at its monthly board meeting on Jan. 12.

President Lisa Sadleir-Hart and treasurer Maybelle Filler retained their elected offices, while Matthew “Jackson” Jackson was elected vice president and Alli Gabbert was elected secretary. Charles Bingham remains communications director.

In addition, Alli Gabbert, Jennifer Carter and Brandie Cheatham officially became board members in January (at our annual board retreat on Jan. 10). They were selected to join the board in December, but weren’t able to vote until January.

The 2015 board members are (terms end in December):

  • Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president, board term ends 2015
  • Matthew Jackson, vice president, board term ends 2016
  • Alli Gabbert, secretary, board term ends 2015
  • Maybelle Filler, treasurer, board term ends 2015
  • Charles Bingham, communications director, board term ends 2017
  • Jennifer Carter, board term ends 2017
  • Michelle Putz, board term ends 2016
  • Beth Kindig, board term ends 2016
  • Brandie Cheatham, board term ends 2017

The Sitka Local Foods Network meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, with a 30-minute budget meeting at 6 p.m., at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (usually in the upstairs classroom). However, in February we will meet on the third Monday (Feb. 16) to avoid a couple of board member conflicts.

Our board usually doesn’t meet during the summer (June, July, August), when the Sitka Farmers Market is in session and most people are gardening or fishing. Meeting times are subject to change so watch the website calendar for schedule updates. Meetings are open to the public, and new volunteers are welcome. We usually select new board members in December and elect officers in January.